Windows 10: Linking Windows license with MS account - What does it do? Solved

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  1.    27 May 2018 #11

    You do know you are over-thinking... Hmmm?

    BTW: Gave up on Belarc a long time ago (found some basic inadequacies) .. there are better products out there
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  2. Posts : 477
    Win10 x64 Pro -2 desktops, 1 laptop
    Thread Starter
       27 May 2018 #12

    I may be overthinking, but I want to be prepared for when my new board arrives. I've never done an upgrade or replacement of a motherboard. I would like to know what to do before and after the replacement so that I have a usable Windows when I am done.

    Actually, I have no idea what happens when I try running an unlicensed Windows. If the reactivation of the license fails can I still run Windows while I'm waiting for a new license? I assume I will immediately have the license as soon as I pay for it, but I don't know if I can use it without reinstalling Windows. (I hope I can, but I don't know.)

    Yes, I am overthinking this, but that's because I don't know how little I can think without getting myself into trouble.
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  3.    27 May 2018 #13

    You are overthinking it.

    Run showkeyplus (that is the best tool @Superfly I would say ;-) eh?), click on keys to hide them and post image. If we ascertain your licence key is retail, then you can reuse it.

    If not, do as I recommended to transfer the digital licence.

    In worst case scenario, you can use it unactivated indefinitely without an serious restrictions apart from inability to personalise the pc.
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  4.    27 May 2018 #14

    cereberus said: View Post
    In worst case scenario, you can use it unactivated indefinitely without an serious restrictions apart from inability to personalise the pc.
    And we are not supposed to discuss violating the End Users License Agreement on Tenforums....

    "5. Authorized Software and Activation. You are authorized to use this software only if you are properly licensed and the software has been properly activated with a genuine product key or by other authorized method. "
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  5. Clintlgm's Avatar
    Posts : 786
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       27 May 2018 #15

    pokeefe0001 said: View Post
    I may be overthinking, but I want to be prepared for when my new board arrives. I've never done an upgrade or replacement of a motherboard. I would like to know what to do before and after the replacement so that I have a usable Windows when I am done.

    Actually, I have no idea what happens when I try running an unlicensed Windows. If the reactivation of the license fails can I still run Windows while I'm waiting for a new license? I assume I will immediately have the license as soon as I pay for it, but I don't know if I can use it without reinstalling Windows. (I hope I can, but I don't know.)


    Yes, I am overthinking this, but that's because I don't know how little I can think without getting myself into trouble.
    Well my experience with a Asus Z97 motherboard replacement with a simular one was that I had to use Phone in Activation at the end of the activation I was told to save the numbers incase i had to do a clean install in the future as they would activate the board again. I don't know if that would work or not I havn't had to clean install or change MB again.

    Much better over thinking than underthinking
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  6.    28 May 2018 #16

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    And we are not supposed to discuss violating the End Users License Agreement on Tenforums....

    "5. Authorized Software and Activation. You are authorized to use this software only if you are properly licensed and the software has been properly activated with a genuine product key or by other authorized method. "
    For crying out loud, OP wanted to know if he would have an issue if it failed to activate it and fully intends from context of reply to buy a licence if necessary.
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  7. Posts : 477
    Win10 x64 Pro -2 desktops, 1 laptop
    Thread Starter
       28 May 2018 #17

    Sorry about the delay in responding. Real life - in a not unpleasant way - intruded. I'll be off-forum most of today, too.

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    And we are not supposed to discuss violating the End Users License Agreement on Tenforums....

    "5. Authorized Software and Activation. You are authorized to use this software only if you are properly licensed and the software has been properly activated with a genuine product key or by other authorized method. "
    Just for the record, I have no intention of running an unlicensed copy of Windows for any extended period. I'm perfectly willing to purchase a new license ahead of time if a new license is required. But there is going to be some time prior to activation of the license - by whatever activation process is required - when I will be running the PC. I just wanted to know how much I would be able to do. If Windows limited my actions then activation would be close to top priority. If I had relatively unlimited use of Windows then checking the motherboard installation has higher priority.

    cereberus said: View Post
    You are overthinking it.

