Reinstall, activation issues.

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  1.    #1

    Reinstall, activation issues.

    Hi all,

    First post, so be gentle please.

    I was given a Lenovo desktop PC, that has an original Windows 8 installation but upgraded to Windows 10 using the free upgrade.

    I've been using it fine until the recent update. Now the PC gets to the boot screen, then the screen goes black and I can't login. I can manage to get into Safe Mode using the F7 key during boot up. I've tried using all the repair tools but to no avail so I'm going to have to concede and reinstall Windows. The issue I have is I don't know the details of the account the license key is linked to, and neither does the original owner. I'm not sure what to do to be honest as I don't want to lose Windows 10 but at the same time I need a usuable pc.

    Any ideas? Thanks in advance

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 11,994
    10 Home x64 (1903) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Welcome to TenForums @Mazzone10

    Relax, you don't need the account or a key.

    ...upgraded to Windows 10 using the free upgrade.

    A Windows 10 PC has a digital licence stored on Microsoft's activation servers and linked to the unique hardware ID of the PC. Yours would have got a digital licence when it took the free upgrade. A clean install of the same edition it had before (Home or Pro) will activate automatically from the digital licence as soon as it can contact the activation servers.

    a Lenovo desktop PC, that has an original Windows 8 installation

    If this was an OEM install of W8 then there should be an embedded W8 key in the bios. Setup will detect this and use it to install the correct edition. If not you will be asked for a key, click 'I don't have one' if asked and make sure you choose the same edition (Home or Pro) as was installed before.

    Clean Install Windows 10
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    #3

    Thanks very much Bree.

    It's been so long since I've been tweaking with PC's. My knowledge stopped in 2004!!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 11,994
    10 Home x64 (1903) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Mazzone10 said: View Post
    It's been so long since I've been tweaking with PC's. My knowledge stopped in 2004!!
    Activation has changed a lot since then. These days Windows 10 is a lot easier and 'user friendly'. For your information, the hard drive is not part of the hardware ID, so if it fails (or you want to upgrade to an SSD) you can replace it without loosing your digital licence. The mother board is another matter, changing that that would normally lose activation (though there are ways to help with that).

    More on activation in this tutorial: Activate Windows 10 and see the 'Related tutorials' links at the end.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    #5

    The other thing worrying me is that it was the May Windows update that has caused the crash. Will I encounter the same problem again when all the updates occur?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 11,994
    10 Home x64 (1903) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Mazzone10 said: View Post was the May Windows update that has caused the crash. Will I encounter the same problem again when all the updates occur?

    Possibly, possibly not. Without more details It's difficult to diagnose why your particular system crashed while others (myself included) have had no problems with the May 2019 update (1903).

    If you are going to do a clean install you have two options: clean install 1903 and see if it works this time, or clean install 1809 and postpone updating to 1903 for a few months. A Feature Update is now optional in both Home and Pro 1809, nothing will download until you tell it to.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1809 Home - 1903 update in WU.PNG 
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    If you don't have 1809 install media, you can still get an ISO direct from Microsoft with Option Three here...

    Download Windows 10 ISO File'll need a bootable USB to do a clean install. If you choose 1903 the Media Creation Tool can make one, but if you download an ISO , then you can make one from the ISO following the instructions in post #382 here:

    Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10

    Either way, once you have a working system again it would be a good idea to make a system image that can be restored should you have another crash. Macrium Reflect Free is often recommended for that.

    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 278
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro

    Very strange you have a problem with a successful update.
    Boot from the installation disk, go to repair, launch a CMD window and type
    list volume (take note the letter assigned to the OS, it may not be C: )
    chkdsk x: /f (replace X: with the OS letter from above)

    Pay attention on the results, specially bad blocks, bad clusters, bad sectors ...etc
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    #8


    Thanks for the advice.

    I finally found the time to have a go at this on Sunday, albeit with bad results. I downloaded Windows 10 onto a memory stick and was able to reinstall from there. The issues I had was it got partially through the install but then kept getting stuck at the choose language page. I managed to get to the screen where I linked to the internet and put my WiFi password in etc but then the Pc restarts and just goes back to boot screen and the screen goes blank. So after 3 hours of trying to fix it I'm back at the start and feeling really frustrated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 8,507
    Windows 10 Pro X64 1903 189362.439

    How are you doing the install? Are you following any instructions? If so, provide a link to them. If not, follow these:

    Windows 10 - Clean Install
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10.    #10


    I followed the instructions as above. I managed to actually get into Windows as per normal. As soon as I connected to the internet and downloaded Firefox and restarted I had the same problem. Now I can only boot into Safe mode.

    Just wondering whether to bite the bullet and drop it into a computer shop. I'd rather fix it myself but I'm not getting very far...

      My ComputerSystem Spec

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