How to upgrade 1511 from Home to Pro?

I'm not having any luck figuring out how to upgrade from Home to Pro with an existing key.  My system has been running Home and is currently running version 1511.  I've decided to go ahead and use an existing key to upgrade to Pro.  I did a clean install, expecting to be asked to specify a version and provide a key during install, but was never asked for either.  The installer simply formatted the hard drive and installed Home and activated it, with no input from me after the install started other than agree to the terms and tell it my language.

OK, no problem I thought, I'll just go to the Activation setting and give it the new key from there.  However, if I tell it I want to change the key it comes back and says the key I'm giving it can only activate Pro and I'm running Home.  If I go the Store route and tell it I already have a Pro key, it gives me the same message - it tells me my key is for Pro but I'm running Home.  Nowhere along the way does it offer to take my key and give me the upgrade, rather it implies that I must somehow magically upgrade it myself before changing the key.  And that would be fine if I could figure out how to do that.

Anyone know how to force an install of Pro when the installer automatically installs Home with no option given to change it?

 

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Last updated December 12, 2018 Views 78,922 Applies to:

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So you select the route that takes you to the Store. Then using the screen that shows Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro you select I have a Windows 10 Pro product key. This opens a green window to input the new key and at that point it says your key is for Pro and you have Home.

If that's the case a call to customer services may be needed. Unless you want to wait to see if anyone else has another idea. I assume the key for Pro is not used anywhere else & is it a Windows 10 Pro key or a Windows 7 or 8.1 Pro key.

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Control Panel> Add Windows Features>I have a Product Key.

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So you select the route that takes you to the Store. Then using the screen that shows Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro you select I have a Windows 10 Pro product key. This opens a green window to input the new key and at that point it says your key is for Pro and you have Home.

If that's the case a call to customer services may be needed. Unless you want to wait to see if anyone else has another idea. I assume the key for Pro is not used anywhere else & is it a Windows 10 Pro key or a Windows 7 or 8.1 Pro key.

Yep, all correct.  It's a Win7 Ultimate key, not in use anywhere else for well over a year now.  And the really odd part is that when I input the key and it checks it out it even reports back that the key can only be used to activate the Pro version - yet it still never offers to give me the upgrade to Pro.  Apparently it recognizes it, knows what it is and considers it valid, but still just stops at that point.

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Control Panel> Add Windows Features>I have a Product Key.

There is no such option in Control Panel anymore.  That option is now located in Settings>Activation, and that's what giving me the odd message.

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Hi Darren

I don't think this will work as you described.

When you upgrade using the free version of Windows 10 this installs the same version of Windows that is on the computer that is being upgraded, Home to Home and Pro to Pro.

After it is installed, then you have Windows 10. Trying to upgrade from Home to Pro, using a Windows 7 Key, will not work to change to the Pro version. You need to have a Key for Windows 10 Pro.

Regards

MVP 1999 - Present
Windows Insider MVP

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Hi Darren

I don't think this will work as you described.

When you upgrade using the free version of Windows 10 this installs the same version of Windows that is on the computer that is being upgraded, Home to Home and Pro to Pro.

After it is installed, then you have Windows 10. Trying to upgrade from Home to Pro, using a Windows 7 Key, will not work to change to the Pro version. You need to have a Key for Windows 10 Pro.

Regards

So how do I get from Home to Pro?  I only tried using the key for the after-the-fact upgrade when I found that I can't install Pro outright with the new installer.  When I format the hard drive and do a clean install, the installer does not ask me which version I want and does not ask me for a key - rather it simply installs Home automatically (I assume, but don't know for sure, that this is because it checks the BIOS and finds that the factory installed OS qualifies for Win10 Home and therefore the hardware already has a digital entitlement for Home and the installer then incorrectly assumes I want the version of Win10 based on what came preinstalled).

Considering that digital entitlement now allows clean installs by accepting the qualifying product keys, how do I do this on a system that already has a digital entitlement for a different version?

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Would you have to install Windows 7 Ultimate and then carry out the free upgrade.?

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Would you have to install Windows 7 Ultimate and then carry out the free upgrade.?

But I'm supposed to be able to do a clean install.  The upgraded route is what I have now, and it's already an upgrade on top of an upgrade (7 to 10 to threshold 2).  And if the new installer will never recognize my device as eligible for pro without reinstalling 7 and upgrading, that means once the upgrade is no longer free I can never reinstall.

