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  • Activation issues after a Win10 reinstall

    Posted on Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Activation issues after a Win10 reinstall

    • This topic has 6 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago.
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      • #2305299 Reply
        Tracey Capen
        AskWoody MVP

        LANGALIST By Fred Langa Uh-oh: My PC failed activation after a fresh, from-scratch Windows reinstall. What now? Don’t panic! There are a number of eas
        [See the full post at: Activation issues after a Win10 reinstall]

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2305430 Reply
        schroedersa
        AskWoody Plus

        This series about from-scratch Windows reinstall has been interesting. I have an HP laptop that shipped with Win7. I took advantage of the free upgrade to Win10 and it has behaved rather well for such antique hardware. As this machine is be pushed to backup status, I thought it would be “fun” to clean it out and reinstall from scratch. Are there any reactivation issues I should be aware of for this situation?

        While I’m at it… is there any purpose, at this point, to keeping those two extra disk partitions (Recovery and HP_TOOLS) around? Not that I need the space, but this is a clean up operation. 🙂

        • #2305924 Reply
          Rick Corbett
          AskWoody_MVP

          Are there any reactivation issues I should be aware of for this situation?

          I do this all the time – wipe and re-install my (ex-Win 7 and 8) laptops from scratch – and I haven’t once had an activation issue, even after replacing HDDs with SSDs. Once the Windows 10 digital licence is activated and stored on Microsoft’s licensing servers then the process is pretty much bullet-proof.

          … is there any purpose, at this point, to keeping those two extra disk partitions (Recovery and HP_TOOLS) around?

          I wiped the OEM recovery/support partitions when I replaced earlier versions of Windows with Windows 10. When I do clean installs of Win 10 now I delete *all* partitions and let the Win 10 installer do what it wants with the empty ‘unallocated’ drive.

          Hope this helps…

      • #2305437 Reply
        8string
        AskWoody Plus

        Just yesterday, I also encountered an issue with upgrading to Windows 10 Pro from Home. A client had bought a laptop with Home on it. I went online to the MS Store and purchased a license upgrade for her. The upgrade began and at the 80% level it crashed with an error code that turned out to be not in any of the published codes. I spent time contacting MSFT support, and did get a human that remoted in and to our surprise, the machine had upgraded to Windows 10 Pro. She told me that sometimes it is known to fail on the upgrade from the store, only to succeed when rebooting the machine. The store invoice does NOT give you an activation code, which is really irritating. If the hard drive fails, the client will be left with no good way to reinstall, beyond a backup (of course). I do recommend Macrium for my clients so they have a total replacment backup if needed.

        • #2305925 Reply
          Rick Corbett
          AskWoody_MVP

          If the hard drive fails, the client will be left with no good way to reinstall, beyond a backup (of course).

          Once Windows 10 has been activated for the first time, a digital ‘fingerprint’ of the device’s core hardware is stored on Microsoft’s activation servers. The hard drive is *not* part of the stored ‘fingerprint’ (but data from the mainboard and CPU is).

          If the hard drive fails then the device will activate just fine once a replacement hard drive has been installed and Win 10 reinstalled. I have replaced ~16 hard drives so far – like for like exact replacements and also upgrades from HDD to SSD – and never once had a problem with activation with the new drive.

          Hope this helps…

      • #2305711 Reply
        rontpxz81
        AskWoody Lounger

        Until 10/25 PC World has Windows 10 Pr0 for $39.99

        https://www.pcworld.com/article/3562330/windows-10-pro-deal.html

         

      • #2305915 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        If the hard drive fails, the client will be left with no good way to reinstall

        Use the original Home key and the upgrade should auto-apply.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2309367 Reply
        Ben Shoemaker
        AskWoody Plus

        Whenever I’ve had problems, I’ve used a nice piece of software call OEMkey to pull the key from the BIOS then I go hit change key, enter that in and it goes through.

        https://neosmart.net/OemKey/

        The only other problems that I’ve had was when cloning from one PC to another (new laptop).  You get a hardware changed error when trying to activate.  In that case, you have to clear all traces of the key in order to apply the new key.  From some searching I found this…

        If activation fails with hardware changed error, at an elevated command prompt, run

        slmgr /upk

        slmgr /cpky

        reboot then change the product key the normal way (using oemkey if no COA)

        HTH,
        BP

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