Ok, the USB that I installed the OS on is a Sandisk Cruzer 2.0. Since the computer doesn’t have a 3:0 port, I assume a 3.0 USB wouldn’t help me, right? What other brand of USB might be better? In terms of my computer, what should I do with the dual boot I have there now?
The best and simplest option I would recommend would be the following:
If you login to Windows 10 via a Microsoft account, then the license is already registered. This means you can run a re-install and the OS will be automatically re-activated for you.
Therefore, I would suggest to invest in an SSD, which will dramatically increase the response of your system. Then, install Windows 10 as you normally would. After that, install Linux as a secondary OS, alongside Windows.
As for the USB thumb drive, I would recommend a SanDisk USB 3 or even a 16GB PNY (as a low budget alternative). The PNYs are slower, but they get the job done.
I just this computer recently and the guy I got it from had recently installed Windows 10. I don’t really want to deal with Microsoft unless it’s necessary. I only got this computer so that I would have access to Windows Terminal, otherwise I have no use for it. My other intent was to create this dual boot to test out other Linux systems which isn’t going to work
The Windows 10 that is currently on it has a product key entered, which I’m assuming belonged the the guy I got the computer from. If I use that key, will it ask me for any other information? I do have Windows 7 on a CD disc. I assume I could re-install Windows 7 using my product key. I would actually prefer to have Windows 7 since it’s a better program and since I don’t think they are pushing updates for it anymore. Otherwise, I could just leave it as it is. It will still run fine for what I need it for.
If you install Windows 7, then upgrading will come at a cost. This is why this upgrade used to be free for a limited time period. However, I could be wrong and with the release of Windows 11, they may have changed it.
When you login to Windows 10, do you do it via a local account or via a Microsoft account? If it’s the latter, then check your MS account to see if your device is displayed there. If it is, then every time you reinstall Windows 10, you can simply re-activate it via the Internet without any additional steps.
However, if are logging in via local account or the MS account belongs to the other guy, then this following guide can help you find it and jot it down:
Once you keep a note of it, then you can re-install Windows 10, yes. However, if you don’t want it to ask you for a lot more information (by forcing you to create a MS account), you can perform the installation while disconnected from the Internet. Once done, you can reconnect and activate your copy normally via the settings.
I wondered why no product key would show up in the command line so I did some research. My activation settings says that this edition is activated on my organization’s activation service, which would be the guy I got the computer from. That’s why there is no product key in the command line. I did some reading on this and it says that these organization activations are good for 180 days and then you have to enter a product key, otherwise certain personalization functionality will not work, but most things still will, including the command line. I’m still in the 180 days but I’m sure after that, it will start bugging me to activate but I think it will still work. If I try to reinstall now, I’m not sure what will happen so I think I’ll just leave it alone.
FYI…I did find a product key in the registry but not the command line, and the device does show up in my Microsoft account but I’m afraid it’s going to tell me that I need a new product key if I tried to enter the one from the registry. I think it’s already going to know that the one from the registry is not mine.
Which version of Windows 10 do you have? If it’s the Enterprisse, then it will need to contact the licensing server at some point, yes. If it’s the Pro version, then the “organization settings” do appear under a certain kind of circumstance. Now, “what is that circumstance?” you may ask.
There are vendors who sell legitimate license keys for Windows 10 Pro, which can be used to upgrade a Home edition. Those prices are 20% of what the Microsoft Store would charge. However, they have a downside. Those keys don’t work out of the box. A temporary, Enterprise Level key needs to be placed in (changing the original that Windows Home has), so that it causes an error on reboot. Once that reboot takes place, then Windows 10 will accept the Pro edition key. However, some settings will remain “controlled by your organization.”
How do I know that? Because I did such an upgrade myself. The reason was that I used to have a full Windows 10 Pro license, but during the “Patch-O-Calypse” of 2016, I went overboard and deleted all my MS accounts. And then, after I came to the US and started a company, the TurboTax I needed worked only on Windows. Since I didn’t want to dish out another $200 (I actually paid more back then), and I couldn’t recover my account, I did it the way I mentioned above.
What you could try is start a Windows installation as a Virtual Machine and use that key and see what it tells you. If it’s rejected out of the box, then keep your Windows installation as is. If it goes through, complete the process and see how it goes - if you’re feeling brave.
But first, please let me know which version of Windows 10 you have.
It’s Windows 10 Pro, Version 20H2
If it’s a Pro version, then you most likely have the same situation as I did.
When you log into your Windows, do you use a local account or a Microsoft account? In the latter scenario, the transfer will be easy.
I’m pretty sure it goes to my local account, even though I never set it up. When I log in, there is no password and the account name is set up as “A” (which probably stands for Admin). That was how the guy I bought it from set it up. However when the account comes up when I start my computer, I see the profile photo from my own Microsoft account, and that computer is listed as a device on my Microsoft account.
Another question I have on this is whether it’s going to force me to upgrade it Windows 11?
An excellent way to check if your Windows 10 is tied to your MS account is to log in to Microsoft’s site and check, under devices, to see if your computer is listed there. If it is, you won’t have any trouble reinstalling it.
Also, you can still install Windows 10 without activation. The only drawback will be that it won’t let you personalize the appearance settings.
Per the Windows 11 “upgrade,” it will bug you to do so. However, it will all depend on whether your system has the TPM 2.0 chip. If your computer was built in the last 2-5 years, it might already have it. So, chances are it will try to enforce it - at least at some point. However, it won’t be successful in doing so on a virtual machine.
Ok, thanks for the info. I may decide to try to re-install Windows 10 at some point, but I think I’ll leave it for now. It seems to be working fine for my purposes. My computer is listed in my Microsoft account as a device, but it is a very old computer, from 2007, so it’s unlikely that it would have the chip you mentioned.