Previously, I had the manual choice of installing Home or Pro - and I actually have (well, as of right now I guess that's 'had') both installed.  The OEM is 8.1 upgraded to 10 Home, in a dual boot using my 7 Ultimate upgraded to 10 Pro.  After the clean installs I just did, I now have 2 instances of 10 Home instead of one of each.  Previously, I could do a clean install of both Home and Pro on its appropriate partition, and the store apparently has no problem with this and can see that both versions have an entitlement.  The new installer, however, apparently runs roughshod over the store and simply refuses to install the Pro version despite the fact that the store obviously has a record of the entitlement for both Home and Pro on this hardware - thus why I assume the new installer decides what to install based on the BIOS, and thus why I figured I would just have to input my qualifying key and do the in-place upgrade to Pro.  However, it seems that the new installer has rendered my retail product useless and is now considering every install my system makes to be an install based on the OEM version.

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You perhaps need a reply from someone who fully understands the digital entitlement routine. This is my understanding.

Once you upgrade from a qualifying system Window 7 or 8.1 Home you get Windows 10 Home. If you use Windows 7 or 8.1 Pro you get Windows 10 Pro.

Once you have upgraded and activated you can carry out a clean install (as long as you don't change hardware). So if you use your Pro version and then upgrade you will get Windows 10 Pro and after that you can clean install.

I think the what you are trying to do goes against digital entitlement rules. To have Windows 10 Pro from Windows 10 Home you would need to have a Windows 10 Pro key.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-10/activation-in-windows-10

[edit]

I used the version 10240 media to complete a clean install on another hard drive and that asked for a key (twice). But I still think you can't change the version you have at that point as your hardware has already registered as Home. But if you upgrade from Pro then the hardware will be registered as Pro.

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You perhaps need a reply from someone who fully understands the digital entitlement routine. This is my understanding.

Once you upgrade from a qualifying system Window 7 or 8.1 Home you get Windows 10 Home. If you use Windows 7 or 8.1 Pro you get Windows 10 Pro.

Once you have upgraded and activated you can carry out a clean install (as long as you don't change hardware). So if you use your Pro version and then upgrade you will get Windows 10 Pro and after that you can clean install.

I think the what you are trying to do goes against digital entitlement rules. To have Windows 10 Pro from Windows 10 Home you would need to have a Windows 10 Pro key.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-10/activation-in-windows-10

[edit]

I used the version 10240 media to complete a clean install on another hard drive and that asked for a key (twice). But I still think you can't change the version you have at that point as your hardware has already registered as Home. But if you upgrade from Pro then the hardware will be registered as Pro.

Right, but my system has previously used BOTH Home and Pro, so it has been upgraded from Pro as well as Home.  My system came with Win 8.1 Home, which was upgraded to Win 10 Home.  I had a long unused retail Win 7 Ultimate, which I installed in a dual boot.  That Win 7 Ultimate then upgraded to Win 10 Pro.  Both versions were fully legitimate and activated.  Using the 10240 media you manually choose to install either Home or Pro and, as you noted, you get asked for a key.  Using 10240 for a clean install, all I had to do was select the version then skip the key.  After it was installed, it checked in with the store and activated.  I could clean install Home (which was the upgrade from Win 8.1 Home) and it activated and I could also clean install Pro (which was the upgrade from retail Win 7 Ultimate) and it activated.  If the new installer asked for a key, I could give it my Win 7 Ultimate key and it would know to install Win 10 Pro, but it doesn't ask and just installs Win 10 Home automatically.

So, with the threshold 2 installer, I simply can't even install Pro - despite the fact that I have a legitimate entitlement for it registered with the store.  My hardware is registered with the store for both Home and Pro, but the installer simply does not offer me a Pro install.

I'm not actually trying to 'upgrade' to Pro in the casual sense.  I'm trying to install Pro, which has already been running, fully activated, on my system.  Since it won't let me install it, I opted to try the upgrade in the literal sense.  If it would give me the versions I have an entitlement for, there would be no need to try to upgrade anything.

As you say:

"Once you have upgraded and activated you can carry out a clean install (as long as you don't change hardware). So if you use your Pro version and then upgrade you will get Windows 10 Pro and after that you can clean install."

That's actually what I'm trying to do, the only catch is that I use fully activated upgraded copies of both Home and Pro.  When I do a clean install, all it will give me is Home despite the fact that my system was previously running an activated copy of Pro as well.

In short, here's what I have now:

  • Win 8.1 Home upgraded to Win 10 Home 10240 upgraded with clean install to Win 10 Home 10586 - all as it should be.
  • Win 7 Ultimate retail upgraded to Win 10 Pro 10240 then DOWNGRADED BY THE INSTALLER with clean install to Win 10 Home 10586, with no readily obvious option to get it back to the Pro version it's supposed to be.

All in all, very frustrating.

EDIT:  The part that seems to be the problem is this part of the activation procedure:

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 10will be installed.

That seems to indicate that any modern device with an embedded key in the BIOS is forever stuck with the version it came with, as every clean install is only going to give you the version that matches the OEM version - even if you've installed a different retail version after that.  And since you can't use the retail key after the install to initiate the upgrade, you're just stuck unless you want to buy a new $99 in-place upgrade every time you do a clean install.

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