SOLVED Win 10 Clone not activated

  • I have a bunch of Dell optiplex 990 which have win 7 pro on them…all activated. I took one and upgraded it to Win10 via the windows media creator tool. After upgrade and applying all patches that systems shows as activated. Fired up ghost and made an image. Deployed image to another 990. It successfully took the image but…when Win 10 boots up it shows “not activated”.

    I’m assuming the bios probably has the key for win7(there are physical win 7 product key decals on each case). Can we make this work with fog? I would hate to have to manually fire up each win7 machine and run the media creator tool, download and upgrade for the windows servers. I do not want to create a Win10 deploy image as then I will have to purchase a product key code and using the windows media creator tool is still a free upgrade


  • So good news, figured it out. I did the win7 to win10 upgrade and took an image. When I deployed the image I received the “not activated” I then clicked the “change product key” and entered the unique product key on the decal on top of the dell box & was able to authenticate. So although it’s not off the bios & is an extra step at least its authenticated and legit. So glad that worked. Thanks for your help

  • Moderator

    @mrchip said in Win 10 Clone not activated:

    However if I ghost it then it’s not legit.

    This is because you are not using OEM media to install the OS. You are using ghost/fog to clone the system. Somehow the OEM media reads the Win7 license key from SMBIOS and then contacts the MS licensing center to upgrade the license. Once that is done and there is a win7->win10 license map at the MS Licensing center you can install Win10 and it will activate correctly moving forward. I know a few people that do the win7->win10 upgrade to get the license activated and then wipe the computer and install Win10 cleanly. Once the map is made at the licensing center you never have to upgrade again if you need to reinstall Win10 for some reason on the same computer.

  • Thanks george1421. Licencing is so weird. I have a legit licence win 7 which i assume has a vlk, when I use a magic jelly bean keyfinder tool it shows the same product code across all machines, and each case has a unique product key code decal. So I know it’s legit…and its factory from Dell. I can then plug that machine into the internet and do a upgrade to Win 10 via MS and it will upgrade & activate and that box is legit & authenticated. However if I ghost it then it’s not legit. At the end of the day all those boxes will have win 10 on them. Frustrating. Guess I have to manually upgrade each box then. Thanks for letting me know though

  • Moderator

    @mrchip You can not upgrade a windows 7 machine to a windows 10 machine by using the clone method. According to the microsoft eula, you will need to purchase a version upgrade license. Also according to the Microsoft EULA you can only deploy an OEM image using the original OEM media. You can not install an OEM image on a source system, make changes / customization and then capture and redeploy that customized OEM image using a system cloning tool (including FOG0.

    Now if your systems had already the windows 10 license, you could then just purchase 1 volume license key (for an unlimited number of systems) from microsoft and redeploy those OEM systems using a volume license as long as the volume license key matches the featuers of the OEM key. i.e. if your OEM key is Win10Pro OEM, then you can deploy Win10Pro VLK by only using 1 Win10Pro VLK key. You may not upgrade from Win7 Pro to Win10Pro VLK or upgrade Win10Pro OEM to Win10 Enterprise VLK this way. If you upgrade versions then you need to purchase 1 VLK key for every system you are upgrading. That is according to Microsoft Licensing.

    FOG doesn’t have any magic bullet to get around MS Licensing.