Windows 10 activation info?

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  1. Posts : 24,556
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #11

    sportsfan148 said:
    The Installed Key is exactly the same as the OEM key

    OEM Edition Win10 RTM Core OEM DM

    .... Im guessing that the embedded key is still being read correctly as the Product ID hasn't changed and also as you know I skipped entering a key and ShowkeyPlus shows that an RTM Generic Key that you describe above hasnt been used as the Installed key is identical to the OEM key. Does my logic make any sense? lol
    If the Hardware ID is the primary means of Activation why does the Activation screen that pops up ask for the Product Key? Is it asked for in order to be able to identify which Edition of Windows 10 to install...in my case its Windows 10 Home?

    Now that is weird if this was a clean install. It means that Setup must have read the key from the firmware in order to use it as the installed key.

    Yes, Setup can tell from a key what edition it should install. Only if it doesn't know what edition to use would it ask for a key. I had assumed until now that it was a failure to read your key that caused the prompt, but @alphanumeric's theory that "the algorithm Microsoft uses to read the key was upgraded at some point" could mean that while it can still read the key, it can't determine the edition from it.

    A test for that would be a clean install using old install media from a build that had previously not asked for a key. If it still doesn't ask for a key then it's a bug in the newer install media, not a hardware issue in your PC. I'm not suggesting either of you should try that immediately, but next time either of you need to reinstall it would be an interesting experiment to try.

    I'm subscribed to this thread, so I'll see your results as and when you ever get round to trying....
      My Computers


  2. Posts : 985
    Windows 10 Home 21H1
    Thread Starter
       #12

    Bree said:
    Now that is weird if this was a clean install. It means that Setup must have read the key from the firmware in order to use it as the installed key.

    Yes, Setup can tell from a key what edition it should install. Only if it doesn't know what edition to use would it ask for a key. I had assumed until now that it was a failure to read your key that caused the prompt, but @alphanumeric's theory that "the algorithm Microsoft uses to read the key was upgraded at some point" could mean that while it can still read the key, it can't determine the edition from it.

    A test for that would be a clean install using old install media from a build that had previously not asked for a key. If it still doesn't ask for a key then it's a bug in the newer install media, not a hardware issue in your PC. I'm not suggesting either of you should try that immediately, but next time either of you need to reinstall it would be an interesting experiment to try.

    I'm subscribed to this thread, so I'll see your results as and when you ever get round to trying....
    Yeah after reading the information you gave me about how exactly things work, thats when I decided to run ShowkeyPlus. Like you say it must be reading the embedded key. And yes it was a clean install (custom installation, delete all partitions etc).

    So, When this screen appears saying Activation and requesting you input the product key it doesn't actually Activate at this point, the Media Creation Tool is really only trying to find out what edition to install... Home, Pro etc? The actual Activation is done when Windows Setup completes?
    Last edited by sportsfan148; 20 Jun 2020 at 07:01.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 14,576
    Windows 10 IoT
       #13

    Activation will happen some time after you go past the enter product code screen, exactly when I have no idea. It's going to go look for a DL that's valid for that edition on that device. If it finds it, it activates, if it doesn't you'll be nagged to enter a valid product code for that edition.

    I'm happy with my laptops embedded key being ignored. I'm usually installing Pro or Enterprise so no having to install Home and then do a seperate upgrade to Pro etc. Or having to add a PID text file to my install media to override detection.
    Just FYI, my embedded key is a Windows 8 Home Key, not a Windows 10 Home key. I mentioned this already but could have easily been missed.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 24,556
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #14

    sportsfan148 said:
    The actual Activation is done when Windows Setup completes?

    Activation takes place after Windows has been installed and runs for the first time. It will then attempt to contact the activation servers. If the Hardware ID matches an existing digital licence it will activate. If not it will check if the installed key entitles the machine to get a digital licence.

    If you do not have an internet connection then it will say it is unable to activate at this time as it cannot contact the activation servers.

    Windows 10 activation info?-activation-unable-reach-servers.png
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 985
    Windows 10 Home 21H1
    Thread Starter
       #15

    Bree said:
    Activation takes place after Windows has been installed and runs for the first time. It will then attempt to contact the activation servers. If the Hardware ID matches an existing digital licence it will activate. If not it will check if the installed key entitles the machine to get a digital licence.

    If you do not have an internet connection then it will say it is unable to activate at this time as it cannot contact the activation servers.

    Windows 10 activation info?-activation-unable-reach-servers.png
    So after a clean installation its the Hardware ID that is used to activate and definitely not the Product key.
    Thats been part of my confusion because a Dell techie told me that if the embedded key couldnt be read successfully first time causing the Activation screen to popup that after selecting I dont have a product key, the embedded key would be read again after Windows Setup has finished and then be activated automatically.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Bree said:
    Now that is weird if this was a clean install. It means that Setup must have read the key from the firmware in order to use it as the installed key.

    Yes, Setup can tell from a key what edition it should install. Only if it doesn't know what edition to use would it ask for a key. I had assumed until now that it was a failure to read your key that caused the prompt, but @alphanumeric's theory that "the algorithm Microsoft uses to read the key was upgraded at some point" could mean that while it can still read the key, it can't determine the edition from it.

    A test for that would be a clean install using old install media from a build that had previously not asked for a key. If it still doesn't ask for a key then it's a bug in the newer install media, not a hardware issue in your PC. I'm not suggesting either of you should try that immediately, but next time either of you need to reinstall it would be an interesting experiment to try.

