Irony? Buy an EVOO laptop PC from Microsoft Store on ebay, can't activate Windows 10? (Solved)

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
53,528
7,851
126
Yeah, an "EVOO". Pulled it out of the box, did OOBE setup without an internet connection to get a local account login, connected wifi, went to Windows Update, several slow and painful updates later, I rebooted and checked the activation.

"Can't Activate Windows - Hardware Changed."

WTF???
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
5,931
1,308
136
Yikes. Can you return it?
 

fralexandr

Platinum Member
Apr 26, 2007
2,146
110
106
www.flickr.com
Should be pretty easy to contact microsoft and get it activated. Apparently home users are routed through virtual chat now. You might be able to avoid having a microsoft account if you "start over" the chat page at the top right.


I wouldn't buy a celeron n3350 though. Even 2 core/4 thread i3s barely cut it as an office/browsing machine. The 4gb ram isn't even upgradeable.
They're just too slow. Imo Atom doesn't age well.
 
Last edited:

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
53,528
7,851
126
Well, I solved it.

But two things. Normally, with Windows "S Mode", there's a link on the Activation page, "Get out of S Mode", that links you to the MS Store online. That's not there if it's not "Activated". So I was, theoretically, STUCK in "S Mode", if I didn't want to purchase a new license.

I started thinking, well, probably the BIOS is "tattooed" with the license key. So what if I take my new 21H1 USB installer, blow away (re-format) the main Windows OS partition on the eMMC, and install fresh, and it should pick up the key from the BIOS.

Amazingly, that "hail Mary" worked! And even better, I wasn't in "S Mode" once it was installed, just regular Win10 Home.

So, I solved it, but it wasn't without quite a bit of hassle. Most end-users would have been stuck.
 

Mr.ARCHY

Junior Member
Oct 23, 2021
1
0
11
Download a free copy of UVK. (Ultra Virus Killer) System Information to the right hand side, and it gives the Windows Keys, including any (In the Bios) Those are pretty accurate to be what you can activate Microsoft Windows with. Print out that information by clicking on top and it is on your desktop to see later.

You can try to re install Windows with a downloaded .iso file burnt to a DVD or on a USB. Use that activation key and see what happens with a fresh install.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY