1.    30 May 2017 #1
    Join Date : Mar 2015
    Posts : 96
    Windows 10

    Help-can't activate Insider Build Again after hardware change


    I have been part of the Insider Program.
    My old GB motherboard shorted out last week. I got a replacement.
    It is showing that my copy is no longer activated. I went through the troubleshooter. Even selected my new hardware. Nada. Nothing works.

    Is there any way to fix this at all? I do have a hard drive backup..but that is going to have the same issue I believe if I am not correct.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    30 May 2017 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,335
    Windows 10 Pro

    Was the old motherboard registered as a device on a Microsoft Account? If you log into that Microsoft account in a web browser, is it still showing up as a device on that account?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    01 Jun 2017 #3
    Join Date : Mar 2015
    Posts : 96
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    Was the old motherboard registered as a device on a Microsoft Account? If you log into that Microsoft account in a web browser, is it still showing up as a device on that account?
    Thank you for your service.

    Yes the bizarre thing is that it does show up when I log in. I click on the device to activate it and it says can't activate and makes me go back to the Windows Store. This is absurd. No idea what to do here.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    01 Jun 2017 #4
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish expat in Germany
    Posts : 12,940
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by pittguy578 View Post
    Thank you for your service.

    Yes the bizarre thing is that it does show up when I log in. I click on the device to activate it and it says can't activate and makes me go back to the Windows Store. This is absurd. No idea what to do here.
    Note   Note
    Please notice: the below is based on my personal experience, playing around with various physical and virtual machines with both OEM and Retail Windows 10 licenses to find out how digital license activation and especially re-activation and license transfers work when transferring license to new machine or after hardware changes. I am not saying that what I am telling is The Fact, I am just telling about what I have experienced.


    Transferring a license fails if I choose an older OEM license to be used. It usually works when selecting a Retail license. This is of course as expected, OEM licenses are not transferable.

    License transfer usually fails even with retail licenses if done when signed in as standard user instead of admin user.

    I repeat: the above is solely based on what I have experienced.

    The question is: did you have an OEM Windows 10, or had you upgraded from OEM Windows 7 / 8.1? If so, that license is according to EULA not transferable after motherboard change.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    02 Jun 2017 #5

    Technically there is no difference if digital licence is aquired via OEM or Retail upgrade from the unencrypted bits of Genuine ticket, but Kari's real life test says differently so perhaps the encrypted sections does have the original key... who knows?

    ... Oh, MS does
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    02 Jun 2017 #6
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 5,849
    Windows10

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    Technically there is no difference if digital licence is aquired via OEM or Retail upgrade from the unencrypted bits of Genuine ticket, but Kari's real life test says differently so perhaps the encrypted sections does have the original key... who knows?

    ... Oh, MS does
    Or do they..... ?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    02 Jun 2017 #7
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish expat in Germany
    Posts : 12,940
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    Technically there is no difference if digital licence is aquired via OEM or Retail upgrade from the unencrypted bits of Genuine ticket, but Kari's real life test says differently so perhaps the encrypted sections does have the original key... who knows?

    ... Oh, MS does

    I stressed the fact that my post was only based on my experience, nothing else, exactly because of that. Theoretically any digital license should be transferable, but at least I have never been able to transfer an OEM license.

    Of course I admit my tests have not been very extensive; I have only had three OEM licenses to test. As I have multiple Windows 10 PRO licenses available and I prefer PRO over HOME edition, I've only been able to test OEM license transfer with one W10 HOME OEM license originally belonging to a tablet and two W10 HOME licenses originally belonging to two different laptops, wiping their disks clean and clean installing PRO activating with retail MSDN licenses. Before that I of course booted all three devices to desktop and renamed them so licenses / devices should be easier to recognize on each device, and checked that W10 HOME license / device name was correctly shown on my MS account's devices list.

    With all three W10 HOME digital licenses I then tried to use them in activating other physical and virtual machines, selecting I recently changed hardware on this device in Activation Troubleshooter to get list of licenses belonging to my MS account, and selecting one of these three. It never works, not for me at least, giving either just a general error message or complaining about "license can't be used because it's already used".

    As I still have these three OEM digital licenses listed on my MS account, I tried this once more now on a clean installed W10 HOME on a Hyper-V VM just to get this screenshot:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Notice that I have never been able to reactivate anything with this particular OEM digital license even the message given says it's already been used for reactivation. License has never been used anywhere else than on a Medion W10 HOME tablet which had its disk wiped and W10 PRO clean installed after the first boot to W10 HOME desktop and renaming device, just to check that digital license was assigned to my MS account.

    It seems to be totally random which error message you get; sometimes it's just "We can't connect to Activation Servers", sometimes it's just a generic error code, sometimes the one shown in above screenshot.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    02 Jun 2017 #8

    Fair enough, and thanx for your input... my quest is getting to understand the encrypted sections of Genine ticket and how that impacts activation.. there has got to be a reason why that is encrypted, has to be sensitive data...
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    02 Jun 2017 #9
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish expat in Germany
    Posts : 12,940
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    Fair enough, and thanx for your input... my quest is getting to understand the encrypted sections of Genine ticket and how that impacts activation.. there has got to be a reason why that is encrypted, has to be sensitive data...
    This with my failure to transfer an OEM license is even stranger than you'd think because of Windows 10 EULA includes a specific exception for users in Germany who are allowed to transfer OEM licenses because of a court ruling.

    4. Transfer. The provisions of this section do not apply if you acquired the software as a consumer in Germany or in any of the countries listed on this site (aka.ms/transfer), in which case any transfer of the software to a third party, and the right to use it, must comply with applicable law.
    From W10 EULA: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Uset...10_English.htm

    I live in Germany, my IP should tell that for Windows Activation servers.

    Anyway, Microsoft might be forced to rewrite W10 EULA completely. For instance, take this:

    2.***** Installation and Use Rights.

    a.***** License. The software is licensed, not sold. Under this agreement, we grant you the right to install and run one instance of the software on your device (the licensed device), for use by one person at a time, so long as you comply with all the terms of this agreement. Updating or upgrading from non-genuine software with software from Microsoft or authorized sources does not make your original version or the updated/upgraded version genuine, and in that situation, you do not have a license to use the software.
    However, they do no longer accept two product keys for same edition on one digitally licensed device. Basically, if you run two installs of same edition on dual boot system, you would need two product keys and licenses according to EULA. However, you can test this by yourself if you have spare keys to use, if you install second copy of same edition on a machine that already has Windows digitally licensed, it will be automatically activated with first install's digital license.

    If you want to be honest and change product key of this second installation, then restart to first installation and check you will notice that also its product key used has been changed to the second key. All installs of same edition will always use the same, last used product key for that install.

    You simply cannot anymore use more than a single product key for one edition on one PC, regardless if you have it installed two, three or even more times side by side on multiboot system. One key per machine, all additional installs of same edition on different partitions, even native boot VHDs use the same key and all will be activated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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