    Run showkeyplus (that is the best tool @Superfly I would say ;-) eh?), click on keys to hide them and post image. If we ascertain your licence key is retail, then you can reuse it.

    If not, do as I recommended to transfer the digital licence.
    ShowKeyPlus - Windows Product Key Information

    Product Name: Windows 10 Pro

    Version: 17134.48 (64-bit OS)

    Product ID: 00330-80000-00000-AA570

    Installed Key: VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T

    OEM Key: OEM key not present in firmware

    That product key is the same on all 3 of my computers. I've read that this is the "generic" Win10 product key. That doesn't sound particularly useful for reactivation. I don't know if "OEM key not present in firmware" is good or bad.
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  8.    28 May 2018 #18

    cereberus said: View Post
    You are overthinking it.

    Run showkeyplus (that is the best tool @Superfly I would say ;-) eh?),
    Never heard of it... but now that you've mentioned it... hmmmm

    pokeefe0001 said: View Post
    Sorry about the delay in responding. Real life - in a not unpleasant way - intruded. I'll be off-forum most of today, too.



    Just for the record, I have no intention of running an unlicensed copy of Windows for any extended period. I'm perfectly willing to purchase a new license ahead of time if a new license is required. But there is going to be some time prior to activation of the license - by whatever activation process is required - when I will be running the PC. I just wanted to know how much I would be able to do. If Windows limited my actions then activation would be close to top priority. If I had relatively unlimited use of Windows then checking the motherboard installation has higher priority.
    ShowKeyPlus - Windows Product Key Information

    Product Name: Windows 10 Pro

    Version: 17134.48 (64-bit OS)

    Product ID: 00330-80000-00000-AA570

    Installed Key: VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T

    OEM Key: OEM key not present in firmware

    That product key is the same on all 3 of my computers. I've read that this is the "generic" Win10 product key. That doesn't sound particularly useful for reactivation. I don't know if "OEM key not present in firmware" is good or bad.
    DL's do not need specific keys - they are just there to generate the Product ID.

    The OEM key is not needed on a new PC as it's for the PC it was installed on only... so no loss there i.r.o. the new PC.

    Eg: See below...

    Initial install used the OEM key....then upgraded to FCU and got a generic OEM key - it then got DL

    When I upgraded again to latest Win 10 version, it used the OEM key - but still with DL tho'

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Capture1.PNG 
Views:	44 
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ID:	190491

    .. however on new hardware obviously the scenario is a bit different, just an FYI.
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  9. Posts : 477
    Win10 x64 Pro -2 desktops, 1 laptop
    Thread Starter
       30 May 2018 #19

    Overthinking or not, I've run into a problem. I switched to login in with the Microsoft account on the PC in question and my linked it to my Microsoft account. The account now shows that PC with its old motherboard. I've now replaced the motherboard and tried re-activating Windows using the Activation Troubleshooter. The troubleshooter does something for a while, asks for my password, spins its wheel again for a while and then reports that there is a problem with the server and I should try again in a few minutes. I tried twice more over a 15 minute period with the same results.

    I know coincidences happen and somebody would be trying re-activation when the server is down, but I also know that error messages like that sometimes really mean "Something went wrong". Do I just keep retrying or should I try another route? An earlier post suggested calling MS support but I usually end up very frustrated with phone support (for any product).

    Update (delayed by a 6 hour cable outage):

    I got a little further. (It apparently was a server outage.) The Activation Troubleshooter process found my linked PC (based on computer name, I guess) and displayed my old motherboard. It gave me the option to activate so I took it. In a few seconds said it could not process the request. No mention of server process; no suggestion that I try later; no explanation at all. It did suggest I could purchase a valid license at the MS Store.
    Last edited by pokeefe0001; 30 May 2018 at 21:11. Reason: New information
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  10. Posts : 477
    Win10 x64 Pro -2 desktops, 1 laptop
    Thread Starter
       31 May 2018 #20

    O)K, I'm stuck. The reactivation still fails. There is an option to talk with a real person but it just hangs. Does "talk" mean "use an electronic chat" or does this process require me to have a (nonexistent) microphone and (unconnected) speakers or headphones?
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