1. Joined : Oct 2013
    Penns Forrest
    Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       20 Aug 2015 #1

    Activating Windows 10 might take a few days


    This assumes that the Free Upgrade offer was followed correctly.

    The OS has to be UPGRADED first.

    You cannot perform a clean install until the Windows 10 license key has been
    generated, encrypted, stored and activated on the upgraded OS and registered on the MS activation servers.

    If you did not successfully upgrade your machine, you can stop reading, roll back or restore your original OS, then go through the proper steps to take advantage of the free upgrade offer.

    For step-by-step instructions, read though this tutorial.
    Windows 10 Upgrade (TenForums.com)

    There are a few methods of accomplishing the upgrade. The most foolproof upgrade method is highlighted - by mounting or extracting the ISO, you have to be running Windows and an upgrade is accomplished by running setup inside a running Windows.

    To Upgrade to Windows 10 using Media Creation Tool
    To Upgrade to your Reserved Free Windows 10 from Get Windows 10 (GWX) app
    To Upgrade to Windows 10 with an ISO file
    To Upgrade to Windows 10 with USB Installation Media

    A Clean install without upgrading first results in:
    • You have Windows 10 on a 30 day trial basis.

    • If you are a Windows Insider testing Preview builds and you remained in the program
      You have a Preview build installed. This install will update to the next Preview build when released.
      The current Preview build is 10.0.525 - I'm running this now



    YOU MUST UPGRADE FIRST



    The Insider program recently became active again. A new Preview build was offered on Tuesday (18 August) to Insiders on the Fast ring. This is apparently affecting MS servers and might cause activation on upgraded machines to take additional time.

    There have also been some additional checks and balances put in place to authentic Windows 10 installs. There are still no new Insider keys and the 10.0.525 build is using the 10.0.240 key - this is the same key the Retail installs use as the seed.

    Please allow a few extra days for your system to activate before becoming alarmed or concerned.

    I do not have a citation for this information, it is only an educated guess on my part.

    See: Get help with Windows 10 activation errors - Windows Help
    The Go to Store button on Settings > Update & security > Activation might help, but when I tried that once before all it did was offer Win10 for purchase. I expected it to actually present a means to resolve the issue. Your experience might differ.

    If you launch an elevated Command prompt and run the following commands, you'll see additional licensing information
    These examples are on my 10.0.525 install. Notice that the evaluation date equals the date that the Preview build expires and that the expiry report states that it is permanently activated. The evaluation date in the first report will tell you if you're running a Preview build or if the upgrade was done properly (there will be no evaluation end date)

    slmgr /dlv

    Click image for larger version. 

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    slmgr /xpr

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Slartybart; 21 Aug 2015 at 12:55.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 8
    Windows 10
       20 Aug 2015 #2

    Thanks for posting this, hopefully that's the reason behind my problem. However, it's a little bit of a unique situation, so I'd like to ask what you think.

    So I just bought a modified ASUS M32BF running 8.1. When I booted it up with the intention of immediately upgrading to Win10, I found that it was completely unable to boot. I would get the message, "Reboot and load proper boot media" or something to that effect. BIOS wouldn't even work(it still doesn't, but I think it may be a seperate issue). I never really figured out why, but I managed to solve it by plugging in the only other piece of bootable media I had lying around: the USB stick I had used to clean install my other machine. It booted to the USB, and I still wasn't able to use the normal upgrade option(sorry I don't have the exact error message, obviously it's not something I can recreate atm), but I could use the Custom upgrade option and just delete all the previous partitions on the drive to perform a clean install. Now the PC boots fine, but I noticed Win10 hasn't actually been activated. Is this because I didn't upgrade from 8.1 as I originally intended, and instead wiped the hard drive before clean installing, or is it most likely because of the delay in automatic activation?

    The reason I worry is the Microsoft support page. It says, I quote, "If you performed a clean installation instead of an upgrade, you'll be asked to enter a Windows 10 product key or buy a new license in order to activate Windows 10...To fix this, you'll need to go back to your previous version of Windows, make sure the previous version is activated, and then upgrade to Windows 10." http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...ate-windows-10

    Thanks in advance!

    Edit: Oh, and by the way when I execute those commands, I don't have an end evaluation date in the /dlv message, and the /xpr message says "Windows(R), Core Edition: Windows is in Notification mode."
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Joined : Oct 2013
    Penns Forrest
    Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       21 Aug 2015 #3

    wintercat said: View Post
    So I just bought a modified ASUS M32BF running 8.1. When I booted it up with the intention of immediately upgrading to Win10, I found that it was completely unable to boot. I would get the message, "Reboot and load proper boot media" or something to that effect. BIOS wouldn't even work(it still doesn't, but I think it may be a seperate issue). I never really figured out why, but I managed to solve it by plugging in the only other piece of bootable media I had lying around: the USB stick I had used to clean install my other machine. It booted to the USB, and I still wasn't able to use the normal upgrade option(sorry I don't have the exact error message, obviously it's not something I can recreate atm), but I could use the Custom upgrade option and just delete all the previous partitions on the drive to perform a clean install. Now the PC boots fine, but I noticed Win10 hasn't actually been activated. Is this because I didn't upgrade from 8.1 as I originally intended, and instead wiped the hard drive before clean installing, or is it most likely because of the delay in automatic activation?

