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Activate Windows?

Truvidien88Truvidien88 Member UncommonPosts: 462
Greetings,

When I built my PC for some reason I could not find my CD key for Windows when I was setting it up so right now I'm constantly seeing "Activate Windows: Go to settings to activate Windows" in the bottom corner on everything I do.  Is it worth trying to buy a cheap version online just for the product key? 

Comments

  • SomethingUnusualSomethingUnusual Member UncommonPosts: 546
    They don't use keys anymore, unless you're doing offline activation. (Which requires a phone call to customer service a few times. For the initial key, and then a confirmation key that you must call back with.) 

    Been the case since Windows 7. 
  • RenoakuRenoaku Member EpicPosts: 3,156
    If you charnged the hardware like I do then you will need to re-activate generally I just buy an OEM copy because I build systems and get it cheaper anyways and call them to reactivate and they will ask how many systems is it being used on I am like Only one and they just give me a new activating code problem solved.
    GdemamiPhry
  • Asm0deusAsm0deus Member EpicPosts: 3,877
    edited August 2017
    They don't use keys anymore, unless you're doing offline activation. (Which requires a phone call to customer service a few times. For the initial key, and then a confirmation key that you must call back with.) 

    Been the case since Windows 7. 
    That's funny as I have a couple windows 7 boxes that used keys to activate, no phone calls required, not that I need this anymore for w7 though..lol

    Might help if OP mentioned which windows he's trying to activate?

    Brenics ~ Just to point out I do believe Chris Roberts is going down as the man who cheated backers and took down crowdfunding for gaming.





  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,341
    edited August 2017
    You have a couple of choices:

    You can live with it. It will keep nagging you, and it won't let you set up a desktop background, and a few other minor inconveniences (only security updates, etc), but Windows won't brick itself anymore. If you do find the key, you can enter it when you find it.

    If your positive your never going to find it, yes - you can buy a new key and enter it. Beware where you buy from though - it should be a reputable source, otherwise you risk throwing money at a pirated key that may get blocked eventually.

    There is one gotcha to keep in mind:
    When you install Windows without an activation key, you get to select what edition you want to install (Home, Pro, etc). If you selected Pro when you installed, and then you go out and buy a Home key - it won't work. You have to then do a new clean install (using your new key).

    Most of the time - you can enter the key, and it activates fine, and your done.  Clean reinstalls on the same motherboard won't even require reactivation (most of the time). Occasionally, something goes wonky and you end up on the phone - most of the time it's an automated process, it's highly annoying but relatively straight forward. On very rare occasion you get escalated to the help desk in some outsourced foreign land - I've ended up there a few times, they have always been able to reactivate when I have had the original key in front of me, but it takes a lot more hoops.

    Microsoft does still use Keys. They are in the process of shifting this to your MS account, but if you go and buy an OEM edition, or a digital copy, you still get a key to enter.
    MrMelGibson
  • Truvidien88Truvidien88 Member UncommonPosts: 462
    This would be for Windows 10 sorry forgot to mention it. 
    Asm0deus
  • DakeruDakeru Member EpicPosts: 3,802
    I needed a new Win10 as well and bought my key from psngames.org 2 weeks ago.
    The OEM version was 10€ and the full version 20€.

    I bought the full version and had no problems with the key at all.
    Also no phone calls involved or anything...
    Harbinger of Fools
  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    i think there is a command SLUI 3 or 4.. that you can use to activate, but obviously you have to have a legitimate copy of Win10, in most cases the product key is in the mobo itself, not the hard drive, as others have probably mentioned, there isn't a 'windows' key or anything anymore, at least not one like you would have had with Win 7 etc. which as someone else already mentioned, i too have an oem copy of as its very easy to reactivate if you change mobo's etc. though whether Win7 will be used much beyond 2020 is hard to say, despite it being the most popular/used Win OS currently. :/
    Gdemami
  • RenoakuRenoaku Member EpicPosts: 3,156
    Yeah usually I just call in to microsoft through offline activation and they give me a new key likely because they can tell its legitimate, I just be like "My computer was at the shop" and the motherboard had to be changed, and windows is asking me to activate again and giving me an error.

    Or in my case, my motherboard died and I have to change my hardware now windows isn't letting me activiate, they ask for the info I give it to them and give they give me a new key.

    They can also tell I am sure if a person is lying about having a legitimate copy or not by the response code given and such.
    Gdemami
  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    Renoaku said:
    Yeah usually I just call in to microsoft through offline activation and they give me a new key likely because they can tell its legitimate, I just be like "My computer was at the shop" and the motherboard had to be changed, and windows is asking me to activate again and giving me an error.

    Or in my case, my motherboard died and I have to change my hardware now windows isn't letting me activiate, they ask for the info I give it to them and give they give me a new key.

    They can also tell I am sure if a person is lying about having a legitimate copy or not by the response code given and such.
    I've not really had any trouble reactivating Win7, not even when i uninstalled Win10 and went back to using 7 again, the online activation has always worked, again i've gone through several mobo's over the years, and if there is one thing that is fairly certain about having a gaming PC, is that you are going to upgrade at least once during the lifetime of any particular OS, so being able to reactivate regardless of hardware configuration would seem to me to be a no brainer.
    Gdemami
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,342
    Greetings,

    When I built my PC for some reason I could not find my CD key for Windows when I was setting it up so right now I'm constantly seeing "Activate Windows: Go to settings to activate Windows" in the bottom corner on everything I do.  Is it worth trying to buy a cheap version online just for the product key? 
    It is not 'just the product key', it is essentially a licence.

    Product keys are supplied with your purchase of OS licence unless it is a pre-built system from partnered manufacturers such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc. in such case the product key is stored in UEFI bios.
  • rush1984rush1984 Member UncommonPosts: 369
    edited August 2017
     just download a torrent 


    Gdemami
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