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Solved My product key is a 'default' product key. Why?

robinpe

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Power User
I bought my Acer Aspire notebook with Win8 & a touchscreen new in Jan.2013. I have never been able to activate the product key, (it is being blocked). I have since found out that the number I located in the BIOS is a 'default' product key & is plastered all over the internet & certainly doesn't appear to be my unique personal number. Why would it be a default number, & why is it on my laptop? When I first rec'd it, it wouldn't complete installation of Windows 8. It was picked up & sent to Acer, Plymouth for checking. This is what they did:
Passed Hitachi hard drive test, memtest & all other hardware tests. Re-imaged hard-drive & performed software recovery. Updated BIOS.
When I got it back everything was working ok, except for the product key activation. I've been using it ever since Jan.
with only other problem. Could something they did in Plymouth be the cause of this problem?
Acer has sent me Windows Recovery disks to do a factory reset, but I've already done a factory reset for another problem & that didn't activate the machine, so why should another reset fix it?
 

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    Windows 8.1 and 10, 64-bit 9600 Multiprocessor Free
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theog

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I would return to Acer for repair or replacement.
 

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alphanumeric

slightly off center
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It should have been activated from the factory, unless you mean it wouldn't activate after doing the factory restore. What utility or program did you use to retrieve your embedded product code? Some only read the key the PC is currently using, what is stored in the registry, that may or may not be the same key embedded in the BIOS. I'd be calling Acer about it not activating.
 

My Computer

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  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
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    Kerry Waterfield
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    Asus
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    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
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    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
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    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
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XweAponX

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If it never had been activated, I would take it straight back to the store and get every penny of my cash BACK.
 

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alphanumeric

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:ditto: on returning it.
 

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    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
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    Asus
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    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
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    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
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    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
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    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
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robinpe

New Member
Power User
I used ShowKey.vbs that David Bailey advised my to use to reveal my Product Key. It seemed genuine, because the last set of 5 figures were the same as on my PC Settings screen where it asked my to activate. (But maybe those 5 figures are wrong too!)
What exactly do you by mean by this alphanumeric?: 'Some only read the key the PC is currently using, what is stored in the registry, that may or may not be the same key embedded in the BIOS'.
I have already contacted Acer about it not activating, they have sent me recovery discs, but I don't want to use them unless I really have to. I'm not convinced anyway that they would solve this specific problem!
As I asked before: What is a default product key, & what is it used for? And why do I show one?
On another post in this forum it was stated: Default keys cannot be used for activation. Is this orrect?
This was stated by 'Mystere' in a former post: 'If you have an OEM copy of Windows, the product key is stored in your BIOS, thus it is no longer necessary to enter a product key.'
 

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    Windows 8.1 and 10, 64-bit 9600 Multiprocessor Free
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    Intel (R) 5Y70 @ 1.10GHz
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The vbs script shows me my Product Key for my Windows 8 Pro.
It matches exactly the Key that came with 8 Pro when I bought it.

I used to have Windows 8 OEM with its' Key.
That Key is no longer used.

If I did a Factory Reset the old Key would be needed.
Which is in the OEM version.

Did you enter the whole Key the vbs showed or did you just use the last 5 numbers with 20 different numbers in front of the last 5 ?

A picture of the email from Microsoft giving me my new Key:

Untitled.png
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

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    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center
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    David A. Bailey
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    Gateway
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    AMD K140 Cores 2 Threads 2 Name AMD K140 Package Socket FT1 BGA Technology 40nm
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    Manufacturer Gateway Model SX2110G (P0)
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alphanumeric

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I used ShowKey.vbs that David Bailey advised my to use to reveal my Product Key. It seemed genuine, because the last set of 5 figures were the same as on my PC Settings screen where it asked my to activate. (But maybe those 5 figures are wrong too!)
What exactly do you by mean by this alphanumeric?: 'Some only read the key the PC is currently using, what is stored in the registry, that may or may not be the same key embedded in the BIOS'.
I have already contacted Acer about it not activating, they have sent me recovery discs, but I don't want to use them unless I really have to. I'm not convinced anyway that they would solve this specific problem!
As I asked before: What is a default product key, & what is it used for? And why do I show one?
On another post in this forum it was stated: Default keys cannot be used for activation. Is this orrect?
This was stated by 'Mystere' in a former post: 'If you have an OEM copy of Windows, the product key is stored in your BIOS, thus it is no longer necessary to enter a product key.'

My laptop came with 8 core. I used a TechNet key to upgrade to 8 Pro though add features. I then upgraded again by adding Media Center. If I run that script it shows my Media Center key not the embedded key. It reads the key that was last entered and is stored in the registry not the one stored in the BIOS. On a factory install that hasn't been upgraded though add features it should read the factory key. What you're getting right now when you run it, I'm not sure if that is the embedded key?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Name
    Kerry Waterfield
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
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    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
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    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
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    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
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Just a thought.

