Saturday, 4 February 2017

How to upgrade to (or get) Win 10 Pro for £2.84p!

I wanted to copy a full Windows installation from a USB drive to a VHD, but I was being constantly frustrated by Windows 10 locking some of the files in the \Windows folder on the USB drive. This was preventing me from copying many of the Windows files on the USB drive to the VHD, even though I had booted to Windows 10 Home from my hard disk and Windows shouldn't even be locking the files on the USB drive!

Now there are several solutions to copying 'locked' files, but none of them were successful because I was running Windows 10 Home and I suspected that the problem might be connected the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and Hyper-V not being supported in Windows Home. I could have resorted to booting to WinPE, mounting the VHD using Diskpart and then copying over the files, but this would be inconvenient if I had to do this many times in a day.

So, I decided to upgrade my Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro and spend the £2.84p required (and hang the expense!).

Here is how I did it...
1. Go to eBay and find someone who is selling Windows 7 Pro product keys (check the feedback for satisfied customers first!).

2. Purchase the Win 7 Pro product key and a short while later (about 1hr in my case) you will be emailed a Win 7 Pro product key.

3. Hit WINDOWS-KEY+Pause\Break on your keyboard and then click on the small 'Change product key' blue text link...
4. Cut-and-paste the Win 7 Pro product key into the box provided

5. Allow the system to upgrade and reboot.

Voila! We now have a Win 10 Pro system.

You can also use these product keys to install Windows 10 Pro onto a fresh system or activate a freshly installed,  unactivated copy of Win10 Pro.