[SOLVED] Can't activate windows

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britechguy

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Really, truly, you need to stop thinking of "taking a backup" as just having a copy of your user data files. This is, indeed, one type of backup but it's not the one that will save your keister in the event of a main system drive crash.

External HDDs, which are the best option for long term use for backup and recovery, are dirt cheap. My latest 4TB model cost under $75 when I got it at an after-holiday sale.

Buy a large drive that is capable of keeping the full system image backups you absolutely must take in addition to your separate user data backups.

Ideally, if you have data that's of the "I'd rather die than lose it" level of preciousness, you should have two separate external backup drives, and the one where the full system image has just been taken should be stored somewhere away (as in another building) from the system that's just been backed up, swapping it out with the one that had been used for that purpose the last time. If all your backups are, say, at your house and heaven forbid there were a house fire or flood then your backups go poof along with what they were backing up.
 

britechguy

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USAFRet

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Really, truly, you need to stop thinking of "taking a backup" as just having a copy of your user data files. This is, indeed, one type of backup but it's not the one that will save your keister in the event of a main system drive crash.
Indeed.
I have full drive images of all drives in all the systems in the house.
Updated (Full or Incremental) nightly or weekly, depending on system use and my tolerance of fail.

This regimen saved my bacon last December, when one of my SSD's died suddenly.
Suddenly, as in the space of 5 minutes.
960GB SanDisk, 605GB data on it...poof, gone.

Why/how did the drive die? Don't know, and more to the point...mostly don't care.
It is dead.

Put in a new drive, clicky click...all 605GB data recovered exactly as it was at 4AM that morning when the nightly Incremental ran.
 

britechguy

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Indeed.
I have full drive images of all drives in all the systems in the house.
Updated (Full or Incremental) nightly or weekly, depending on system use and my tolerance of fail.
.
.
.
Why/how did the drive die? Don't know, and more to the point...mostly don't care.
It is dead.
Your backup regimen is significantly more rigorous than mine. I used to do weekly incrementals, but almost never do those anymore. I take a full system image backup on the first of each month, alternating the drive I use based on whether it's an even or odd month, then take user data backups "as needed" with File History between those system image backups. (This is for all machines in the house, some of which are way more active than others).

It comes down to taking them based upon your tolerance for what you'd have to do post recovery in the event of a main drive failure. I'm at a stage where I do not add/remove software very often from my machines, so most of the work is getting back user data files that were created post-last-full system image backup date. File History makes doing this a cinch.

But, after all that, your point about not knowing or caring why a given drive died is what's centrally important. There's nothing that an end user could have done, other than via physical assault by dropping, for instance, to make a HDD or SSD fail under typical use. Something just happens, and what that something happens to be is utterly irrelevant. You are still going to have to replace that drive with a brand new one, and whether your life is a misery of trying to rebuild everything you had by hand and based upon vague memory of a lot of important details or a "let's recover in under an hour or two" sort of affair is directly dependent on whether you have a backup protocol reasonable to your own circumstances that you follow religiously so you have something to recover using.

It's not like drive failures happen often, I think I've had two do so in over 30 years, but now that we're in the age of ultra-cheap external storage buying same and having a backup protocol is one of the basics of smart computer ownership.
 

alfiee

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No I do not.

It could not be more simple, and is discussed in the previously provided instructions.

The Media Creation Tool allows you to download either the ISO file as just the file, or to go straight on through to creating bootable USB media with it. Since you have a functioning Windows 10 system, just download the ISO.

I gave, precisely, the steps you have to follow afterward to run the repair/upgrade install.
this is kinda late but i got an SSD and have backed up all my things and have decided to do a clean install of windows. If i want to do that do i still just mount the iso i created before or "reset this pc" from settings?
 

britechguy

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By definition, you cannot do a completely clean install of Windows from within Windows itself.

For all practical intents and purposes, doing a Reset with the "keep nothing" option comes so very, very close to a completely clean install that for most people it more than adequately serves the purpose.
 

alfiee

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By definition, you cannot do a completely clean install of Windows from within Windows itself.

For all practical intents and purposes, doing a Reset with the "keep nothing" option comes so very, very close to a completely clean install that for most people it more than adequately serves the purpose.
i did a clean install just now by mounting the iso and my previous entered key is still here
 

britechguy

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If you mounted the ISO from within Windows, you did not do a completely clean install. At least not what is conventionally called a completely clean install, which involves a drive wipe and partitioning by the Windows 10 installer.

You either did a repair install or the equivalent of a reset.

There are distinct, and subtle differences between a completely clean (re)install, a repair install, a reset (and there is the "wipe everything" and "keep my files" types of reset), and a refresh.
 

alfiee

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Yeah i chose wipe everything, but i did slmgr .vbs /upk and it uninstalled the key now i just gotta wait on microsft activation servers. Thanks for the help everyone!
 

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