Does MS Blacklist OEM Activation Keys?

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by John Sutherland, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Addicted

    Oct 15, 2014
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    Last weekend I performed an experiment. I tried to re-install Windows 8 and see if it would activate automatically used the OEM key that's embedded in the machine's BIOS. The result was yes and no.

    Background: Back in 2013, I bought an HP Envy DV7 laptop with Windows 8 Core pre-installed. When Windows 8.1 was released, I upgraded for free using the Windows Store. Later on, I download a Windows 8.1 Core .iso and performed a clean install in order to get rid of the HP bloatware. Windows 8.1 Core was activated automatically without me having to do anything. Using Belarc Advisor, I found that Windows 8.1 was using the same OEM activation key that Windows 8 had used.

    In July 2015, I upgraded to Windows 10 Home for free using Windows Update. I waited about a week or so, downloaded a Windows 10 Home .iso, and did another clean install. Again, Windows 10 activated automatically, this time via the digital license. Using Belarc Advisor, I found that a different activation key was now being used by Windows 10. I assumed this change was part of the digital licensing process.

    To the present: After a long series of Google searches, I finally found a download for Windows 8 Core x84_64. (The filename is en_windows_8_x64_dvd_915440.iso). I did not enter an activation key during the installation, since I assumed it would use the OEM key for Windows 8. After installing, I checked and found that Windows 8 was indeed activated. But it didn't last long. After I installed all the updates, an initial batch of 131 followed by a second batch of 23, I checked again to see if Windows 8 was still activated and found that it no longer was. The error message was as follows:

    Error code 0xC004C008: This product key cannot be used. It is being used on another machine.

    So what happened? I am puzzled as to why the machine's OEM activation key was initially accepted and then rejected. I am also wondering if MS somehow blacklists your machine's original OEM activation key if you accept to upgrade/install Windows 10 using the digital license. All comments are welcome.

    PS: I have since re-installed Windows 10 Home using a backup image. It is still activated.
     
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  2. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

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    That iso is 8 not 8.1, did you try with an 8.1 iso? I have no hardware containing a 8 MSDM, at least not one i am allowed to tinker with :D
     
  3. Threat

    Threat Lord of the Files

    Feb 23, 2014
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    If you phone M$ support they activate it over the phone and it still works.

    I've heard of this multiple times.

    Just curious, why were you trying to go back to Win8 from Win10?
     
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  4. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

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    Next time you test it, could you run the latest QT from the MRP thread? I think it's interesting what the reason code is, it spits out :)
     
  5. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Addicted

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    #5 John Sutherland, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
    (OP)
    About a month ago I did try installing Windows 8.1 Core using the same DVD I had used previously to do the clean install. That failed to activate immediately showing the same error message.
     
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  6. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Addicted

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    #6 John Sutherland, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
    (OP)
    I'm trying to help someone who wants to go back to 8.1 and ran into the same problem. For me, it's just an experiment to see if it's possible. I assumed that the OEM key would always be accepted, but it looks like I'm wrong.
     
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  7. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

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    @mxman2k posted an explanation in the chat, did you see it?
     
  8. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Addicted

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    OK. I'm going to wait a while before trying again. From what I've read, the MS activation servers get upset when you try to activate the same machine too many times within a given period.
     
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  9. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

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    And a call to MSFT should solve it :)
     
  10. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Addicted

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    I'll pass that on to the person I'm trying to help. Personally, I'm sticking with Windows 10, and I really don't want to risk screwing up W10 activation on my own machine.
     
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  11. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

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    That would be hard to achieve, you're on their flagship :D:D
     
  12. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Addicted

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    LOL. And a lot of people assumed the Titanic was an unsinkable ship. :D
     
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  13. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
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    That was after the declaration of the Builder of the Titanic, which was taken over from many! Same happens to Microsofts Windows!

    But the reality is, Microsoft really blacklist sometimes some OEM Keys if those keys are multi-used on Computers with different HWID's in a very short period of time. A phone activation may works if the user could supply a proof of ownership to the Activation Center by either email and/or FAX. That happened 2 times in past years in my company, and I had to send the proof to MS Activation in Singapore by email. MS Thailand wasn't doing that work because there isn't any Activation Server in Thailand.
     
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