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  1. #1
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    Angry win 8.1 Activation Code refused

    After the most frustrating week of 55 years using computers, I decided that a clean install of Win10 on my relatively new Win8.1 machine was the only possible solution. Assured by a Windows Secret article that my Win 8.1 Product Key would work for activation I found what that was by using both Produkey and Key Finder. My Win 8 was an OEM product, but both programs gave me the same 5x5 Product Key.

    I completed the clean install, but activation was refused.
    Error Code 0xC004C003. Error description "The activation server determined that the specified product key has been blocked".

    Back to Win 8.1 now. I guess time has caught me out - I wanted to try Win10 for some of my older programs and wanted to be able to upgrade at a later date (see "Preserve a free Windows 10 upgrade for later use" by Fred Langa 7/7/16).

    Unless anyone has any suggestions, I suppose Win 8 will be my OS for many years.

    Robin

  2. #2
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    The answer to this one is inevitably "ring Microsoft". There should be an alternative activation method which will give you a toll free number to ring.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
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    Usually the key is on the COA on the device. Those programs usually report just the OEM key. If you can't find one contact Microsoft and explain the situation. They are usually very good about this type of situation.
    Joe

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    OEM Win 8/8.1 no longer had sticker keys as they were built into the machine and the key those finders found would only be the vendor's generic key which isn't acceptable.

    This article may help you find it, but I would have thought that the upgrade would have dug that key out to auto activate.

    http://www.isunshare.com/product-key...-8-or-8.1.html

    A bit more about activation here https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...ivation-errors but instead of doing a clean install, why not use the Upgrade now button from https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/soft...load/windows10
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2016-07-26 at 11:26.

  5. #5
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Reading your previous posts to the lounge it would appear that your PC is a customised computer shop configuration.

    I would raise the Windows licensing issue with the computer shop.

  6. #6
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    A big thanks everyone for your replies while I slept (a small advantage of being on Western Australian time UTC+8).
    I will attempt a summary reply. I have more time this morning so will be a little more full with my comments.

    Both KeyFinder programs reported both the OEM info (which in my experience is never a 5x5 block and usually has 20 characters which include 'OEM') and the genuine product key. I ASSUMED that this machine did not have a sticker but decided, because of the comments, to dig it out of its hidey-hole and check. It does! And the product Key on the sticker is the same as reported by the programs (the 5x5 configuration). So that clears up that possibility.

    I attempted upgrading by every conceivable method, scoured the internet for failure solutions, and eventually gave up on upgrading. Windows downloaded the upgrade files 4 times during that process (about 15MB - painful on my data speed and allocation) and every time the installation began it ceased immediately with an error code for which there seems to be no information. I then downloaded an .iso file and burnt a DVD, and tried every which way with that. Incidentally one cannot upgrade from the boot disc created by Media Creation Tool - if you try, it tells you to reboot and use it from in Windows.

    I ran the setup.exe file from the DVD many times. Usually it created the $WINDOWS.~BT installation folder, copied about 55 files to that folder, then silently quit. The last time it opened both folders (BT and WS) and copied a few files then quit silently. That's when I decided to do the clean install which worked perfectly but could not be activated. At that stage the only offer was to go to the store and purchase another key. No mention of contacting Microsoft for help.
    However, thank you to Sudo15 fpr the Microsoft link that hoffers a chat service - I'll follow that up and see how I go.

  7. #7
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    A quick update:
    45 minutes on chat session with MS including them taking remote control. Finally told me I cannot use that Win8 activation code unless I do an upgrade. Will not work for a clean install. Not what their other pages say, I believe.
    According to Fred Langa 19/7, "Now, in addition to the process described in the aforementioned article, you can use a valid product key from a Win7/8 setup when setting up Win10. (See the Microsoft article, "Activation in Windows 10.") This makes the initial must-upgrade step unnecessary. You can clean install and activate Win10 using your current Win7/8 key instead"
    Microsoft Help Desk disagrees.

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    Can you not revert to Win 8.0 from 8.1 and then try the upgrade and then the key will be valid for your current OS - or did you start off with 8.1 ?

  9. #9
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    Thanks Sudo. I possibly could but have no idea how to revert.
    However in a second chat session the MS representative gave me the (hidden) 8.1PK, and asked me to clean install AGAIN and assured me they could then activate.... Ta de da de da.
    One last try

  10. #10
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    You would need Win 8.0 installation media or a system image that you should have created before upgrading to Win 8.1

    I hope you have created a full external system image before upgrading this time !

    It sounds like you've gotten a MS tech who knows what he's talking about this time - hopefully

    Good Luck anyway

  11. #11
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    Hi Sudo,
    Thanks for the 'Good Luck' wish :-)

    On the third MS chat (and control) session MS finally got my Win10 activated, but only after getting permission to issue a completely new Product Key. I now have a functioning Win10 which I have imaged and reverted to Win8.1 until I have more time to test my software on the new system. So Yes, I had a Macrium Reflect full image of the 8.1 system, and ... I also had full images of the original Win8 installation :-)

    The most interesting thing to come out of all this is that the MS help desk people (plural) adamantly deny the observation by Fred Langa, 19th July, which I quoted before:
    "Now, in addition to the process described in the aforementioned article, you can use a valid product key from a Win7/8 setup when setting up Win10. (See the Microsoft article, "Activation in Windows 10.") This makes the initial must-upgrade step unnecessary. You can clean install and activate Win10 using your current Win7/8 key instead".

    Very interesting.
    Thanks again for your help and walking through this with me.
    Last edited by rcull999; 2016-07-29 at 10:35.

  12. #12
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    Glad to see that you have finally gotten a result.

    I wonder if Fred Langa had actually tried that on a Win 7 and Win 8/8.1 machine before publishing the article ?

    We tend to take what he says as gospel.

  13. #13
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    Fred is right. From https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...-10-activation

    You upgraded to Windows 10 (Version 1511 or higher) and activated it using a Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 product key.
    Note that you have to use the iso for version 1511 or higher.

    Jerry

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    Thanks Jerry, I was about to check the MS url myself to see what it said. I have now done that and the part that I think is relevant follows:

    Activating Windows 10 (Version 1511 or higher) using a Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 product key
    During the free upgrade, you can use a valid Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 product key to activate Windows 10 (Version 1511 or higher). The following types of product keys are supported:
    ...

    To see if your device is running Windows 10 Version 1511 or higher, select the Start button, then select Settings > System > About, and make sure that Version shows 1511 or higher.

    To use your Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 product key to activate Windows 10:

    Select the Start button, then select Settings > Update & security > Activation.
    Select Change product key, and then enter the 25-character product key.
    After Windows 10 is activated, a digital entitlement will be given to your device based on the product key you entered. This means that you’ll no longer need to enter a product key to activate Windows 10 on this device.

    On some devices that came pre-installed with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, the product key is provisioned in the device firmware. On these devices the product key will be verified during setup, and then the appropriate edition of Windows 10 will be installed.

    I can't actually see any reference to a clean install. The above instructions begin with "During the free upgrade"
    One might assume that the second part, after "To see if your device is running Windows 10...", apples to a clean install - it looks like it, but is that what it means. If so, it's strange that all 3 MS techs told me that it couldn't be done from a clean install, (but on the other hand they did all try it :-)
    perhaps I've missed something on that page Fred was quoting - I'd be interested in any further comment.

    Robin
    Last edited by rcull999; 2016-07-30 at 07:48.

  15. #15
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    Regardless of verbage, those of us who did it are convinced it happened.

    RockE

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