Re: Is it still possible to upgrade to Windows 10 for free?

Joseph Lee <joseph.lee22590@...>

The in-place upgrade will accomplish almost the same thing as clean install
- the difference is leftover drivers and software from the past. I mentioned
clean install because some folks from a Windows 10 forum found that doing so
works a bit better (not all the time).

-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Joe
Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 7:02 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Is it still possible to upgrade to Windows 10 for

After upgrading to Windows 10, why would I then need to perform a clean
install? Shouldn't the upgrade accomplish the same thing?

Joe Giovanelli

----- Original Message -----
From: Joseph Lee <@joslee>
Date: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 0:23
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Is it still possible to upgrade to Windows 10 for

Gene is correct, both in terms of practicality and due to the way a
Windows 10 digital license is generated. As part of the in-place upgrade
procedure (via Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant), a "fingerprint" of your
system's configuration (mostly hardware) is captured and sent to Microsoft,
which is then used to generate a perpetual digital license. After Windows 10
installation completes, Windows will connect to activation servers at
Microsoft, which will detect a "valid" license and activate the upgraded
copy accordingly. This is also the reason why it is possible to "upgrade" by
providing a genuinely licensed product key for Windows 7 and 8.x, which will
also determine which edition will get installed (a typical retail Windows 10
installation media (including ISO image downloaded via Media Creation Tool)
contains all consumer editions in one go; the product key entered will
determine which edition gets installed; in reality, everyone uses Windows 10
Pro, but non-Pro features are unavailable if using Windows 10 Home).
As pointed out by many people (including tech press writers), in order to
receive this "free" digital license (after all, that's really what's
happening), you need to perform an in-place upgrade first - clean install
won't work. Only after in-place upgrade is successful (evidenced by
activation via digital license), you can then do a clean install, after
which the same digital license will be used to "activate" the fresh
Another alternative, which may come in handy for some (although for some
of you, a bit risky, explained below), is tying Windows 10 activation with
your Microsoft Account. This is attractive if you need to use additional
services that comes with a Microsoft Account, such as enhancements to cloud
clipboard history, synchronizing user data and settings, and what not. This
is also handy if your goal is to participate in Windows Insider Program
(caveat: since December 16, 2019, those opting into Windows Insider fast
ring will get unstable builds which are coming from development labs at
Microsoft, akin to Firefox nightly or Chrome dev channel; those subscribed
to a subgroup of a certain Groups.IO forum will know what I'm talking

-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 9:04 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Is it still possible to upgrade to Windows 10 for

As suggested by Gene,

upgrading is the best solution for Peter in this scenario, more so because
he wants to use the free windows10 offer. Once he does an in place upgrade,
his machine would be upgraded to windows10 for free. He can thereafter
choose to install a fresh copy of windows should he decide to do so.
Upgrading any other way than an in place upgrade will not make the machine
for a free windows licence for Windows10.

Thank you,


On 12/18/19, Gene <gsasner@...> wrote:
From what I've read, upgrading often works well and you don't have
to reinstall programs after an upgrade. If an upgrade doesn't work
well, there is plenty of time to do the extra work of an
installation of the operating system as an entirely new
installation. And you don't have to customize programs again.

You should back up the hard drive before doing the upgrade but I
would think that if an upgrade works well, you would save a lot of work.

----- Original Message -----

From: Steve Matzura
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 6:42 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Is it still possible to upgrade to Windows
10 for free?

The best thing to do is perform a fresh install. Make sure you back
up your system first, and can dip into that backup to pull out data
you'll lose by following the procedure below.

Also, before beginning the actual install, be sure you have all the
software registration information for any third-party products you
may own and use. Keyfinder, the tool from Magical Jellybean, can
help in this regard. Trouble is, I just tried to go there and get
the URL to paste in here to download Keyfinder, and apparently their
site has been compromised in some way because I can't get pqast the
Malwarebytes warning screens. There may be other such tools.

Here's a short how-to to install Windows 10 from scratch. I didn't
write it.

Install Windows 10 from scratch
Tip: Before you run this operation, make sure to backup the existing
Windows installation so that you can restore it should things go wrong.

1. You need a Windows 10 DVD or ISO image. Make sure you pick the
right architecture and version.E.G. if you have windows 7 pro
installed, you need the ISO or DVD of windows 10 pro. Tip:you can
obtain the ISO or creat bootable media by using the Media Creation Tool
from Microsoft.
Googleing that should get you the file.

2. Burn the ISO, mount it or extract it.
3. Navigate to the folder inside the ISO:

\Windows Disk\sources

And copy the file:


And paste it to the desktop. The file is located on the installation
media you created. This is why you have to extract all files from
the ISO using a utility such as 7ZIP.
4. Run the file:


with administrators rights. It creates a file called:


On the desktop. This file is needed so copy it to a USB drive or
other location.
5 Run a clean install of Windows 10 afterwards on the system. Make
sure you skip the product key.
6. Once you are done and in Windows 10, copy the file:


To the following location:


7. The folder may be hidden by default. If you cannot see it, select
File > Options > View > Show hidden files, folders and drives in
File Explorer.
8. Reboot your PC.
The next time you boot into Windows 10 it should be fully activated.
You can verify that easily with a tap on Windows-Pause. This opens
the System Control panel and the system's activation status at the
bottom of the page.

On 12/17/2019 11:40 AM, Peter Spitz wrote:
Could someone please give me instructions on how to do the upgrade?
I couldn't find anything on Microsoft's website.

Thank you!

On 12/17/19, Joseph Lee <@joslee> wrote:
Yes - free (at least for now). A few weeks ago we had a discussion
on a Windows 10 forum and the answer is that it is possible to
upgrade for free (at this time).

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