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Will my product key still work if I uninstall Windows 10?

I recently took the risk and did the free upgrade to windows 10. My only problem is that everything went south after upgrading and the anniversary update made matters worse. At first my PC felt pretty sluggish and after the anniversary update it just became unbearable, it would take 5-10 minutes to startup and the hard drive was always busy doing something so it would take minutes to startup a program/game. I regret upgrading to windows 10 and now I have to clean install 7 because I was a moron and erased the windows.old to save a few gigs :( . Since I connected my microsoft account to the windows 10 digital key, will I still be able to use the original windows 7 key from my PC to activate the clean install of windows 7 or is it permanently upgraded to 10? Please help me.

Specs:
i5 4570 3.2Ghz
8gb DDR3 Ram
GTX 560TI
ADATA 120gb SSD + WD 250GB HDD
Seasonic 520W PSU
24 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about product key work uninstall windows
  1. Contact MS directly and ask for assistance.... The upgrade, as I understand it, nullifies the old Win7 key but since the upgrade went sour and the anniversary update seems to have fudges the Windows.old folder ....
  2. Best answer
    Your current hardware with windows 10 on it is your new key , it's a hardware profile , you can do a clean install of 10 and it will activate because the hardware is the same.
  3. That would work if OP wanted to reinstall 10 .... But goal is to do a clean install if Win 7
  4. I'd try a clean install of 10 first. You should not have had any of the issues you described so something must be wrong with the current install.
  5. I honestly don't want to get windows 10 again because ever since I upgraded a week ago it has been a nightmare. Not only has the constant high disk usage and freezing been annoying, but also having to configure the settings every time microsoft wants to push a big update. I also am not too fond of the automatic updates because I don't have a quick internet connection. I can be playing a game and my ping goes through the roof with the updates rolling in.
  6. You can only go with 10 , you deleted the .old 7 info , so you can only use 10 on your current hardware.
  7. SR-71 Blackbird said:
    Your current hardware with windows 10 on it is your new key , it's a hardware profile , you can do a clean install of 10 and it will activate because the hardware is the same.


    Just as Blackbird says, you don't need a key anymore. Just back up the hard drive and do a clean install from the install media. Be careful to install the same version (Home or Pro) that you have installed now. If this is done correctly, it will automatically activate once it gets online.

    Windows 10 has generic drivers built in so it should be able to get online but may not be the fastest internet connection until it pulls the most recent drivers for your network controller from Windows Update.
  8. MrInferno said:
    I honestly don't want to get windows 10 again because ever since I upgraded a week ago it has been a nightmare. Not only has the constant high disk usage and freezing been annoying, but also having to configure the settings every time microsoft wants to push a big update. I also am not too fond of the automatic updates because I don't have a quick internet connection. I can be playing a game and my ping goes through the roof with the updates rolling in.


    Windows 10 sometimes has problems when it's done as an upgrade. However, some of these problems will likely subside if you do a fresh install.

    Also, if you check for updates every Tuesday and Thursday, then it'll install them on demand instead of whenever the timer runs out.

    I say Tuesday and Thursday because Microsoft releases updates on Wednesdays, but I don't know which time zone you live in. Please note that manufacturer driver updates do not follow this Wednesday schedule.
  9. I currently have 7 machines , 5 builds and 2 hp's and with a Win 10 refresh install , they are all running very well.

    I don't care for the new update process myself.
  10. "Refresh install"

    Does this mean you upgraded to use the old OS's activation key and then did a fresh install of 10?
  11. No straight clean install because they were already on 10.

