Windows 10: Windows 10 Upgrade + Clean install Activates then Deactivates

  1.    18 Sep 2015 #1

    Windows 10 Upgrade + Clean install Activates then Deactivates

    Ye old Error code: 0xC004C003

    I made sure 8.1 Pro to the upgrade to 10 Pro was activated before I did a clean install. This last month the system has been acting weird. Once in windows its fine, but I was getting startup errors that made windows restart while starting dealing with HD audio. Not sure if the realtek or Nvidia.

    Anyhow during all this and now my system had been activated, then deactivated, then activated. Etc. Etc. Etc. I think its finally settled on deactivated.

    No hardware changes in all this other than driver and windows updates. So yea.. nothing on Google search nor here mentions this exact problem. Again, I need to point out it was activated with the upgrade first from 8.1 to 10. It also showed activated in 10 for awhile.

    The system should only deactivate if new base hardware was installed which this isn't the case.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Night Hawk's Avatar
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       18 Sep 2015 #2

    Hello potentiality Welcome to the Ten Forums!

    If you having some type of driver related issue where one particular hardware is and then isn't and then is being seen by 10 that might be the source of the problem. One option to look into would be if you already to which hardware(sound card, onboard sound, video card or other device) the driver problem is being seen with. This may a compatibility issue where a visit to the manufacturer's support site(Alien ware by your system specs info) to choose either a 10 update or one for 8.1 for that model laptop you have there.

    The error code itself is from the activation servers blocking the key when seeing a clean install of 10 or entering one during an upgrade install. You might just be looking at a hardware issue of some type like a failing hard drive?

    I've seen drives go on laptops in a relatively shorter period of time then you would generally see on a desktop system simply from the continuing shocks from handling as well as the compact space where which everything is all packed into not seeing adequate air flow to cool things down. Many opt for the gel or other type of notebook cooling pad for example since laptops build heat fast.

    This may not be the case at all and that would once again point back at the driver type issue. Hopefully your model laptop allows booting live from usb flash drives where you can either use the recovery options on the 10 media since you already have that made up or from a " Recovery Drive " made with an 8gb(or larger then 4gb) flash drive. Besides the guide there you may want to look over the MS Community WiKi reference on common product key issues found at How to Activate and resolve common Product key issues in Windows 10 - Microsoft Community
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    18 Sep 2015 #3

    Hi Night Hawk,

    Thanks for the reply. I should I have mentioned I'm a more advanced power user. So I have tried everything you have suggested already. SSD health is fine and trim is ok.

    I did a restore point to early this month and its showing activated again. How long this will hold? Who knows! My own theory is its something with the Nvidia and Intel Optimus mix. Nvidia 10 drivers aren't the greatest from all accounts at this time, and I am getting the old "video card driver crashed and was reset" with some very demanding GPU programs (not games though). Could have been coincidence, but shortly after these that night the "Windows is not Activated" background image on the desktop showed up.

    Anyhow, Ill keep this thread appraised and maybe can narrow it down. I'm just surprised no one else has had this issue.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Night Hawk's Avatar
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       18 Sep 2015 #4

    Someone just might yet! Never count anything out especially where these two versions are close together! Still only 2yrs. for 8.1 that followed 8's release back in 2012. The roll back you saw is likely the key to the apparently hardware misindentified problem going on there where 8.1 sees the video card as the likely suspect as something changed. Driver clashes are never any fun to resolve!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    21 Sep 2015 #5

    Well its back.... This time nothing changed. I came back to it after the weekend with it complaining my login details for hotmail where out of date. Looking at event viewer I see this.

    Activation of app microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe!ppleae38af2e007f4358a809ac99a64a67c1 failed with error: No applicable app licenses found. See the Microsoft-Windows-TWinUI/Operational log for additional information.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Night Hawk's Avatar
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       22 Sep 2015 #6

    OUCH! You may end up simply having to call it a day and simply nuke the drive entirely clean once you have everything you put on it if not already backed up elsewhere! With this amount of problems I would think you would have already seen to that for planning a disaster recovery plan since the present situation is getting hopeless for you.

