Here's another method for getting a free Windows 10 upgrade

By Scorpus · 31 replies
Aug 3, 2016
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  1. Earlier this week, we reported that Microsoft is still offering free Windows 10 upgrades past the official deadline for those that say they're using assistive technologies. It turns out there's another way to get a free Windows 10 upgrade, and it could be much simpler for some users.

    ZDNet is reporting that Windows 10 is still accepting valid Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 product keys, regardless of whether that product key has been linked to a Windows 10 upgrade or install in the past. Just enter the key into the Windows installer, or later in the operating system, and Windows 10 will legitimately activate.

    This goes against the word coming from Microsoft, who are saying that any Windows 10 installations past the July 29th deadline will require a Windows 10 key. However, the reality is that you don't need to fork out $120 for a Windows 10 license, as the OS will still activate using an old Windows 7 or 8 license.

    There is a strong chance that Microsoft will close this activation loophole soon, so any users that want to upgrade to Windows 10 (and still have their old Windows 7 or 8 product key) should do so sooner rather than later.

    It should be noted that this activation loophole will not work with freshly built systems. Those with a new computer that has never had any version of Windows installed on it will still need to purchase a Windows 10 license to legally install the OS.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2016
  2. dualkelly

    dualkelly TS Enthusiast Posts: 29   +10

    Ha I wouldnt install windows 10 even if you Payed me good money too. Dumbed down piece of Guano!!!
    DaveBG, Raiderman and BSim500 like this.
  3. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 426   +278

    I went from win 7 to win 10 for dx12 only. I run classic shell to get the 7 start menu back and I've activated godmode to get to all the hidden settings that MS no longer wants users playing with. The OS is easier to live with and more useful to me now... and I hate to say it but its just as stable now as win7.
    trgz, Teko03 and Reehahs like this.
  4. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    I don't understand some people's reaction to it as if was Vista quality. Good luck installing Windows 7 in a NVMe SSD for starters. I prefer Windows 10 to 8/8.1, just turn off most of the sniffing features and that's it. They introduced the same "spyware features" to 7 and 8 since last year. See the mightiness of your old OSes -if you aren't aware-:
  5. abysal

    abysal TS Booster Posts: 114   +40

    People gave Vista a much worse wrap than it deserves. Vista was more polished and had more consistency with regards to the UI and settings then Win10 on release, and it was less buggy if you had proper hardware & drivers - it worked perfect on my x58 build at the time. And by the time SP2 came out, and the new driver model matured, Vista was pretty much as good as Win7.

    I'd say eventually Win10 will probably also mature to a good point of GUI consistency, but I'm afraid MS will choose to compromise certain aspects of the UI to satisfy the multiple device model the OS is intended for (meaning not just desktop). At least Win10 is doing really well driver and hardware wise, I've really not had many issues... then again I only started upgrading bare metal machines within the last 2 months, so I probably missed some of the earlier pains with bugs and drivers issues.

    Also I have to say MS did an incredible job of making in-place upgrades work really well and preserving virtually your entire old software environment. My main machine which had a Win7 install from 2009, and had multiple motherboard swaps (both Intel and AMD), upgraded without issue, and all my software works. I think CPU-Z & speccy were the only things I needed to reinstall, which is crazy considering the software junk and old hardware keys lurking in the registry.
    DAOWAce and mcborge like this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,256   +454

  7. avioza

    avioza TS Booster Posts: 120   +54

    Easier to live with doesn't mean better.

    It is definitely not as stable as windows 7 in our work environment at least. We have 1000+ endpoints and continue to have many compatibility problems and just odd quirky things going on all the time with Windows 10, 7 is still solid. Granted there may be other contributing factors in our environment but 10 has not impressed me.

    Many of Microsoft's documented processes for creating custom wim files with the Windows ADK were broken as of early summer. WSIM answer file documentation was a mess and half the stuff was just broken. I need to have another go at it soon though, I hope things have improved.
    DaveBG and BSim500 like this.
  8. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,106   +1,282

    90% of the backlash from windows 10 is generated from Microsoft's dumb choices. Constant privacy issues (including the OS resetting your privacy settings after each update) along with the loss of control (especially after the anniversary update) make windows 10 less and less like a desktop OS. This is just the tip of the iceberg too. What kind of desktop OS doesn't let you pick when to update? The problem with windows 10 is that the OS doesn't work for you, you work for it. It's obvious that microsoft wants to so badly be apple and make a closed operating system.
    Raiderman, BSim500 and cliffordcooley like this.
  9. dualkelly

    dualkelly TS Enthusiast Posts: 29   +10

    My Samsung 950 Pro 512GB M2 runs flawless on win 7. Mother board drivers work just fine. It will be a good decade before windows 7 becomes irrelevant by then the total wreak of windows 10 will be long last us. You can not design and OS for tablets and then think desktop users are going to like it.... normal consumers sure but not anyone who is a power user. Win 10 is pure hyped up Guano and the fact that they forced windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade proves it all the more. Some of us though dont like communicating with Microsoft so don’t have update turned on infarct mine is completely annihilated from the system. My friends in MSFN forums are still running updated versions of win 98 granted most of that is in third world where hardware is still hard to come by but I believe some packages putout by MDGX ect have 98 updated to almost win 7 functionality as much as possible.
    DaveBG and Raiderman like this.
  10. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,106   +1,282

    I think you need to show this to microsoft. They've seem to forgotten that windows has always been an operating system that conforms to the user and their hardware, not the user conforming to the OS.
  11. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Well said.
    Raiderman and BSim500 like this.
  12. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 388   +666

    Win7 on an NVMe drive is zero problem after slipstreaming KB2990941 & KB3087873 into the ISO. Adds pre-boot drivers, enables NVMe TRIM, etc. Same goes with XHCI / USB pre-install drivers for Skylake (Asus, Asrock, MSI, etc, even provide automated one-click tools to do this). And the Win7 "spyware" features can be easily removed or even prevented from being installed in the first place (that's how a serious desktop OS should function). In fact most of the so called "Spyware" and "upgrade nags" weren't even included in the Post-SP1 2016 "roll-up", so you could completely disable Windows Updates altogether and just install or slipstream that too.

    It isn't "just it" though. To start with many privacy features have been observed by many to "accidentally" re-enable themselves after every major update. So you have to regularly check that. Unwanted software reinstalls (which it didn't with previous Windows Service Packs). So you have to regularly check that. And the recent Anniversary Edition also highlights the fact how further unwanted "features" can be forced through any time in future. What's next year's update? Microphone always on & streaming 24/7 back to for "debugging" purposes?... The only way of hard blocking all telemetry is outside of the PC itself (at the router firewall level) and even then if you check the router logs there are still hundreds of connection attempts per week despite privacy settings "disabled" when it realizes it can't connect. And since updates can add new hard-coded addresses at any time - you have to check for that... What's supposed to be the "easiest" OS to use has in fact come tethered to the highest level of "anti-BS" maintenance since MS-DOS.

    That might be within your personal "bullsh*t tolerance threshold", but it's just beyond mine and for many of us, life's too short to deal with this cr*p. So like hundreds of millions of others "It just works" Win 7 is here to stay for many years to come. Whether that meets with the "approval" of Microsoft (or Forum Warriors) is 100% irrelevant. After all, that's what the "P" in (prior to W10) "PC" stands for - "Personal".
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
    Phr3d and Raiderman like this.
  13. Jerimy AG

    Jerimy AG TS Member

    W Vista failed because at the moment of launch all the machines were ****, many companies complain about it because they had to spend on computers
    plplplpl likes this.
  14. Raiderman

    Raiderman TS Booster Posts: 67   +59

    Amen Brotha!
    dualkelly and BSim500 like this.
  15. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 426   +278

    I'm using fast ring insider builds on my main gaming rig, apart from the steam client updating during game play and triggering a bsod, I'm not having any other issues. The bsod is a valve/steam problem.
  16. abysal

    abysal TS Booster Posts: 114   +40

    And now this....