    The reason I worry is the Microsoft support page. It says, I quote, "If you performed a clean installation instead of an upgrade, you'll be asked to enter a Windows 10 product key or buy a new license in order to activate Windows 10...To fix this, you'll need to go back to your previous version of Windows, make sure the previous version is activated, and then upgrade to Windows 10." http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...ate-windows-10

    Thanks in advance!

    Edit: Oh, and by the way when I execute those commands, I don't have an end evaluation date in the /dlv message, and the /xpr message says "Windows(R), Core Edition: Windows is in Notification mode."
    What do you mean here:
    So I just bought a modified ASUS M32BF running 8.1
    Did you purchase this at a retail outlet or off the web? I'm not sure what 'modified' means.

    If you purchased it from a retailer - take it back - this is their problem and they should honor the x number of days to return technology products.

    If you bought it off the web (ebay??) then you could contact the seller and ask for a refund. A new machine should not have boot up issues.

    To answer your question directly though.
    No, the activation issue on your machine is because you circumvented the upgrade. The only ways Windows 10 will activate are:
    • Upgrade a qualifying OS - a seed key is used to create, encrypt, and store a Win10 key from the hardware and existing OS key.

    • Purchase a Retail version of Win10 and enter the key on the packaging.


    You could re-install Win8.1 using the COA key on the machine (a sticker on the bottom, side, or in the battery compartment).

    You could re-install Win8.1.
    Win8.x stores the key in firmware, so you shouldn't need a key to Clean install.
    Then go through a proper upgrade to Win10

    You'll need the install media for both Win8.1 and Win10
    Win8 install media: Download Windows 8.1 Update ISO File with "Windows Installation Media Creation Tool"
    Step 4. You can select write to a USB or ISO. If you select ISO, you can burn a disc or write to a USB later using a 3rd party tool 'Rufus', but it's easeist to let the Media Creation tool create the USB if that's what you're going to use.

    Win10 install media: Use Media Creation Tool to create Bootable Windows 10 USB for Legacy BIOS and UEFI

    Then do a clean install of Win8.1
    Clean Install - Windows 8

    Then upgrade that install base to Win10
    Windows 10 - Upgrade Installation - Windows 10 Forums


    That's a lot of work for a new machine - so I'd just send it back and get one that works. You don't know what other problems the machine might have.
    Last edited by Slartybart; 21 Aug 2015 at 12:31. Reason: no COA for Win8.x
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 8
    Windows 10
       21 Aug 2015 #4

    Thanks. I bought it from a coworker, who bought it new in January. He said he had a couple issues with it when he first got it as well, so maybe he should have returned it back then, but at this point there's nothing I can do there. Obviously I told him when there was issues, and he actually came over to try to help me fix it. I told him all was good when I was able to eventually install Win 10, since I planned to do that anyway. I didn't realize Windows wasn't activated until later. Thanks for linking me to the Win 8.1 download! I'll try that solution.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 6,897
    Windows 10 Pro
       21 Aug 2015 #5

    Slartybart said: View Post
    You could re-install Win8.1.
    Win8.x stores the key in firmware, so you shouldn't need a key to Clean install.
    Then go through a proper upgrade to Win10
    Windows 8 does not store any key in firmware. No version of Windows has ever stored a key in firmware. Manufacturers of computer systems that have OEM keys can load those keys in the BIOS, but Windows has never put one there.

    If the OP's computer had a motherboard that was purchased at retail and installed by the user, there won't be a key in BIOS unless it was purchased that way as a package deal - Motherboard + Windows.

    I've got a homebuilt computer that started with Windows 7, upgraded to Windows 8.1, upgraded to Windows 10, no key in BIOS because I bought the motherboard retail myself. I have a another computer that started out with Windows 7 from the factory, upgraded to Windows 8, upgraded to Windows 10. The original Windows 7 key is still in BIOS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 8
    Windows 10
       22 Aug 2015 #6

    NavyLCDR said: View Post

    If the OP's computer had a motherboard that was purchased at retail and installed by the user, there won't be a key in BIOS unless it was purchased that way as a package deal - Motherboard + Windows.
    As far as I know my motherboard is the one that came with original retail model, pre-installed with Win 8. Would that entail that if I reinstall 8.1, it will be automatically activated?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 6,897
    Windows 10 Pro
       22 Aug 2015 #7

    wintercat said: View Post
    As far as I know my motherboard is the one that came with original retail model, pre-installed with Win 8. Would that entail that if I reinstall 8.1, it will be automatically activated?
    It should. You can use a program like showkey plus that will tell you what/if the key in BIOS is and what version of Windows it is for.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 


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