Should I dump the Windows 10 upgrade and buy a new copy of Windows 10?

I want to start over like I never had Windows 8.1 on my system and erase everything. However I do not have bootable media. Would I gain anything by actually owning the retail version of the OS? I have had nothing but driver issues with my system since the free upgrade and everything needs to be dumped.

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I know when I reinstalled windows 10 I needed to first install windows 8 and then upgrade from their. I did not have access to the base windows 10 installation media according to microsoft. This is because I upgraded and did not direct purchase it

Have you tried resetting your installation of Windows 10? To do this go to "Settings>Update & security>Recovery" and click Get started under "Reset this PC".
This fixed most of the issues for me when I first upgraded to Windows 10. This will delete your files so make sure that they are backed up as usual.

Yep spent all day setting up everything. I am still having issues.

upgrade then reset. its really simple and you keep the license

dump win10 get win7


So install Windows 8.1 again and then upgrade to Windows 10 correct?

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if you already upgraded to 10 using that key its no longer valid

if you already have an existing install thats valid in 8.1... go to startup options and go into system recovery and say reset my pc

then upgrade to 10 and then reset the pc again. Its the fool proof way

Go here:

Download the tool, use it to create a Windows 10 USB. Use that to clean install Windows 10. Done. Since you've already done the Windows 8.1 -> Windows 10 free upgrade, your system should be flagged and Win 10 should activate without issue.

The other option is to reinstall Windows 8.1 and immediately upgrade to 10, but really, that's just adding an extra unnecessary step.


This is true. The tool works great. I use it all the time. But also need to use a key puller to grab your current key, which you will need when you reinstall.

I use this one all the time. It will also pull your bios key.

He doesn't need a key puller. By doing the upgrade from 8 to 10, an installation ID is generated that is tied to your hardware (and presumably other variables; Microsoft was very secretive about how it all worked). This is why people couldn't just do a clean install of the Win 10 upgrade right away. Once you do a clean install after the upgrade, it checks the installation ID and validates it, giving you genuine windows without a key.


Second @Aezen. I have done that exact procedure myself. After the install once you login with Microsoft it verifies the install key/user.

Problem sort of fixed. My system reserve drive is now gone. However I still have a Windows 8.1 disc so I can install 8 then 10 later on if I have to. I have come to the conclusion Realtek audio drivers are absolute shit and do not play well with ASUS motherboards.

Since the November update (build 1511) Windows 10 will automatically activate on any computer eligible for the upgrade regardless of whether you did an actual upgrade in Windows 7/8.1. You can download the media creator tool linked above, create a bootable USB drive, and perform a clean install on a computer with Windows 7/8.1/10 and it'll activate just fine. I replaced the HDD in my mom's Dell laptop, running Windows 8.1, with an SSD and was able to just install Windows 10 on the new SSD and it activated just fine; I never did the "upgrade" from 8.1 on it.

yup, just did a fresh install after installing my new ssd in my laptop. No key required. Just a internet connection to veify its the same pc.

I just did a clean install with the ISO image obtained from the media creation tool on MS's website on this machine today, it did not ask for a key or anything, it just installed it. I do not even own a Win 10 key. (The "Get more info" link.)

This is what the OS reports. Apparently it is activated. No, this is not a cracked version or whatever it is called. Installing Win 8.1 with the media creation tool by MS always used to be impossible even with a key and with the help of MS support, Win 10 worked flawlessly without a key. That's odd. Go with it though, that is what I would recommend you do.

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Ah so the 8.1 key is now 10. Gotcha, I was having same issues, except reset does it for me.

it is not a regular windows 10 key, it will only work on your current computer

I realize this thread is a bit old... but I'm kinda in this boat right now, and I seem to be reading conflicting information here and around the interwebs when it comes to doing a clean Windows 10 installs after you've already did the free upgrade previously.

Where is this installation ID that it validates? I want to repartition my raid config and do a clean install, but I'm hesitant due to not knowing how it will know if my copy is genuine if my old 8.1 Pro key is no longer valid.

After digging further and further down the "More Info" buttons on MS website, it says you can skip the part of the installation where it asks for a key, and it will activate later. It's probably checking your hardware to determine it's the same PC. So, I would assume, that means I'll be fine for now -- but in the event I upgrade mobo and CPU then it's going to be a nightmare.

Also the Media Creation Tool doesn't list Windows 10 Pro as an option (it did originally), so choosing the 'Windows 10' will work for both Home and Pro -> you will choose which one later in the install if you're doing a clean installation.

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Well if you want windows10 anyway, then just jump the free upgrade band wagon, because why not?