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  1.    15 May 2017 #1
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 91
    Windows 10

    Re-activation window causes disaster


    I'm writing for a relative. She was online in the Hewlett Packard forum regarding her printer. Suddenly her screen turns a 2-tone blue and a window opens on the screen telling her Since Windows was first activated on this computer the hardware on the computer has changed significantly. Due to these changes Windows must be reactivated within 3 days. do you want to reactivate Windows now. Yes or No There have been no changes made to her printer other than reinstalling her printer, and a Windows update. I think she said it was either on 5/13 or today, 5/15.

    She forced shutdown -- a number of times. It reacted in various ways, including opening as XP, as Win 7, and as Windows 10. When it opened as Win 10 she went to Settings/Update & Security/Activation and it showed that Windows was activated. She then went to System Restore and clicked on it; it just went round and round and never opened and suddenly a new screen opened with information about reactivating. This time it was the whole screen, not just a window on top of the blue screen. She selected "yes" this time; it did not activate, but gave her options to retry, remind me later or do it by phone.

    She went through the reactivation by phone and ended up with Windows XP. Now what can she do to get her Windows 10 back? Her copy of Windows 10 was through the free offer from Microsoft. At the time she upgraded she had Windows 7. Why would it revert back to XP?
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  2.    15 May 2017 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,395
    Windows 10 Pro

    I would back up the data that needs to be saved, wipe the hard drive completely and do a clean install of Windows 10. She might want to run showkey plus from this forum and write down any product keys it gives, especially for the Windows 7.

    I have never heard of Windows saying it needs to be reactivated in three days. I suspect there is a virus infection. She probably also needs to scan the backup of the data for viruses before restoring it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    15 May 2017 #3
    Join Date : Aug 2014
    Forever West
    Posts : 3,922
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint

    I've seen on earlier versions of Windows where a clean install gave 30 days but a reinstall or "dirty" install gave only 3 days to activate. Haven't yet run across the 3 days thing on a reinstall of previously activated Win10 as long as there was an Internet connection. Just this PM I did a clean install of Insider Preview with an Ethernet connection, entered my Microsoft Account information and when completed it was activated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    15 May 2017 #4
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,512
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikilet View Post
    ...this time; it did not activate, but gave her options to retry, remind me later or do it by phone.
    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    ...I suspect there is a virus infection. She probably also needs to scan the backup of the data for viruses before restoring it.
    I'm with NavyLCDR on this. I suspect if you Google the phone number given you'll find it doesn't belong to Microsoft at all. More likely it's a malware scam. If you can get into Windows 10 again (safe mode?) try a Defender offline scan.

    Windows Defender Offline Scan in Windows 10
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  5.    16 May 2017 #5
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 10,436
    Windows 10 IoT

    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    I've seen on earlier versions of Windows where a clean install gave 30 days but a reinstall or "dirty" install gave only 3 days to activate. Haven't yet run across the 3 days thing on a reinstall of previously activated Win10 as long as there was an Internet connection. Just this PM I did a clean install of Insider Preview with an Ethernet connection, entered my Microsoft Account information and when completed it was activated.
    You may already know this but just FYI, the Microsoft Account info isn't needed for activation. You can activate with a local account. Or even a totally different user name/account from when the PC was activated with a Digital License. It's the hardware that counts.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    16 May 2017 #6
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 10,436
    Windows 10 IoT

    I'm curious as to what " opening as XP, as Win 7, and as Windows 10" means?

    I'm with the rest, likely an infection. Corrupted system files will cause activation failure. It's detected as a cheat, or not legitimate system.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    16 May 2017 #7
    Join Date : Aug 2014
    Forever West
    Posts : 3,922
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint

    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    You may already know this but just FYI, the Microsoft Account info isn't needed for activation. You can activate with a local account. Or even a totally different user name/account from when the PC was activated with a Digital License. It's the hardware that counts.
    True, I was only reporting the steps I took with that computer.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    16 May 2017 #8
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 10,436
    Windows 10 IoT

    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    True, I was only reporting the steps I took with that computer.
    I had a feeling you were going to say that.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    16 May 2017 #9
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 91
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    I'm going by what she told me on the computer screen. She said when it booted it showed the XP screen, the Windows 7 screen, and then finally the Windows 10 screen and even desktop characteristics.

    I thank all of you for your input. A computer tech she checked with said it's funny it would go to xp because they didn't even think xp could be upgraded to Win 10. She was told a system can not go back and forth like that and a virus will not cause that. It is possible she has a dual boot system. Anyway, I don't know for sure what she is going to do but perhaps she will have this tech work on it remotely if he thinks he can give her any help. We all live way out in the country; 100 miles away from the nearest computer shop.

    I'll let you know how things go.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  10.    16 May 2017 #10
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,512
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikilet View Post
    I'm going by what she told me on the computer screen. She said when it booted it showed the XP screen, the Windows 7 screen, and then finally the Windows 10 screen and even desktop characteristics.

    ...it's funny it would go to xp because they didn't even think xp could be upgraded to Win 10.... It is possible she has a dual boot system. .
    Dual boot (well, triple if there's W7 too) could be possible. Actually you can upgrade XP to 10 if you really put your mind to it. You need to go though some intermediate upgrades first - XP to 7 then 7 to 10 would work.

    The alternative possibility is that W7 and XP are virtual machines, perhaps installed to support the HP printer (is it too old to have any W10 drivers?).

    The message you quoted: "Since Windows was first activated on this computer the hardware on the computer has changed significantly. Due to these changes Windows must be reactivated within 3 days. do you want to reactivate Windows now. Yes or No" is word for word the one XP should give, so it's possible it was running XP at the time and not 10 as she thought. The MS help number could have helped activate that XP, not realising W10 was installed.

    This PC sounds like it's a mess - without more details we can only speculate. I hope my speculations have given you some ideas to explore.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

 
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