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Win 10 Activation Problems

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derekaw    1,706

I have a personally purchased copy of Windows 8 from 2013, it was a 'Digital Delivery' that mostly just included a product key via email.

 

I keep my copy of Windows running in a VM on my Mac and I muck around with it. I keep it upgraded, I blow it away and start again. I try out the fast ring and sometimes decide I don't like it so download the latest iso and start fresh again. It's always worked fine and I have been very happy until now.

 

Last week I did what I have often done, I blew away my old VM, I downloaded the latest consumer release iso and installed it but Windows said my product key was invalid with error 0xC004C003 and then the Activation Troubleshooter would not work and said I was not connected to the internet.

 

I finally found the time to call MS to try to sort it out but they said that I have installed it too many times and I need to contact my software supplier.

 

This does not seem right to me and here I am asking you, any suggestions? How can the software supplier that looks like they come from Germany help me here? 

 

Its interesting that after every new instal I always need to enter my product key because Windows never automatically activates, I suppose my Windows/MS Account has not stored my Activation ID and this is part of the problem?

 

Im really confused.

 

 

 

 

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+InsaneNutter    1,291

You have probably been sold a MAK Key (Multiple Activation Key), each MAK has a predetermined number of allowed activations. I suspect you have reached this limit so the key is now useless.

 

These keys are not supposed to be sold to individuals, which is probably why Microsoft are been no help and you were asked to contact your software supplier.

 

Out of curiosity was this one of those cheap Windows keys been sold on Ebay / various other random cd key sites?

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Riva    1,099
54 minutes ago, derekaw said:

I have a personally purchased copy of Windows 8 from 2013, it was a 'Digital Delivery' that mostly just included a product key via email.

 

I keep my copy of Windows running in a VM on my Mac and I muck around with it. I keep it upgraded, I blow it away and start again. I try out the fast ring and sometimes decide I don't like it so download the latest iso and start fresh again. It's always worked fine and I have been very happy until now.

 

Last week I did what I have often done, I blew away my old VM, I downloaded the latest consumer release iso and installed it but Windows said my product key was invalid with error 0xC004C003 and then the Activation Troubleshooter would not work and said I was not connected to the internet.

 

I finally found the time to call MS to try to sort it out but they said that I have installed it too many times and I need to contact my software supplier.

 

This does not seem right to me and here I am asking you, any suggestions? How can the software supplier that looks like they come from Germany help me here? 

 

Its interesting that after every new instal I always need to enter my product key because Windows never automatically activates, I suppose my Windows/MS Account has not stored my Activation ID and this is part of the problem?

 

Im really confused.

 

 

 

 

They should of activated it for you anyway if the issue was that there was no internet connection. Product keys only got linked to ms account if you bought the product key from MS, previous editions used the usual hardware profile / product key combo and a number of activations limit on the same kit. You might confuse them less by sayng. I am trying to activate my licensed copy on the same hardware key but it wont work.

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derekaw    1,706
9 hours ago, InsaneNutter said:

You have probably been sold a MAK Key (Multiple Activation Key), each MAK has a predetermined number of allowed activations. I suspect you have reached this limit so the key is now useless.

 

These keys are not supposed to be sold to individuals, which is probably why Microsoft are been no help and you were asked to contact your software supplier.

 

Out of curiosity was this one of those cheap Windows keys been sold on Ebay / various other random cd key sites?

It was cheap, Acer or someone like them had a deal for their computer owners to get a very cheap $14.99 upgrade to Windows 8 and there was a loophole where anyone could get it and I got it then. I expect I read about it here or at BetaNews.

So if it is a MAC key then it really is dead now? MS can't do anything or won't do anything because of policy? I'll research MAC keys after this.

 

Thanks for your response.

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Brandon H    2,695

if you have the actual product key you should be able to call Microsoft Activation Support and explain the situation; 9 times out of 10 they'll throw the activation reset switch to enable the key again without hassle :)

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+InsaneNutter    1,291
1 hour ago, derekaw said:

It was cheap, Acer or someone like them had a deal for their computer owners to get a very cheap $14.99 upgrade to Windows 8 and there was a loophole where anyone could get it and I got it then. I expect I read about it here or at BetaNews.

So if it is a MAC key then it really is dead now? MS can't do anything or won't do anything because of policy? I'll research MAC keys after this.

 

Thanks for your response.

