We have 3 laptops that came with pre-Installed Windows 8 Single Language OEM.

We don't want to use Windows 10 right now but maybe later someone need to use it so I want take advantage of free upgrade to Windows 10 so I can use it after 29/07/2016 (the last day of free upgrade offer) without purchase Windows 10 Key.

So I install windows 10 side-by-side with old Windows 8 using same product key and all 3 Windows 10 are activated ,but when I asked about this in SU I found this wrong way:

At any given time you are only allowed to have Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 installed on the machine. If you have both installed then you are in violation of EULA. – Ramhound

Now I will delete windows 10 and uprgade windows 8 to windows 10 and activate it, then I will restore Windows 8 from backup partition (reset).

My question is :

  • if I do that can I perform clean install of Windows 10 and activate it using product key embedded in BIOS after 29/07/2016.

  • I have old bootable flash drive that I made on 29/07/2015 (can I use it? or I must download and create new one) as I read in the net that new Windows 10 Version 1511 can use Windows 7,8,8.1 Key

I don't know if my way is good, if there better way?


You can reinstall Windows 10 anytime after 29/07/2016 as long as you go through the upgrade process before. Essentially you will need to upgrade each laptop individually (not clean install, you must upgrade them) to secure the "digital entitlement." Once you have successfully upgraded the laptop you can roll back to Windows 8.1 and reinstall Windows 10 later, either as an upgrade or as a clean install as long as the hardware does not change. This is because the "entitlement" is specific to the computer hardware.

As for the flash drive, I would upgrade the version that is on it. If I remember correctly, the first major update was the one that allowed you to use embedded serials on Windows 7 & 8 devices. I am pretty sure that during the upgrade process it asks you if you want to create bootable media. Plus it's a good idea anyways to have the latest edition.

HowToGeek has a good step by step guide for doing exactly what you want to do. Here is the link: http://www.howtogeek.com/253901/get-windows-10-for-free-after-july-29th-with-a-little-prep-now/

Here is also a link to Microsoft's FAQ on Windows 10 activations. http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-win_upgrade/free-upgrade-to-windows-10/a1906d5c-2183-4064-af8e-e6650c15d96d?auth=1

  • Thank You @Chance, so i need upgrade + activate , clean install + activate will not work. – Fadi Jul 14 '16 at 18:43
  • 1
    @Fadi Yes. To claim the free license you must upgrade. After you successfully activate though you can then clean install whenever you like. – Chance Jul 14 '16 at 18:47
  • @Chance - You can simply choose not to keep anything when you perform the upgrade, doing so, results in exactly the same system state as a "clean install". Doing a "clean install" is an extra step that isn't required. – Ramhound Jul 14 '16 at 19:10

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