Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

New Laptop, WIN8 OE Not Activated, Key Blocked, Options?

  1. #1

    Posts : 4
    Win 7

    New Laptop, WIN8 OE Not Activated, Key Blocked, Options?

    I just bought a new MSI laptop. However, Win 8.1 was not activated at the factory, so I keep getting the activation reminder. I've tried to get the keys using those apps and Microsoft support told me they are blocked and and MSI has to clear them so I can activate. A useless call to MSI said they have to get the laptop back and they will perform a new install of Windows. Questionable is if this service is free and the length of time they will take, as they are renowned to have fairly poor service.

    It appears I have the OE version (nothing in the PC Settings says "pro")

    There are dealers on Ebay (with many good reviews) selling unused pro discs with the license keys/stickers, for good prices.

    I would like to avoid a new installation, but the dealer said that if my Win 8.1 is an OE, the keys can't be used with my laptop and I must do a fresh install with the Pro disc they provide in order to use the license key on the sticker.

    Is there any other way to avoid a new install and possibly upgrade to Pro? I'm thinking for the price of the disc and key, it's good insurance to buy it to keep it on hand for periodic reinstalls, but I'm strapped for time right now and need to continue working with the laptop. I can only do a new install at a much later time.

    I checked the search and I didn't see something that aligned with my particular situation. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by SJC; 17 Sep 2015 at 01:29.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 95
    Windows 8.1 Pro Media Center x64

    Hi there!

    I've been a custom PC builder for years, and I've always loved ASUS and MSI boards, although I've not had experience with MSI-based laptops, so I haven't had to tussle with MSI's customer support.

    On the other hand, Microsoft's Product Keys are - shall we say - difficult, at best?
    For some reason, Microsoft wants us to pay some company to reinstall Windows for us, or use the manufacturer's "Recovery Media", and it's often loaded with garbage that we don't want, or it doesn't do what we want or need in the first place.


    Now, if I may offer a helpful hand, I have located a script some years ago that translates the string values from the Windows Registry and makes them into a product key that you can actually read.

    If you have the media available, then ProductKey.VBS should find your Product Key for you, from which you can perform a re-install and should be able to activate Windows from there.

    If you DON'T have the media available, then the following tutorial can help you create the re-installation media.

    Tutorial: Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 4
    Win 7

    Thanks. I'll keep your reference. I would like to avoid a reinstall, if at all possible, as I had to begin working on the laptop immediately and can't stop now.

    I'm guessing I'll have to just buy an OE/Home key from fleabay or wherever, activate the OS on board, then get a key and disc for the Pro and use that as the upgrade path to pro. Primarily, I want to activate and if my key is blocked by MS, I need another, I guess.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10

    There are two product key types..
    With windows 8.1 the oem key is usually embedded into the bios and should be a valid activation code..
    the other type key is a generic OS key, usually embedded into the OS - that key is activation blocked

    so now you need to see what key it has and what key it is trying to activate..

    download, extract and then run >

    if you want to post the results for help - click on each key result before you capture a snapshot image..
    this will mask the key with ****

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Posts : 4
    Win 7

    Hey, thanks for the replies. At this point, i'm just spenting tons of time trying to figure this out, getting new numbers with each app to reveal the IDs and keys, so I just bought a Win8 Pro Disc and key, since I should have the former on hand (and I installed antivirus programs that started deleting program files, which I restored, but the directories are now a mess).

    So I'm just going to do a clean install when I have a chance and hopefully the driver/utility disc has the non-bloatware programs in it which are selling points for this laptop.

    Thanks for the help, but MS and MSI screwed this whole thing up and I can't recommend against MSI enough due to this. How they could allow a laptop to leave the factory with the OS unactivated is beyond me. If I wasn't stuck with working on it, got a good deal, and it's an English version (I'm in Germany), I'd just send it back, but things are much more complicated for me here.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 4
    Win 7

    Just as an update, which might help someone, might not.

    I decided the pathway I was intending to use was a short-term one, as in trying to get a key (obviously legally) for an oem/Home 8.1, just to get myself up and running. Then later I would update to pro, then Win10, when the bugs and privacy issues are worked out by the user community.

    I simply decided to buy a Win 8.1 Pro Disc and unused license from a reputable seller selling these on fleabay. They even provided extremely clear instructions and, despite having bought the package with the disc, I still followed the instructions to make an ISO from the MS site, which sort of saved me. The disc they sent was German only, which is not my preference, but I had already installed windows successfully and the key worked perfectly.

    I then used the ISO disc I made to reinstall windows (to the same SSD) and it just changed over the language.

    The only hitch along the way was that for a few startups, the SSD wasn't recognized and it kept sending me to the BIOS, where the SSD wasn't listed. After a bunch of restarts, it finally worked.

    Total for the disc and license was 43EUR. I'm guessing these people are OEMers or an IT department selling their extra copies.

    Anyhow, the only hassle with the install was that my laptop has an SSD and a HDD and it wasn't recognizing the SSD to boot.

    During install, the installer recognizes that the Home version was already there, but it simply puts it in an ".old" folder and then one deletes it later.

    Done. I basically decided to stay up overnight to do this and work through the preservations of files and structures (ie: Lightroom catalog) and then read through for the other issues I eventually had, such as the SSD not working.

    Thanks to the community, but it was better invested to pay 43 EUR than to fiddle with all sorts of keys and utilities, when the simple fact is that MSI never activated Windows from the factory, likely because they knew their keys were leaked and then blocked.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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