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Install and Activate Windows 10 without doing the Upgrade

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I came across this procedure on another website and tried it on my own machine that had Windows 7 Pro installed in order to verify that it works. This allows you to do a clean installation of Windows 10 using one of the .iso files available from Microsoft, skipping the upgrade process entirely, and ending up with a clean installation of Windows 10 that is activated as soon as you go online.


1.) In order to do this, your current Windows 7/8/8.1 installation must have a valid activation status. No ifs, ands, or buts.

2.) Before proceeding, you must run Windows Update and make sure your system is completely up to date.


3.) Before proceeding, I suggest running sfc /scannow and chkdsk c: in order to verify that there are no corrupted/missing system files and no corruption of the filesystem.

3.) Before proceeding, I suggest creating a backup image of your current system just in case things go wrong, or if you decide that Windows 10 is not really for you and want to go back to using your previous Windows OS.

4.) Go here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO and download the Windows 10 .iso that you will use to create your installation media. It's up to you to choose the correct version that corresponds to your current Windows 7/8/8.1 installation.

5.) You can either burn the image to a DVD or create a bootable USB flash drive using Rufus.

6.) Here is the first vital step: After you've created your installation media, there is a file you must copy from there to your current installation and use it to transfer your activation status between systems. Open your installation media using File Explorer, find the folder "Sources", then locate the file "gatherosstate.exe". Copy this file from there to either the Desktop or the Downloads folder of your currently installed system.


Now right click gatherosstate.exe and run it as Administrator. Doing this will generate a new file "GenuineTicket.xml". Save this file to either a SDHC card or a USB flash drive. This is the file that will activate your new installation of Windows 10.


7.) Now use your installation media to install Windows 10. There are two things you must not do:


> DO NOT ENTER an activation key when prompted to do so. This will occur twice during the installation. Just click "Skip this step".


> DO NOT make an internet connection when prompted to do so. Just click "Skip this step". 


Once installation has completed, don't do anything. Just reboot the machine.


8.) Here is the second vital step: Open File Explorer and check the box "Show hidden items". Now copy the file GenuineTicket.xml from where you saved it to the folder "GenuineTicket" found in this path:


C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows\Clipsvc\GenuineTicket


After doing this, reboot the machine once more.


9.) After rebooting, make your internet connection, then check the activation status. If you did everything right, Windows 10 will be activated.


BTW - I did this purely as an excercise and to verify that it works. Afterwards, I restored Windows 7 Pro from a backup image.

Start every day with a smile and get it over with. - W.C. Fields

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I think I must have missed the point somewhere....

Even without doing all the copy & saving of the Genuine Ticket file, Windows 10 will always activate if you are coming from an already activated Win7 or 8 version, and that's despite whether you are upgrading or clean installing.

Backup now & backup often.
It's your digital life - protect it with a backup.
Three things are certain; Birth, Death and loss of data. You control the last.

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mta you are correct, "once one has performed a standard conventional upgrade" and activation has been completed, then if one performs a "clean install" of Win 10 (as I mentioned in a previous post) automatic activation is completed via the MS data base activation servers when on-line. This I have done several times now.  


I read the post by Dereck891 as a method of performing a clean install "skipping the upgrade process entirely". Correct me if I'm wrong Derek891


By the way mta I took your kind advice and installed Oracle VM VirtualBox SW on a Win 7 PC then installed Win 10 (which was activated as I logged in with my MS account). I have noticed that Win 10 running in a VM runs much slower in my case. Anyhow thanks for the suggestion. 

Always With Kind Regards


"one is never too old to listen & learn"

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Thanks very much, Derek.    :)  


What would happen if you skipped step #2?   

2.) Before proceeding, you must run Windows Update and make sure your system is completely up to date. 

The CCleaner SLIM version is always released a bit after any new version; when it is it will be HERE :-)

Pssssst: ... It isn't really a cloud. Its a bunch of big, giant servers.

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- One word of caution: today I downloaded the "Media Creation Tool" (MCT) and it wasn't the same size as a previous MCT. Could be of importance.

- I am glad I know have the "Windows.ISO" file.


(Yeah. This was my 1000th post here on the Piriform forum).

System setup: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/gcNzIPEjEb0B2khOOBVCHPc


A discussion always stimulates the braincells !!!

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