Windows 8.1 key screwed up -- now not activated

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by towermax, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. towermax

    towermax MDL Novice

    Aug 28, 2009
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    I have a fully legal Windows 8 upgrade installation that was later upgraded to 8.1 at the Windows store.

    Way back when, I got one of those free Windows 8 Media Center keys offered by Microsoft. I forgot about it because I didn't install Windows 8 until a few months later. Recently, I ran across it while sorting out old emails and decided to install it. It installed fine and the key was accepted.

    But after rebooting, Windows comes up as needing activation. I checked the existing Windows key using a keyfinder and it shows that the Media Center key replaced my existing key. And the system will not accept my original key either--the error code is related to using an upgrade edition to make a clean install. It gives me no options for telephone activation. I can't use system restore because it says I have no restore points, even though one was just made a few days ago on Patch Tuesday. (I presume the restore points are tied to the key?)

    I found out that the free Media center upgrade had a time limit on it, so apparently that's the cause of the problem--although the key should have been blacklisted and not accepted.

    I have disabled the Media Center upgrade, but it doesn't make a difference. I have a fairly recent backup, so I'm not completely out of luck, but it's over a month old and will require quite some work to save, copy, and redo all the mail, program updates, photos, game saves, etc. since then. (I normally am backed-up daily by Windows Home Server, but I'm away from home for a couple of months.)

    Does anyone know a way to get my original key to work with this mess?
     
  2. s1ave77

    s1ave77 MDL Guide Dog/Dev

    Aug 15, 2012
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    #2 s1ave77, Feb 16, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    Try to activate via phone :D.

    in Admin cmd:
    Code:
    slui 4

    After upgrading to ProfessionalWMC the Pro Key won't work, as it is for a different edition :cool2:.
     
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  3. towermax

    towermax MDL Novice

    Aug 28, 2009
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    Thanks, that got me to phone activation, but it won't accept the code--not recognized.

    Looks like I'll have to restore my backup.
     
  4. s1ave77

    s1ave77 MDL Guide Dog/Dev

    Aug 15, 2012
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    Yep, unfortunately it sounds like that :hmm:.
     
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  5. hack

    hack MDL Senior Member

    Sep 14, 2009
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    Just save the files in C:\Users\yourprofilename and copy them back after restoring from your backup.
    If you have installed new software since your last backup make a note, check for config data etc and re-install after restoring.
     
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  6. towermax

    towermax MDL Novice

    Aug 28, 2009
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    Right, I did that and more. Everything's back to normal now. It took about four hours all told. So I learned a lesson--never make a significant change to Windows 8.1 without backing up first. I'm so used to having an automatic daily backup from Windows Home Server that I'm not as cautious as I used to be . . .
     
  7. s1ave77

    s1ave77 MDL Guide Dog/Dev

    Aug 15, 2012
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    Life can be brutal and without any mercy...:D.
     
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