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Install Win 7 image after Win 10 upgrade - Licensing/Activation question RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm testing Win 10 upgrade via MDT task sequence and have successfully upgraded a Win 7 Pro machine with an OEM license to Win 10, and activated it.

    Now I want to automate as much of the task sequence as possible using the unattend file.

    What I would like to do is image this machine back to Win 7 Pro and reactivate it, then repeat the MDT Win 10 upgrade sequence using the modified unattend. This may happen several times as I test the changes to unattend.

    My concern is that if I image back to Win 7, will the OEM key still activate the product, or is this key now tied to Win 10? I know that if the Win 7 is not activated the task sequence will not run, so I could end up with an unactivated Win 7 machine and be unable to test the sequence against it.

    Has anyone got any experience of trying this?

    Many thanks.

    Thursday, October 1, 2015 9:30 AM

Answers

  • Well, I have been through the cycle of upgrading to Win 10 and the re-imaging back to Win 7 pro twice now, and I can confirm that the license key will activate the Win 7 again, although in both cases I had to use the automated telephone system to get it activated - it would not accept the key on its own.

    Thanks for the replies.

    • Marked as answer by EasyBob_UK Monday, October 5, 2015 9:20 AM
    Monday, October 5, 2015 9:19 AM

All replies

  • My understanding is that Ms ties your Win7 OEM key to a Win10 license and therefore you can activate Win10 but the OEM key can still activate Win7 since you're working on the same machine.

    haven't tried it myself though


    David Sebban | Nelite North America | My Blog : http://dsebban.wordpress.com | Follow me on twitter : http://twitter.com/davidsebban

    Thursday, October 1, 2015 4:19 PM
  • Your OEM key is always tied to the version of Windows when you first got the machine, in your case Windows 7. Installing a Windows 7 recovery image will get activated just fine.

    Your assumptions about the Windows 10 process may be incorrect. During the Windows 10 "Upgrade" process, Setup.exe will send your Windows 7 licensing state, along with a Hardware hash to the Windows Store for validation. The store will then send back the correct Windows 10 license.

    Once a machine has been successfully upgraded to Windows 10, the Windows Store will remember the licensing state, and you won't need to upgrade again, you can install Windows 10 directly from a clean hard disk.


    Keith Garner - Principal Consultant [owner] - http://DeploymentLive.com

    Thursday, October 1, 2015 7:39 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks David and Keith,

    I appreciate that once the upgrade has occurred I can just do a clean install of Win 10 in future.

    What I am looking at here is a cycle of clean installing Win 7, activating, upgrading via MDT to Win 10 and then rinsing and repeating as many times as necessary on the test machine until I've got my unattend.xml / customsettings.ini files behaving the way I want, at which point we would be in a position to think about rolling out Win 10 across the company via MDT and script.

    From what you have both said it seems that continual reactivation of the Win 7 each time I revert the test system will work. Worst case - if it doesn't - I should at least be able to activate a clean install of Win 10 on the test machine (having been through the upgrade once already).

    Many thanks for your help, I'll post the results once I get time to try it. 


    • Edited by EasyBob_UK Friday, October 2, 2015 8:57 AM
    Friday, October 2, 2015 8:56 AM
  • Well, I have been through the cycle of upgrading to Win 10 and the re-imaging back to Win 7 pro twice now, and I can confirm that the license key will activate the Win 7 again, although in both cases I had to use the automated telephone system to get it activated - it would not accept the key on its own.

    Thanks for the replies.

    • Marked as answer by EasyBob_UK Monday, October 5, 2015 9:20 AM
    Monday, October 5, 2015 9:19 AM
  • when my mom did it by mistake it invalidated her win 7 key so now were stuck with unactivated win 7 as they refuse to do anything about it due to the rollback failing to work
    Monday, December 21, 2015 8:51 PM
  • tried that but failed as the roll back failed that the win key has a N which win 7 says is an illegal key stroke

    and Microsoft invalidated my old win 7 key so now have go out and find another copy at my expensive which all I need is a key

    Monday, December 21, 2015 9:06 PM