Reinstalling the Operating System and retaining my OS license.

Michael Murphy
Michael Murphy used Ask the Experts™
If I format my hard disk and then re-install the Operating System what happens to my license. I understood that if I remove the OS while connected to the Internet and then format the drive, that when I re-install it the License will be recognized. Is this correct?
The laptop is a Toshiiba Satellite C850d-F11 64 bit running Windows 8.1
Tried to get an answer from Toshiba but their support website is a maze and could not find anyone to ask.
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If you are restoring a backup image to the same hardware on which it was made, your activation continues to be valid.

If you are reinstalling from media supplied by Toshiba (OEM media), windows 8.1 will automatically activate. The process is somewhat complicated: the installer looks for certificates encoded in the firmware of the PC and if one of them matches the version of Windows you are using, you are good to go.

If you are reinstalling from retail media, you'll need to supply a retail product key.
Most Valuable Expert 2013
If it was supplied with 8.1 by Toshiba and the drive is OK and you just need to reinstall then hold down the zero key while switching on.  Your model has a recovery partition that will restore the Windows install to how it was when you bought it (and then you'll need to add a shed load of updates!).  If it was supplied with Win 7 and you've upgraded it since your licensing will depend on what media you used to install from (as described above).  If you're restoring from the partition Windows will activate automatically as your license key is embedded in the hardware

noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
In short - it will work after reinstall. Just perform reinstall and let the Windows activate itself.

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