PDA

View Full Version : Restoring Asus Factory Windows 10 Home after upgrade to Pro



jylong_away
06-28-2017, 08:39 AM
Hi All,

I'm a first time Asus ROG owner, and first time poster. I've been sifting through the ROG forums, as well as other windows forums, but can't *quite* seem to find a definitive answer for my query. Calling both ASUS and Microsoft supports hasn't helped to clarify things either.

I have a new G752VS running Windows 10 Home OEM from the factory. I'm hoping to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for a bit more control over updates, group policy, etc.

As I understand it, I can do this either directly through the Microsoft store, or buy a retail version of Windows 10 Pro, and enter the activation code into my computer. I'm planning on the second option, as I can get a pretty good price locally , and it allows my some flexibility if I need to transfer devices.


Here's where it gets a bit sticky for me:

ASUS has informed me that upgrading to Pro will void my software warranty, and may screw up the computer OEM customizations, etc etc. They have also stated that upgrading to Pro will mean that there's no way I can return to the original factory software state (Windows 10 Home OEM) for warranty purposes.

Microsoft support has said that upgrading to Pro by activation code (not clean install) will add/unlock the pro functions, and not mess up what's already there.

Being the paranoid that I am, I'm planning to make a full Macrium image of my OS drive (including recovery partition, etc) before my attempted Pro upgrade. As I understand it, if I have trouble after the Pro upgrade, restoring the Macrium image *should* restore the computer back to the original Windows 10 Home OEM. Is this correct? Or am I totally off? Does upgrading to Pro make the Microsoft servers detect your computer as Pro forever, due to electronic licensing?

Sorry for the ramble...

CladMaster
06-28-2017, 09:13 AM
Macrium image plus a bootable USB recovery drive made with Macrium will allow you to restore the Original OS.

Place the image file on a drive that's never going to be used again so that the image does not get damaged / erased.

or .....

Copy the eSupport folder that's on C: drive to a USB drive.

Remove the original drive and put it in the box that the laptop came in and leave it there.

Replace the drive you removed with a new one and install Windows 10 fresh on it. The USB drive with the eSupport folder will allow you to install drivers and other programs that you want.

jylong_away
06-28-2017, 11:24 AM
Thanks for that CladMaster.

Just to check that I am understanding correctly - If I aim to use the USB/Image method you described, I would need to create the drive image, and the USB Recovery on separate media? Or am I creating a USB-bootable recovery drive, with the backup image on it?

CladMaster
06-28-2017, 12:48 PM
Thanks for that CladMaster.

Just to check that I am understanding correctly - If I aim to use the USB/Image method you described, I would need to create the drive image, and the USB Recovery on separate media? Or am I creating a USB-bootable recovery drive, with the backup image on it?

USB Recovery drive (flash drive, thumb drive) is just the Macrium program that boots from the USB, when you select the USB Recovery drive to boot from it runs WinPE shell and then runs Macrium, this allows you to restore or make an image, the image of the original OS would be on another drive that's big enough to hold the image, like a USB external hard drive.

jylong_away
06-28-2017, 01:52 PM
thanks much for that. Have just created both media on separate USB flash drives. It boots OK, and can detect the other drive with the image on it.

The last thing I need to ask before I fork out $200ish for a Windows 10 Pro retail code - can anyone confirm that the ASUS ROG Windows 10 Home OS can be upgraded to bro just by entering the activation code?

CladMaster
06-28-2017, 03:31 PM
Yes, It can.

I use the key released by Microsoft that's publicly available that allows the Home edition to upgrade to Pro, then I use my purchased Pro key to activate it.

VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T << This key is from Microsoft and allows you to upgrade to Pro but not activated. Make sure you have a backup image, once the Pro upgrade is done, there is no way to downgrade to Home unless you have made an image of the boot drive (all partitions, there should be 4 partitions) to do a system restore.

jylong_away
06-29-2017, 02:15 AM
Awesome! *Will give it a go. I've read in several places abt that method of entering the 'generic' Pro code, and activating with a retail code. *How is this different from just entering your purchased activation code directly?