    I'm subscribed to this thread, so I'll see your results as and when you ever get round to trying....
    If it is a bug in the newer install Media or even if its a hardware issue, does that mean I can trust that the installation is OK and not corrupted because it is activated or should I be concerned?
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 24,556
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #16

    sportsfan148 said:
    If it is a bug in the newer install Media or even if its a hardware issue, does that mean I can trust that the installation is OK and not corrupted because it is activated or should I be concerned?
    I see no reason to be concerned, especially as it has used the correct OEM key read from the bios as the installed key.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 985
    Windows 10 Home 21H1
    Thread Starter
       #17

    Bree said:
    I see no reason to be concerned, especially as it has used the correct OEM key read from the bios as the installed key.
    Great, It's nothing to worry about then.
    Thanks once again for helping me to understand how the Activation process works too..much appreciated. Im now a bit wiser lol

    - - - Updated - - -

    Bree said:
    On another Dell with a W10 key embedded in the bios, that key was also the installed key used by Setup in a clean install.

    Attachment 284188
    Hi Bree, Is the above screenshot you showed me for version 1909? Im running version 1909 and on my PC under Version ShowkeyPlus shows18362.900 (64-bit OS) the same as your screenshot does.
    However, On my PC under System it shows that I have OS Build 18363.900. Why is Showkeyplus showing 18362.900?
    Last edited by sportsfan148; 20 Jun 2020 at 13:50.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 24,556
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #18

    sportsfan148 said:
    Hi Bree, Is the above screenshot you showed me for version 1909? Im running version 1909 and on my PC under Version ShowkeyPlus shows18362.900 (64-bit OS) the same as your screenshot does.
    However, On my PC under System it shows that I have OS Build 18363.900. Why is Showkeyplus showing 18362.900?

    Well spotted, that's a good question. It is in fact 1909 and the Store app version of ShowKeyPlus does indeed say 18363. There's only a minor difference between 1903 and 1909, a small enablement package that turns on the dormant 1909 features that are already in 1903. You'll find both 18362 and 18363 in various locations in the registry. I have reported your observation so that Superfly can look into it.
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 985
    Windows 10 Home 21H1
    Thread Starter
       #19

    Bree said:
    Well spotted, that's a good question. It is in fact 1909 and the Store app version of ShowKeyPlus does indeed say 18363. There's only a minor difference between 1903 and 1909, a small enablement package that turns on the dormant 1909 features that are already in 1903. You'll find both 18362 and 18363 in various locations in the registry. I have reported your observation so that Superfly can look into it.
    I used version 1.0.7060 from Superfly's ShowkeyPlus link on Tenforums because it said it was the Official Release download. I didnt even know there was a version in the Microsoft Store. Now I see there is a link on here further down from the Official Release download but it shows it as a Preview Release download and I never normally use those until they become Official releases
    Ive just looked at the App in Microsoft Store and the screenshots are different to version 1.0.7060 so Im not sure if it is the same as the Preview Release download I mentioned above on Tenforums ShowkeyPlus page?
    1. Is it OK to use either version..do they do exactly the same job? Is the difference between version 1.0.7060 and the Store App version (one showing 18362 and the other showing 18363) purely cosmetic so it doesnt prevent ShowkeyPlus version 1.0.7060 from working correctly when reporting the keys?
    2. How do you uninstall ShowkeyPlus after you've used it? There is no entry for it In Apps. Is it just a matter of manually deleting the ShowkeyPlus folder where the files were extracted to which in my case is my Documents folder?
    Last edited by sportsfan148; 21 Jun 2020 at 03:20.
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 24,556
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #20

    sportsfan148 said:
    I used version 1.0.7060 from Superfly's ShowkeyPlus link on Tenforums because it said it was the Official Release download. I didnt even know there was a version in the Microsoft Store.....

    If you click the 'Get it from Microsoft' logo just beneath the Official Release link it takes you to the Microsoft Store website where you can get the App version of ShowKeyPlus version 1.1.14.0.

    Now I see there is a link on here further down from the Official Release download but it shows it as a Preview Release download and I never normally use those until they become Official releases.

    Ive just looked at the App in Microsoft Store and the screenshots are different to version 1.0.7060 so I'm not sure if it is the same as the Preview Release download I mentioned above on Tenforums ShowkeyPlus page?

    1. Is it OK to use either version..do they do exactly the same job? Is the difference between version 1.0.7060 and the Store App version (one showing 18362 and the other showing 18363) purely cosmetic so it doesnt prevent ShowkeyPlus version 1.0.7060 from working correctly when reporting the keys?


    Yes, they do the same job, but the Store app version 1.1.14.0 has new features. In addition to all that 1.0.7060 does, it can show your upgrade history and any keys that they had. This can be used to find the original Windows 7 key on a machine that has since been upgraded to Windows 10 (even if it has then been through several Feature Updates).

    The Preview Release is identical to the Store app in function and looks and shares the same source code, but the code been updated a little to version 1.1.14.4298 in the Preview Release. The biggest difference between the Preview Release and the Store app version is that the Preview was compiled to be a conventional .exe file (so you can just put it in a folder and run it from there, same as you can with 1.0.7060) while the Store app is installed and updated through the Store.

    2. How do you uninstall ShowkeyPlus after you've used it? There is no entry for it In Apps. Is it just a matter of manually deleting the ShowkeyPlus folder where the files were extracted to which in my case is my Documents folder?


    In light of your discovery Superfly has updated his post #1. The Official Release is now 1.0.14.1 with all the same features as the Store app, and 1.0.7060 is now named as a Legacy Release.

    Yes, the Official, Preview and Legacy releases are portable apps that require no install. You could put any of them on a USB and run them from there. Just delete them when you no longer need them.
    Last edited by Bree; 21 Jun 2020 at 05:32.
      My Computers


 

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