Install Windows 10 with Windows 7 key

I have a Windows 7 Professional key. I recently upgraded to Windows 10 with the automatic update feature MS pushed out.

I want to replace my hard drive with an SSD and reinstall Windows 10.  

Can I use my Windows 7 key to install Windows 10, or do I need to install Windows 7 and do the upgrade again?
LVL 23
savoneAsked:
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crystal (strive4peace) - Microsoft MVP, AccessRemote Training and ProgrammingCommented:
you will need to put 7 on again, then go to 10
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Ankit PareekOnline MarketingCommented:
Hey you not have any option to enter windows 7 key to windows 10 fresh install. If you need clean installation of windows 10 used windows media creation tool to install windows 10 here is the way.
Because Microsoft server register with your hardware and its auto detect that your system registered with genuine windows
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
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crystal (strive4peace) - Microsoft MVP, AccessRemote Training and ProgrammingCommented:
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Mal OsborneAlpha GeekCommented:
If Windows 10 was activated, it should just automatically reactivate after a clean install, provided the hardware has not changed too much.
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crystal (strive4peace) - Microsoft MVP, AccessRemote Training and ProgrammingCommented:
Did a little more research on this.  Windows 10 is licensed to the motherboard.  During the clean install, the product key should be skipped (multiple times if required).  Apparently, the PC will automatically activate when the installation is complete.

... and the rules seem to be changing.  According to this insider article, published Oct 12, 2015, you can use a Win 7 key as long as you are on the same device.

http://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2015/10/12/announcing-windows-10-insider-preview-build-10565/
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nobusCommented:
i would make an image of the drive, and restore that to the SSD
Paragon can be used for this : http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/download.html

or the free partition manager : https://www.paragon-software.com/home/pm-express/
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Win 7 key activation of Win 10 is being tested in the Insider Programme it isn't in the mainstream builds (yet)

Everything here is pretty much correct - except telling you to start from scratch with Win 7- that's not necessary - your only issue is whether or not the change of HDD is sufficient to trigger re-activation at Microsoft and if that happens whether the automated activation process allows the "changed machine" to re-register.  I've not seen an HDD to SSD swap to cause this but it's still early days with Win10.

If you completed the upgrade from 7 successfully a "fingerprint" of the hardware was registered at Microsoft and, as already described,  when reinstalling (as long as you don't try to enter an activation key manually) the activation servers should recover this and mark the system as good to go.

Best guess is everything is in your favour - it's an expected kind of upgrade and Win 10 should "forgive you" for the hardware change and reactivate without a problem - Also bear in mind that reactivation may not be instantaneous as there are several million activation transactions happening so expect the reinstall to appear as "unregistered" for a while initially, if you leave the box on overnight you should find it fixed in the morning.
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172pilotCommented:
I second the comment by Malmensa - Once Windows 10 is activated on a specific computer, the "fingerprint" of that computer is logged at Microsoft, and any new fresh install will simply work, and become activated.  You shouldn't even be asked for the key, but if you are, the Win7 key should work fine.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
As some of the others have said, Once you upgrade a system to Windows 10, the activation should be automatic on even a clean install -- NO KEY NEEDED.

SOON (I would expect by the end of the year) Windows 10 will accept Windows 7 and 8 keys to install.  The original build that was released DOES NOT, but the one coming out next should.  And Microsoft is updating Windows 2-3 times per year with new releases.
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