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Windows 10: Will you lose your free upgrade if you reinstall?


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A red flag forme in this new approach MS is taking to a "free" upgrade was the problems we used to have with downloaded upgrades, like my four Windows 8 Pro licenses I bought from MS in December 2012. Every computer I put it on saved an "old" Windows file to revert to my Windows 7install, which I never tried. But the upgrade, even a clean install, left the original Windows 7 in the recovery partition. There was no way to do a "factory" restore with all the programs on it for say burning disks or editing video. I like the absence of junkware, but some of the factory stuff I used.

 

It got messy except for the fact that Windows 7 allowed me to make images with its own free program. I've used it many times, not just to have an image, but I've restored images monthly swapping drives and images during the Windows 8 year of preview testing. Restoring an image, for the ones who never did it, can often be difficult. but it was simple. So I just made an image of each system, then removed my drive, put one of my spare/storage drives in, and restored the Win 7 image to it before upgrading. then at any time should I need or want to revert back, I could just swap drives and using an external drive dock swap over new data from the 8 to 7.

 

The upgrade to Windows 10 will apparently be different.

 

Here's what you need to know about what will happen to your free version of Windows 10 if you need to reinstall or change your PC.

 

Excerpt:

 

"Owners of Windows 7 and 8.1 will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free but can they keep using that copy of Windows 10 if they need to reinstall Windows or replace their PC?

 

Reinstalling an upgraded version of Windows 10 on the same machine will be possible without having to buy a new copy of Windows, according to Microsoft.

 

People who have upgraded to Windows 10 will be able to download media that can be used to clean install Windows 10 from USB or DVD. There will be no need to purchase a new copy of Windows 10 provided it is being installed on the same Windows 7 or 8.1 machine that was upgraded to Windows 10. The installed version of Windows 10, Home or Pro, will be the same as the version they upgraded to.

 

When installing Windows 10, users will be able to skip the requirement to enter a product key and Windows 10 will activate automatically online.

 

TechRepublic's sister site ZDNet also recently published a guide for people running early builds of Windows 10 under the Windows Insider Program, detailing how to create ISO files from the OS that can be used for a clean install.

 

However, people running an upgraded version of Windows 10 will likely need to buy a new copy of Windows 10 if they switch to a new machine or "significantly upgrade the device" - which Microsoft counts as replacing the motherboard."

 

More here: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/windows-10-will-microsoft-charge-you-if-you-need-to-reinstall/?tag=nl.e101&s_cid=e101&ttag=e101&ftag=TRE684d531

 

That's nothing really new, when most folks get anew computer they get Windows as OEM and when they buy another computer can't use that Window Key to use it on another machine. For builders, this is no different than buying Window retail to load on that machine. But poses problems in some ways that won't affect 99.9% of us. I don't even build machines anymore and with the exception of my two Dells that I extended another year, I usually buy a new machine six months to a year after the warranty runs out. It has the current Windows on it OEM. We will all see later this month.

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