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  1. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Hooked the HDD up to another laptop, ran chkdsk and threw up a scroll of errors, did not take it out of RAW.
    VERY dead.

    Laptop came with Windows 8(don't know which flavor - sticker says 8 - no pro).
    After weeks of pestering by Microsoft, she upgraded to 10(long ago).
    No license key external sticker.

    I made a rescue/backup DVD set when it was new (Windows 8).

    Obviously I need to get a new HDD and reinstall Windows 10.

    Now what?
    New HDD and rescue disk set to Windows 8?
    Just download Windows 10 and hope the license key is in the BIOS or motherboard?

    Inspiron 15R 5521
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    In theory you could try to install windows 10 without a key.
    This should work because the windows 10 version is already activated on that hardware.

    Normally laptops in general don't need a key because the activation is based on/ implanted in the bios

    If that doesn't work you can restore the dvd backup set and install windows 10 on top of that, however a clean install is always better
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  3. Member hech54's Avatar
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    I still have XP. She laughed. Now she is not.

    This sounds like my wife's scenario.....hopefully.
    "On some devices that came pre-installed with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, the product key is provisioned in the device firmware. On these devices the product key will be verified during setup, and then the appropriate edition of Windows 10 will be installed."


    Originally Posted by jan5678 View Post
    In theory you could try to install windows 10 without a key.
    This should work because the windows 10 version is already activated on that hardware.

    Normally laptops in general don't need a key because the activation is based on/ implanted in the bios

    If that doesn't work you can restore the dvd backup set and install windows 10 on top of that, however a clean install is always better
    I'm most likely going to try a clean 10 install. It just makes more sense to try that route.
    I've also a language issue too. The laptop came with German language of which I am capable, but I still want to install English FIRST then get the German language pack after the installation is successful.
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  4. I have used this option many times and works smoothly , allow about 2 hours

    Using the tool to create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) to install Windows 10 on a different PC (click to show more or less information) from this page

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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  5. In case of such brand as Dell you already paid for Windows License (OEM) thus see no sense in buying Windows once again, for small fee you can order from Dell installation disk (thumbdrive?) or alternatively you can search for Dell OEM Windows ISO (same as on sticker) on internet.

    Information about Windows license is stored within FLASH (side to BIOS) in form of so called SLIC table.

    If you go straight to Windows 10 non OEM (Dell) you may violate Microsoft EULA and your country law - if you are picky on legality then you should consider buying Windows 10 BOX. (seem home version cost around 100$ and pro around 200$ for Box Retail)
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  6. I would not consider Pandys point initially, so much is checked on line when you re install that I think my suggestion will just work, I reinstalled a clean version on my 2 dells and nothing went wonky.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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  7. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    As said before just install windows 10 on a new hard drive and it will be auto activated as long as it's just a hdd replacement.No need to use a specific windows build,home,pro etc..windows will install the version as used before.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  8. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Just created a bootable USB of Windows 10 with RUFUS on my Windows 8 Netbook....since it is not possible on this XP PC. I did choose the German language version just to be safe since the laptop came with German Windows 8.

    I'm going to try a bootable USB with Ubuntu on that laptop......just to practice getting it to boot from USB until my wife decides whether to go with stock replacement ST1000LM024 HDD or go SSD. The original drive(label) shows it as 1TB but my wife swears it only ever showed 500GB available. I tend to believe her because looking at the dead drive in Disk Manager(?) showed 4 Dell partitions along with the extremely corrupt O/S partition.
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    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    Just created a bootable USB of Windows 10 with RUFUS on my Windows 8 Netbook....since it is not possible on this XP PC. I did choose the German language version just to be safe since the laptop came with German Windows 8.

    I'm going to try a bootable USB with Ubuntu on that laptop......just to practice getting it to boot from USB until my wife decides whether to go with stock replacement ST1000LM024 HDD or go SSD. The original drive(label) shows it as 1TB but my wife swears it only ever showed 500GB available. I tend to believe her because looking at the dead drive in Disk Manager(?) showed 4 Dell partitions along with the extremely corrupt O/S partition.
    go with a SSD, since most if not all new laptops are now shipping with them.
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