My university is part of Microsoft Imagine program and this is how I got product key for Windows 10.

In meantime I got new machine and installed Windows 10 with same product key.

I want to sell my old PC.

What I have tried in order to remove license on old PC:

  1. Formatting hard drive of old PC did not work, as soon as I reinstalled windows it activated itself with digital license.

  2. Running slmgr /upk (In order to uninstall product key) did not work, as soon as I restarted Windows activated itself with digital license.

  3. Running following commands:

    slmgr /upk in order to uninstall product key

    slmgr /cpky - this clears product key from registry

    slmgr /rearm - to reset licensing status of the machine

At first this seemed to help, I restarted machine several times and Windows was deactivated.

But when I performed update of the machine (Windows Update) it activated itself again.

I simply can not believe there is no easy way to do this.

I do not want to sell my PC in this state, because even if completely format my HDD, the person who buys it can simply reinstall and get copy of Windows for free.

I know that license is somehow tied to my hardware components(motherboard mostly) but changing motherboard is not an option and I find frustrating there is no easy way to do this.

Also linking to Microsoft account is not an option, it requires login with account password but new computer is used by multiple people.

Edit in response to comments:

  • I built new computer myself.
  • Old machine was not connected nor installed with Microsoft Account.
  • Running slmgr /dlv on command line gives "Retail" for "Product Key Channel" so type of the license is Retail I suppose.
  • Trying to activate Pro edition, also Pro edition was installed on old pc.
  • When installing Windows on new machine I did not enter product key, I entered product key after installation in Settings.
  • When you installed Windows, what product key did you use, because you can't install Windows without providing a product key. – Ramhound Mar 2 '19 at 15:14
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    The only way Windows should activate itself is if you are either connected to a MS account, and using a digital entitlement, please edit your question instead of submitting a comment to clarify your question – Ramhound Mar 2 '19 at 15:25
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    @Ramhound I install Windows all the time without using product keys. You just have to hit the skip link at the bottom of the window. – shawn Mar 2 '19 at 15:29
  • When you install Windows are you using a local account or your Microsoft account? – shawn Mar 2 '19 at 15:31
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    "I entered product key after installation in Settings." - If you enter a product key, then, of course, the installation will activate. Additionally, if you are using the ISO you got from the Imagine program, then it's very likely, the ISO is preconfigured to use the license key in question. Simplest solution to this problem, is sell the device, without an OS. – Ramhound Mar 2 '19 at 17:15

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