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Upgraded my cpu/mobo/ram, Windows failed to activate.

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So I recently decided to finally go ahead and upgrade my system. Yesterday night I was assembling the main components back in the case and before turning in for the night, I decided to quickly install Windows so I could download some bigger games while I was at work today. Now for some context, I bought a retail copy of Windows Home straight from Microsoft's site back in August 2015, after some time using it as part of the Windows Insider Program. Since I've had it I have reinstalled Windows maybe a handful of times and it never asked for a key. One thing I always did was upgrade to the Pro edition for free. I don't know if it was a bug or something and the first time I did it was sort of accidental.

This time I got a little bit cheeky and installed Windows 10 Pro right from the start. It asked for a key during setup, which I skipped. When I finally got to the desktop and went to the Settings app, I noticed it had failed to activate. "Uh-oh", I thought. I hit the troubleshooter button, noticed the option for recently changed hardware and clicked that. It showed my old computer identified by name, so I selected it, thinking I was out of the woods. I was not. It failed activation again. It was getting late, so I decided I'd tackle the issue the following day.

While I was getting ready go to bed it came to me, "of course it failed to activate, you dumb-ass, the key is for Home". This morning I had another go at it and I installed Windows Home instead. Failed to activate. That's OK, I expected it wouldn't right away. Opened the troubleshooter again, changed my hardware recently option, the option showing my old computer that was there yesterday is no longer present. "That bodes well..". I continue through. Activation fails again. "$#%@". I left for work, defeated.

At this point, the only other thing I can think of trying is inserting my key during installation.

Also been snooping in my Microsoft account, found my old PC in my devices (along with the new one) and removed it. Hope that helps.

Has this happened to anyone else? Is it normal behavior? I honestly wasn't expecting to have issues with Windows activation having a retail key. And I reeeally don't want to buy another one.
 
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Call them. They might have to reset/reactivate the key.
 
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Call the phone number that given during activation, it will help probably. Mostly works. Sometimes not.
First thing: one win key - one motherboard, if it dies and you replaced with same make and model, probably win will whining too, phone activate can help this.
If you wanna change completely the board phone activate can help too, but not always (e.g new board means new key... in theory)

Try with fresh, clean install with your key with version to belong and make the call.
 

INSTG8R

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By design. But as others have posted, roll the dice with the phone call. But OEK licenses are so cheap anyway.
 
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Alright, when I get home today, I'll try installing once more, this time inserting they key during installation. If that fails I'll try giving them a call. That sure does bring back memories from the 98/Me/XP days though.

Thanks for the replies.

First thing: one win key - one motherboard
By design.
I thought that was only for OEM keys.
 
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Alright, when I get home today, I'll try installing once more, this time inserting they key during installation. If that fails I'll try giving them a call. That sure does bring back memories from the 98/Me/XP days though.

Thanks for the replies.

I thought that was only for OEM keys.
Don't waste your time, just call them.
 

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Alright, when I get home today, I'll try installing once more, this time inserting they key during installation. If that fails I'll try giving them a call. That sure does bring back memories from the 98/Me/XP days though.

Thanks for the replies.



I thought that was only for OEM keys.
Well if you forked our for a retail key the phone call will sort you out.
 
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I thought that was only for OEM keys.
Ok, i sort of slipped of retail, but is it a boxed 1 user/ unlimited activation version or the 1 user / limited (i think around 5 activation) version?
Sry, there are so many version and changed with every release, i feel lost sometimes .

Anyway just do that phonecall let see it helps you :)
 
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The phone call is usually automated, involving a lot of numbers which are eventually read out to you and you type them in where instructed.
I've used this service several times and it's never failed me.
 
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The phone call can also be texted and done on your phone way easier
 

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Alright, when I get home today, I'll try installing once more, this time inserting they key during installation. If that fails I'll try giving them a call. That sure does bring back memories from the 98/Me/XP days though.

Thanks for the replies.



I thought that was only for OEM keys.
We need to call ms since windows xp, if you reinstall your os too many times it will trigger a call need.
 
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a motherboard change alone (unless the replacement/new board is the same as the older one) will usually trigger a re-activation notice
 
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a motherboard change alone (unless the replacement/new board is the same as the older one) will usually trigger a re-activation notice
That's old news. iirc now activation are tied to Microsoft account.

Or maybe it's still tied to motherboard, but afaik only OEM version. Not retail version what OP has.
 

hat

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TL;DR just call MS, failing that you can always pick up a cheap key for like 10 bucks. Since we started promoting key resellers here, I've bought 3 keys so far off urcdkey.com and haven't had any issues.
 
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