Would directly entering the activation code not prompt an upgrade to pro right away?*

Clintlgm
06-29-2017, 03:24 AM
hmm never heard before that upgrading to pro would void anything? Basically pro is already on your computer imputing the upgrade key just unlocks it. I couldn't see any reason to RMA a notebook over anything do with software anyway Your just making things difficult for yourself.
MR is a great program and making an image is a great Idea no matter what. I keep several to go back in time to several points in time.
As Justin will probably chime in on this too, why not just get a new and better M.2 SSD like a 960 Pro 500GB and just clone your current drive to it. then remove your factory hard drive and put it up. If you some how have to make an RMA just drop it back in.
With windows 10 Asus is not going to be much help in any case. You'll get good help here and I would suggest window10forum (https://www.tenforums.com/) lots of specific windows 10 help there.

Julskey
06-29-2017, 08:17 AM
... Basically pro is already on your computer imputing the upgrade key just unlocks it...

I agree with this one.

My question now is if you do an upgrade, would the new product key be saved over the old one in the BIOS? As I understand our product keys are embedded in the BIOS? If so, even if you do an image restore of the previous version, it will still be the version that coincides with the product key in the BIOS. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks.

Julskey
06-29-2017, 08:36 AM
Hi all

I agree that the product key unlocks the features for that version. Same installation, different keys.

As our product keys are stored in BIOS, does this mean that when we upgrade our windows version, the new product key will be written over the old one?
If so, restoring an image or doing a factory restore will still have the version that coincides with the product key stored in the BIOS.
Please correct me if i'm wrong.

Thanks.

haihane
06-29-2017, 08:36 AM
I agree with this one.

My question now is if you do an upgrade, would the new product key be saved over the old one in the BIOS? As I understand our product keys are embedded in the BIOS? If so, even if you do an image restore of the previous version, it will still be the version that coincides with the product key in the BIOS. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks.


color me shocked too when i first saw the thread. i was tempted to post and ask for source representative post ( a screenshot of them saying it'll void warranty if one upgrades to pro), but then dropped it, thinking it wasn't my business to butt in in the first place.


if you do an upgrade, i suspect the product key and your motherboard identifier (HWID, or whatever identifies your PC) get sent to microsoft activation servers, they mark the key as used and bound it to the motherboard, then microsoft sends an activation message back to your pc.

if you do a full format afterwards (implying the destruction of manufacturer recovery partition), and then doing a clean install; this is where i'm not sure anymore. it could be:
- microsoft will try to check for product key embedded into your UEFI by system manufacturers, and then activates the pc via internet automatically. also with some automated wizardry linking your UEFI product key to your new windows 10 purchase, therefore simplifying the whole process. OR
- microsoft will try to check your hardware ID and cross compare it with their activation server database and automatically activating the Win10 Pro version. OR
- microsoft will simply just activate your original UEFI key embedded into the bios. you can then manually re-activate the win10 Pro version by re-keying the product key.

i'm curious too, which of the above is true.

jylong_away
06-29-2017, 09:42 AM
color me shocked too when i first saw the thread. i was tempted to post and ask for source representative post ( a screenshot of them saying it'll void warranty if one upgrades to pro), but then dropped it, thinking it wasn't my business to butt in in the first place.


if you do an upgrade, i suspect the product key and your motherboard identifier (HWID, or whatever identifies your PC) get sent to microsoft activation servers, they mark the key as used and bound it to the motherboard, then microsoft sends an activation message back to your pc.

if you do a full format afterwards (implying the destruction of manufacturer recovery partition), and then doing a clean install; this is where i'm not sure anymore. it could be:
- microsoft will try to check for product key embedded into your UEFI by system manufacturers, and then activates the pc via internet automatically. also with some automated wizardry linking your UEFI product key to your new windows 10 purchase, therefore simplifying the whole process. OR
- microsoft will try to check your hardware ID and cross compare it with their activation server database and automatically activating the Win10 Pro version. OR
- microsoft will simply just activate your original UEFI key embedded into the bios. you can then manually re-activate the win10 Pro version by re-keying the product key.

i'm curious too, which of the above is true.



