1.    05 Dec 2016 #1
    Join Date : Dec 2016
    Posts : 1
    Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit

    Windows 10 Pro digital license - "Activate Windows" watermark

    A few months ago I upgraded my Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro via the free upgrade promotion. For the first few months I experienced absolutely zero problems. A few days ago, the "Activate Windows" watermark appeared on my screen. Upon checking my activation settings I got a notification saying that I don't have a valid digital license or product key - which makes no sense, since I got the digital license directly from Microsoft. Below is an image of the window.

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    The troubleshooter gave me the following message:

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    I also tried to reinstall Windows 10 Pro, but every time it stopped at 40% progress for the following reason:

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    Some other notes:

    Before all this happened, I received a notification that my C: Drive needed to be repaired. I ran the drive repair utility which stated that the repair was successful. This happened about a day before I started having problems.

    The only hardware change I've made since upgrading was a new GPU, with a clean install on its drivers.

    I don't recall which (if any) Microsoft account I linked this digital license to. I haven't been logging into Windows with a Microsoft account.

    My previous version of Windows was Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, which I still do have the product key for.

    I received remote assistance from a Microsoft technician, but he wasn't able to resolve my issue. He did give me a Windows 10 Pro product key which didn't work when entered in activation settings.

    Are my system files corrupt? Anything else I should try before attempting a clean install?

    Thank you in advance!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    05 Dec 2016 #2
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish expat in Germany
    Posts : 13,293
    Windows 10 Pro

    Hi Pauru, welcome to Ten Forums.

    I honestly believe the best course of action would be to start from scratch, performing a clean install of Windows 10 Pro.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauru View Post
    I also tried to reinstall Windows 10 Pro, but every time it stopped at 40% progress for the following reason:
    Your screenshot is from in-place upgrade or repair install, not from a clean install. An upgrade or repair install is launched from Windows desktop, running the setup.exe file from Windows install media. It only repairs / replaces system files and folders keeping installed software and your personal files and folders intact. It has none whatsoever effect in Windows activation.

    A clean install can only be done by booting the computer from Windows install media. Old Windows installation will be wiped out, as well as all installed software and personal data. In your case this should allow an automatic activation. See tutorial: Windows 10 - Clean Install - Windows 10 Forums

    Notice that when clean install asks your product key, you can skip it (not enter any key) as told in step 7 in above mentioned tutorial. Digital license does not require a product key.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauru View Post
    I don't recall which (if any) Microsoft account I linked this digital license to. I haven't been logging into Windows with a Microsoft account.
    A digital license does not require a Microsoft account. For example, I always reinstall Windows using a local account and when done, checking the activation before adding any Microsoft accounts shows that Windows is activated with a digital license.

    If you decided to try a clean install, be sure to backup your system first to allow restore if it does not work (I am quite sure it will work but better safe than sorry). Remember that clean install wipes your personal data (documents, music, videos, pictures and so on) in addition to all installed software. Copy all personal stuff to an external disk before starting.

      My ComputerSystem Spec


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