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How do you know you are properly activated on Windows 10 upgrades?

Posted on 2016-11-28
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Last Modified: 2016-12-01
I've recently upgraded some win 7 machines to Windows 10 through the

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/accessibility/windows10upgrade

link.  

When I go into system properties (right clicking on computer name - the page that says processor / ram / machine name info), it says it's activated.

I thought when I upgraded a machine in that first year free upgrade program, the machine install had to be tied to a microsoft account / that's where the activation was tied to (and I guess you'd have to remember who's microsoft account you activated the win 10 on that machine?)

These didn't ask for any microsoft accounts to activate.  

Does it just remember some unique number created from the hardware info / machine serial number to activate if I reinstall win 10 in the future?  I want to make sure I do the right things now so if I reinstall win 10 in the future (from a bootable USB with the win 10 ISO) I am not stuck with not being able to activate
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4 Comments
 
LVL 21

Accepted Solution

by:
CompProbSolv earned 250 total points
ID: 41904896
It does identify your computer and will keep track of the activation.  I typically set systems up without a Microsoft account and this has been the case.
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 41904931
M$ accounts were never needed to activate Windows 10. But as mentioned above, it can be used to keep track of your activated Windows 10 PC's. Besides that, if I understood correctly, you can move a License which is registered to your m$ account, to another PC. If you haven't registered you license to an m$ account, you can't move the license to another PC.
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LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:garycase
garycase earned 125 total points
ID: 41904975
Activation is based on a hash value computed from the physical characteristics of the machine.   Once you've had Windows 10 installed and activated on the PC, you'll be able to reinstall at any time without entering a key.   If you do a reinstall, just answer "I don't have a key" at the appropriate prompt, and the system will activate just fine once the install is finished.

The only caveat is you must install the correct version -- e.g. Home or Pro -- or it won't activate.  You can, however, change the "bitness" (e.g. 32-bit or 64-bit) ... it will still activate just fine.
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Author Closing Comment

by:BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
ID: 41909603
thanks guys!
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