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Win 10 Linking to Account


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Apparently windows are stopping free upgrades to 10, but more interestingly for me will tie the windows key to your account rather than the motherboard.


This could save me £109 as my current laptop has a fault on the motherboard, and I'll either be replacing it or getting a new one this summer.

However, my current key is a Dell OEM key. Does anyone know if when this change happens, I'll be able to change from a Dell laptop to another dell, or even to a different manufacturer?



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I Think this is a good idea.  There is a major flaw that occurs when embedding the OEM key into the BIOS, one that I came across in a recent project that I was in charge of.  I was tasked with deploying a Windows 10 custom image I had created to numerous Lenovo tablet devices, which had UEFI firmware and the OEM key embedded in the BIOS.  During the process, I found that Windows 10 was failing to activate on the devices to which I had deployed the custom image.  The reason being that, in order for the OEM key to successfully activate Windows, you have to boot the device with its originally installed operating system, complete the Out-of-box experience, and activate Windows at least once in order for the key embedded in the BIOS to activate other custom installs.  Since I already had a custom image which contained the OS, apps, and configurations I wanted, I performed a clean install without ever booting the original operating system, which resulted in Windows failing to activate.  However, there is also a very easy solution, which I was able to automate thanks to AutoIT (isn't this scripting language great?!?!).  First, I obtained the OEM product key retriever tool from Neosmart located here (which displays a simple GUI with an edit control containing the embedded oem key for the machine running the application), embedded it in an AutoIT compiled script, had the script launch tool, read the input generated by the tool, and then plug that value into the command line commands to set the product key then activate windows

RunWait ( @ComSpec & " /c " & 'slmgr.vbs -ipk ' & $productkey )
    RunWait ( @ComSpec & " /c " & 'slmgr.vbs /ato' )

It had a 100% success rate (regardless of what the message prompts actually said: even if it generated an error, checking activation status in settings always showed Windows activated).  But I wouldn't expect the average user to know about something like that, so assigning a Windows license to a user account rather than embedding it in the BIOS seems like a good resolution, but I am left wondering HOW that will be implemented.  It will be very interesting to see.

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  • 7 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/27/2017 at 6:50 AM, johnfox said:

If I understand correctly, if I have a Microsoft account and installed the Windows 10 that I can swap parts on a laptop for free??? ))

I highly doubt that is how it will work.  What they will probably implement is something similar to how corporation purchase and obtain their volume license keys by logging into an online portal.  The only difference being that it will be your microsoft account (which is associated with your license) that will activate your windows installation when you import it to the machine.  If the version of windows you have installed doesn't match a license associated with your account, then it won't.  This is all conjecture at this point, as I have no better idea than you, but that would be nice.

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  • Moderators

As always, it depends on whether you purchased an OEM license (most common) or a full retail, or got it through the upgrade process. As of the Anniversary Update, the key is tied to your MS account as mentioned. You can re-implement the key even after a hardware change, even a motherboard, depending on your situation. Here is a good article:


"Profanity is the last vestige of the feeble mind. For the man who cannot express himself forcibly through intellect must do so through shock and awe" - Spencer W. Kimball

How to get your question answered on this forum!

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  • 5 years later...

Exciting news about the change to tie the Windows key to your account instead of the motherboard. That could definitely save you some $$, especially if you're replacing your laptop's faulty mobo. Just to clarify, switching to a different Dell laptop or even a different manufacturer depends on how Microsoft implements this change. I suggest keeping an eye on the latest developments and checking out windows 10 product key reddit for any updates or discussions on this topic. Good luck!

Edited by ChristianMorris
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I had found this Win10KeyFinder.vbs script a while back. I quote it here so that it exists.
For use and research

Option Explicit
Dim objshell,path,DigitalID, Result
Set objshell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
'Set registry key path
Path = "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\"
'Registry key value
DigitalID = objshell.RegRead(Path & "DigitalProductId")
Dim ProductName,ProductID,ProductKey,ProductData
'Get ProductName, ProductID, ProductKey
ProductName = "Product Name: " & objshell.RegRead(Path & "ProductName")
ProductID = "Product ID: " & objshell.RegRead(Path & "ProductID")
ProductKey = "Installed Key: " & ConvertToKey(DigitalID)
ProductData = ProductName & vbNewLine & ProductID & vbNewLine & ProductKey
'Show messbox if save to a file
If vbYes = MsgBox(ProductData & vblf & vblf & "Save to a file?", vbYesNo + vbQuestion, "BackUp Windows Key Information") then
Save ProductData
End If
'Convert binary to chars
Function ConvertToKey(Key)
Const KeyOffset = 52
Dim isWin8, Maps, i, j, Current, KeyOutput, Last, keypart1, insert
'Check if OS is Windows 8
isWin8 = (Key(66) \ 6) And 1
Key(66) = (Key(66) And &HF7) Or ((isWin8 And 2) * 4)
i = 24
Current= 0
j = 14
Current = Current* 256
Current = Key(j + KeyOffset) + Current
Key(j + KeyOffset) = (Current \ 24)
Current=Current Mod 24
j = j -1
Loop While j >= 0
i = i -1
KeyOutput = Mid(Maps,Current+ 1, 1) & KeyOutput
Last = Current
Loop While i >= 0

If (isWin8 = 1) Then
keypart1 = Mid(KeyOutput, 2, Last)
insert = "N"
KeyOutput = Replace(KeyOutput, keypart1, keypart1 & insert, 2, 1, 0)
If Last = 0 Then KeyOutput = insert & KeyOutput
End If
ConvertToKey = Mid(KeyOutput, 1, 5) & "-" & Mid(KeyOutput, 6, 5) & "-" & Mid(KeyOutput, 11, 5) & "-" & Mid(KeyOutput, 16, 5) & "-" & Mid(KeyOutput, 21, 5)
End Function
'Save data to a file
Function Save(Data)
Dim fso, fName, txt,objshell,UserName
Set objshell = CreateObject("wscript.shell")
'Get current user name
'UserName = objshell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings("%UserName%")
'Create a text file on desktop
fName = CreateObject("WScript.Shell").SpecialFolders("Desktop") & "\WindowsKeyInfo.txt"
'WScript.Echo "fName: " & fName
Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set txt = fso.CreateTextFile(fName)
txt.Writeline Data
End Function


Edited by ioa747
choose .vbs syntax

I know that I know nothing

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  • 4 weeks later...


An esay way to get the key from the bios

powershell: get product key from bios
(Get-WmiObject -query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService').OA3xOriginalProductKey

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  • Moderators

Neither of the last two posts have anything to do with this (old) thread topic regarding the tying of your activation key to your MS account rather than hardware. Please stop resurrecting old threads, especially to take it in a completely different direction than the OP intended so you can show off something you found on Google.

"Profanity is the last vestige of the feeble mind. For the man who cannot express himself forcibly through intellect must do so through shock and awe" - Spencer W. Kimball

How to get your question answered on this forum!

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