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keep getting "Activate Windows" message


grannash

New Member
Posts
28
#1
For the past week or so, I am suddenly (in the middle of working on something) getting a blue screen that says "Activate Windows. Go to PC Settings to activate Windows." And there's a PC settings button to click. The only way out of that screen is to click there. So I do, and it briefly looks like I'm going to go to some sort of settings screen, but then it disappears and it takes me to my start screen. When I go back to my desktop, whatever I was working on is right where I left it. Happens several times a day.

Any ideas why this is happening and why it never actually takes me to PC Settings and what I can do to stop this?

I'm running 8.1 - I "upgraded" (I use that term loosely!) when it first became available back in October.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

MilesAhead

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2,130
#2

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.0 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Toshiba Satelite C55D-A Laptop
    CPU
    AMD EI 1200
    Memory
    4 gb DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 340 MB dedicated Ram
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built in
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    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    640 GB (spinner) Sata II
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    Built in
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#4
Press the Windows key and the pause/break key to bring up the System Screen. The look at the status under Windows Activation down at the bottom. It should say "Windows is activated". If its not, there should be an activate windows option there. If you see that option click it and see what happens.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

grannash

New Member
Posts
28
#5
The malware scan turned up nothing. But this way to find out if Windows is activated is very helpful! I have tried (and tried!) to get to the 'activate windows' screen through PC Settings, but every time I click PC Settings, it starts to go there, but them promptly disappears. This is what happens to most of the tiles I click on, on the start screen, ever since I "upgraded" to 8.1 (but that's a whole other thread I should start!). Weather, finance, nothing works since the 'upgrade'.

So I have discovered that my Windows is not activated. I've had this computer since last spring - why is this suddenly coming up now?? I have to contact my IT guy for the product key, but I am thinking this problem is getting close to being solved.

Thanks!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

grannash

New Member
Posts
28
#6
Gahhhh!!! I clicked 'activate on the web' (or something similar), realized I needed a code, so closed out. Now I can't get back to that screen because it just disappears every time I try to go there, and I get taken to my start screen (just like when I click on any app there).
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

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#7
Is this your PC, or a company supplied PC? If its yours, did it come with Windows 8 pre installed by the manufacturer? If Windows 8 was pre installed your OEM key is embedded in the BIOS. Updating to 8.1 though the Windows store wouldn't normally break activation, it would use the Windows 8 OEM key. If this is a company PC using a KMS server for activation that might explain it. This utility will read your embedded OEM key, RWEverything | Read & Write Everything Run it. Click on the ACPI Table button at the top. After that click on the MSDM tab. Your BIOS's product key is at the bottom.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

grannash

New Member
Posts
28
#8
It's a company PC, but I'm at a remote location, not connected to any server. So I'm guessing it might as well be 'mine'. Pretty sure it came with Windows 8 pre-installed though. But I could ask my IT guy.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

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#9
There are 8 Pro Volume License editions that activate though that companies own activation server. KMS, Key Management Server. Activation is checked periodically and will eventually time out if the PC cannot connect to the company server and be verified. Bumping the OS from 8.0 to 8.1 may cause an issue to, as the KMS server may be looking for Windows 8.0 to be tied to the key. When it see's 8.1 it refuses to activate that PC. I'd contact your IT guy, be warned that he or she may not be impressed with you updating to 8.1. What is shown for Windows Edition at the top of the System screen I mentioned earlier?

EDIT: In Windows 8.1 you can also right click the Start Button in the lower left corner and select System from the list. There are a lot of other quick links there too.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

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#11
Ok, if it doesn't say Pro its only the Core Edition. As near as I can tell the VL edition is only available in Pro so that's not what you have. Core is usually what the Manufacturer installs, that's what was on my ASUS laptop when I got it. Your Windows 8 install was likely the factory OEM Windows 8 install. When you update to 8.1 it matches what was there so if you have Core you get 8.1 Core, if it was Pro you get 8.1 Pro. Why your having activation problems is mystery though as the OEM key should be good to go. Your OEM key is embedded in the BIOS on Windows 8 PC's. It won't be listed on the COA sticker either. You can retrieve it with a utility like this, RWEverything | Read & Write Everything Download it, run it. Click on the ACPI Table button at the top. After that click on the MSDM tab. Your BIOS's product key is at the bottom. Then try activating again and type it in. another way to do it is to run Slmgr /ipk XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX from an elevated command prompt replacing the X's with your product code.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

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#13
lol, OK, its been a while since I downloaded it. 64 bit if your current install is 64 bit, which I imagine it is. Latest version is 1.6.5 which is the top one. The portable is likely stand alone and can be run as is without having to install it. So RwPortableX64V1.6.5.zip is what I would go for, top right corner of the download page. Its a zip file so once its downloaded right click it and select extract all. That will unzip it to a folder. You can then run RW.exe in the Win64 >Portable folder.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

grannash

New Member
Posts
28
#14
Okay, I've tried to run RW.exe three times now, and each time after I click the ACPI table button, you can hear it start to suck all of my computer's resources (like I'm running an old 386 or something!), and then it eventually goes into "Not Responding" mode, along with Chrome (the only other thing I have open). I feel like I am jinxed - even the fixes for my problems don't go like they should.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

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#15
Runs OK on this PC, I was able to open the ACPI Table. I don't see a MSDM tab though. This PC doesn't have a UEFI BIOS or embedded code though. You could try the other non stand alone version. RwX64V1.6.5.zip
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

grannash

New Member
Posts
28
#16
Hooray, that worked, and very quickly! So now I have my product code.

I tried to do it via the System screen, but as it did previously, when I clicked on Activate Windows, it started to take me there, then 'calved' and sent me back to the start screen.

When you say an 'elevated command prompt', does my run of the mill "run" command fall into that category? I used that, and got several pages of text, and I'm not sure what to make of it. It looks a lot like an entire list of every possible message (error messages and good messages) that could be used in this application. Anything specific I should look for?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

alphanumeric

slightly off center
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#17
Elevated command prompt means Run As Administrator. If you go to All Apps, Command Prompt should show up under Windows System. Or type command when on the Metro Start screen. Once you find the Command Prompt tile, right click it and select Run as administrator. Then type in the Slmgr /ipk XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX and press enter. There is a space between Slmgr and the /.

Have a look at option two here, http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/8855-product-key-number-change-windows-8-a.html , option one might even work.
I should have posted this earlier also, http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/27129-product-key-find-windows-8-a.html
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2
Posts
1
#18
For the past week or so, I am suddenly (in the middle of working on something) getting a blue screen that says "Activate Windows. Go to PC Settings to activate Windows." And there's a PC settings button to click. The only way out of that screen is to click there. So I do, and it briefly looks like I'm going to go to some sort of settings screen, but then it disappears and it takes me to my start screen. When I go back to my desktop, whatever I was working on is right where I left it. Happens several times a day.

Any ideas why this is happening and why it never actually takes me to PC Settings and what I can do to stop this?

I'm running 8.1 - I "upgraded" (I use that term loosely!) when it first became available back in October.


Search for "messages" in the Start screen. then go to action centre then update messages then take that off XD
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i5 3570k
    Motherboard
    gigabyte
    Memory
    8gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    gtx 750ti
    Browser
    internet exploer
    Antivirus
    windows

alphanumeric

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#19
This thread is a year old by the way.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

JillR

New Member
Posts
9
#20
I am also getting this message. I found my key, entered it, but got the message 'This key did not work. Please check it and try again'. What do I do now?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows XP
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop