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Here's the situation: I have an old computer that came with Windows 7 Home Premium when I bought it. It has a product key sticker on it. Several years later I upgraded it to Windows 10 Home when Microsoft began offering free Windows 10 upgrades. Then some months later I had to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro to continue to work. So I went to Activation settings > "Go to Store" > entered my Microsoft account and credit card info and purchased the Pro upgrade. The purchase button changed to Start upgrade. I went through the upgrade process and now I have Pro installed.

My question is: if I want to reinstall Windows 10 Pro operating system from scratch(without using Reset PC or Refresh PC, just please ignore this option for now) what will I do when prompted for license during reinstallation/activation phase?

Because I've never received any media(CD/DVD/USB/Download URL) from Microsoft when upgrading from 7 Home Premium to 10 Home to 10 Pro nor did I see any product keys from Microsoft for 10 Home or 10 Pro. The only thing I received was the order history on my Microsoft account that has the order number, date of purchase and the amount I paid for Windows 10 Pro upgrade.

I called Microsoft(they passed me around 6-7 times no joke, they dropped my call on 5th transfer) and this is what they basically said in summary:

  1. First rep said: If I want to reinstall from scratch I have to start from Windows 7 Home Premium, then upgrade to 10 Home(which was free but isn't anymore), then again up to Windows 10 Pro(using my purchased license I've never seen). Which means, they said, I have to buy Windows 10 Home now to be able to reinstall from scratch. I can't burn ISO of Windows 10 Pro to a media and install it right away because they said it's an "upgrade key" not full retail license of Windows 10 Pro.

  2. Other rep said: my Windows 7 Home Premium key has been upgraded to Windows 10 Pro key, and that I can use that key on the sticker on my computer to install Windows 10 Pro from scratch via burned ISO on a media.

Their accounts and billing said in response to #1 that they won't refund me any money even though I want to purchase the full Pro version afterwards because 30 days have passed since the purchase. I understand all of that and accept it.

I'm a little confused. Could anyone confirm what are my options at this point based on your own experience with something like that?

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Because I've never received any media(CD/DVD/USB/Download URL) from Microsoft when upgrading from 7 Home Premium to 10 Home to 10 Pro nor did I see any product keys from Microsoft for 10 Home or 10 Pro. The only thing I received was the order history on my Microsoft account that has the order number, date of purchase and the amount I paid for Windows 10 Pro upgrade.

Your product key is connected to your hardware. Since you upgraded an OEM copy of Windows 7 Home, you received the rights to Windows 10 Home, which you upgraded to an OEM copy of Windows 10 Professional.

At this point if you wanted to install Windows 10 Professional you would just install it, since you don't have to worry about the installer finding the wrong key ( i.e. Windows 8.1 Core instead of Windows 8.1 Professional ), when ask for a license key you simply skip that step.

If I want to reinstall from scratch I have to start from Windows 7 Home Premium, then upgrade to 10 Home(which was free but isn't anymore), then again up to Windows 10 Pro(using my purchased license I've never seen). Which means, they said, I have to buy Windows 10 Home now to be able to reinstall from scratch.

You interpreted what they said incorrectly. You can indeed install Windows 7 Home, then upgrade to Windows 10 Home for FREE, since Windows 10 ISOs are 100% free. This is possible because your machine has had Windows 10 Home installed on it before. Of course doing this is a waste of time, since Windows 10 Professional was also activated on your machine, you can simply install that.

I can't burn ISO of Windows 10 Pro to a media and install it right away because they said it's an "upgrade key" not full retail license of Windows 10 Pro.

They gave you incorrect information. I don't know what question you literally asked them, it appears you are not clear how Windows 10 itself activates, so lets just move on.

ther rep said: my Windows 7 Home Premium key has been upgraded to Windows 10 Pro key, and that I can use that key on the sticker on my computer to install Windows 10 Pro from scratch via burned ISO on a media.

This is false. A key to one version of Windows 7 cannot install an entirely different version of Windows 10. Windows 7 Home activated before the the offer expired, Windows 10 Home installations, that is all it activated.

Since your machine activation status is tied to a digital entitlement. You can only use a single installation of Windows on this machine unless you provide it an entirely different license key.

Any tool, you normally would use to determine your license key, will return a generic key. It's possible you can get the Windows 10 Professional key, after its been activated, again this will automatically happen since its tied to your hardware.

if I want to reinstall Windows 10 Pro operating system from scratch(without using Reset PC or Refresh PC, just please ignore this option for now) what will I do when prompted for license during reinstallation/activation phase?

You do understand that if you use the Reset feature, the end result is IDENTICAL, to formatting your machine and installing Windows 10 Professional right?

As for a program that might be able to get the correct key for your installation, the only key I have ever known to work, is ShowKeyPlus

  • Thanks! The reason I said to ignore Reset/Refresh PC options is because I've tried it multiple times on my computer and another one. Mine would through the whole process then get stuck at a black screen with spinning circle for days(I left it for a week). Other one(same upgrade situation as mine) just gets a Windows 10 BSOD, undo everything it did during reset and then after reboot also gets stuck on the black screen with spinning cirle. What you're saying ultimately is that I can safely download Win 10 Pro ISO, install it, and it will activate(skip product key prompt). I will try. – Jacob Nov 9 '16 at 21:17
  • @Jacob - Be sure you are running Version 1607 before you perform the Reset, be sure you use Cleanup Tool to remove the previous versions also, Reset might be getting confused. Of course it sounds like, you have reasons for wanting to do it, like system instability problems anyways\ – Ramhound Nov 9 '16 at 21:18
  • I encourage you to confirm, my statements actually turn out to be accurate, before you accept my answer. I have no doubt they are, but you shouldn't accept the answer, unless my answer actually answers your question – Ramhound Nov 9 '16 at 21:21
  • I will try this out and update this post with the result. – Jacob Nov 9 '16 at 21:25
  • It was a success. I downloaded Media Creation Tool, which downloaded and created an ISO file of Windows 10(it has all editions on it from which you can choose during initial stages of Windows installation). Burned it to a DVD-R(USB wasn't detected for some reason but whatever). Re-booted into the media. Clicked on "I don't have the product key" when I was prompted for one. Installation went through. Windows automatically activated. Both computers work perfectly fine now. Thanks! – Jacob Nov 11 '16 at 20:54

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