    In 1607 they disabled several gpedit policies on Windows 10 Pro to prevent disabling settings related to "tips and tricks" and "store suggestions". Also you can no longer disable to lock screen - since that's where the some of the advertising gets shown.

    I wouldn't be surprised if this was just the beginning, they can't stop themselves from the prospect of the windows store cash cow potential.
    BSim500 likes this.
  17. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 388   +666

    Indeed. The usual excuse for this stuff of "All you need to do to disable x is..." doesn't mean a damn thing when that ability to disable stuff is easily disabled itself in any future update... Bait & switch - lure people in with a "free" year then after it's over, start increasingly locking the OS down. Everything wrong with Windows 10 ultimately boils down to forced updates. If you have no control over those, you simply don't have any real measure of control over your own computer.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,256   +454

    I couldn't get the WDS answer file to work for W10 either in the beginning. I was finally able to create one as of recent and it is working.

    However I still have users complaining of issues in W10 that I can't find fixes for. I think a lot of it has to two with the Surface tablets and docking stations. Monitors not coming back on after docking, monitors losing video connection intermittently while connected, display scaling issues among several software related issues such as M$ Edge opening Adobe PDF files and won't let Adobe Acrobat open them despite changing app defaults in the settings, Windows updates not finishing during shutdown or startup sequence, requiring a hard restart, plus users complaining about the difficulty using the new start menu. I'm starting to wonder if I should look into putting Windows 7 on these tablets.
  19. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 303   +97

    What if I have windows 7 install from way before even windows 8 was released and have the update service deleted?
  20. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 426   +278

    Yeah I've read about win10 having display issue's and wot not on surface tabs. It comes to something when windows won't play nice with microsofts own hardware yet it runs fine on home built systems like mine, even though my motherboard is still running win8 drivers as asus never released any for win10.
  21. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    I installed 10 then rolled back to 7 so I can use it at a later date for FREE when directx 12 becomes viable. The few hours I browsed 10 were horrible. It acted like I was not even using a ssd. My computer froze 3 times in 2 hours. Getting anywhere required extra clicks. My programs were now called apps. If you want to use the least popular cell phone OS on your computer, update to 10.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
    BSim500 likes this.
  22. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Guru Posts: 355   +72

    I did wonder if using a windows 7 key would still activate, I wonder if they will turn this off in the future, I hope not. If I have to do the extreme on a client pc and do a new install it's far less hassle with windows 10 as windows 7 updates for ever (it seems) after the install.
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    That fact I can still get a free update to Windows 10, makes me want to crap my pants in pure joyous celebration! :oops:(y)
  24. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    Windows 10 is easily the best Windows experience I've ever had.

    I use it.

    My employees love it - and Office 365.

    My computer works better than ever between work, home and vacation/ remotely.
  25. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    And there you have my point. I did zero additional steps for installing Windows 10 on my Samsung 950 PRO.

    Many of us meaning "most of the tech community"? Because even then I don't think so, we would have to filter the tech community in a specific way to make your point. I don't know if you use Google services, but those are by far worse in the level they invade your privacy for ad purposes; and that should be our primary concern, not telemetry statistics in Windows. You might as well go back to Windows XP and disable error reporting, Windows Update, and anything that may seem to gather information from your system. I don't have anything against Windows 7; I upgraded my laptop to Windows 10 at the last possible minute, and yes, Windows 10 is within my -as you said, very importantly- personal "BTT".

    It's alright, if you want to use Windows 7, 8, 9, 10, 11... Mac OS, a Linux distro or whatever, what you pick to use shouldn't prove your smarter decision and make everyone follow. It's up to each one to pick their poison.

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