    With the activation status continuing to see unexpected dropoffs it seems to suggest that the clean install that you put to follow the upgrade is where you ended up seeing problems! It usually is in reverse where the upgrade will turn out buggy. But so can clean installs! I've seen that come but years back mostly for XP since that was buggy until SP3 finally came out having all the fixes it needed! A bit too late obviously.

    Something obviously happened during the installation that keeps popping up on you between hardwares for some reason. I suspect this may be why a laptop will only connect with the WiFi here and not somewhere else since the upgrade followed by the subsequent clean installs were all connected here. I can easily log onto the other private network but may have to reinstall 10 there rather then here to get web access?!

    If your situation something between the video card and chipset isn't playing well with 10 for some reason. Make sure the onboard graphics on the board are disabled as well as checking in the Device Manager to see what is showing there under "Display adapters". If the board offers onboard graphics and that is enabled that would be an automatic clash with the expansion card! On previous versions you have a lot of graphic distortions, BSODs, and Windows hangups while in 10 the possible clash is resulting in temporarily knocking out the activation by the random fluxuations of which is the default graphics as one clashes with the other?

    If this is what is happening that would explain the NVidia-Intel Optimus errors. And the problem as far as NVidia Optimus /Intel Optimus one being Intel's version of the driver set isn't unique in itself to your situation but I have been finding gaming issues and even upgrade issues from others with 8.1 laptops including Alienware models upgrading to 10 and running into problems where one person wiped everything clean, Reinstalled 8.1 all over again but while having an Alienware laptop went to the Dell support site and once everything was set to go upgraded to 10 once more to see working results. The only complaint since was it being sluggish likely when gaming.

    The MS support engineer who replied states that since the correct drivers at Alienware's own support pages may be updated for 10 yet seeing he previous version's drivers installed in compatibility mode. Since your system is also Alienware I thought this might a possible solution for you as well. The MS answers post is seen at

    Talk about garbage support Alienware's own support site only goes as far as the 64bit 7 driver options! Alienware : The Ultimate Gaming Machineā„¢ You can see why the OP there went to Dell in fast hurry! Yet when you arrive at the page for the model you have and click on the "Drivers, Manuals & Support option this is all you see on the Dell page found at: Alienware M11x Laptop - 11 Inch Gaming Laptop | Dell

    Product Support

    Product Support

    From drivers and manuals to diagnostic tools and replacement parts, Dell Product Support has you covered.

    And as I look into things a bit further you may not like the results for what I am finding! Under "Supported Operating Systems" for example 7 x64, 8 x64 and Bios options are what you find! Here's the notation that goes with them. Product Support | Dell US

    Your Alienware M11x R3 supports these operating systems:

    Change Product

    • Windows 8, 64-bit

    • BIOS

    • Windows 7, 64-bit

    Note regarding operating systems not listed above:
    Dell may not support an operating system for various reasons, including discontinued support from the software vendor or lack of availability with certain products.

    For more information about an unsupported platform or operating system, please contact the software vendor.
    Either Dell is being slow or they may no longer be offering any newer driver sets for that particular model since MX 13s, 14s, 15s, 17s, and MX 18s being newer have replaced yours. The listing for all the Alienware models is seen at Drivers Downloads | Dell US

    Simply look under the "Browse for a product" button to unhide the complete list of Alienware models they carry. One option for you if you have an account or not would be to contact Dell support directly to explain the problems and find out if they will be able to help you any with 10 such as possible suggestions of using another model's driver set that has the same chipset and graphics card but still being supported for 10. The other of course is trying to reinstall things in the compatibility mode.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    22 Sep 2015 #7

    Might want to read this thread. I think you are confusing Windows activation with your posted error.

    Windows 10 Apps wont work - Microsoft Community
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Night Hawk's Avatar
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       23 Sep 2015 #8

    Porthos said: View Post
    Might want to read this thread. I think you are confusing Windows activation with your posted error.

    Windows 10 Apps wont work - Microsoft Community
    The type of errors seen there are totally different and point to problems being seen with the XBox app. potentiality has a different type of compatibility issue due to Dell not having 10 drivers out yet for the model he has there. And they may not come out at all since that seems to one of the first of that model series if they have dropped support for it.

    That can be a real pain in der kister which is a famed Dell trick of dropping support fast for certain models in order to push out newer ones! Seen that enough over the years between Dell and other companies!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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