My laptop came pre installed with OEM Windows 10.

To get rid of several bloat-wares that come with oem windows 10, I did a clean install of Windows 10 using downloaded ISO, installer created on Pen drive using Rufus app.

Due to digital entitlement, it re-activated when online. During the entire process I never had to manually enter any key anywhere due to OEM windows.

I however wonder why apps show me 2 different Windows 10 Keys. Why is it that the OEM Key in BIOS (fetched using OEMKeyFinder app) is different from the Windows 10 key as fetched from Windows installation using Lazesoft Windows Key Finder?

I could not understand the reason for the two different keys. Any clarity would be nice to know.

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    Keys are no longer used by Microsoft for activation, keys stored in the OS just tell Microsoft what product version it is. Keys stored in the bios are for OEM recovery media to install the proper product on that particular pc. – Moab Aug 31 at 12:30
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    @Moab - License keys are still used for the initial activation. Microsoft has an entire page dedicated to digital entitlement and when its or isn't applicable. – Ramhound Aug 31 at 18:23
  • Which two applications did you use exactly? One was OEMKeyFinder but you were not clear what the other application was. – Ramhound Aug 31 at 18:23
  • It's Lazesoft Windows Key Finder. Edited the question. – rajeev Sep 1 at 9:57

There are generic product keys that can be utilized to install Windows 10, but they can't actually activate the OS. For that, a different key would be necessary. You are probably seeing one of each.

Source: List of Generic Product Keys to Install Windows 10 Editions

  • My Windows 10 is OEM. I think generic keys should not apply here. They might only be applicable if you want to change the edition and force a different edition to be installed on top of OEM Edition. As part of digital entitlement my Windows 10 on my laptop is successfully activated without any user intervention. I never entered any key anywhere. During clean install it picked up the BIOS key and automatically installed the correct edition and activated online. – rajeev Aug 30 at 21:41
  • Perhaps someone else can chime in with their perspective, but I believe that this is scenario is still valid. At a large manufacturer, it is quite likely that these machines were mass-produced utilizing a master image with a generic product key, and then the "real" product key was applied to the individual computers further along the process to allow them to activate the OS. – Run5k Aug 30 at 21:53

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