Windows 10 product keys and activation - and the KMS angle

Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast

  1. Posts : 79
    Windows 7, Windows 10, Linux Mint
    Thread Starter
       #31

    Bree said:
    Why did you use Rufus? It shouldn't be necessary.
    Well, Bree, it was another case of 'better the devil you know'.... I had used Rufus before for creating other bootable USBs, whereas I had never used the MCT. So given the four options, I chose the Rufus one. But there seems no reason why I shouldn't now try your route and create a bootable USB using the MCT option. If that successfully identifies the embedded key, then with luck I may be able to get back on track. Watch this space!
      My Computer

  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 20,038
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #32

    br1anstorm said:
    ...there seems no reason why I shouldn't now try your route and create a bootable USB using the MCT option....
    Use the two step method, make an ISO with the MCT then use Option Four in the tutorial to make the USB manually.

    One problem regular Rufus users find is that their USBs tend to all end up with a GPT partition layout. If you try to use the MCT to make the USB directly, then it will faill to format such a USB, the MCT requires an MBR partition layout. Of course, it doesn't tell you that it fails until after the download has completed, so you have wasted your time on the download. Better to make the ISO so you can take as many attempts as you need to get the USB formatted correctly.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 79
    Windows 7, Windows 10, Linux Mint
    Thread Starter
       #33

    Bree said:
    Use the two step method, make an ISO with the MCT then use Option Four in the tutorial to make the USB manually.....

    Better to make the ISO so you can take as many attempts as you need to get the USB formatted correctly.
    Hmmm, we might get there in the end. Before seeing this latest advice, I had looked again at the options (other than Rufus!) for creating a bootable USB. Option four using the Command Prompt looked a bit daunting, but I thought I'd try it. I discovered however that I couldn't "mount" the Win10 ISO I had created earlier with the MCT and saved. It would not offer Windows Explorer as an 'Open With' option in order to copy the files to the USB stick.

    So I thought I'd try Option 1, and get the MCT to make a bootable USB directly. It took time to re-download (no big deal) and seems to have created a bootable USB - has just verified it. Incidentally it's FAT32, if that's relevant.

    I suppose I might as well try a clean install using this USB, to see whether it goes any further than the 'product key' screen. If it doesn't, then I will try Option 4 to create a bootable USB..... assuming I can figure out how to open the ISO file in a way that enables me to copy the files across. Why am I not offered Windows Explorer as a program to open the ISO? (the only choices are IMGBurn, Power2Go, VLC or Windows Disc Image Burner).
      My Computer

  4. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,768
    Windows 10 Pro
       #34

    The thing is, if you are getting to the screen asking for a product key then the USB flash drive has already booted and windows setup has started. It doesn't matter how many times and how many different methods you use to create the flash drive. Recreating the flash drive and using different formats for the flash drive is to solve problems with booting the flash drive and getting windows setup to start. You are way past that point in the process when windows setup is asking for a product key. That's why we need to see the result of showkey plus to see what the actual product key in BIOS is for.
      My Computer

  5. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 20,038
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #35

    br1anstorm said:
    Why am I not offered Windows Explorer as a program to open the ISO? (the only choices are IMGBurn, Power2Go, VLC or Windows Disc Image Burner).
    One of those, probably Power2Go, has set itself as the default for opening .ISO files. In the absence of any installed 3rd-party software W10's default action for an ISO is Mount (ie open with explorer).

    You should be able to open the ISO with Explorer by using 'Open with > Choose another app'. You may need to click on 'More apps ↓' to see Windows Explorer listed, or maybe even scroll to the bottom of the More apps list and click on 'Find another app on this PC' to browse to find C:\Windows\explorer.exe. Either way you should end up with the ISO mounted.

    If all else fails, you can open the ISO as an archive with 7-Zip File Manager and copy the files from it that way (a useful tip for W7 machines, explorer didn't get the ability to mount ISOs until W8).
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 79
    Windows 7, Windows 10, Linux Mint
    Thread Starter
       #36

    ..... and that didn't take long!

    Tried the clean install again using the bootable USB created by MCT. It fired up all right, and progressed to the 'product key' page. Once again I entered the embedded key details. Once again, it said "We could not verify.... please check your installation media".

    I made very sure there were no typos in the key. The ShowKey Plus screen gave the following info (I've copied and pasted rather than put up a screenshot, and I have X'd most of the actual key details apart from the last group):

    ShowKeyPlus - Windows Product Key Information

    Product Name: Windows 10 Pro

    Product ID: 00331-10000-00001-AA603

    Version: 19042.870 (64-bit OS)

    Installed Key: W269N-WFGWX-YVC9B-4J6C9-T83GX *

    OEM Key: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-GMQH2

    OEM Description: Win 8 RTM Professional OEM: DM


    * Default key - requires a Digital License for activation

    So once again, it's a question of 'what now?' . Seems hard to believe that another USB created a different way will produce a different result (though I'm willing to try once i find out how to 'open' the ISO to copy the contents). But what bothers me is why the embedded OEM Win 8 key - which is supposedly there - is not being found automatically, nor recognised when I type it in?
      My Computer

  7. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,768
    Windows 10 Pro
       #37

    Try this, open a command prompt with administrative privileges [command prompt (admin)] and run:

    Code:
    slmgr /upk
    slmgr /ipk VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T
    slmgr /ato
    Be connected to the internet when you do so and that should fix your activation problem without re-installing Windows 10.

