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  1.    06 Dec 2015 #1
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Croatia
    Posts : 62
    Windows 10 Home, build 10586.218

    Unable to activate Windows 10 w/ Windows 8.1 key


    Hello everyone. So after remembering that I've read this would be possible at some point, I did some research and found that it's indeed possible to activate Win 10 w/ key from 8.1 after latest big update. I wanted to re-format the SSD and start from scratch. I bought PC w/ Windows 8.1 pre-installed and eventually upgraded to Windows 10. I had it up-to-date and I was logging in with email.

    However, now when I've installed Windows 10 and updated it w/ 1511, I still can't activate my copy of Windows. This is the error I get: https://i.imgur.com/PmzIwDj.png

    Does anyone have any idea how to activate Windows 10? Should I call someone at Microsoft? It's a business PC, so I can't have Windows that aren't activated or with illegal key, so I need to have this resolved within a few days tops. Any help would be very much appreciated!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    06 Dec 2015 #2
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 2,790
    64bit Win 10 Pro ver 1703 Build 15063.674

    I am surprised W10 did not activate automatically. From your first upgrade on this laptop you will have created a digital entitlement recorded on the MS servers for your laptop. Any new installations of W10 on this laptop will pick up that entitlement automatically and activate. You should not need to enter a product key.

    The only reason this might fail is if you picked the wrong edition of W10 when you downloaded the ISO file for your latest installation. It could be the language did not match, English versus English International or something like that. The W10 edition needs to match the W8.1 edition you had originally.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  3.    06 Dec 2015 #3
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Croatia
    Posts : 62
    Windows 10 Home, build 10586.218
    Thread Starter

    Wow, that's even more odd. I've read some stuff about it too, that's why I mentioned I used online account to login and use the PC. I did, however, forget to say which version of Windows I had and what do I have now:

    I purchased this: "OEM Win 8.1 Engl 64-bit" (English x64) back in July and now I installed Windows 10 Pro, English x64. However, something important I should probably mention is that I downloaded Windows via torrent because it also had Home version which I need for other laptop, so to save me the hassle of downloading 3-4GB twice, I went with this (it said Windows copy wasn't tampered with and it's original ISO):

    "Windows 10 5in1 10240 x64 en-US Oct2015". Could this be the reason I'm having issues with it? I really don't want to re-install Windows 8.1 and then upgrade, but if there's no other way, I'll re-download .ISO from Windows website and try it again.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    06 Dec 2015 #4
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 4,779
    windows 10 Home threshold2

    ............I purchased this: "OEM Win 8.1 Engl 64-bit" (English x64) back in July and now I installed Windows 10 Pro, English x64...........

    Was there a typo or was that Win 8.1 you had and NOT Win 8.1 Pro ?
    If it was indeed Win 8.1 you had, then you picked the wrong Win 10 version to install. You were supposed to pick the Win 10 Home to install not Win 10 Pro.
    Have you checked if your Win 10 Pro was activated after installed from Win 8.1 ?
    I doubt that it was activated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    06 Dec 2015 #5
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,114
    Windows 10 Pro

    You have to install the same version of Windows as the product key is for. You installed Windows 10 Pro. You can't activate it with a Windows Home product key. Go back and install Windows 10 Home and it will activate.

    Also, I would recommend you download a genuine ISO from Microsoft with either the Media Creation Tool or the Microsoft Tech Bench. Both sources will give you both Home and Pro in the same ISO.

    Windows 10

    Tech Bench
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    06 Dec 2015 #6
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Croatia
    Posts : 62
    Windows 10 Home, build 10586.218
    Thread Starter

    Oh wow, I'm so stupid.... I actually bought Windows license that wasn't Pro version....... Didn't even realize there was also "OEM Pro" version, pfffft. Is there a cheaper option to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro, because only thing I found was for $99? :|

    Thanks guys for helping me resolve this and saving time as I was about to install Office 2016 and other stuff and would've just wasted my bandwith and time for nothing since I have to re-install anyway.

