what can i do to secure windows 10 license key. If i wish to switch operating system?

i have a windows 10 OEM license Product(laptop).

i want to format my laptop and remove all the data and then reinstall Linux in it.

but my laptop comes with OEM license key what can i do to secure it. so that if i ever want to switch to windows again i will have the original license back.

there is a command that can be used to extract OEM key.

is it possible to use the same key extracted from the command  when i install windows next time to get the original version back.

i have already created a recovery pen drive of my windows is it possible to reinstall windows with the recovery pen-drive if my system does not have windows per-install in it .

what could be the best way to secure my windows key,

i am a constant distro switcher, i like to jump from os to os.

8 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

       Hi, BEST & most effective way to actually preserve the licensed copy of Windows is to simply replace / uppgrade the harddrive You have now if You're just going to reformat for a linux (or multiple linux) systems anyway.

       This does 2 good practice things :

       1)  It guarantees that all installed extra software You have now, registered or not, will work fine if You do switch back to Windows later for any reason (work files, etc.) even if there are newer versions released of them, & ...

       2) It trims the entire process down to just installing newest Win10 updates instead of wiping the harddrive, reformatting, finding & creating a good install media, & then reinstalling anything that Win10 breaks with the new updates.

       You should also still keep Your additional backup of the system, just in case - as I mentioned - Win10 breaks anything with the latest updates when You switch drives later.

              G'Luck!!!

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  • 1 month ago

    Most OEMs these days embed Windows 10's license key in the BIOS, meaning there is no physical key per se. You shouldn't need to extract the key as Windows will automatically pull it from the BIOS when you reinstall.

    If you did need to write it down for some reason, you can use a free program like ProduKey or Belarc Advisor to view the key.

    • Goerge
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      That's wrong. Most license are tied to the user's Microsoft Account. Go to settings, Update and security and click on Activation in the left-hand pane. The BIOS chip you are talking about was phased out long ago. 

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  • Dick
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    GET BELARC ADVISOR

    This will provide you with a report that will list all of your hardware, software, provide the security keys to the software, etc. etc., etc. Go to belarc.com Near the top of the page click on the tab that is titled: FREE DOWNLOAD. A new page appears with a red clickable section that says "Download a Free Copy Of Belarc Advisor". Click on that red rectangle. It will take you to another page that requires you to provide an email address and a first name. Belarc is a safe site so not to worry. Once you have the Belarc Advisor downloaded install it and allow it to run. Depending your how good of a computer you have it may take a minute or so to run the program and provide you with a full report. You can print the report or save it. The printout is at least 5 pages. I'm sure you'll see info about your computer that you didn't know. Once you download it just copy it to a flash drive and you can run it on any computer you want to. I've been using the Belarc Advisor for over 20 years now and it remains a steadfast tool I use whenever I work on peoples computers. Hope this helps!

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  • 1 month ago
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  • 1 month ago

    Normally a Windows 10 computer comes with a small partition on it that contains the install files for the program.  That partition can be used to do a reinstall of Windows 10.  There will be a key combination that you press during boot up to access that partition and do the reinstall.  You will need to be sure that when you install Linux you do not delete that recovery partition.

    The copy of Windows on the partition will be OEM, meaning that it does not need a key to activate.  Will be set up so that it checks the hardware in the computer, confirms that it is being reinstalled on the original computer, and then installs without needing a key.

    If you wipe the partition (or if the hard drive were to go bad and you have to install a new without the partition) you can go to the manufacturer's web site and they will offer recovery disk to use to reinstall the OEM version of Windows.  There is usually a minor fee ($10 to $20) to cover the shipping and other cost to get send you the disk.  A lot cheaper then purchase a full copy of Win 10 ($125-$150.)

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  • P
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Windows 10 doesn't use a key after it's been installed once.  When you reinstall it Microsoft automatically looks up the serial of your motherboard to see if it's been installed before and re-activates your licence.  The key itself is useless after it's been activated once on a computer.    All you need is to create a windows reinstall usb stick or a ISO DVD using their download tool.  This will work in conjunction with your recovery drive.  The recovery drive by itself will not reinstall windows. 

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  • Goerge
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Download Windows Media Creation Tool(Download Tool Now).https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/...

    You will need a USB flash/pen drive that is 8GB or larger. I am not sure what sort of recovery drive you created. Once you have that you don't even need your key. When you're ready to go back to Windows you can pug in the drive, boot from pen drive and install 10 from drive. When it asks you for a product key, tell it you don't have one. Windows will automatically activate it via your Microsoft Account. When you go to Update and Security in your Settings and click on activation it should say Activated with a digital license. The OS used to look to the MB BIOS but now it looks to M$ for the key.

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  • 1 month ago

    If I understand you correctly:

    1)You need a windows install disc or usb drive that is "OEM" to the brand of laptop you have.

    2)The key should be on your laptop somewhere, perhaps on the back or under the battery. Usually a windows sticker on back side with key recorded on it.

    If you have all that- (the key and install software) then go for it.

    Both Ubuntu and Linux Mint are nice. I have been using Linux since 2008.

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