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Wondering if I can use an old build of Win 10 Home and update later for new PC build

Alex0915
Level 7
I'm a new ASUS customer and Portatech is doing my build for me with the Ryzen 7 2700X CPU and Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming Motherboard. My question is that I have the original build of Windows 10 Home (32/64bit version) on a USB 3 flash drive that I bought from a physical Best Buy store here in New York back in 2016. I had never used it and it just sat there until I decided to get a new build. It has the Certificate of Authenticity on the box and inside there's the Booklet and the Key and the USB 3 flash drive, the only thing is it's labeled "Puerto Rico" on the box but it also says English, so should this early build of Windows 10 Home work fine on my system and once I install it on my Samsung 970 EVO NVMe drive I can just go to the MS website and download the latest build? I called MS and they told me it should work but I wanted to make sure, or else I could just have Portatech install the latest build and pay an extra 100. But then the version I bought back in 2016 for 120 would have been wasted. MS also told me that as an alternative I could download the latest build of Win 10 Home on my laptop and save it to a newly formatted SD disk and run it on my new build. What should I do? I'm leaning towards just using my early version of Win 10 Home and updating to the latest build after it's installed and thereby saving $100 and not wasting the Win 10 Home I bought in 2016 for $120. Portatech told me that either way my build will be fully tested for stability, compatibility and temps and will be fully burned in. What should I do? Thanks!
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7 REPLIES 7

Retired
Not applicable
If you already paid for a legitimate copy of Windows, I don't a reason for you to buy another one 🙂 Don't listen to those retailer's as they are only looking to make more money. If you don't know install how to Windows yourself, let them install Windows from USB stick and all should be fine 🙂 Once you have Windows put in place, you can update from the Settings menu and then pressing Update & Security, which will situate the all the remaining features for Windows.

Korth
Level 14
https://win10faq.com/move-your-windows-10-license-to-a-new-computer/

Short version is that there's different versions/editions of Win10 which have different licenses, Microsoft wants you to pay for a Win10 license on each computer you install it on and deliberately provides no "easy" way to transfer your Win10 license from one machine to another unless you've paid for a Win10 edition which explicitly allows it. An OEM preinstalled/bundled Win10 (Home Edition) is generally restricted (by Microsoft) from being installed on any other platform.

Longer version is that Microsoft does allow (and provide some tools for) migrating your personal data from one WinOS to another. And third party tools exist for this purpose. And many (official or unofficial) ways of reallocating your WinOS license to other machines can be found online.
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." - Douglas Adams

[/Korth]

Thanks guys, so I can install my old build of Win 10 Home that I bought at Best Buy back in 2016 on my new build of Ryzen 7 2700X / ROG Strig X470-F Gaming? My concern was that the new cpu and mobo do not support this older build of Win 10 Home. It was never installed on a computer before, I bought it in advance while I was saving enough money to have a good up to date system built. So now that I have that done, I want to make sure the Win 10 Home version I bought 2 years ago will install properly and once that happens I can update to the latest version.

On Anandtech someone told me this-

Thats not guaranteed to work, with the newer Ryzen chips. I know that the Ryzen 2000-series APUs, all of the sites said to do a fresh install of 1803, and to NOT install an older OS version, and then update, that method caused problems.

So that's why I'm worried- although I'm not sure that applies to the 2700X or the ROG Strix X470-F Gaming.

chevell65
Level 12
You can create a new .ISO on a USB drive using the Windows 10 media creation tool. This will be the latest version 1803. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

When you get to a point during the installation process where it says if you have a key type in the key code, just type in your key, this will determine which version of Windows 10 gets installed to your system.

chevell65 wrote:
You can create a new .ISO on a USB drive using the Windows 10 media creation tool. This will be the latest version 1803. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

When you get to a point during the installation process where it says if you have a key type in the key code, just type in your key, this will determine which version of Windows 10 gets installed to your system.


Thanks I can download this onto my Win 7 laptop (which is what I'm using right now)? The Win 7 on the laptop is not activated though- that shouldn't be an issue? I will just use the serial from my Best Buy bought version of Win 10 Home- and that should be fine? And then I will make the bootable USB drive- question, do I need a flash drive or can I also do this onto a SDHC flash card (my new build has an internal flash card reader.)

Korth
Level 14
You can always use a temporary product key to install Win10 on any drive on any machine. You're supposed to immediately rush over to Microsoft and to confirm it's an Activated Genuine Windows License ... but (aside from frequent nagging) the WinOS will work perfectly fine for 30 days without Activation. Or maybe 90 days. Either way, plenty of time to evaluate whether it'll run on your hardware, whether necessary drivers are available, whether it's actually better or same or a real pain in the butt - and if it doesn't work out then you can abort without wrecking your existing WinOS license, without locking any hardware/firmware/software into anything, without losing or spending anything more than whatever time you put into it.

Fully back up your stuff, of course, preferably with some kind of full disk clone/image software ... don't rely on Windows-provided backup/restore tools or disk management/partitition tools when your dealing with multiple WinOS versions ... unless you're installing your new stuff a physically separate drive.
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." - Douglas Adams

[/Korth]

Thanks, the new build is coming without any OS installed on it, so whatever I need to install, I need to make sure it works fine right out of the gate 🙂

Thanks for all your help, this is the part I was referring to, not sure if it refers to the new installation on the new build or the old version of Windows on the laptop:

[https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-windows_install-winpc/how-to-download-o...

Your currently installed copy of Windows must be activated. If it is not, you will be prompted to enter a genuine product key.

Maybe that part of the instruction only refers to making an "inplace upgrade" for the computer where Win 10 is being downloaded to? In the next part they talk about making a bootable USB drive so maybe the above does not apply to what I want to do?

This part here cant be right either:

Please note: The copy of Windows 10 you download and upgrade from will correspond with the edition of Windows you have installed, the architectures will correspond too (32 bit > 32 bit, 64 bit > 64 bit):
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Windows 8.0 Core, Windows 8.1 Core, Windows 10 Home will install Windows 10 Home
Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8.0 Pro, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 10 Pro will install Windows 10 Pro
Windows 10 Education will install Windows 10 Education

Because I have Win 7 Pro 32 bit on the laptop and for the new build I will need Win 10 Home 64 bit.