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  1. #1
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    Installation won't accept legitimate license key

    I have the original package of my Windows 8.0 product key and another one of my upgrade to 8.1. The installation won't take either one. It says it is an invalid key. I am positive I have typed in every character correctly. What can I do? I can't get past that screen to go on. I have tried clicking on the skip button, but it loops around to the install now and the license screen. I have a Lenovo ThinkCenter all in one 64 bit computer. I hope someone can help me.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iberney View Post
    I have the original package of my Windows 8.0 product key and another one of my upgrade to 8.1. The installation won't take either one. It says it is an invalid key. I am positive I have typed in every character correctly. What can I do? I can't get past that screen to go on. I have tried clicking on the skip button, but it loops around to the install now and the license screen. I have a Lenovo ThinkCenter all in one 64 bit computer. I hope someone can help me.
    If you're trying to do a clean install (booting from the installation media), you must first run the upgrade (run "Setup.exe" from within Windows). The upgrade allows one to skip the Product Key screen.

    After you have upgraded, you can go back and run a clean install.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2015-08-23 at 09:41. Reason: clarity
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  3. #3
    4 Star Lounger
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    Did you try to install from a DVD or USB flash drive?

    If you did, did you start the DVD or flash drive from inside Windows 8.1, or did you boot into the DVD or flash drive?

    Did you choose Update, or custom install?

    When you do a successful upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, as part of your activation, Microsoft validates the Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 system that you are upgrading from, and them examines your processor and motherboard to create a unique ID for your system, saves that ID in Microsoft's activation database, and then activates your Windows 10 installation.

    After that, if you reinstall Windows 10, either through the system, or from a DVD or flash drive, as part of the install it goes back to the motherboard and processor, and reconstructs the hardware ID, then when it gets to activation, it sends the hardware ID to the Microsoft activation server, the activation server compares it to it's database of valid hardware IDs, and if it matches, your installation is validated.

    So if you did a clean install without ever having upgraded from your Windows 8.1 software, the hardware won't be in the Microsoft activation server database, and it won't accept your Windows 10 as Genuine Windows.

    In your adventures with trying to install Windows 10 did you clobber your Windows 8.1 install?

    If you did can you restore it from a backup?

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prescott View Post
    Did you try to install from a DVD or USB flash drive?

    If you did, did you start the DVD or flash drive from inside Windows 8.1, or did you boot into the DVD or flash drive?

    Did you choose Update, or custom install?

    When you do a successful upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, as part of your activation, Microsoft validates the Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 system that you are upgrading from, and them examines your processor and motherboard to create a unique ID for your system, saves that ID in Microsoft's activation database, and then activates your Windows 10 installation.

    After that, if you reinstall Windows 10, either through the system, or from a DVD or flash drive, as part of the install it goes back to the motherboard and processor, and reconstructs the hardware ID, then when it gets to activation, it sends the hardware ID to the Microsoft activation server, the activation server compares it to it's database of valid hardware IDs, and if it matches, your installation is validated.

    So if you did a clean install without ever having upgraded from your Windows 8.1 software, the hardware won't be in the Microsoft activation server database, and it won't accept your Windows 10 as Genuine Windows.

    In your adventures with trying to install Windows 10 did you clobber your Windows 8.1 install?

    If you did can you restore it from a backup?
    I first tried when Windows said win10 was ready to install. Then I tried from a flash drive where I which I had made with the win10 installation. I booted from the flash drive. I chose update. My 8.1 is up to date. The original win8 label is still on the computer. That key doesn't work either.

    What should I try next?

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    Run setup.exe from the flash drive; don't boot from it; click skip for product key; as suggested in Post #2.

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    My problem was that the install would not take my product key. I tried all kinds of things. What finally worked was calling the Microsoft number I saw in another post. After spending 2.5 hours on the phone with a man in India. He took over my computer and couldn't get pass the product key either. He then downloaded an install file which took 5 hours to run, but I am all set with Windows 10 and so far it seems very good. Here is the phone number that worked. I hope it helps others. The automated system said the wait time was 1.5 hours, but I got answered right away. 1-800-642-7676.

    I really appreciate your work in answering Lounge questions.

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