Windows 10 product keys and activation - and the KMS angle

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  1. alphanumeric's Avatar
    Posts : 14,226
    Windows 10 IoT
       #51

    I don't mention what build it was unfortunately. Guess you'll just have to go by the date I posted it. That is if you want to use the way back machine.
    Windows 10 install media not reading my Windows 8 OEM embeded key.
      My Computer

  2. Superfly's Avatar
    Posts : 3,357
       #52

    OK, I just clean installed to VM skipped the key - then entered the Win 8 key that setup refused in the change product key thingy and it activated.

    Windows 10 product keys and activation - and the KMS angle-image.png

    Got a default OEM: DM key for the digital licence.
      My Computer

  3. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,725
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #53

    alphanumeric said:
    I don't mention what build it was unfortunately. Guess you'll just have to go by the date I posted it. That is if you want to use the way back machine.
    Windows 10 install media not reading my Windows 8 OEM embeded key.
    Thanks for that. The date you posted that was 21 Sep 2017, about a month before 1709 was released. So "the current Windows 10 install media created by the Media Creation Tool" you had problems with would have been 1703.

    That gives a choice of 1607, 1511 or the original release 1507 to try....


    The best bet would seem to be as Superfly did in post #52, clean install W10 skipping entering a key, then change the installed key to the W8 one that Setup didn't like after Win10 is installed.

    Change Product Key in Windows 10
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 79
    Windows 7, Windows 10, Linux Mint
    Thread Starter
       #54

    Choices, choices...


    It's been almost mind-boggling to see the range of activation/reinstallation options which have now been recommended! Many thanks to all who have posted with suggestions.

    Trying to be systematic and logical, it looks as if I have four or five possible ways forward:

    1) Keep the existing (KMS-activated) Win 10 as currently installed, and change the product key (using Settings) to the embedded Win 8 key; then clean install Win 10, skip the product key screen and rely on the digital licence which by then may have been created;

    2) keep the existing (KMS-activated) Win 10, change the key to the generic key using the slmgr Command Prompt.... as recommended by NavyLCDR in posts #37 and #50; and/or - perhaps - then try changing the generic key to the embedded Win 8 key (as suggested in post #41) either using slmgr or in Settings?

    3) ignore (and wipe) the existing KMS-activated Win 10, do a clean install of Win 10, skip the product key stage then try to activate after installation using the generic key;

    4) ignore (and wipe) the existing KMS-activated Win 10, do a clean install of Win 10, skip the product key stage and then try to activate after installation using the embedded Win 8 key (as per posts #52, Superfly and #53, Bree);

    5) the "long way round option" as suggested by Bree in posts #43 and #48 - try a clean install of Win 8, using an archived ISO and the MCT for Win8, hope that the embedded key will work, and after that then try the upgrade from Win 8 to Win 10 .

    If I've understood all this correctly (and it is uncharted territory for me), then I suppose the sensible thing is to try each of those options, in that order.
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  5. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,659
    Windows 10 Pro
       #55

    Options 1 and 2 are just different ways of doing the same thing.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 79
    Windows 7, Windows 10, Linux Mint
    Thread Starter
       #56

    NavyLCDR said:
    Options 1 and 2 are just different ways of doing the same thing.
    Yes, I rather guessed that. So I've just tried option 1 (changed the product key in Settings to the embedded OEM Win 8 one). And it was recognised, and it worked (Yay!). So Settings>Activation now tells me that "Windows is activated with a digital licence".

    So I guess that the threat which hung over me - that the installed Win 10 Pro would be deactivated if the KMS link wasn't renewed - has now gone away.

    That is reassuring, and I can now relax a bit. Do I nevertheless proceed to do a clean install of Win 10 Pro now that there is a digital licence? As I understand it, a clean install will "refresh" Win 10.

    I have noticed that the current 'corporate' configuration of the existing installed Win10 Pro has evidently had some tweaks or restrictions. For example, Cortana is disabled and can only be reinstated by the administrator. Not that I'm bothered (I'd probably want Cortana disabled anyway!). But I'm not entirely sure what other facilities may also have been disabled.

    Anyway, we've made progress - so many thanks for that.
      My Computer

  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,725
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #57

    br1anstorm said:
    ... I've just tried option 1 (changed the product key in Settings to the embedded OEM Win 8 one). And it was recognised, and it worked (Yay!). So Settings>Activation now tells me that "Windows is activated with a digital licence".
    congratulations!

    I have noticed that the current 'corporate' configuration of the existing installed Win10 Pro has evidently had some tweaks or restrictions. For example, Cortana is disabled and can only be reinstated by the administrator ... I'm not entirely sure what other facilities may also have been disabled...

    The digital licence is stored on the MS activation servers and linked to the hardware ID of the PC (nb: the hard drive is NOT part of this ID so you can swap that for an SSD if you like).

    Now you have a digital licence for W10 Pro on this PC you can clean install W10 Pro and skip entering a key when asked. It will activate automatically from the existing digital licence.
      My Computers

  8. Superfly's Avatar
    Posts : 3,357
       #58

    br1anstorm said:
    Yes, I rather guessed that. So I've just tried option 1 (changed the product key in Settings to the embedded OEM Win 8 one). And it was recognised, and it worked (Yay!). So Settings>Activation now tells me that "Windows is activated with a digital licence".

    So I guess that the threat which hung over me - that the installed Win 10 Pro would be deactivated if the KMS link wasn't renewed - has now gone away.

    That is reassuring, and I can now relax a bit. Do I nevertheless proceed to do a clean install of Win 10 Pro now that there is a digital licence? As I understand it, a clean install will "refresh" Win 10.

    I have noticed that the current 'corporate' configuration of the existing installed Win10 Pro has evidently had some tweaks or restrictions. For example, Cortana is disabled and can only be reinstated by the administrator. Not that I'm bothered (I'd probably want Cortana disabled anyway!). But I'm not entirely sure what other facilities may also have been disabled.

    Anyway, we've made progress - so many thanks for that.
    ....and you doubted me?... shame on you

    Thanx for for bringing this issue to our attention - I have a theory why it happens but I'm going to have to dig to find the pkconfig that setup uses to be sure.

    Anyway, I'm glad all's well.

    BTW a backup of existing installation (for prosperity LOL) and a clean install would be the way I'd go - never trust an install from an unknown source.
      My Computer

  9. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,659
    Windows 10 Pro
       #59

    Superfly said:
    ....and you doubted me?... shame on you

    Thanx for for bringing this issue to our attention - I have a theory why it happens but I'm going to have to dig to find the pkconfig that setup uses to be sure.

    Anyway, I'm glad all's well.

    BTW a backup of existing installation (for prosperity LOL) and a clean install would be the way I'd go - never trust an install from an unknown source.
    My theory is that Windows must be connected to the internet to check the validity of the Windows 8 or Windows 7 product key and during the first phase of setup there is no connection to the internet available.
      My Computer

  10. Superfly's Avatar
    Posts : 3,357
       #60

    NavyLCDR said:
    My theory is that Windows must be connected to the internet to check the validity of the Windows 8 or Windows 7 product key and during the first phase of setup there is no connection to the internet available.
    Yup, that's plausible but my theory is more along the lines that the config file used by setup does not have the old Win 8 signatures - setup does accept Win 8.1 keys however - I'll have to do more tests with different keys.
      My Computer


 
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