Complicated Windows 10 Activation Error

DudeRed

Commendable
Aug 27, 2016
40
0
1,530
0
Good day to everyone!

I recently upgraded my PC's CPU and Motherboard about two weeks ago as it was about time for an upgrade. However, like the title suggests, I am having an activation error, and a complicated one at that.

Firstly, I tried doing the troubleshooting process to detect for a hardware change, and that didn't fix the error. I received the error code "0x803FA067". After this, I called Microsoft Tech Support about this and he found the product key on my PC and told me that I need a "proof of purchase" of the Windows OS to get a new product key and Windows reactivated. The problem with that, however, is I bought a prebuilt PC that came with no proof of purchase.

After a couple days pass without an inactivated Windows, I decided to try contacting Microsoft again. This time, I talked with a different type of representative who only asked for a 25 digit product key. I gave the representative the product key from the previous call, only to get a response saying that is my Windows 8 to Windows 10 upgrade key. The reason I got that answer is my prebuilt PC came with Windows 8 originally, but was then upgraded to Windows 10, then sold to me, two years ago.

Finally, I contacted my PC manufacturer about this, in which I got a response saying that the 25 digit key I am looking for would either be on a sticker on my PC (which isn't there for some reason), or on a yellow slip that came with the PC (which I can't find either, as it either got lost or didn't get packaged at all). They also told me that they don't have a record of any product key sold to each customer.

Another important thing to note is that before upgrading my PC's CPU and motherboard, the Windows activation tab told me that "Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft Account."

Now, the question. Is there any way I could go about activating Windows with my digital license linked to my Microsoft account? If not, are there any other possible solutions to getting my Windows activated without having to spend any money on a new product key?

Thanks in advance.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
111,993
1,641
154,440
18,460


If it were the original hardware, a reinstall would be no problem.

Problem is, it's not the "same" computer anymore.
New CPU, and primarily a new motherboard == new PC.
That original license is/was linked to that original hardware.

If you had upgraded it from 8.1, this wouldn't be a problem.
Microsoft won't be much help, because you bought that Win 10 from the manufacturer.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
111,993
1,641
154,440
18,460
1. Where did the original OS come from?
2. You did an Upgrade to Win 10? It was activated after that?
3. Then you changed the CPU and motherboard.
4. It became unactivated, as would be expected.

2 issues:
1. The MS rep you talked to is clueless, as often happens with the front line guys.
2. You should have linked the Win 10 license to your MS account before you changed the hardware.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3164428/windows-build-1607-activation.html

If it is/was activated with a "digital license", then the Activation Troubleshooter (linked above) should work it out.
 

bignastyid

Titan
Moderator
With windows 10 Microsoft does allow some OEM versions to move to new hardware but these are the standalone store bought versions not preinstalled OEM versions.

The OEM licenses used on most prebuilt systems are tied to the motherboard and can't be moved.

Good chance the reason you can't find a key is because it was embedded in the bios of the original motherboard which started happening with windows 8.

In short, if you want to activate windows you'll proabaly need to buy a new key.
 
The troubleshooter as mentioned above sometimes works, but even if it does technically it shouldn't. The windows licence for your PC belongs to that hardware and is not transferable. An upgrade to a new motherboard does not count as a repair, it's a replacement and needs it's own licence.

That's the difference between retail copies of windows and OEM (comes with hardware). Retail is transferable, OEM is not. That said MS usually let it slide if you use the method USAFRet mentioned but they don't have to.

You can just leave windows un activated, it works just fine with no major limitations.
 
1st - you have to login into account.microsoft.com with your windows live credentials and verify your old windows device is listed there (in devices section).
2nd - install clean version of windows 10 on your new pc (same edition Home or Pro as on old pc).
3 - use windows activation troubleshooter to transfer license from old pc to new one.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
111,993
1,641
154,440
18,460


Win 10, post v1607, significantly blurred the line between OEM and Retail.
And an Upgrade from a previous valid Windows license wipes out the OEMness.
MS wants people to stay on Win 10.

MS gives specific instruction on:
Reactivating Windows 10 after a hardware change
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change

That link says nothing at all about "OEM".
 
The problem with that, however, is I bought a prebuilt PC that came with no proof of purchase.
You should buy Win 10. You don't have a license, the company that built it does. It's not transferable like that.

Windows 10 OEM is intended for pre-installation on a new PC and cannot be transferred to another computer once installed.

I can move my copy easily but your scenario is different.
 

DudeRed

Commendable
Aug 27, 2016
40
0
1,530
0

1. I don't fully understand what you mean by "where the OS came from." The OS came from a Canadian PC manufacturer called "Certified Data", and said on the box it came with Windows 8.1. However, I was NOT the one that upgraded Windows 10, instead, they sold me the PC when they, Certified Data, upgraded Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.
2. It was activated with Windows 10 when it came out of the box with a retail Windows license.
3. Correct
4. I know that Windows would deactivate, 100%. I didn't think reactivating Windows would be this much of a hassle

As to the 2nd issue, I did indeed link my Windows retail license with my Microsoft Account that I am using on my PC right now.
Hopefully that clarified more things for you guys.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
111,993
1,641
154,440
18,460
OK..."where it came from"
Preinstalled on the original PC.
No problem.

If it was Win 8.1 and you upgraded it to Win 10, no problem.

If it came from the store with Win 10...problem.
That is about the only instance whereby a WIN 10 license cannot be transferred to new hardware, a preinstalled Win 10.

The license is pretty much between you and the manufacturer, "Certified Data".

I had thought it was a WIn 8.1 upgraded by you to Win 10.
 

DudeRed

Commendable
Aug 27, 2016
40
0
1,530
0

And that's where the problem lies. Like I said in my original post, I can't seem to find the product key sticker or where the yellow slip that has the product key on it, nor Certified Data has the product key anywhere in their records. According to SkyNetRising, I could reinstall a clean version of Windows, then activate with my digital license, but I've had so many bad experiences with reinstalling on this same computer to the point where I simply don't want to do it only in case of a super dire last resort. All I need to know is if there is any other possibility to fix this solution, or if I need to just buy a new product key for Windows. If I do need to buy a new product key, do I have to specifically spend
$189.99 CAD from the Microsoft store to get a new key, or could I buy it from a different seller for cheaper?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
111,993
1,641
154,440
18,460


If it were the original hardware, a reinstall would be no problem.

Problem is, it's not the "same" computer anymore.
New CPU, and primarily a new motherboard == new PC.
That original license is/was linked to that original hardware.

If you had upgraded it from 8.1, this wouldn't be a problem.
Microsoft won't be much help, because you bought that Win 10 from the manufacturer.
 

DudeRed

Commendable
Aug 27, 2016
40
0
1,530
0

Aye, so it seems that I'll need to buy a new product key for Windows 10 if I'll want to have Windows activated. Dang.
Just one final question though: if I want to buy a new product key, do I have to buy it from the Microsoft store here, or could I buy it from another seller for cheaper, like here?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
111,993
1,641
154,440
18,460


That particular item from Newegg is absolutely legit.
Find it much cheaper than that...not legit.
 

DudeRed

Commendable
Aug 27, 2016
40
0
1,530
0

I'll consider that deeply when going to purchase a new Windows product key. Thank you sir for all of your help!
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS