I'm pretty sick of cleaning out viruses from my grandparents' computers and so I'd like them to give linux a try. Given that they only use their computers for basic web-browsing, this shouldn't be an issue. However, just in case they may change their minds in the future, I'd like the ability to roll back to Windows again.

These computers were upgraded from Windows 7. When trying to find the license key, all it says is "digital entitlement" where the product key should be in the "Activation" window.

What steps should I take to achieve what I want? Thanks

  • 2
    When you activate a windows 10 upgrade it sends a hardware profile to Microsoft, so when you ever need to reinstall Windows 10 again it will activate without key. If you want to reinstall windows 7 you will need the recovery media that came with the PC originally.
    – Moab
    Apr 10 '16 at 21:02
  • Why not dual-boot for a while? It makes reversion to Windows easier, if needed. Apr 11 '16 at 3:56
  • I thought about it, he'd never understand it. I had a hard enough time showing him how to get to the web browser. Apr 11 '16 at 3:58
  • What steps should I take to achieve what I want? You perform zero steps, the next time you install Windows 10, don't enter a product key Windows 10 will automatically activate after the installation is completed. There is a tool you can use, but its not required to install Windows 10, so its not worth it(to me) finding the link to.
    – Ramhound
    Apr 14 '16 at 14:45

Windows 7 license key is printed in the box for Retail version. For pre-installed OEM versions, it is printed on a sticker on the PC.

If you have upgraded your license to Windows 10, you cannot get it in the registry using old tools because the activation process has changed.

Now during activation process, the license is sent with a numeric footprint of the PC's hardware to Microsoft servers and is not stored on the computer (only a generic key is stored : https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj612867.aspx). The license is validated for a stored numeric footprint and Microsoft will always validate and activate this license to this PC.

By the way those tools can recover the license key from the Windows 7 installation. You may recover it if you have a backup (prior to the Windows 10 upgrade) that you can restore.

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