1. rhapdog's Avatar
    If you make certain hardware changes, Windows 10 will not recognize it as the same PC that received the free upgrade. Changing the motherboard, for example, will give you a brand new BIOS chip, which contains the software licensing description table, or SLIC, a digital signature placed inside the BIOS by the OEM. When this digital signature changes, Windows 10 will de-activate.

    Windows 10 will no longer be able to activate from the activation server automatically. Fortunately, Gabe Aul of Microsoft, has tweeted that you can just contact Microsoft Support in order to regain entitlement.
    08-29-2015 06:32 PM
  2. FelipeVenhorst's Avatar
    Maybe because its free for now ? have tried this in Windows 7 era and that did not work, MS didnt care about my burned MB.
    At least not in brazil.

    But I have a question about doing a fresh install, Ive upgrade all my 3 PCs at home with W10, all of then with a purchased Win 8 Professional, and when I check my Keys all 3 PCs have the same key, and for my surprise my work computer which was running a Windows 7 Jack Sparrow Edition got the same Win 10 key after upgraded.

    What key should I use to do a fresh install ?
    Last edited by RumoredNow; 09-17-2015 at 10:22 AM. Reason: cleanse
    09-17-2015 07:37 AM
  3. RumoredNow's Avatar
    So... It is way different now than it was in the Windows 7 era.

    All the keys you are seeing are generic keys.

    Your real key for each machine is in the cloud linked to your Microsoft Account. You own Windows 10 for life. Even after the year to upgrade free limit has passed.

    If you need to reinstall or do a clean install, use the same Microsoft Account as the original upgrade. Skip the key entry fields and the cloud will check for your key.
    09-17-2015 10:24 AM
  4. Baron164's Avatar
    I just had this happen this past weekend and they refused to re-activate my Windows 10 install and left me pissed. I use the same MS so it's clearly not tied to my account like it should be. I worked around it by temporarily replacing my OS drive with a spare, installing 8.1, upgrading to 10 again and then I put my original drive back in and Windows 10 activated.
    09-25-2015 03:04 PM
  5. 2Supra4U's Avatar
    My mom's dell will not activate after a fresh install.

    I did a fresh install after I upgraded from win7 on my desktop when no apps (exe) would open after startup......it activated just fine.

    I just did my moms dell last week. Skipped the key entry, signed in with her MS account. It will not activate, it says the key has been BLOCKED

    The worst part is, if MS will not activate this I am screwed. I upgraded my mom's dell from win8.1. Funny thing is after I did the install, I realized there is NO windows Key sticker anywhere on the laptop or in the box. So I have way of going back to win8 so I can upgrade again for her. If MS won;t activate, I have to hope dell can provide me with the key. problem is the laptop is coming up on 2 years old come xmas, so no idea if I will get the same result if I call dell.

    Does anyone else know if the auto activation is not working for fresh installs as well as hardware changes??
    10-05-2015 10:27 AM
  6. LedZappa's Avatar
    I did a fresh install of 10 a system I had upgraded to pro using the iso tool and the fresh install is the home version. How do I get upgraded back to pro if I can't find the key?
    10-01-2016 07:31 PM
  7. os_brandon's Avatar
    I'm not sure if this will help but i updated my ssd to a Samsung evo msata on my gaming laptop and had to reinstall windows. Since my gaming laptop came with windows 8 initially i had to reinstall that first and then was prompted that i could upgrade to windows 10. It was kind of a hassle but i was still able to install Windows 10. I guess it depends of what part your replacing....
    12-05-2016 06:06 PM
  8. davidhk129's Avatar
    This is an old thread.
    However, under the circumstance, it might be best to post here instead of starting a new thread.

    Article by Microsoft.

    Title : Reactivating Windows 10 after a hardware change


    excerpt :
    In Windows 10 (Version 1607 or later), you can link your Microsoft account to the Windows 10 digital license on your device. This can help you reactivate Windows using the Activation troubleshooter if you make a significant hardware change later, such as replacing the motherboard.
    04-04-2017 11:43 AM

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