1.    04 Jul 2015 #1
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10

    8 -> 8.1 -> 10: The Evolution of Activation Keys


    Hi everyone

    I'll preface this question with a simple disclaimer: every Microsoft product I've ever used is legit, paid for, updated in a timely manner, etc. I've also been using the same homebuilt PC all this time, so nothing has changed, physically. With that out of the way...

    Pre-ordered Windows 8 (Pro) directly from Microsoft for $39.99 back in the day and that came with a Product Activation Key. When Windows 8.1 was first released, I downloaded it through the Windows app store, and could not activate it with my 8 Pro key. The advice was to use a particular generic activation code (See Post #1 in THIS thread for an example. )

    Fast forward to today, where I've wiped my computer numerous times and am currently running Windows 10 (10162) with a generic activation number.

    Any ideas what I can do, or may have to do, in order to fully update and activate Windows 10 when it's released? To the best of my knowledge I don't have a unique 8.1 code, and my old Windows 8 isn't currently in use.

    The reinstall/upgrade path was tricky during some of the transitions these last few years. Worried about what sort of hoops I may have to jump through at the end of this month.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much,

    Mike
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    05 Jul 2015 #2
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    That's not a generic activation code. That's a generic *INSTALLATION* code, then you have to use your Windows 8 code to activate.

    The problem is that the installation program doesn't recognize Windows 8 codes, but the Activate dialog does. Your copy of Windows is still using your Windows 8 key.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    05 Jul 2015 #3
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    That's not a generic activation code. That's a generic *INSTALLATION* code, then you have to use your Windows 8 code to activate.

    The problem is that the installation program doesn't recognize Windows 8 codes, but the Activate dialog does. Your copy of Windows is still using your Windows 8 key.
    Thanks Mystere, but I'm not certain I understand. Ultimately my Windows 10 was installed fresh and not as an update, so I never used my old Windows 8 key, and definitely not a Windows 8.1 key.

    With the newest 10 build(s), I had to use another, 2nd, key (as seen HERE) and a minor hack to activate, but even now, it shows my copy is activated (All Settings > Activation = Edition: Windows 10 Pro Insider Edition - Windows is Activated).

    Is my old Windows 8 key tied to my Microsoft account and keeping me activated? Or am I, at this point and time, misrepresenting my account through openly shared keys? That's where my initial concern/confusion lay.

    Sorry for being dense!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    05 Jul 2015 #4
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Mafman View Post
    Thanks Mystere, but I'm not certain I understand. Ultimately my Windows 10 was installed fresh and not as an update, so I never used my old Windows 8 key, and definitely not a Windows 8.1 key.

    With the newest 10 build(s), I had to use another, 2nd, key (as seen HERE) and a minor hack to activate, but even now, it shows my copy is activated (All Settings > Activation = Edition: Windows 10 Pro Insider Edition - Windows is Activated).

    Is my old Windows 8 key tied to my Microsoft account and keeping me activated? Or am I, at this point and time, misrepresenting my account through openly shared keys? That's where my initial concern/confusion lay.

    Sorry for being dense!
    I was correcting you that you did not activate Windows 8.1 with a generic key. There's no such thing as a generic 8.1 activation key. There is a generic 8.1 *INSTALLATION* key, but this does not activate your copy of 8.1, it only allows you to get it installed. You then have to use your original Windows 8 key to activate your Windows 8.1. I said nothing about Windows 10.

    You are using the beta keys to activate Windows 10, and as long as you stay in the Windows Insider program, you can keep doing that. But if you want to install Windows 10 without staying in the program, you will need your original Windows 8 licensed copy to be upgraded.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    05 Jul 2015 #5

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    I was correcting you that you did not activate Windows 8.1 with a generic key. There's no such thing as a generic 8.1 activation key. There is a generic 8.1 *INSTALLATION* key, but this does not activate your copy of 8.1, it only allows you to get it installed. You then have to use your original Windows 8 key to activate your Windows 8.1. I said nothing about Windows 10.

    You are using the beta keys to activate Windows 10, and as long as you stay in the Windows Insider program, you can keep doing that. But if you want to install Windows 10 without staying in the program, you will need your original Windows 8 licensed copy to be upgraded.
    Due to this very reason I reverted back to my original 8.1 using my system image.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    05 Jul 2015 #6
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Mystere,

    I get it now. I appreciate the fuller explanation. Now I'm looking forward to July 29th, the upgrade trepidation is gone.

    Thank you.

    Mike
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    22 Jul 2015 #7
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 1
    Win 8.1

    So one question I have is can you upgrade a current licensed version of 8.1 to the 10240 that has been released and it basically be the same as the update they are going to release on 7/29 or is it best to wait?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    22 Jul 2015 #8
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    We don't know... it may well be the same version. Or it might not... we'll have to see.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    22 Jul 2015 #9

    I suggest waiting, its not long now.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  10.    22 Jul 2015 #10
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 3
    Win 7

    I purchased win 8 for an old Dell laptop because it boots up so quickly.
    I updated it to 8.1 but do not remember having to use a key # to activate it.
    I recently updated it to the windows 10 insider addition and did not enter any key for that either.
    Do you only need a key if you are doing a clean install?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


Similar Threads
Thread Forum
Supported Keys
Checked versions supported in this version (Win Next Pre-Release as it's SKU's are named within) Windows 8 and 8.1 are supported (including OEM) - this means those keys may well be accepted for installation (of the same edition ) - but not...
Windows Updates and Activation
Evolution of SharePoint in Office365
Source: http://blogs.office.com/2015/02/02/evolution-sharepoint/
Windows 10 News
Solved Activation woes - Windows needs activation to personalize
Hi there anybody else got this -- trying to personalize PC -got you need to activate windows before you can personalize PC. Now what do I do !!!!!?! Is this normal (I did an UPDATE rather than a new install BTW). Cheers
Windows Updates and Activation
Modern Design and Evolution: Windows 9 Concept Mixes the Desktop and the Metro UI
More
Windows 10 News
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:13.
Find Us
Twitter Facebook Google+ Ten Forums iOS App Ten Forums Android App



Windows 10 Forums