Relax: If you reinstall Windows Pro, the activation servers will restore the activation without a squawk.
Welcome to the latest installment of Ask ZDNet, where we answer the questions that make your IT guy reach for the Tums.
In the mailbag this week: A user paid for an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro but has no idea where that product key is now. How to get the upgrade back?
This is a surprisingly common occurrence, especially given how many PC makers try to shave a few dollars off the price of their hardware by installing the much less expensive Home edition. When the OEM built that PC, they embedded the licensing information for the preinstalled Home edition in the BIOS of the system. When you do a full reset, that’s the information that’s used for the installation. As far as Windows is concerned, it’s putting things back to where they were when you bought the system, based on the embedded version information it found.
The good news is that Microsoft’s activation servers also contain details for your Windows Pro upgrade. When you entered the product key to perform that upgrade the first time,