    Windows 10 product keys and activation - and the KMS angle-capture.jpg
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 79
    Windows 7, Windows 10, Linux Mint
    Thread Starter
       #38

    Bree said:
    ........
    If all else fails, you can open the ISO as an archive with 7-Zip File Manager and copy the files from it that way (a useful tip for W7 machines, explorer didn't get the ability to mount ISOs until W8).
    Aha.... that explains the latest hiccup! I am using a Win7 machine to save the ISOs, create the USBs, and open the files. Tried to change the default program for opening/mounting ISOs from IMGBurn to Windows Explorer. The computer didn't like it at all, and hung. Now I see why. I will now have to see if I can reinstate IMGBurn as the default for .iso files on this Win 7 machine.

    Meanwhile I have discovered that I can open the .iso file with 7-Zip, so if I do end up making a third attempt to create a USB via Option 4, I now know how to copy the files to it. But I wonder if it's worth bothering - as the embedded key has already failed to show up or be recognised - twice. How will creating a bootable USB via a different option resolve that problem, I wonder?

    I see that there may be an entirely different route suggested by NavyLCDR using slmgr command prompts. That is above my pay-grade (!) but I suppose I might as well give it a try?
    Last edited by br1anstorm; 02 May 2021 at 11:41. Reason: edited the quote
      My Computer

  9. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 20,038
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #39

    br1anstorm said:
    ...what bothers me is why the embedded OEM Win 8 key - which is supposedly there - is not being found automatically,...
    Alphanumeric has the same problem with one W8 machine. As reported earlier in the thread...

    alphanumeric said:
    ...on my laptop and my embedded key is still intact. On a side note, current Windows 10 install media ignores it. It wasn't always this way but eventually mine stopped getting read. It's till there, showkey finds it. If I go back to a very early build its read as expected.
    Windows 10 product keys and activation - and the KMS angle - post #20

    Which early build was required? If we knew that, making an ISO/USB with an MCT for an earlier build is still possible using the MCT wrapper from here on GitHub....


    Universal MediaCreationTool wrapper for all MCT Windows 10 versions from 1507 to 21H1 with business (Enterprise) edition support . GitHub
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 79
    Windows 7, Windows 10, Linux Mint
    Thread Starter
       #40

    I ought at this stage to pause and say a big thankyou to Bree and NavyLCDR (and alphanumeric...) for hanging in there and trying to help.

    As this process has gone on we seem now and again to have got diverted into trying to deal with subordinate or separate aspects of the problem. Just to recap:

    - the original focus was on trying to do a clean (re)install of Win10, using the embedded OEM Win 8 key which ShowKey Plus indicated was in the firmware;

    - I have tried a clean install, twice, using first a Rufus-created bootable USB then an MCT-created USB. Both booted and started the install (so were properly formatted and functional), but both brought up the product-key screen and the Win 8 embedded key wasn't recognised;

    - Bree and I have just been grappling with the secondary problem - that IF I were to try to re-create a bootable USB for a clean install using Option 4, I needed to copy and paste the files from the Win10 .iso image. It has emerged that because i'm using a Win 7 machine for all this preparatory work, I can't open .iso files using Windows Explorer. Ok, we can park that as a side issue, as I can - if need be - open an .iso using 7-Zip;

    - but, as NavyLCDR suggests, trying different ways to create a bootable USB seems to be missing the point: however formatted and created, the USB stick runs OK. The problem is that it is unable to find the embedded key nor is that key recognised when manually entered. So a differently-created or formatted USB stick won't help.....

    - In theory when I get to the 'product key' screen I suppose I could simply say I don't have a key, and skip that step. The problem then - as I see it - is that Win 10 would clean-install, but I would not then be able to activate it (if the embedded key doesn't work during the install, why would it work afterwards?). I would end up worse off than I am at present, where I have the corporate Win 10 activated and working more-or-less normally, but because it's KMS, it will at some point in the next few months be de-activated;

    - That rather leads me towards the alternative suggestion made by NavyLCDR: that instead of persisting with a clean install that seems not to be possible, I could try a different way of (re) activating the existing Win 10 by using the different key suggested. I hesitate to ask for an explanation of what that key is and why it might work. But right now I'm not sure there are any other possible ways forward.
      My Computer


 
Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast

  Related Discussions
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 19:59.
Find Us




Windows 10 Forums