Sorry to be the source of mild confusion - the multiple ASUS tech support reps that I've spoken to over the phone in the last few days have all stated that upgrading the OS to anything that the computer didn't come with (in this case, it came with Win 10 Home), will void the software support warranty, and potentially also for any hardware issues that they deem resulted from the software change. It doesn't effect any fault that's assessed as being from hardware alone (eg. if you get dead pixels, etc)

I've also wondered about the activation key stored in the BIOS. I certainly have similar situations to what Julskey described - people looking to reinstall on version of windows, but another version popping up due to the activation code in the BIOS. I think there's a workaround, but it involves manual manipulation of a Windows 10 boot image, and forcing it to detect a new activation key from the image, and not the BIOS. A bit over my head at this point.

I've extracted my Win10 Home product key using command prompt, so I guess if I have to reactivate home, I'll at least have that. I also plan to buy a retail copy of 10 Pro (rather than upgrade via Windows) so I'll have an actual printed activation key for 10 Pro. The Microsoft tech support tells me that as long as I can demonstrate proof of purchase, they'll help me out with the activation stuff should I encounter a problem.

I might give the 'clone the drive, and store the original' method a go, as there are some good prices on Samsung NVMEs close to tax time. With regards to the cloning, will the second NVME slot in the G752VS detect a separate drive if I insert a new (non-identical) SSD into it? Or will the RAID 0 drivers cause a problem? There don't seem to be too many external enclosures for the NVMEs(am new to them), so I'm not sure about the best way to go about cloning. With 2.5" drives I always used to do it using a USB enclosure.

CladMaster
06-29-2017, 09:49 AM
Visit the link below, it will have some info / links for more info that might help answer some of your questions.

https://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?76993-Guide-How-to-install-windows-8-8-1-10-The-proper-way-(UEFI-based-installation)

jylong_away
06-29-2017, 10:06 AM
Visit the link below, it will have some info / links for more info that might help answer some of your questions.

https://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?76993-Guide-How-to-install-windows-8-8-1-10-The-proper-way-(UEFI-based-installation)

Thanks very much for that link - it condenses a lot of info from other sites that I've come across. I certainly did look into creating a bootable Windows 10 Recovery USB using the Microsoft Media Creation Tool. One thing that I couldn't find was if that tool created created a 'custom' Windows Recovery Install that would install all the OEM stuff as well, or if it just generated a 'vanilla' version of Windows that you could clean install.


I imagine cloning to a separate physical drive, or imaging an entire drive for future restore would avoid the above uncertainty?

Clintlgm
06-29-2017, 01:09 PM
Hers is a simple goggle (https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGHP_enUS723US723&q=how+to+revert+windows+10+pro+to+home&gws_rd=ssl)search on the issue it appears to be possible however I still don't see any reason to, I know I'm not reverting never even thought about until this post.

I didn't check these all out if any of them work you should have no issue reverting with a Image of your notebook with Home on it. I wouldn't count on any Asus Recovery partition there are just to many things that can happen to that partition like every major windows upgrade AU CU ets all over write the partition.

What ever you do, ensure that you have the eSupport folder backed up on something external to your notebook, in it is all your original drivers and software. If you lose this folder and contents there are some programs/Drivers that are not available anywhere else. You lose them there gone.

Julskey
06-30-2017, 04:10 AM
In fairness to asus. All drivers and software programs i needed for my g752vt clean install for windows 10 home were all available in the asus global site. I still have my esupport folder in backup just in case though.*