Thursday, May 23, 2024
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I just bought a new laptop with windows 10 installed (HP Pavilion). My windows license is an OEM license. If I erase windows and install ubuntu on my laptop, will I be able to reinstall windows with the same license in the future on this laptop? Or will I have to purchase windows again?

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Microsoft has moved away from product keys toward checking hardware directly.

Data point: I recently replaced the faulty SSD in a Windows (OEM License) box. Any Product Key would have been on that SSD and unrecoverable. With the new hardware in place, an ordinary Windows 10 installer correctly recognized the hardware and installed a authorized version of Windows without any complaint nor prompting for a Product Key.

However, had I replaced the motherboard, the Windows installer would have prompted me to purchase the new copy of Windows.

You can safely install Ubuntu over Windows 10 (OEM) without preserving a Product Key. Windows should reinstall properly.

  • You might want to preserve your Microsoft login credentials.

  • You SHOULD preserve your Product Key for Non-OEM installs. You CAN preserve your product key for any Windows install.

  • Installing Microsoft products depends upon Microsoft, not upon Ubuntu. Microsoft can change their policy or methods at any time, and there is nothing we can do about it. YOU are their customer.

[#1035] Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 1 Year  [reply] [flag answer]
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