Windows 10 Upgrade – The Shortcut

as reported in many places like this, and this, there is a trick to have an activated windows 10 by a clean install.

first of all, you need two things:

  1. an activated current OS (w7sp1 or 8.1). the eligible channel types that are reported to work with this trick are Retail, OEM:DM (w8.1), and OEM System Builder.
  2. a copy of w10 ISO via w10 media creation tool that matches the upgrade path (e.g. for w7 Ultimate sp1, you get w10 pro)

the steps are simple:

  1. validation of the current OS online (this is true for w7, but i haven’t found the online validation process for w8.1). this makes sure MS activation server recognize your current OS as a legit copy.
  2. generation of GenuineTicket.xml based on your installation.
    1. retrieve gatherosstate.exe from w10 ISO. this file is located in the sources folder.
    2. at administrative prompt, run it on your activated and validated current OS. it will generate an xml file, called GenuineTicket.xml. save this file else where, e.g. in a usb stick.
    3. do a clean install with w10 ISO. skip places that ask you for key.
    4. once it’s installed, make sure the new OS is not connected to the Internet.
    5. copy GenuineTicket.xml to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\clipsvc\genuineticket\ on w10:
      1. at administrative prompt, type ‘net stop clipsvc’ and press enter key;
      2. copy GenuineTicket.xml to the specified folder above;
      3. at administrative prompt, type ‘net start clipsvc’ and press enter key.
  3. reboot w10 and connect it to the Internet. the w10 installation should be activated.

the above process is only needed for the first time (as a replacement for normal upgrade paths for the w10 free offer, which caused quite a lot of issues since the  official roll-out.). for the subsequent w10 installs on the same device, all you need to do is to do a clean install, and make sure the new OS is connected to the Internet.

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