Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Error 0xc0000021a - want to reset but Product Key invalid

  1. #1


    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1

    Error 0xc0000021a - want to reset but Product Key invalid


    Hello, I' am currently using a custom made laptop which I had to repair due to an hardware failure. After I got the PC back I reinstalled Windows but the product key I had wasn't working properly any more. Knowing that after an hardware change this is not an uncommon problem, I just used the option "Activate by phone" and everything went fine.

    Unfortunately the last day I got the blue screen with the error 0xc0000021a, which I know is caused by misconfigured system files in the computer. Moreover this error is really similar to the error I got prior the hardware failure (0xc00000e). So I figured that maybe the Windows 8 installation I have (I purchased before Windows 8.1) has some problems, and maybe I can solve them by reinstalling directly Windows 8.1, instead of reinstalling Windows 8 and then upgrading it from the store.

    The problem is that when I launch the Windows 8.1 set-up program to create a media for recovery, when asked for the product key mine doesn't work. I think this has something to do with the hardware change and with the fact that I used the "activate by phone" option, but my Windows version is legit and I paid for it, and therefore I want to be able to reset my computer if I need to (like now).

    Anyone has any suggestion on how to solve this? Thank you

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,720
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    You could try the Generic Key but I'm not sure if it works an longer:

    GCRJD-8NW9H-F2CDX-CCM8D-9D6T9
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1


    I already tried that. Yours doesn't work but I found other ones that are fine, but when I go to the next step I always get the message "We can't connect at the moment".
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 1,720
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Yeah..., I think the whole process got 'jiggered' by MS.
    Might as well go through all the hoops then make a clean backup image.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin View Post
    Might as well go through all the hoops then make a clean backup image.
    Sorry I don't get it, what do you mean by going through all the hoops?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    If this is where your downloading from, and are using a Windows 8.0 key, try option 2 1. > Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create
    Last edited by alphanumeric; 17 Aug 2014 at 09:41.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1


    Ok I discovered that the key is working with the Windows 8 program and not with 8.1. The problem is that I would have liked to perform a clean reset of 8.1 without having to update from the store, and it is seems stupid I cannot do that as 8.1 is just a FREE upgrade of 8... Any thoughts?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Option #2 1 in the link I posted should let you download 8.1 with an 8.0 key? You need the old setup file. You may have to delete the ESD folder etc to get a nice clean 8.1 ISO.
    Last edited by alphanumeric; 17 Aug 2014 at 09:41.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1


    No, it's working only with the Windows8-Setup.exe program, but not with the SGS14-WindowsSetupBox-32bitand64bit-English-4141408.exe

    The thing is that the laptop had W7 originally, but it was right after the W8 release and there was an offer to get W8 (about 15 $ if I recall correctly).
    I bought it and upgraded from W7 to W8, but the computer was running terribly. Tons of errors etc, so I decided to make a CD with the clean installation of W8 and format. That time I was able to do it without any problem. My product key worked with the Windows 8 set-up program and I reinstalled W8 without having to install W7 first and then upgrade.

    Now I want to do the same thing with W8.1. This is a screenshoot of the Volume Activation Management Tool:

    Click image for larger version

    here it says that it is a retail version, but I'm starting to think that is not, otherwise I don't see why wouldn't be working... On the other hand is still strange that it works with Windows8-Setup.exe but not with SGS14-WindowsSetupBox-32bitand64bit-English-4141408.exe.

    By the way, I deleted the folder %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WebSetup, while I didn't have any C:\ESD\Windows
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Quote Originally Posted by Serpico View Post
    No, it's working only with the Windows8-Setup.exe program, but not with the SGS14-WindowsSetupBox-32bitand64bit-English-4141408.exe

    The thing is that the laptop had W7 originally, but it was right after the W8 release and there was an offer to get W8 (about 15 $ if I recall correctly).
    I bought it and upgraded from W7 to W8, but the computer was running terribly. Tons of errors etc, so I decided to make a CD with the clean installation of W8 and format. That time I was able to do it without any problem. My product key worked with the Windows 8 set-up program and I reinstalled W8 without having to install W7 first and then upgrade.

    Now I want to do the same thing with W8.1. This is a screenshoot of the Volume Activation Management Tool:

    Click image for larger version

    here it says that it is a retail version, but I'm starting to think that is not, otherwise I don't see why wouldn't be working... On the other hand is still strange that it works with Windows8-Setup.exe but not with SGS14-WindowsSetupBox-32bitand64bit-English-4141408.exe.

    By the way, I deleted the folder %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WebSetup, while I didn't have any C:\ESD\Windows
    Microsoft blocked the trick used to download 8.1 with an 8.0 key. That's why it doesn't work with the new Setup file. That's also why Brink posted the link to the old file that still works for getting 8.1 with an 8.0 key. OEM keys won't work for either download, and I think upgrade keys are blocked too. It also looks like your key gets blocked after so many downloads, or download attempts.

    Now, the other trick is you can't install 8.1 with an 8.0 key. You have to do this, Activate retail Windows 8.1 with Windows 8 Product key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Error 0xc0000021a - want to reset but Product Key invalid
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