Microsoft quietly rewrites its activation rules for Windows 10

#3
Experience clean installing Windows 10 x64 when existing system is x32 that has not been free upgraded to Win 10

For testing weeks ago, I installed Windows 10 Pro x64 from CD burned from ISO on a computer that had dual booting Win XP x32 and Win 8.1 Pro x32. Disconnected all SSD for Dual Boot and connected an empty HDD for the install with the Windows 10 x64 ISO CD. Clean installed Win 10 Pro. Of course there was no way to free Activate the Win 10 without an upgrade.

Yesterday, to satisfy upgrade requirement:
1) Cloned Win 8.1 x32 to new HDD.
2) Disconnected x64 HDD and connected only cloned Win 8.1 HDD.
3) Followed instructions for upgrading with Media Creation Tool at
Installing Windows 10 using the media creation tool - Windows Help
4) "Upgrade this PC now" option failed silently twice when "Run as Administration" install done with Tool.
5) Used Tool to create Win 10 x32 USB.
6) Booted from USB and selected option to upgrade without Users or Apps. Just doing this to keep Microsoft Activation happy. Will reuse HDD after x32 Activated.
7) After upgrade finished and Win 10 x32 Activated, removed x32 HDD and connected Win 10 x64 HDD.
8) Rebooted to CD created by Media Creation Tool for Windows 10 Pro x64
9) Did a Win 10 to Win 10 upgrade keeping Users and Apps from Windows 10 x64 ISO CD. System Activated when process finished.

Except for the "Upgrade this PC now" failures, no problems encountered.
 
#5
Experience clean installing Windows 10 x64 when existing system is x32 that has not been free upgraded to Win 10
. . .

1) Cloned Win 8.1 x32 to new HDD.
. . .
Should have mentioned that I used Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 Professional's Migrate OS feature to clone Win 8.1 to new HDD. This feature moves any Windows OS since XP from a regular hard disk to another hard disk or SSD (Solid State Drive) even of a smaller capacity. Handles all the adjustments necessary to make clone bootable. Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 Professional .

I also use this feature to backup all my systems. Each system has a group of HDDs that I clone the current system to in rotation. To restore all that is required is to swap in the backup drive and boot or can attach a backup drive and copy selected files. Each system has SATA data and power cables 16inch Slim SATA to SATA Data and Power Combo Cable - Monoprice.com that extend outside the closed case to save time. Keep most current backups hidden in my car for offsite backup.
 
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