1. dyrelogan's Avatar
    I upgraded from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. I bought a new hard drive because my hard drive is close to failing. It was the free upgrade to 10. Can I use the key for Windows 8.1? I do not care for 10 at all. My back light keyboard doesn't work anymore, privacy issues, other software doesn't work, updates are not possible to ignore and not install, etc. There are so many reasons I don't want 10 anymore. Any chance I can just go back to 8.1? Unfortunately I deleted the 8.1 old windows completely to free up space. Thank you for your help.

    Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
    02-28-2016 01:55 AM
  2. gpobernardo's Avatar
    Why not just use the Windows 8.1 license key that came with the purchase of your PC? You can't use a Windows 10 license key for Windows 8.1 (and vice versa) anyway.

    And you can't "just" go back to 8.1 since you've deleted the 8.1 old folder already... and most probably the roll-back period has already lapsed by now. Only a complete reinstallation of Windows 8.1 with the license key that came with the purchase will legally work now.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    02-29-2016 04:36 AM
  3. moorken666's Avatar
    were you using the "november" release of W10 already? because that solved a freakin lot o problems!
    03-03-2016 10:27 AM
  4. Xingularity's Avatar
    Do you have a way of reinstalling 8.1? If not, you can use an OEM version of Windows and use your 8.1 key to reinstall windows. If it fails to activate, you can use the automated phone method or you can call and talk to a Microsoft rep and activate that way.

    Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
    03-03-2016 08:41 PM
  5. jiovine's Avatar
    I did a clean install of windows 10 on my HP Laptop that shipped with 8.1 and didn't need to enter any key. It just activated. I thought the key for windows 8.1 was in the bios?
    RumoredNow likes this.
    03-10-2016 03:13 PM
  6. zerospace-net's Avatar
    OK, I don't understand why everyone says you need to install 8.1 and then upgrade. Prior to the fall update, yes, I know it was necessary. Starting with build 1511, supposedly Microsoft allows use of 7, 8, or 8.1 product keys to activate free upgrades to Windows 10. I know this is true, as I just did it myself on my desktop PC 2 weeks ago and it worked fine. I rebuilt an old machine (keeping only my SSD) and used my 8.0 Pro upgrade product key to activate Windows 10 Pro, and it activated fine. Granted, the 8.1 installation was still on the SSD at the time of the Win10 install -- I wiped it during the installation of Win10. Am I missing something?

    Activation in Windows 10 - Windows Help ( it's even written on this page on Microsoft's site that some 7, 8, and 8.1 keys will work to activate Win10 on an eligible machine )
    03-10-2016 04:00 PM

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