Windows 10: Can't activate after clean install - don't have a Windows 10 key

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  1.    12 Aug 2015 #1

    Can't activate after clean install - don't have a Windows 10 key


    I've performed a clean install of Windows 10, but can't activate as I don't have a Windows 10 key.

    I had been running Windows 8.1. I hadn't yet received the green light from Microsoft to download/upgrade, so I downloaded the Windows 10 media creation tool. I wasn't able to update Windows 8.1, apparently because it was installed on a drive other than C:, so I was forced to do a clean install.

    What do I do? I tried entering my Windows 8.1 key, but that didn't work.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    12 Aug 2015 #2

    trivial said: View Post
    I've performed a clean install of Windows 10, but can't activate as I don't have a Windows 10 key.

    I had been running Windows 8.1. I hadn't yet received the green light from Microsoft to download/upgrade, so I downloaded the Windows 10 media creation tool. I wasn't able to update Windows 8.1, apparently because it was installed on a drive other than C:, so I was forced to do a clean install.

    What do I do? I tried entering my Windows 8.1 key, but that didn't work.
    you certainly can't use windows 7 or 8 keys for windows 10 activation...does windows 10 run ok.....I understand that if it is an OEM PC then it may have the product key embedded....so should auto activate over the Internet in a few days, if it is a home build, or been previously upgraded from vista or XP then this wouldn't be the case....I would have thought you could have renamed the HDD partition to 'C' before upgrading....are you able to reinstall W8 /8.1 ? if so it would be best to do the live update from the media creation tool rather than burn a DVD or boot from a USB......I had issues with my upgrade, from a W10 DVD but the live upgrade works perfectly, it should detect your W8 licence and allow the upgrade and activate......don't know if any of this helps...but not sure how you can progress from where you are unless MS activates your PC in a few days over the Internet automatically....
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    12 Aug 2015 #3

    Need to upgrade 8.1 to 10 before doing a clean install.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 166
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       12 Aug 2015 #4

    trivial said: View Post
    I've performed a clean install of Windows 10, but can't activate as I don't have a Windows 10 key.

    I had been running Windows 8.1. I hadn't yet received the green light from Microsoft to download/upgrade, so I downloaded the Windows 10 media creation tool. I wasn't able to update Windows 8.1, apparently because it was installed on a drive other than C:, so I was forced to do a clean install.

    What do I do? I tried entering my Windows 8.1 key, but that didn't work.
    You can buy a retail copy of 10, or you can reinstall 8.1 activate it and then with your win 10 media USB is best start the upgrade from within window 8 Shouldn't matter what drive letter the OS is on.
    However it is very unusual for the main OS to be on another partition other than C:\ You might want to install 8.1 back to your C:\ partition.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    12 Aug 2015 #5

    cyberrufus said: View Post
    Need to upgrade 8.1 to 10 before doing a clean install.
    No doubt
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    12 Aug 2015 #6

    trivial said: View Post
    I've performed a clean install of Windows 10, but can't activate as I don't have a Windows 10 key.

    I had been running Windows 8.1. I hadn't yet received the green light from Microsoft to download/upgrade, so I downloaded the Windows 10 media creation tool. I wasn't able to update Windows 8.1, apparently because it was installed on a drive other than C:, so I was forced to do a clean install.

    What do I do? I tried entering my Windows 8.1 key, but that didn't work.
    You HAVE to take a running and ACTIVATED copy of Windows 8.1 and run the upgrade to take it from Windows 8.1 to 10. When you do this, a "unique" hash will be recorded by the Microsoft servers for your machine. From this point on, you can clean install Windows 10 by just hitting "Skip" when asked for a key and when your machine connects to the Internet, it will supply that "unique" hash to the activation servers and they will recognize it as a machine that previously upgraded and now has a valid Windows 10 license and it will simply activate.

    In the event that your hardware substantially changes, your hash will then change. You will then be forced to call MS and supply them with the new install code and it will then know about your new "unique" hash. They will do this free of charge, it just requires either a phone call or a robo call.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    12 Aug 2015 #7

    pparks1 said: View Post
    In the event that your hardware substantially changes, your hash will then change. You will then be forced to call MS and supply them with the new install code and it will then know about your new "unique" hash. They will do this free of charge, it just requires either a phone call or a robo call.
    They have not been doing that for free with Windows 10. Microsoft has been telling people to install Windows 7/8/8.1 on the new hardware and do another upgrade.

    Also, post #2 is very mistaken. Windows 10 will not read an embedded Windows 7/8/8.1 key from bios. The first upgrade must be from an installed Windows 7/8/8.1 operating that is activated and running.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    13 Aug 2015 #8

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    They have not been doing that for free with Windows 10. Microsoft has been telling people to install Windows 7/8/8.1 on the new hardware and do another upgrade.

    Also, post #2 is very mistaken. Windows 10 will not read an embedded Windows 7/8/8.1 key from bios. The first upgrade must be from an installed Windows 7/8/8.1 operating that is activated and running.
    the embedded code idea came from some research on the Internet ....unfortunately only about 50% of what is seen is ever accurate......I think I said it 'may' do this.....if you say it will not, then I accept this as true.....
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 101
    windows 10 pro
       13 Aug 2015 #9

    I had the same activation problem . MS told me to reinstall win 8.1, activate then upgrade to win 10 then if I wanted I could do a clean install on same device .
    I cant believe its over 2 weeks now and this subject of activation is still being problematic . I thought MS might have produced an update to let users use the embedded product key , I mean your not in any way cheating .
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    13 Aug 2015 #10

    I wasn't able to update Windows 8.1, apparently because it was installed on a drive other than C:, so I was forced to do a clean install.
    Where was your original OS installed and where is your current OS installed?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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