Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Have lost activation key for win 8.1 after BIOS upgrade.

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    xp Vista 7 % 8

    Have lost activation key for win 8.1 after BIOS upgrade.


    Hi, i hope there is a solution to my problem. After upgrading from 8.1 to win 10 home on my Alienware X51 r2 i needed drivers from the alienware website. I downloaded the appropriate software to detect the drivers i required. I downloaded all that i was advised to. One of the updates was for the BIOS, and along with the others drivers i updated it. After the updates installed all was well until certain aspects of win 10 were failing to open upon request ie photos, calendar, mail etc. So as it was a relatively new installation i did a system restore back to just after installation, all was ok but it appears i restored back to before win 10 had activated via the internet. Now the only COA code i can find is probably a generic one that is blocked from activating by Microsoft. I have used the script from this forum to acertain this. I seem to have wiped the code from the BIOS, is there anything legal to get me my activated status back.

    Thanks in advance

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    You can't wipe the code from BIOS, it's still there.

    Give it some time. One of my installs took 2 days before it activated.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 4
    xp Vista 7 % 8


    I think it has wiped it because the Bios was updated during the driver update process. My dvd that came with the system wont even install, it is requesting a code and wont bypass this.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Run this program, see what it tells you: ShowkeyPlus

    It will show you the key that is embedded in BIOS if it's still there. Something like this:

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 4
    xp Vista 7 % 8


    Thanks for the program link. unfortunately it has realized my fears, the only code it finds is the code i used from a retail version of windows i own and used to get the machine running. I know why this happened but should it? I had a genuine win 8.1 upgraded to win 10 that went wrong after i updated the bios as requseted and now i am left with no COA key! I know i am up and running but i have had to use a product key that i own that was intended for a different machine, do you think i have a case to complain? Thanks
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Complain to who? Your machine came with an OS preinstalled, and with the product code in the UEFI firmware -- for THAT OS.

    YOU decided to change the OS, and in the process of fiddling around with a Retail version, may have hosed up the UEFI firmware (though, I can not see HOW you could have done that).

    Seems the problem results from actions that YOU have taken -- and changing the OS is likely to have voided the warranty on the machine.

    Rather than complaining about mistakes YOU made, it might work better if you were to contact Alienware and see what (if anything) they are willing to do to repair or reset your machine -- and be prepared to pay them for their efforts.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 4
    xp Vista 7 % 8


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Phelps View Post
    Complain to who? Your machine came with an OS preinstalled, and with the product code in the UEFI firmware -- for THAT OS.


    YOU decided to change the OS, and in the process of fiddling around with a Retail version, may have hosed up the UEFI firmware (though, I can not see HOW you could have done that).


    Seems the problem results from actions that YOU have taken -- and changing the OS is likely to have voided the warranty on the machine.


    Rather than complaining about mistakes YOU made, it might work better if you were to contact Alienware and see what (if anything) they are willing to do to repair or reset your machine -- and be prepared to pay them for their efforts.

    Why the attitude? Please read my first post and let me clarify the sequence of events.
    I like many others accepted the free upgrade from Microsoft to update to windows 10. All went well at first apart from a few drivers required upgrading,
    i went to the Dell website and accepted the updates suggested. Among the updates was a BIOS update that was advertised as required now my machine was running windows 10! I installed all the updates and that is when my problems started.
    I experienced problems with the graphics drivers. Remember my BIOS had now been updated! As a restore point had been created prior to the graphics driver
    updated i initiated a system restore to before the upgrade. (I believe that Windows 10 had not been activated at this restore point because afterwards my
    installation of windows 10 would not activate, it was activated before i restored) The BIOS had been updated and the COA was now missing!
    Now forgive me but i don't see how any of that could have been foreseen. How can i be accused of invalidating a warranty just by upgrading my OS!
    Also if Alienware (Dell) advise a BIOS update they should find a way of recovering the current COA from the machine and incorporating it in the flash
    update.
    Also for information, i have the original DVD from Dell and that wont install without a COA or marker present in the BIOS.
    So even without trying to upgrade to Windows 10 i would have been snookered if i wished to do a clean install in the future now the the BIOS had been updated, and surely i cant be accused of fiddling when this is a DELL recommended update.


    So after following advice from multi million companies i find myself in a situation where i have to use my money to supply a genuine Windows 8.1 key code.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Definitely need to contact Dell or whoever now owns Alienware.

    No way updating the BIOS should wipe the embedded key so there is something wrong with their BIOS update program and they sghould be able to fix it.

    At this point I would suggest doing a Clean Install of Windows 10 which should activate without any problems since it was already activated when you did the upgrade. Windows 10 - Clean Install

    Meanwhile pursue contacting Dell.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Have lost activation key for win 8.1 after BIOS upgrade.
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