If you get frustrated enough, you could just take it to a computer repair shop & let them fix it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center
    Name
    David A. Bailey
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Gateway
    CPU
    AMD K140 Cores 2 Threads 2 Name AMD K140 Package Socket FT1 BGA Technology 40nm
    Motherboard
    Manufacturer Gateway Model SX2110G (P0)
    Memory
    Type DDR3 Size 8192 MBytes DRAM Frequency 532.3 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI AMD Radeon HD 7310 Graphics
    Sound Card
    AMD High Definition Audio Device Realtek High Definition Audio USB Audio Device
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Name 1950W on AMD Radeon HD 7310 Graphics Current Resolution 1366x768 pixels Work Resolution 1366x76
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    Current Resolution 1366x768 pixels Work Resolution 1366x768 pixels
    Hard Drives
    AMD K140
    Cores 2
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    Package Socket FT1 BGA
    Technology 40nm
    Specification AMD E1-1200 APU with Radeon HD Graphics
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alphanumeric

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In reply to your question about the default product key; At one time you could install Windows without entering a product key. You could just leave it blank and Windows would use a default key. The default key would not activate so you were time limited as to how long you could run Windows before entering a key and activating. Basically a trial install. Windows 8 won't let you do that unless you modify the install media. Because it is multi edition (8 + 8Pro) it has to know what edition to install. Normally the product key tells it that. If you modify the install media to show the selection menu and bypass the requirement for a key it uses a default key that will not activate. That's my understanding anyway. Embedded keys will be read by unmodified official install media. My Windows 8 TechNet ISO's read my laptops embedded key just fine. I have no idea how recovery media handles that though. With OA 2.1 and Windows 7 and lower, all PC's by the same manufacturer have the same SLP product code. With OA 3.0 and Windows 8, each PC has its own unique embedded code. I'm guessing Windows looks for and reads the embedded key every time it boots up. Otherwise you'd need custom recovery media matched to each PC.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Name
    Kerry Waterfield
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    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
    Occupation
    Retired
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
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    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
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robinpe

New Member
Power User
Thanks guys!
Yes David, I did insert the whole 25 numbers, (so many times I nearly know them by heart!).
You stated alphanumeric:
(On a factory install that hasn't been upgraded though add features it should read the factory key. What you're getting right now when you run it, I'm not sure if that is the embedded key?) How can I double-check whether this is the factory installed key? I haven't done any upgrades, the notebook is exactly the same as when I bought it in Jan.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 and 10, 64-bit 9600 Multiprocessor Free
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo Yoga Pro 1370 (Ultrabook)
    CPU
    Intel (R) 5Y70 @ 1.10GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo VIUU4
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel (R) HD Graphics 5300
    Sound Card
    High Definition Audio Device
    Screen Resolution
    3200 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD
    Samsung MZNTE256HMHP-000L2
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    Retired. (Too old & too lazy to work)
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alphanumeric

slightly off center
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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Name
    Kerry Waterfield
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    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
    Occupation
    Retired
    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
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    Internet Explorer 11
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I tried it & got another Key.
OEM Key ???

Untitled.png
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center
    Name
    David A. Bailey
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Gateway
    CPU
    AMD K140 Cores 2 Threads 2 Name AMD K140 Package Socket FT1 BGA Technology 40nm
    Motherboard
    Manufacturer Gateway Model SX2110G (P0)
    Memory
    Type DDR3 Size 8192 MBytes DRAM Frequency 532.3 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI AMD Radeon HD 7310 Graphics
    Sound Card
    AMD High Definition Audio Device Realtek High Definition Audio USB Audio Device
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Name 1950W on AMD Radeon HD 7310 Graphics Current Resolution 1366x768 pixels Work Resolution 1366x76
    Screen Resolution
    Current Resolution 1366x768 pixels Work Resolution 1366x768 pixels
    Hard Drives
    AMD K140
    Cores 2
    Threads 2
    Name AMD K140
    Package Socket FT1 BGA
    Technology 40nm
    Specification AMD E1-1200 APU with Radeon HD Graphics
    Family F
    Extended Family 14
    Model 2
    Extended Model 2
    Stepping 0
    Revision ON-C0
    Instruction
    Occupation
    Trying to live a good life before I die.
    Browser
    Opera 24.0
    Antivirus
    Avast Internet Security
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    us virginia

robinpe

New Member
Power User
What exactly am I supposed to be clicking on Page 8? Don't forget I have Windows 8 not 8.1.
What about this post elsewhere?
Even if you could find the product key (which you can), it wouldn't help you. The product key is a default key that's used in lots of installs. The computer is locked to your bios, and does not take a key to activate.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 and 10, 64-bit 9600 Multiprocessor Free
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo Yoga Pro 1370 (Ultrabook)
    CPU
    Intel (R) 5Y70 @ 1.10GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo VIUU4
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel (R) HD Graphics 5300
    Sound Card
    High Definition Audio Device
    Screen Resolution
    3200 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD
    Samsung MZNTE256HMHP-000L2
    Occupation
    Retired. (Too old & too lazy to work)
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labeeman

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I tried it & got another Key.
OEM Key ???
You need to blank out the key info the screen shot if you want your key secret. it is in the block of data also.
 

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    Win7/8 Mint
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    Charlie
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    lenovo W530
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    intell i7
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    Lenovo
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    16gb
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    1920x1080
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    512 gb ssd
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alphanumeric

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I tried it & got another Key.
OEM Key ???

That's my understanding that that key is the embedded key. I've retrieved mine but haven't confirmed its the embedded key. I would have to reinstall Windows 8 to do that.

YOUR Product key is still visible in your screen shot by the way!!!!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Name
    Kerry Waterfield
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    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
    Occupation
    Retired
    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
    Country Flag
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alphanumeric

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What exactly am I supposed to be clicking on Page 8? Don't forget I have Windows 8 not 8.1.
What about this post elsewhere?
Even if you could find the product key (which you can), it wouldn't help you. The product key is a default key that's used in lots of installs. The computer is locked to your bios, and does not take a key to activate.

That's true for OA 2.1 and lower. OA standing for OEM Activation. In Windows 7 with OEM SLP activation, it activates against a SLIC table in the BIOS. Every Windows 7 Dell would have the same Dell key and every HP would have the same HP key. The key by itself is useless and won't activate if you try to use it on another PC. You have to have a certificate file that matches the BIOS SLIC table in order to do the OEM-SLP activation.

It doesn't work that way in Windows 8 and OA 3.0 Each PC even from the same manufacturer has its own key, they don't share a common key anymore. The key is read from the BIOS and Windows checks it and activates online. In theory, you should be able to retrieve your embedded key and swap it for the current one. I've never done it myself.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Name
    Kerry Waterfield
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    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
    Occupation
    Retired
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
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    Stock heatsink fan
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    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
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    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
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    Internet Explorer 11
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    Windows Defender
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    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2
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    Canada
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    ca novia scotia
Blocked out my key.
Thanks for pointing that out. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center
    Name
    David A. Bailey
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Gateway
    CPU
    AMD K140 Cores 2 Threads 2 Name AMD K140 Package Socket FT1 BGA Technology 40nm
    Motherboard
    Manufacturer Gateway Model SX2110G (P0)
    Memory
    Type DDR3 Size 8192 MBytes DRAM Frequency 532.3 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI AMD Radeon HD 7310 Graphics
    Sound Card
    AMD High Definition Audio Device Realtek High Definition Audio USB Audio Device
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Name 1950W on AMD Radeon HD 7310 Graphics Current Resolution 1366x768 pixels Work Resolution 1366x76
    Screen Resolution
    Current Resolution 1366x768 pixels Work Resolution 1366x768 pixels
    Hard Drives
    AMD K140
    Cores 2
    Threads 2
    Name AMD K140
    Package Socket FT1 BGA
    Technology 40nm
    Specification AMD E1-1200 APU with Radeon HD Graphics
    Family F
    Extended Family 14
    Model 2
    Extended Model 2
    Stepping 0
    Revision ON-C0
    Instruction
    Occupation
    Trying to live a good life before I die.
    Browser
    Opera 24.0
    Antivirus
    Avast Internet Security
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    USA
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    us virginia

labeeman

New Member
VIP Member
Member

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win7/8 Mint
    Name
    Charlie
    System Manufacturer/Model
    lenovo W530
    CPU
    intell i7
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    16gb
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    512 gb ssd
    Occupation
    beekeeper
    Other Info
    Around 13 million employes
    Country Flag
    USA
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    us louisiana

robinpe

New Member
Power User
Is the statement below true?
This was stated by 'Mystere' in a former post: 'If you have an OEM copy of Windows, the product key is stored in your BIOS, thus it is no longer necessary to enter a product key.'

Even though my PC Settings Activation window opens occasionally asking me to activate, do I actually HAVE to activate since the machine was already activated in the factory?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 and 10, 64-bit 9600 Multiprocessor Free
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo Yoga Pro 1370 (Ultrabook)
    CPU
    Intel (R) 5Y70 @ 1.10GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo VIUU4
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel (R) HD Graphics 5300
    Sound Card
    High Definition Audio Device
    Screen Resolution
    3200 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD
    Samsung MZNTE256HMHP-000L2
    Occupation
    Retired. (Too old & too lazy to work)
    Cooling
    Fan
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, Ccleaner, Malwarebytes.
    Other Info
    Touchscreen,
    Country Flag
    UK
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    european union

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