I remember Microsoft doing a cheap upgraded offer for people on past versions of Windows to upgrade to Windows 8, if you did that I believe you got a retail key which you could use to clean install Windows 10 and it would activate fine as part of the free upgrade offer. That's how my Windows 10 devices are currently activated.

 

I'm not sure about anything done though a 3rd party though. If its from Ebay or these CD key sites, more often than not their selling keys they shouldn't be, which is why there so much cheaper than OEM copies of Windows.

 

Maybe try Microsoft again, then if all else fails on Amazon you can buy a Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit OEM DVD for £29, buy from one of the Amazon prime sellers and you will get a sealed OEM DVD with a licence included, shipped by Amazon. That's good for activating on one device, you can never carry it over to a new PC, however its a cheap way to get a Windows licence you know is legit.

 

I believe you are supposed to purchase these licences with hardware, however Amazon certainly don't enforce that.

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derekaw    1,706
32 minutes ago, InsaneNutter said:

I remember Microsoft doing a cheap upgraded offer for people on past versions of Windows to upgrade to Windows 8, if you did that I believe you got a retail key which you could use to clean install Windows 10 and it would activate fine as part of the free upgrade offer. That's how my Windows 10 devices are currently activated.

 

I'm not sure about anything done though a 3rd party though. If its from Ebay or these CD key sites, more often than not their selling keys they shouldn't be, which is why there so much cheaper than OEM copies of Windows.

 

Maybe try Microsoft again, then if all else fails on Amazon you can buy a Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit OEM DVD for £29, buy from one of the Amazon prime sellers and you will get a sealed OEM DVD with a licence included, shipped by Amazon. That's good for activating on one device, you can never carry it over to a new PC, however its a cheap way to get a Windows licence you know is legit.

 

I believe you are supposed to purchase these licences with hardware, however Amazon certainly don't enforce that.

Thanks again.

i got my VM going by using an old backup and it basically gives me the same experience but I am annoyed about my Windows key situation. I had no idea it had this restriction and MS people were tight lipped about telling me anything useful.

 

Is there a way to determine what type of key I have? Is MS enforcing policy when I call, like, if I talk to someone sympathetic they will help or is there no way of using my key again because something is hard coded about it? 

 

Thanks.

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Brandon H    2,695

yes again; speak with Microsoft Activation Support; they're usually very useful after you explain your situation.

 

9 times out of 10 that will just reset the activation status on your key without much or any trouble

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nekrosoft13    702
12 hours ago, InsaneNutter said:

You have probably been sold a MAK Key (Multiple Activation Key), each MAK has a predetermined number of allowed activations. I suspect you have reached this limit so the key is now useless.

 

These keys are not supposed to be sold to individuals, which is probably why Microsoft are been no help and you were asked to contact your software supplier.

 

Out of curiosity was this one of those cheap Windows keys been sold on Ebay / various other random cd key sites?

bingo, there are tons of those for sale online.

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adrynalyne    11,205
20 hours ago, derekaw said:

I have a personally purchased copy of Windows 8 from 2013, it was a 'Digital Delivery' that mostly just included a product key via email.

 

I keep my copy of Windows running in a VM on my Mac and I muck around with it. I keep it upgraded, I blow it away and start again. I try out the fast ring and sometimes decide I don't like it so download the latest iso and start fresh again. It's always worked fine and I have been very happy until now.

 

Last week I did what I have often done, I blew away my old VM, I downloaded the latest consumer release iso and installed it but Windows said my product key was invalid with error 0xC004C003 and then the Activation Troubleshooter would not work and said I was not connected to the internet.

 

I finally found the time to call MS to try to sort it out but they said that I have installed it too many times and I need to contact my software supplier.

 

This does not seem right to me and here I am asking you, any suggestions? How can the software supplier that looks like they come from Germany help me here? 

 

Its interesting that after every new instal I always need to enter my product key because Windows never automatically activates, I suppose my Windows/MS Account has not stored my Activation ID and this is part of the problem?

 

Im really confused.

 

 

 

 

"Blowing away" a VM and starting over counts as new hardware for an activation. I am not in the least bit surprised this happened.

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freedonX    130
7 hours ago, nekrosoft13 said:

bingo, there are tons of those for sale online.

So the cheap keys online are leaked/pirated keys that work only for a couple of activations?

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Riva    1,099

Out of curiosity why dont you create a VM snapshot to roll back to as needed?

