Windows 10: Cannot activate genuine copy after clean install Solved

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  1. Posts : 1,750
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       22 Apr 2016 #11

    Just on the offchance, it may be worth taking a look in here, if present:

    \$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\Panther

    You may need to set File Explorer view options to show hidden items to see this folder, and subfolders

    I've noticed that "GenuineTicket.xml" remains here following an (attempted) upgrade in some cases.

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputersSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       22 Apr 2016 #12

    With a clean install even if that was found(extremely rare on a clean install) it wouldn't be valid since nothing remained behind from the orignal OEM 7 install's own activation. If you upgraded from one 10 build to the next that will be found automatically. You have already seen the Digital Entitlement at work.

    Too bad there wasn't any system image created originally while actually only a few of the more advanced users will plan that. Most unfortunately simply do not think ahead like that and I get asked to redo the laptops others have at times either from a malware or drive failing.

    The other option to consider would likely cost just as much as a new license being a data recovery program full version only if not a pro service that could recover things from a reformatted drive if possible. That would still be a long shot without any guaranty of results! The first thing needed now however would be verification that the Windows.old folder is still found intact on the drive and the DiskCleanup tool wasn't run at all. That will provide the best option for reverting back to 7 without being forced into a clean install of the previous.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    22 Apr 2016 #13

    @Fafhrd
    Good info - I forgot the GT get's retained with a failed DE attempt.

    @Night Hawk
    Yup the Win.old folder will be helpful but not a necessity - the main component will be a SLIC table in the firmware (hopefully it's Win 7 and not Vista) - that's the real licence - the rest are generic OEM (certificate and key) that we can replicate based on the type of SLIC in the registry. The edition may still be a minor issue - suppose a google search on model may help if the COA is totally obliterated and no Win.old folder.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 1,750
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       22 Apr 2016 #14

    Superfly said: View Post
    @Fafhrd
    Good info - I forgot the GT get's retained with a failed DE attempt.
    Since the location is pretty standard:

    \$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\Panther\GenuineTicket.xml

    - Is there any chance of an undelete utility being able to resurrect the GT?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    22 Apr 2016 #15

    Fafhrd said: View Post
    Since the location is pretty standard:

    \$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\Panther\GenuineTicket.xml

    - Is there any chance of an undelete utility being able to resurrect the GT?
    Probably, however as it only gets nuked after successful DE, it's of no real use subsequently.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 474
    Windows 10 Pro (Mix of Builds) / Linux Mint
       22 Apr 2016 #16

    For the record, here is where it went wrong: " It was a disaster. I decided that instead of trying to clean the OS, I would upgrade it from Windows 7 (genuine) to Windows 10."

    If you have a borked OS install, you fix it, or wipe and install fresh, you never upgrade.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    22 Apr 2016 #17

    RWOne said: View Post
    For the record, here is where it went wrong: " It was a disaster. I decided that instead of trying to clean the OS, I would upgrade it from Windows 7 (genuine) to Windows 10."

    If you have a borked OS install, you fix it, or wipe and install fresh, you never upgrade.

    Windows 7 being a disaster had nothing to do with my problem. The problem was that a moderator in a Microsoft help forum suggested a clean install without mentioning that one should do the upgrade first.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       22 Apr 2016 #18

    Are you sure it was an MS mod or someone else claiming to be? That doesn't sound anyone with 10 or any experience under their belt for that matter since the first place to look would be at the actual MS requirements for seeing any new version replacing an existing installation as well as having a backup plan in case it doesn't go well. Looking at the actual requirements for the free upgrade should have been what was recommended to you there!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    22 Apr 2016 #19

    Night Hawk said: View Post
    Are you sure it was an MS mod or someone else claiming to be? That doesn't sound anyone with 10 or any experience under their belt for that matter since the first place to look would be at the actual MS requirements for seeing any new version replacing an existing installation as well as having a backup plan in case it doesn't go well. Looking at the actual requirements for the free upgrade should have been what was recommended to you there!
    He had the same type of badges you do under your avatar so he was definitely legit. Stepping away from that for a moment - I really think Microsoft needs to learn from this. It seems like too much of an easy mistake to make and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has experienced something like this. If the COA is rubbed off, bad news. The upgrade path from the Windows 10 icon in the taskbar doesn't always work (as confirmed by the many posts I've seen). That then requires another method (usually manual installation) and the line between getting it right and wrong is pretty thin when you look at the Media Creation Tool and the tutorials out there. I'm not bad with computers by any means but if somebody that is less skilled attempts something like this with the same problems I ran into, it's pretty silly to require them to pay because Microsoft created the problem in the first place. Ok, rant over.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       22 Apr 2016 #20

    Well this is why it is a shame you didn't arrive here first where you could have seen the guide I posted at the top of the thread showing how you could still skip the upgrade but preserve the 7 activation status. When someone asks for me to look and/or repair the OS or see it go on fresh I always get the product key first for that version. If a laptop was missing it they better have written down elsewhere otherwise there's nothing I can do.

    I had someone wanting me to put 7 Ultimate on a Vista Basic laptop one time where I could only put Linux Mint on since I only had the Home Premuim dvd for the old version and he had no key for 7! He wanted the laptop for media playback only so I put on an open source player and explained he would need to get a deal on 7 with a key before I could do any more for him. His nephew had brought him along one day when finding out I got other laptops going again.

    Unfortunately now your best option without having a valid 7 key to restore 7 and upgrade from that long enough to get the DE needed in order to see a clean install follow that is the MS store. As for whoever that was at the MS Answers site likely they should have explained the need for either an upgrade over or the 7 key instead of taking it for granted you had that already. It would have been for that person to simply state once you saw the clean install you could use the 7 key at this time unlike when 10 first arrived where it was a mandate to see the update take place first so the MS servers would have a record of the hardwares.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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