Ebay HP Tablet Windows License question

  • Release Candidate 6
    Guest:
    We are at a “proposed final” true release candidate with nothing known remaining to be changed or fixed. For the full story, please see this page in the "Pre-Release Announcements & Feedback" forum.
    /Steve.
  • Be sure to checkout “Tips & Tricks”
    Dear Guest Visitor → Once you register and log-in:

    This forum does not automatically send notices of new content. So if, for example, you would like to be notified by mail when Steve posts an update to his blog (or of any other specific activity anywhere else), you need to tell the system what to “Watch” for you. Please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for details about that... and other tips!

    /Steve.

coffeeprogrammer

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2021
116
11
I recently bought a tablet HP tablet on ebay. The ebay listing said it would come with Windows 10, when I receive it, it was Windows 11 Pro. I checked tpm.msc and it is TPM 2.0 so I don't think they did any tricks to install Windows 11. But my question is how can I figure out what license this is on the Windows 11? My default assumption it is the license that came from HP when the tablet was new and likely the seller just used the free upgrade to put windows 11 on it. There is no way I am leaving the OS that the seller loaded, I will download the drivers and install the OS myself. But I want to use Windows 10 until I can no longer run the newest version of Firefox. So how do I figure out what Windows license this is? Normal computers have a sticker that have a key and some times ebay computer have a reseller/refurbished license, but this tablet does not have such a sticker. Is there some little program that will tell me the type of license and key or anything else that could be done? One other thing is in the Settings program under about the Windows specifications has this:

Code:
Edition: Windows 11 Pro
Version: Dev
Installed on 5/30/2021
OS build 21996.1

I don’t know what version “dev” means? I am assuming that os build 21996.1 is just the build that a normally updated Windows 11 should be at updated as of 11/30/2023. No beta or crap.

Thanks.
 
Have a look at the activation status. It might say ‘Activated with a digital licence’, which would indicate that it has a licence stored at Microsoft.

Professionally, I have not seen a product key affixed on Dell, Lenovo or Microsoft laptops shipped with Windows 8.1 or later. They have it embedded in the system firmware (UEFI), and Windows Setup will read it from there when trying to activate and not having a different key installed.
 
But my question is how can I figure out what license this is on the Windows 11?
BelArc Advisor


It;s free for personal use. After running it, the results will be displayed in a local webpage. Just click on "Software Licenses" to see your Windows 11 license information, including the license key.
 
But I want to use Windows 10
I had to reinstall Win 10 on a Laptop that had a total SSD failure. I only had an old SSD half the size of the original, so installed that. Win 10 installed and got its own digital licence, no problem. I was surprised it worked, but from what I remember from the old days (Win95) I think you can change 3 major items on a device, and it would still except the Product code. I used Microsoft's media creation tool for this. So, I don't think you will have any problems doing this.
 
Any license "key" you would extract from an OEM key would never work anyway. They're one time use, and tied to that specific hardware. The net result is that the hardware ID gets listed in a database at Microsoft that they call "Activated with a digital licence". You should be able to reinstall 11 and most likely also 10 without any issue.
 
tl;dr
  • You can install Windows 10 Pro on this device, providing you can boot to a USB flash drive
  • Even if Windows does not activate on re-install, you can continue to the use the tablet until you have the opportunity to purchase a license
  • Because the currently installed version of Windows 11 is both the leaked pre-release version and in the dev channel, it is likely best to install Windows from scratch anyway
I recently bought a tablet HP tablet on ebay. The ebay listing said it would come with Windows 10, when I receive it, it was Windows 11 Pro. I checked tpm.msc and it is TPM 2.0 so I don't think they did any tricks to install Windows 11. But my question is how can I figure out what license this is on the Windows 11?
If the Activation status in the Settings app is something to the effect of "activated with a digital license", the license is bound to that tablet, no matter if HP put it on or it was activated with a key by a previous owner. If it says something else and there is no product key, it might have been activated under a volume license, using an organization's Key Management Server (KMS). In this case, you will need to buy another license.

On a related note, I recently shopped for a Windows 10 Pro license on Amazon and could not find it. I settled on Windows 11 Pro and was able to activate Windows 10 Pro with it. No problems.

For what it's worth, you technically don't need to activate Windows right away. You can use it until you are able to purchase a license. You will simply be punished with a nagging watermark in the lower right of the desktop and the inability to make personalization settings. Otherwise, you can use the tablet to its fullest until you activate it properly.
My default assumption it is the license that came from HP when the tablet was new and likely the seller just used the free upgrade to put windows 11 on it. There is no way I am leaving the OS that the seller loaded, I will download the drivers and install the OS myself. But I want to use Windows 10 until I can no
I would image there is a way to boot from a USB flash drive, but I have not personally dealt with HP tablets. To downgrade, you will want to download the Microsoft Media Creation Tool for Windows 10 and create a USB flash drive with it. As long as it was digitally licensed with Windows 11, the tablet will still be licensed and activate properly.
longer run the newest version of Firefox. So how do I figure out what Windows license this is? Normal computers have a sticker that have a key and some times ebay computer have a reseller/refurbished license, but this tablet does not have such a sticker. Is there some little program that will tell me the type of license
From my experiences, legitimate refurbishers have to apply with Microsoft to obtain refurbisher Windows license keys which they get at a discount. (Historically, the license agreement did not allow for the hardware owner to transfer the Windows license to a new owner. In other words, the seller was obligated to remove Windows before selling the hardware and the buyer was responsible for buying another copy of Windows. All that has changed with digital licensing, since the license now follows the hardware.) That is how they get the stickers which they are obligated to put on the refurbished device. If you do not have an official-looking "refurbished" sticker, with or without a product key, then you might have dealt with a standard eBay user.
and key or anything else that could be done? One other thing is in the Settings program under about the Windows specifications has this:

Code:
Edition: Windows 11 Pro
Version: Dev
Installed on 5/30/2021
OS build 21996.1

I don’t know what version “dev” means? I am assuming that os build 21996.1 is just the build that a normally updated Windows 11 should be at updated as of 11/30/2023. No beta or crap.
A cursory search indicates "Dev" is indeed the Dev (Insiders) channel. Reinstalling Windows from scratch is the only way to put it back into the General Availability channel. That build appears to be from the leaked version of pre-released Windows 11, so it is in your best interest to re-install Windows from scratch anyway. This further supports my suggestion you bought a used tablet rather than a refurbished one.
Windows licensing has actually become very robust and, in my opinion, more flexible since Windows 10 and digital licensing.

I hope this helps.

 
  • Like
Reactions: EdwinG