    So you just clean install and it auto activates , I like 10 better than 7
    .
  12. Oh okay... I use the term fresh install, I got a little lost when I saw refresh install

    Now I've inflated the post, sorry about that MrInferno
  13. I agree with the OP the new update process is a pain.
  14. I think one of the programs or drivers didn't adapt too well to the whole 10 upgrade. I have so much junk that I probably will never find out which one and it wouldn't be worth my time. I'll try a fresh install of windows 10 to see if it resolves my issues, seeing as I can't go back to 7 looks like I have no choice haha. I'll report back in an hour or two with my results.
  15. Good luck hope it goes well.
  16. I just finished installing everything which includes drivers, microsoft updates, and all my programs. For my games all I did was move the steam folder back into program files and it installed itself again into the registry (got a prompt saying it wasn't installed). Most of my other games worked just fine without installing them. So far I notice a massive difference in performance. Now I boot within 10 seconds into the desktop. Programs open instantly aswell. I guess one of the old windows 7 drivers must have gone haywire during the windows 10 upgrade since it had my SSD at 100 disk usage all the time. Oh yeah I almost forgot that windows 10 activated itself once I connected my Microsoft account. I'm glad that the digital license was saved to the account or else I would have had to cough up $199 to get Windows 10 Pro again. Thanks for the advice guys, the fresh install of windows 10 went well :).
  17. Glad to hear the good news , a fresh install usually works.
  18. Actually, it's tied to the motherboard serial number, not the Microsoft account.

    Now whether signing into your Microsoft account is used as some sort of proof of ownership, IDK.

    It was likely a simple coincidence from the delay while the system was waiting for the server to respond that the board was digitally entitled to that version of Win 10.

    But that aside, I'm glad to hear that it went well for you. I think you'll find that (when it runs correctly), Windows 10 is a pretty good OS.
  19. The Microsoft account is now linked , that's how they can activate the keys now.
  20. Was that a change in the November update?

    I read somewhere that it was tied to the motherboard serial number, but that article was written right after Windows 10 was first released.
  21. With the arrival of the 1 year free period .. I had about 7 or 8 users upgrade just before the end. All but one switched back.

    As I said in my 1st post, because *.old is no longer there, there is nothing **you** can do to get your old key back. For whatever reason, your hardware doesn't like Win 10.

    Read the next part carefully

    Since the upgrade / anniversary update went bad and apparently the "revert back" option is not working, if you want Win 7, you most certainly can call MS and ask that you be given a Win 7 replacement key. I don't see that they would have a valid reason to say no.
  22. weberdarren97 said:
    I read somewhere that it was tied to the motherboard serial number, but that article was written right after Windows 10 was first released.


    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Useterms/Retail/Windows/10/UseTerms_Retail_Windows_10_English.htm

    Quote:
    4. Transfer. The provisions of this section do not apply if you acquired the software as a consumer in Germany or in any of the countries listed on this site (aka.ms/transfer), in which case any transfer of the software to a third party, and the right to use it, must comply with applicable law.

    a. Software preinstalled on device. If you acquired the software preinstalled on a device (and also if you upgraded from software preinstalled on a device), you may transfer the license to use the software directly to another user, only with the licensed device. The transfer must include the software and, if provided with the device, an authentic Windows label including the product key. Before any permitted transfer, the other party must agree that this agreement applies to the transfer and use of the software.

    b. Stand-alone software. If you acquired the software as stand-alone software (and also if you upgraded from software you acquired as stand-alone software), you may transfer the software to another device that belongs to you. You may also transfer the software to a device owned by someone else if (i) you are the first licensed user of the software and (ii) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement. You may use the backup copy we allow you to make or the media that the software came on to transfer the software. Every time you transfer the software to a new device, you must remove the software from the prior device. You may not transfer the software to share licenses between devices.
  23. His clean install went well , so he said he was in good shape.
  24. Microsoft have altered the activation process of win 10. Up until last upgrade it was tied to your hardware id + licence key. Since the upgrade it can now be attached to your MSA (Microsoft Account - the email address you registered your win 10 upgrade against) and is not tied to the motherboard

    Quote:
    Reactivating Windows 10 after a hardware change

    In Windows 10 (Version 1607 or later), you can link your Microsoft account to the Windows 10 digital license on your device. This can help you reactivate Windows using the Activation troubleshooter if you make a significant hardware change later, such as replacing the motherboard.


    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change

    this means you can swap motherboard and reactivate your current install without ringing them to argue your case. This is all new. It will take some time for people to realise.

    It could also mean you can reinstall win 10 on any PC using your digital entitlement but one of the reasons they list for not activating is

    Quote:
    Windows was never activated on your device.
    so i doubt it will work for new PC and old entitlements.
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