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derekaw    1,706
50 minutes ago, Riva said:

Out of curiosity why dont you create a VM snapshot to roll back to as needed?

I just grabbed an old activated VM disk from a backup, it's about 12 months old, and loaded it. It come up now as not activated!

 

MS Windows licensing is a horrible minefield. 

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Jim K    12,621

Well, I believe it should be ascertained as to what type of key you bought.  If it was a MAK key ... you are probably SOL.  I'm not sure if there is a method of finding out what type of product key you have ... short of calling MS?  

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adrynalyne    11,205
29 minutes ago, derekaw said:

I just grabbed an old activated VM disk from a backup, it's about 12 months old, and loaded it. It come up now as not activated!

 

MS Windows licensing is a horrible minefield. 

It isn’t if you understand what you are doing. Rebuilding VMs likely did this to you. 

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derekaw    1,706

Considering I like tinkering with Windows VM's and blowing them away and starting from scratch with a new/the latest .iso which Windows licence is best for me? Or could a new cheap Windows Licence I find via the Amazon Store keep a digital key with my MSA and meet my needs? 

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adrynalyne    11,205
7 minutes ago, derekaw said:

Considering I like tinkering with Windows VM's and blowing them away and starting from scratch with a new/the latest .iso which Windows licence is best for me? Or could a new cheap Windows Licence I find via the Amazon Store keep a digital key with my MSA and meet my needs? 

You need to stop blowing away your VM. Wipe it, reinstall the OS, but stop blowing away the VM. Then any license will work.

Storing your license with your MSA will not fix your problem.

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Riva    1,099
2 hours ago, derekaw said:

Considering I like tinkering with Windows VM's and blowing them away and starting from scratch with a new/the latest .iso which Windows licence is best for me? Or could a new cheap Windows Licence I find via the Amazon Store keep a digital key with my MSA and meet my needs? 

Do a fresh install, get everything working and create a snapshot of the VM.If something goes wrong, revert to the snapshot.

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helpifIcan    45

Just join the insiders for windows 10, blow it away as many times as you want. Only downside is that when the old one goes dead.

Edited by helpifIcan

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derekaw    1,706

I got a licence online for AUD11.22. I’ll snapshot my VM and keep it safe. 

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nekrosoft13    702
6 hours ago, derekaw said:

I got a licence online for AUD11.22. I’ll snapshot my VM and keep it safe. 

and you got another illegally sold MAK key, it will work for a while.

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derekaw    1,706
5 hours ago, nekrosoft13 said:

and you got another illegally sold MAK key, it will work for a while.

The first key was not 'illegal', Acer or DELL were selling cheap Win 8 upgrades via Microsoft for their customers and I used a loophole to masquerade as one of their customers to get the steep discount. I did some investigating and my key came from email address - Store.STOR.WW.00.EN.MSF.RMD.TS.T1S.SPT.00.EM@css.one.microsoft.com which seems to check out as a genuine MS email account. 

 

$11.22AUD  was the perfect price, I wasn't going to pay any more than that!


From what I learnt here the other key stopped working because I kept using it like it was everlasting.... which I thought it was.

Since using this new key and activating my VM I opened another old VM, it did the not activated thing because of the old key but then I entered the new key for the second time, I got an activation error message, did the troubleshooter, said that I had upgraded hardware, selected a machine from a list and it activated.

 

What was that list of computers I got to chose from? Do I have a key registered now against my MSA?

Edited by derekaw
added more

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DKAngel    309

seriously if your just tinkering with vms just kms server it and not worry about it

 

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Steven P.    12,745

I'm not 100% sure because it has been a while since I even tried it, but I don't think Insider builds require activation, aren't they timebombed, usually months ahead?

 

If you are just tinkering, install from the latest Insider iso. Ah nm, on the page it says this:

Quote

 

Windows Insider Preview Activation 
You will need to install the Windows 10 Insider Preview build on a device that has been previously activated with Windows 10 or with a Windows 10 product key. For more details please see the article: Activation in Windows 10.

 

Maybe they closed that loophole, I am pretty sure Insider builds didn't used to require activation, but yeah it is an ongoing programme, so quite a bit of a loophole Lol.

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helpifIcan    45

I have been on insider in VBOX for ever just load or update and go. The only draw back is that sometimes they don't provide an ISO so you have to do the update path.

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