OMFG!! Reloaded windows yesterday!! Major activation woes!

musiclover7

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I cannot believe this. I truly cannot believe this..

I had a virus on my machine about a week ago, which I foolishly got when installing Samsung kies software from a non-trusted source. I was in a hurry, on the phone with someone, and I just installed it using all defaults rather than being careful, so I wound up with a virus. I managed to get that removed later, but my machine just did not run as snappy as it should of afterwards, despite devoting some serious time to cleanup. So, I opted to reload Windows. Call it early summer PC cleaning.

I purchased the upgrade version of windows 8 back when it originally came out for $39 bucks. I thought it was a pretty dang good deal. I have been using it ever since. A few months after in came out, Microsoft started giving away free Media Center upgrades, which I went ahead and took advantage of. I have a genuine Windows 8 DVD set, and in that set, I have my genuine product key, along with my upgrade to Media center product key, all of which is nicely stored in a little desk drawer here.

Unfortunately, my product key does not enable me to get an iso of Windows 8.1, so to re-install windows, I had to use the original DVD, then go through close to 115 updates, then update to windows 8.1, a process which I completed yesterday afternoon. It took about 3 hours. All good though, that is what spring cleaning is all about.

This morning, I clicked the Add Features to Windows button, and entered my Windows Media Center product key. That is when the trouble started. I came back to my machine later today, and got a pop up stating that I need to activate windows. I thought, ok, no biggie, I'll just jump through a few hoops here, after all, everything I have here is purchased and is completely legit. Nope. 1.5 hours later, including a fair amount of time trying to puzzle out how to call out to Microsoft, and I was just told by the last guy, that I need to reload Windows once again, and cannot use the Windows Media Center key that I was given to upgrade to Windows Media center.

I said, "Can't you just remove Windows Media Center, and... IF this key is no good, then why did it say it was good, and allow me to install Windows Media Center in the first place??"

It should have popped up a message straight away that said, "We are sorry for the inconvenience, but if you proceed and use the Media center key we gave you a few years ago to install Media center, it will put your PC in an un-fixable state, and you will have no choice but to waste 3 hours of your time re-installing Windows yet again. Please burn this key, and forget we ever gave it to you. Just use the one that you purchased going forward and forget all about Windows Media center. We would gladly give you some of the crack we have been smoking over here of late in recompense, but unfortunately, that would be illegal. It sure is some good stuff though..."

Cuz that is literally where I am at now folks, and yep, I am a paying customer. Not only did I just lose 1.5 hours talking with multiple folks on the phone, and having them remote into my machine to try to rescue my installation, but now I have been told, sorry, you must reload windows yet again.. That is the only way out of your situation.

I hope this is making sense. At this moment, I hate all things Microsoft. This is a total load of BS. They should be paying me for my lost time because they are the ones who screwed up my computer.
 

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Wullail

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This is why I keep doing full Operating system drive backups every month...
 

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musiclover7

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Oh.. I am all backed up. I just finished reloading windows after all. I just can't believe I am doing it again. I could understand it if I was not a paying customer, but given that I am, I am pretty astonished that the best the folks could do for me was to tell me, sorry, you have to reload windows again, and don't try to install media center this time. Pretty crazy!!
 

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David Bailey

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Superfly

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Yeah, the whole WMC thing is crazy... if the key was not activated prior to the cut-off date it became useless...I don't see why really.
The 'you-can-install-but-you-cannot-activate' thing as well is an old problem which they should fix - I realise that installation cannot determine activation status as it could be offline - but even if it means doing it via a restore point or something...
 

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eatup

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Lol, there's a trick to dl the 8.1 iso from MS with your valid license key (google it). No need to go the 8.0->115 updates->8.1->8.1 update 1 route. the 8.1 iso allows you to install the latest 8 from scratch (needs a generic key for this)... then you can activate wth your upgrade key...
 

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alphanumeric

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Lol, there's a trick to dl the 8.1 iso from MS with your valid license key (google it). No need to go the 8.0->115 updates->8.1->8.1 update 1 route. the 8.1 iso allows you to install the latest 8 from scratch (needs a generic key for this)... then you can activate wth your upgrade key...

If you mean this, http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/18309-windows-8-windows-8-1-iso-download-create.html?filter You need a Retail key and the trick to get 8.1 with an 8.0 key seems to not work anymore.
 

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alphanumeric

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Yeah, the whole WMC thing is crazy... if the key was not activated prior to the cut-off date it became useless...I don't see why really.
The 'you-can-install-but-you-cannot-activate' thing as well is an old problem which they should fix - I realise that installation cannot determine activation status as it could be offline - but even if it means doing it via a restore point or something...

Yeah, they need to fix that. When you first type the key in it just verifies that its a valid upgrade key. Activation doesn't happen until after the upgrade is done and you reboot. Then if it fails you can't go back to just 8 Pro. Not without reinstalling. I used a key after the cutoff date and it activated fine. It seems to be hit or miss, some got lucky and some didn't. I had one key fail online activation when I moved it from one PC to the other. I had no problem doing the automated phone activation though. I'm not sure but I think System Restore might get reset on the upgrade to MC. Somebody else would have to confirm that though.
 

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alphanumeric

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Superfly

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Yes the "Downgrade" via registry is an old trick - it was however found to create a "Frankenbuild" with a mix of components and unreliable outcome. :eek:
 

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pparks1

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Unfortunately, my product key does not enable me to get an iso of Windows 8.1, so to re-install windows, I had to use the original DVD, then go through close to 115 updates, then update to windows 8.1, a process which I completed yesterday afternoon. It took about 3 hours. All good though, that is what spring cleaning is all about.

Yeah, the whole process is a royal PITA. I've got a bunch of work machines that came with Windows 8.0 OEM from Dell. With my images, I want 8.1 update 1 now to go out, but it won't recognize the BIOS key to install 8.1 clean. So, I have to use a "dummy key" to install 8.1 and then use the slmgr.vbs -ipk (dell key) to make it work.

And this media center stuff is a real load of BS. Just put the features in every version of the OS and go on with life. They have way overcomplicated this product with standard and pro, and with or without media center, and 8.1 and then update 1 and then update 2 coming. I cannot believe I'm saying it, but I prefer Service Pack 1 and Service Pack 2 over this method. Having to get 8.1 via the Store, and then update 1 via Windows update.....it's just nowhere near straight forward enough.
 

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alphanumeric

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They have cleaned it up some. It used to be 8.0 OEM > run windows update to enable 8.1 upgrade > Upgrade to Windows 8.1 though Windows Store > Run Windows update again to get update 1. And now maybe go to Windows Store again to get update 2. Those early adopters of Windows 8 have been busy to say the least. It sounds like now those with 8.0 will have the option to go right to 8.1 with update 2 "for a small fee" < just a rumor at this point though.
 

My Computer

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  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
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    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
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
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    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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