dilema of replacing motherboard before activating windows first time

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  1. Posts : 46
    windows 7 pro
       #1

    dilema of replacing motherboard before activating windows first time


    Hello. I am an admin in a small Polish school, and i was forced to do a thing i rather shouldnt mess around with.
    We got 45 computers from European Union funded program to carry out highschool level IT clases.
    Sadly the suplyer of those cmputers was not aware of the specs we as an examination center have to met.
    He provided "office computers ment foe schools" and 15 of those computers have to have motherboards swaped to acomodate examination standards.

    Computers as is can't be returned or replaced so our EU project coordinators provided us with of the shelve motherboards that would fit the cases and exam specs.
    Now the "fun part" was droped on me, i need to find a way if and better yet how to move windows licences from those computers to activate on new hardware.

    Windows versions preinstalled on those computers are "Windows Proffesional for Schools"
    Motherboards in those oem computers are of the shelve asrock H310M-HDV boards with custom logo.
    I still have 15 of those computers in their boxes never used (with preinstaled magic sauce) so i have no idea if they ever seen internet or were activated by oem, they seems not activated but who knows what the assembling company did to them if they can't even plug in power suply into motherboards. Those which i did unpacked, activates windows by themeselves. i have no cd keys with them.

    I need to find out what type of cd key is installed on those machines
    where it is installed (uefi or in the installed windows image)
    and if am i able to move it and how

    New provided motherboards have the same chipset,but different maker, and are not at our school yet (they will be tomorow-ish)
    i can experiment at already activated computers in different classroom, i do have extra hard drives, if that would help in finding out where the licence is
    I did download ShowKeyPlus already :]

    If you can guide me, pleas help. If i am thinking about something illegal point it out before i make a mess, because i know it is somewhat grey area already.
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  2. Posts : 39,995
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #2
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  3. Posts : 6,971
    windows 10
       #3

    Try one its possible it may work ok 10 is good at finding new drivers and if activated may stay that way worth a shot on 1
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  4. Posts : 46
    windows 7 pro
    Thread Starter
       #4

    ok so after checking things up with showkeyplus on identical computers that are not getting the upgrade
    it shows that
    oem key is some Win 10 RTM Professional OEMM eula oem
    and installed key is rtm pro education retail eula retail but some have pro edu oem dm
    so eiteher some pc comes with 2 keys or education is some kind of "upgrade" for normal pro in this case but some have 2 oem keys?

    one more thing
    it seems that all those non oem pro edu version of windows had problems activating at first and only activated to retail after some updates
    anyway, the oem key for education is the same on multiple pc's that activated , each of them have separate oem key that is not an education one
    and there is no firmware key detected

    - - - Updated - - -

    i might have understood something about ShowKeyPlus wrong

    Oem key seems to be in firmware after all, at least it does not detect it after placing hdd in a diferent board
    but finalising windows install offline, taking the oem key from the board and activating windows on the new board with the oem key seems to work.
    what is more interesting, after activating preinstalled win 10 pro edu with the oem key, and installing fresh 10 pro (normal and not edu version) windows activating just fine on it's own from the internet even though oem key is not present on the device
    only drawback i have to store removed motherboards as long as we use those computers i guess. kind of equivalent of coa stickers (besides in documentation i have those boards and win 10 pro both on one paper so better store them)

    Thanks for help
    activation troubleshooting was not really needed because it worked from a first go, but thanks anyway
    Last edited by kokodin; 05 Sep 2019 at 09:25.
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  5. Posts : 3,449
       #5

    That's a loop-hole relating to the legit transfer of OEM licences in places like Germany - it only worked with Win 10 OEM licences in my tests - but be that as it may, it is a EULA transgression that MS has not been able to/want to plug.

    I don't think MSFT share prices are going to take a dip because if it, OEM's will most likely, but then they rip Joe Public off most times as it is, so.....
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  6. Posts : 11,207
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #6

    Hi there
    also worth a try

    take an image with free macrium and then restore - often the activation won't be lost if it's different hardware but on the same machine -- also if really in trouble you could also "phone activate" --Ms won't want bad publicity by not helping schools out especially if computers funded from EU -- sometimes these problems can be solved via "non technical means" e.g explain the situation.

    sysprepping one machine for deploy to the others might work too.

