How to reactivate with no MS Acct

  1.    #1

    How to reactivate with no MS Acct


    Some weeks ago I placed a post on this forum about my husband's PC and unfortunately I did not respond to the two messages that were left. However, now my husband's PC has well and truly died in that the mobo appears to have given up the ghost since doesn't even get to loading the OS. Currently I am expecting delivery of a new mobo, memory and processor today (22/1/2019).

    What this post is really about though is: how do I reactivate Win 10 for him. He doesn't have a Microsoft account (that I've been able to find anyway) so his PC is not associated with an account. I've checked how to reactivate a PC after a hardware change but as far as I can make out he needs a MS acct with an associated PC before he can do so. Since he has neither, does this mean we will have to purchase a retail copy of Windows 10?

    Any help on this most appreciated. Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    #2

    Hi, what information do you have about the license? Retail or OEM? How was your Win 10 license acquired?
    If you have a retail license, then hopefully you have a record of that, whether e.g. Win 7, Win 10... Home or Pro?

    If it's OEM, that's nominally not transferable as I understand it - a new motherboard being effectively a new PC. However others - who had an OEM license linked to an MS account- have found no difficulty in changing the motherboard.

    Should you need to discuss this with your regional activation centre, it would clearly be easier if it was a retail license, but MS seems rather more relaxed about these issues in practice.

    You've probably read
    Activate Windows 10 | Tutorials
    Use Activation Troubleshooter in Windows 10 | Tutorials

    For interest:
    Windows saying not activated after motherboard upgrade - Windows 10 Forums

    Assuming the disk is ok, you may well find that simply rebuilding the PC and booting from it that it boots up, albeit you will need to make sure the BIOS is appropriately configured if the installation was MBR (older) rather than UEFI.

    If it does boot, this program may be of interest:
    ShowKeyPlus - Windows 10 Forums

    You can expect help on this who've experienced this sort of thing.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    #3


    His PC was upgraded from Win7 to Win10 when Win10 was free but that was a Digital Licence of some sort. He is not someone who likes reinstalling at all and will avoid it like the plague if possible. When I install windows for him I'm going to try and access an acct he's forgotten about or otherwise hasn't made a note of the details. Thing is the PC is really dead and doesn't even start loading Windows hence the reason for the new mobo.

    I've just had a look at Brink's tutorial and I feel there may be a way around it because he has been using Windows 10 full time for some two+ years. It looks like he may be able to activate because he already has a digital licence. Hopefully its just a case of registering the fact that the mobo has been changed. Other than that I think its a case of suck it and see and hope there is a way around it.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    #4


    I haven't been able to transfer an OEM licence to new hardware with the MSA thingy.
    I didn't bother testing with Retail as the key activates the new hardware directly -- basically the Transfer wizard is a bit useless, so no loss there.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    #5

    His PC was upgraded from Win7
    - how was the Win 7 license obtained? Did the PC come with Windows installed and a sticker attached?
    - or was the Win 7 license bought separately (retail)?

    Note for the future: an excellent way to often avoid reinstalling Windows and give you a second chance to recover without technical help is to routinely use disk imaging as is so often advocated here (Macrium Reflect (free) e.g. + external storage for image files).
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 6,731
    Windows / Linux : Centos, Ubuntu, OpenSuse

    Hi there
    just try and key in the W7 serial - it might work --nothing to lose.

    Legit W7 BTW still upgrades free -- I've used some old technet serials that I had when that program was active -- created some W10 VM's very recently --just before XMAS with no problem and all activated OK.

      My ComputerSystem Spec


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