    And one more thing, is it normal nowadays for new PC's to arrive without that Windows sticker? I worked in IT shop and we always used to get it assembled by same people who import hardware/software to this country and none of them had it and neither does mine (from same IT shop/assembled by same company). It's definitely a genuine license, but I'm wondering if I should've received it or it's normal these days that it doesn't arrive with it if it's pre-installed? Because I bought an actual Windows 10 Pro license just a week ago and in the package, there is a sticker that I can put on other PC.... Am I missing something here? :/
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    06 Dec 2015 #7
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,114
    Windows 10 Pro

    Windows 8 OEM product keys from the manufacturer are stored in bios. You can retrieve it by running showkeyplus from this forum. Windows build 10586 downloaded from Microsoft websites will also read the key in bios and install the correct version (home or pro) so long as you download the correct edition (Regular Windows 10, "N", or Single Language).

    I would look for Windows 7 Professional product key:
    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 32/64 bit Full Version SP1Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 32/64 bit Full Version SP1Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 32/64 bit Full Version SP1Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 32/64 bit Full Version SP1Microsoft Windows 7
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    06 Dec 2015 #8
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Croatia
    Posts : 62
    Windows 10 Home, build 10586.218
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    Windows 8 OEM product keys from the manufacturer are stored in bios. You can retrieve it by running showkeyplus from this forum. Windows build 10586 downloaded from Microsoft websites will also read the key in bios and install the correct version (home or pro) so long as you download the correct edition (Regular Windows 10, "N", or Single Language).
    Aaaand once again I bite the dust by downloading a torrent for software for which I have an actual license.... I'll never learn it seems since it's not the first time this happened. Sad! Thanks a lot guys for spending time to reply to my recklessness!

    And wow, this is insta-buy anyway, might need this license afterwards. Just one thing, if I used it on my laptop, installed Win 7 & upgraded to 10, will I be able to use the same key when I re-install OS at some point after the free upgrade option expires?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    06 Dec 2015 #9
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,114
    Windows 10 Pro

    Well, I noticed it looks like you have a computer assembled by an IT shop - so they probably used off-the-shelf motherboards which won't have Windows 8 product keys in the bios. If the IT shop sold you a legitimate copy of Windows 8, the product key would be on a COA - Certificate of Authenticity.

    In that case, the Windows install program will first ask you to enter a product key. The Windows 8 product key may or may not work at that point. If you are sure you are installing the correct version of Windows, skip the product key at that point. Then the install program will ask if you want to install Home or Pro. Pick the version your product key is for. You might have to skip entering the product key a couple more times. After it is installed, you will then go to the activation screen and enter your Windows 8 product key and it should activate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clam View Post
    And wow, this is insta-buy anyway, might need this license afterwards. Just one thing, if I used it on my laptop, installed Win 7 & upgraded to 10, will I be able to use the same key when I re-install OS at some point after the free upgrade option expires?
    You should be able to enter the Windows 7 product key in the Windows 10 Pro you have installed now in the "change product key" option - if it is version 1511, build 10586. Once you get an upgrade activation, it will store the activation on Microsoft activation servers and during later clean installs you just skip entering the product key and Windows 10 will retrieve the activation stored on Microsoft servers and activate itself.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    06 Dec 2015 #10
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Croatia
    Posts : 62
    Windows 10 Home, build 10586.218
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    Well, I noticed it looks like you have a computer assembled by an IT shop - so they probably used off-the-shelf motherboards which won't have Windows 8 product keys in the bios. If the IT shop sold you a legitimate copy of Windows 8, the product key would be on a COA - Certificate of Authenticity.

    In that case, the Windows install program will first ask you to enter a product key. The Windows 8 product key may or may not work at that point. If you are sure you are installing the correct version of Windows, skip the product key at that point. Then the install program will ask if you want to install Home or Pro. Pick the version your product key is for. You might have to skip entering the product key a couple more times. After it is installed, you will then go to the activation screen and enter your Windows 8 product key and it should activate.



    You should be able to enter the Windows 7 product key in the Windows 10 Pro you have installed now in the "change product key" option - if it is version 1511, build 10586. Once you get an upgrade activation, it will store the activation on Microsoft activation servers and during later clean installs you just skip entering the product key and Windows 10 will retrieve the activation stored on Microsoft servers and activate itself.
    I see, thanks!

    And I did what you guys suggested, downloaded .ISO from Microsoft website and it automatically installed Home version and activated without asking me for a key: Click image for larger version. 

Name:	25f6wI0.png 
Views:	3 
Size:	25.2 KB 
ID:	52371

    So thank you everyone for helping out today. I've learned a few things from all this.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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