Windows 10: Could installing a new image change the HWID of my Windows 10 PC?

  1.    28 Jun 2018 #1

    Could installing a new image change the HWID of my Windows 10 PC?

    Hi one and all and TIA for any thoughts posted.

    I am still investigating an ongoing issue with reactivating a license on Windows 10 Pro 64 bit. Essentially, I have 300 (and more) PCs that each have their own retail license. These licenses are successfully activated when the OS is first installed (from a Clonezilla image), in my assembly room in China. The PCs are then shipped to my client, in Italy, where they reimage them (with the same 10 Pro OS, but with updated software for peripheral devices).

    When they try to activate the original license it fails almost every time. Even using the telephone activation service results in a "We cannot activate your copy of Windows" message.

    The image they use (completely wiping the original and installing new) does contain a license but this is superceded by entering the license code that the PC was activated with originally. The original license is activated using either the telephone activation service, or the MS online activation tool.

    My question is this: Could the new image cause a change in the HWID that would make MS believe that it is now a new PC, even though there are no hardware changes to the PC? If this were the case, wouldn't the activation service tell me that the license was already registered to another PC? Finally, is there a way to get around this so the original license can be used after the new image has been put on?

    I know that VL would be a better way of doing this, but this is not what the client wants, so that's off the table!

    Any (and all) comments/thoughts would be welcome.

    Many thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    28 Jun 2018 #2

    **Additional note**

    One thing that I have found is that every activation screen, no matter which PC I work on, always says "Connect to the internet to activate Windows", even though the PC is connected to the internet. "Cannot connect to the activation server" is another message that is always apparent on the screen. (just in case this helps!)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    29 Jun 2018 #3

    With the computer connected to the internet, open a Command Prompt (Admin) or Powershell (Admin) and run:

    slmgr /ato
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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