    Anyway hope you got them all fixed.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  7. Posts : 46
    windows 7 pro
    Thread Starter
       #7

    I will fix all 15 i need, there is no problem so far with any of them . But i doubt i would ever agree to do this again.

    As before, none of those computers were ever activated by the user, so i am probably using the key to activate them for the first time anyway, or at least i think i am .
    After first activation as i said, all 6 computers i mannaged to mutate so far, auto activate on their own without any help.
    I say "don't have key" in windows setup, chose win 10 pro, finalise installation and offline user creation, plug online and pop windows is activated via digital licencing.

    i had problems before with win 7 updated to win 10 not activating after reinstall. but those gladly took win 7 cd key from the sticker as it was win 10 key and activated again.

    The only problem i am having is lack of time to do the job, because migration with all the replacement part exchange and testing takes around 2 hours per computer. i will wait and see if and when they start deactivating on their own, but so far they don't seem to be troublemakers
    i also have oem cd keys archived in case of something going bad and i can simply call microsoft then.

    This might require another topic
    but does anyone know if office from volume licencing can be activated via ksm server installed on local network that is not a domain and windows on that network are not volume licencing windowses only those oem computers?
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  8. Posts : 3,449
       #8

    kokodin said:
    I will fix all 15 i need, there is no problem so far with any of them . But i doubt i would ever agree to do this again.

    As before, none of those computers were ever activated by the user, so i am probably using the key to activate them for the first time anyway, or at least i think i am .
    After first activation as i said, all 6 computers i mannaged to mutate so far, auto activate on their own without any help.
    I say "don't have key" in windows setup, chose win 10 pro, finalise installation and offline user creation, plug online and pop windows is activated via digital licencing.

    i had problems before with win 7 updated to win 10 not activating after reinstall. but those gladly took win 7 cd key from the sticker as it was win 10 key and activated again.

    The only problem i am having is lack of time to do the job, because migration with all the replacement part exchange and testing takes around 2 hours per computer. i will wait and see if and when they start deactivating on their own, but so far they don't seem to be troublemakers
    i also have oem cd keys archived in case of something going bad and i can simply call microsoft then.

    This might require another topic
    but does anyone know if office from volume licencing can be activated via ksm server installed on local network that is not a domain and windows on that network are not volume licencing windowses only those oem computers?
    Yep, you need to post Office stuff in the Office place - but suffice to say Office licences are not in any way related to Windows' licence

    As far as setting up KMS there good docs by MS on the web to get you going.. but if you got a CSVLK KMS-host key for Office the instructions would come with it, or can be got off VL Centre (not sure what it's called now)

    PS IIRC you need 25 client's to connect to KMS server before it starts activating.
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  9. Posts : 46
    windows 7 pro
    Thread Starter
       #9

    ok i have another small problem so i require your brain power

    we as a school have corel draw x5 licence
    corel works fine on 32 bit version of windows 10, install and run fine
    it however does not install on 64 bit windows 10
    but it does install on 64 bit windows 7 and if i upgrade windows 7 to 10 corel works just as fine as on 32 bit win 10.

    since our computer have 8gb of ram and are now digitaly licenced i was trying to install all required programs on windows 7 first and then upgrade it to win 10, however windows 10 update installer refuses to upgrade not activated system and either oem key from my pc is invalid for the update

    if i understand it correctly after updating the ststem to windows 10 my digital licence would take over and activate it
    if it only updated unactivated windows 7 to unactivated windows 10 it would all work but it stop me from doing the update and we would either have to forsake corel or half of the ram
    so is there any way to install windows 10 upgrade without checking for system activation?
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  10. Posts : 12,478
    Win10 Version 21H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro
       #10

    since our computer have 8gb of ram
    An issue that exists with large amounts of installed RAM on 32-bit/x86 computers is that Windows will not display more that about 3.8GB RAM, usually less than 3.5GB, and it doesn't matter if the CPU is x86 or x64. Windows may or may not use all the RAM but nothing will show that. Doing a clean install of Windowd as 64-bit is the only way to get around that limitation.

    One way I use to check the usage of the RAM is by booting to a Linux LiveDVD, bypasses Windows entirely.
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