Windows 10: Replaced Motherboard, now Windows 10 won't reactivate
Replaced Motherboard, now Windows 10 won't reactivate
Had to get a new motherboard for my mom's HP Pavilion 110-023w tower because the pins on the socket LGA-1155 board were bent. Was trying to clean it up and apply new thermal grease on it after I had blown out the dust bunnies out early in the month last month. This board: ASRock H81TM-ITX R2.0 LGA 1150 Intel H81 HDMI SATA 6Gbs USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard - Newegg.com
replaces HP part number 717070-501. Now, I tried to get on the activation hotline and once again I get dialed into Bangalore or who-knows-where, and he keeps whining about entering the Product Key from a label that is nowhere to be found on the computer's case. I insisted that I never had a key, that Windows 8 was factory pre-installed without one, they never bothered to include a sticker or label on the computer, or any of the media or the manual, but he kept rambling on about where to look and, I almost started an argument because I already had the Installation ID screen up and everything and I told him, "Look, I came here to tell someone my Installation ID and all you're doing is b#%ch about some label that I can't find on this HP tower?" He kept on keeping on, telling me about all other nonsense I didn't want to hear, and finally I decided he wasn't going to help me activate Windows, so I hung up on him.
So yeah. I did put a new motherboard in the HP chassis, and it was almost a perfect fit except for that I had to cut a length of cable in order for the power connectors to reach from the motherboard to the DVD Super Drive. The remaining connector was within reach of the hard disk that was already still in the system. And being that this is my mother's Internet PC, and that she uses it to do her taxes on it, I copied what was important to her into her OneDrive and then wiped the hard drive
Still not convinced? This is where it gets even worse. The installation media I made to upgrade the laptop and this custom build that I have won't work. I even tried using my old Windows 7 key only to get told that it's "in use by another PC". What?
So not only is my mother running non-genuine Windows now, she is going to get constantly nagged to death until she forks over $120 until something is done out here, or if someone did their job correctly through that activation hotline like I asked...!
Problem is the original 8.1 key was preinstalled oem, and you cannot transfer windows 10 to a new device if original licence is oem, and a new mobo counts as a new pc (it is the brains after all). The windows 10 EULA is very clear on this.
If your windows 7 key is a retail key, you can reinstall 7 on new pc, get it activated using telephone activation if necessary, then upgrade to windows 10 (or clean install and use 7 key).
If 7 key is oem, then it will not work, and you need a new licence. You are required to remove 7 or upgrade to 10 from old mobo, if you intended to use old mobo as well (not an issue here as old mobo is dead).
I admit the quality of info being provided by MS support is poor, but the end result is still correct ie you need a new licence.
I think it depends on whether the motherboard was replaced or upgraded.
I think if a motherboard is replaced like-for-like as a repair, then you can transfer the licence, but for a motherboard upgrade you can't.
The support person should have known that a PC sold with Windows 8 or later didn't have a visible product key - most likely there was a sticker with a hologram, but no product key number, because the product key was encoded into the motherboard. It would be possible to read it using a utility such as ShowKey, but only if the old motherboard still works?
several people have asked what happens if you make changes to hardware. As I noted earlier, Microsoft doesn't provide details of how it calculates that hardware hash, but upgrades of system components such as a video card or a hard drive won't normally trigger a reactivation. If that happens, a quick call to the activation line will resolve the issue, often without any human contact required, in minutes.
The one exception is a motherboard replacement, which will inevitably cause the Software Licensing Management utility to recognize the device as a new PC and require reactivation, typically over the phone. A motherboard upgrade, even if you reuse storage, video, memory, and a case, is considered a new PC. In that case, if the underlying Windows license is from a retail copy, that license can be transferred. If you are upgrading (and not replacing) a motherboard on an OEM PC that was sold with Windows preinstalled, the license agreement prevents the license from being transferred.
I would try to plead your case with the activation support line again - hope you get someone who knows that Windows 8 PCs didn't have visible product keys.
It is true that you might be able to argue a 'like for like' replacement but if you do not have old 8.1 key, I do not see how MS can do anything. Of course - if you persist enough ......, but do not assume you will win. OP probably has more chance using 7 key but even then I would not hold my breath.
Reading post again, OP does not say old mobo has completely failed. If it is still working, OP should be able to recover key using produkey or similar.
Why don't you just ask Microsoft for a refund for the full price that you paid for Windows 10 - which is? Microsoft only ever offered to upgrade the DEVICE that Windows 7/8/8.1 was on for free to Windows 10. If you had not upgraded to Windows 10 where do you think you would be? The OEM Windows 8/8.1 that was for the motherboard that you replaced died with the motherboard that you replaced. If it was a retail license Windows 7/8/8.1 then it is not Microsoft's fault that you didn't keep the product key for it. If you return the motherboard to the manufacturer for a replacement under warranty, it is up to the manufacturer to provide you with a new Windows OEM license. If you wanted to try to cheat the system, then you should have retrieved the Windows 8 product key from the motherboard before you replaced it.
Hint: Windows 7 and/or Windows 8 licenses are a lot cheaper than Windows 10 and Windows 10 build 10586 will activate by just changing the product key to a valid Windows 7/8/8.1 product key of the matching version.
If I had known about ShowKey beforehand I would have gotten the key out before this incident happened, but no.
That machine has been out of warranty since 2014, and I don't think I'll even attempt to power up the motherboard without letting out some "magic smoke" between the socket and the CPU. It's really broken.
So, When the EULA for the OEM Windows 8 was agreed to, the person clicking "agree" acknowledged that the Windows installed was for that "computer" only and that it was the manufacturer of the computer responsible for service relating to the OS and not Microsoft. You don't expect the manufacturer to service the motherboard for free after the warranty runs out, do you? So exactly why do you think Microsoft should take responsibility for something they weren't even responsible for in the first place? You essentially replaced the computer on your own, so why should you expect Microsoft to replace the OS that didn't even have a warranty covered by Microsoft to begin with?
Microsoft customer support doing their job correctly would be, "You give us a retail product key or an OEM product key unique to this motherboard, and we'll activate your Windows for you." It's not Microsoft's fault you didn't have either one.
Last edited by NavyLCDR; 03 Jan 2016 at 10:02.
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