Windows 10: Identifying PC's from Digital Activation in microsoft account

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  1. Posts : 10
    Windows 7 and 10
       19 Jun 2018 #1

    Identifying PC's from Digital Activation in microsoft account


    Hello,

    I have far too many PC's in the house, and most have Full Retail versions of Windows 7 upgraded to Windows 10.

    To help me manage the digital entitlements/activations I used a single Microsoft account to keep all my digital licences in. Thought I was being clever, but possibly not

    I have had a major hardware failure and needed to replace the motherboard in one PC. Obviously I needed to use the Activation trouble-shooter to recover the licence due to the scale of the hardware change. Problem arises as I'm unsure which licence is the licence that belongs with this PC. Is there a way to retrieve the Product Key from the Microsoft account digital licence? I don't want to inadvertently disable another PC when I re-activate this PC.

    I can recover licence information from the working PC's using Produkey but can't see how to work out which Key belongs to which digital licence.

    Any help or guidance very much appreciated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,037
    Windows 10 Pro
       20 Jun 2018 #2

    You will not need the product key to transfer a license. You have done it correctly by using a Microsoft account to register your digital licenses. it makes the transfer easy.

    When you have replaced the motherboard and boot the PC in its deactivated state, check the computer name. It has remained unchanged, being the same it was before motherboard was replaced. When you know the PC name, select I recently changed hardware on this device:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sign in with your MS account. You will get a list of your registered devices. Select the same PC from the list, click Activate and continue following on-screen instructions:

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    Tutorial: Use Activation Troubleshooter in Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials

    In my case, I have never had any issues to do this. Only information you will need is the name of the PC to transfer its license to new hardware setup.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    20 Jun 2018 #3

    Kari said: View Post
    You will not need the product key to transfer a license. You have done it correctly by using a Microsoft account to register your digital licenses. it makes the transfer easy.

    When you have replaced the motherboard and boot the PC in its deactivated state, check the computer name. It has remained unchanged, being the same it was before motherboard was replaced. When you know the PC name, select I recently changed hardware on this device:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sign in with your MS account. You will get a list of your registered devices. Select the same PC from the list, click Activate and continue following on-screen instructions:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tutorial: Use Activation Troubleshooter in Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials

    In my case, I have never had any issues to do this. Only information you will need is the name of the PC to transfer its license to new hardware setup.

    Kari
    If OP clean installs on new PC, name does change. OP will need to do it by elimination ie eliminate names of all current pcs from list in online MS account, so OP can work out which pc name is one of failed mobo.

    If OP uses same hard drive and does not reinstall, this is not an issue.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,037
    Windows 10 Pro
       20 Jun 2018 #4

    cereberus said: View Post
    If OP clean installs on new PC, name does change. OP will need to do it by elimination ie eliminate names of all current pcs from list in online MS account, so OP can work out which pc name is one of failed mobo.

    If OP uses same hard drive and does not reinstall, this is not an issue.
    I understood OP's question as if the only change would be the new motherboard. If that is the case, Windows on HDD / SSD would still have the same PC name.

    In any case, it is always a good idea to note down PC names of all your machines. Even after a clean install and new PC name, knowing the name of the PC whose license needs to be transferred makes the whole process easy.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 10
    Windows 7 and 10
    Thread Starter
       20 Jun 2018 #5

    Hello Kari, and Cereberus,

    Thanks for looking at my post.

    I understand that if enough of the original PC remains for Microsoft to identify it correctly then the PC should automatically get recognised.

    Your screenshot actually shows the issue I have, which is a multitude of PC's with names but no licence information. I was hoping to be able to list the correct product key for each rather than go through all the PC's one by one hoping not to wreck the licence on the other PC's attached to the Microsoft Account.

    It seems odd that I cannot interrogate the Microsoft Account to list the licence information, and that I appear to be limited to just these vague names within the trouble-shooter. Is there a way to access the full licence information from another PC when I'm logged in as the licence holder?

    Many thanks,
    D.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,037
    Windows 10 Pro
       20 Jun 2018 #6

    Donchik said: View Post
    Your screenshot actually shows the issue I have, which is a multitude of PC's with names but no licence information. I was hoping to be able to list the correct product key for each rather than go through all the PC's one by one hoping not to wreck the licence on the other PC's attached to the Microsoft Account.
    But you do not need to know the product key! Just select the PC according its name. If your PC on which you replaced the motherboard is "MyMonsterGamingRig", select "MyMonsterGamingRig" from the list and activate.

    Simple.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 10
    Windows 7 and 10
    Thread Starter
       21 Jun 2018 #7

    Hi Kari,

    Thanks for responding, but I would like to know as I do not trust this system. It is confusing, and unnecessarily complex. In addition it does NOT provide the necessary detail and is only accessible during a new build, or significant hardware change.. I would also like in the longer term to divorce myself from the need to maintain a dummy Microsoft account on my PC just to store licence information. I operate entirely on Local accounts and keep this dummy licence account just for this purpose.

    Like many, I'm not happy with Microsoft's policy on this, and the need to use their service just to protect my PC licence. I'd like my Product Key back, and like to know exactly which of my PC's have which Licence/Product Key.

    Cheers,
    D.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    21 Jun 2018 #8

    Donchik said: View Post
    Hi Kari,

    Thanks for responding, but I would like to know as I do not trust this system. It is confusing, and unnecessarily complex. In addition it does NOT provide the necessary detail and is only accessible during a new build, or significant hardware change.. I would also like in the longer term to divorce myself from the need to maintain a dummy Microsoft account on my PC just to store licence information. I operate entirely on Local accounts and keep this dummy licence account just for this purpose.

    Like many, I'm not happy with Microsoft's policy on this, and the need to use their service just to protect my PC licence. I'd like my Product Key back, and like to know exactly which of my PC's have which Licence/Product Key.

    Cheers,
    D.
    You could run showkeyplus - it can tell you what key was installed in some cases.

    Digital licencing is a massive improvement over the old key system.

    In the end, your problem simply arises due to a lack of management on your part with multiple pcs i.e. noting down the key used for what pc.

    I assume with so many pcs, you are talking about a business environment. The activation troubleshooter was designed for consumers really who would only have 1 or 2 pcs per MS account.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 10
    Windows 7 and 10
    Thread Starter
       21 Jun 2018 #9

    Hi Cerebus,

    I'd challenge the assertion that this is an improvement, in the past I could always retrieve the Product Key from the PC without issue, and manage it.

    Now with spurious keys, real keys, OEM keys, and No Keys showing at all, it's an absolute mess.

    I accept that I am guilty of not managing the Digital entitlement well, but never expected the Product Key system to be utterly wrecked by Microsoft. Trying to get back to an organised position is being hampered by this Microsoft system!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Cliff S's Avatar
    Posts : 21,708
    Win10 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Win10 Pro Insider Fast Ring, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu
       21 Jun 2018 #10

    You can try the Get Help app.

    To get an actual person, type Test, then click enter, two or three times and it will offer you a real person instead of a bot.
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      My ComputersSystem Spec


 
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