No OS installed on base model

My son got the base model (which I also have) and there is no OS installed on his machine (mine is fine). Hoping they can just send me the key and I can get Windows 10 installed for him. I’d use a Linux build to get him going but, you know, school stuff.

If you got the diy version, you’ll need to download and write the installation image to a usb stick.
If you got the prebuilt, then it’d be best you contact their support email.

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@Jarrod_Bush I suppose you know you can install Windows 10 without a product key using the Media Creation Tool on another computer and then add the key later? Until you do, Windows will show a banner saying it is not activated but it should work in the meantime until Framework provide you with the key.

We’re debugging how a pre-built system got shipped without an OS, but we were able to provide Jarrod a solution.

For future reference for anyone, you can follow the same Windows 10 install guide for the DIY Edition for pre-built Framework Laptops as well: Windows 10 Installation on the Framework Laptop DIY Edition - Framework Guides

The only difference is that the Product Key step is skipped because the installer finds the key that is already on the mainboard.


Is it possible to modify this (I assume it’s in some VarStore in the BIOS), on the DIY model?

@cowpod If you mean can you change your product key, that is quite easy these days. Here and see also here.

No, I think he was asking if we can embed a key in the BIOS. If not, then that is a big advantage for folks who intend to run Windows to choose the prebuild over the DiY model, as if you don’t have the embedded key you have to manually type it any time you do a fresh install.

Once the key is activated, the hardware fingerprint (primarily the motherboard) is registered with Microsoft and future re-installs do not require typing the key. Though the correct version (Home vs Pro) will still need to be selected at install since the installer won’t know about that.

@jeshikat is right. As mentioned in my second link ‘However, the activation process has changed since the original release of Windows 10, and you can now link your device digital license to your Microsoft account, which you can then use to reactivate the installation using the Activation Troubleshooter in the same or clean installation of the OS.’