My Dell PC was purchased in 2016 with Windows 8.1, and I took advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade (which is no longer being offered).
Last week, I made the recovery USB using Windows 10 because my hard drive was acting up.
My hard drive went completely dead yesterday and I replaced it. I used the recovery USB, but it restored Windows to the factory 8.1.
I thought, since I made the recovery USB with Windows 10, it would come back with 10. Am I out of luck? Do I need to purchase 10 now?
I can't go back to 8.1!
You should be able to use Microsoft's Media Creation Tool to create a bootable USB and install Windows 10. Windows 10 should activate with your Microsoft account.
Windows 8.x machines will install 10 using OEM system builder Disk.
Not as an upgrade but rather as a full install.
There is no reason to purchase licence for reinstall.
There is zero difference between home and pro disk.
They are one and the same.
No need to purchase Windows 10.
Since the PC is running Window 8.1, download, install, and run Media Creation Tool. Select the option to Upgrade This PC.