Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Any ideas?

  1. #1


    Manchester, UK
    Posts : 113
    OS X / Windows 8.1 Pro / Ubuntu 13.10

    Any ideas?


    Any suggestions would be good please.

    Recently I upgraded a laptop from Vista to Windows 8 Pro and after activation I found that Windows Media Centre could be installed with a free key from MS. I went ahead and did that. All is well and everything is working ok on the Vaio.

    Today I have installed a brand new (with a fresh MS key) version of Windows 8 Pro in a virtual machine on my MacBook Pro retina. It installed ok and was activated without problems (using the new key).
    I then added Windows Media Centre to the vm version of Win 8 after being sent the key by MS. I thought the key looked familiar but carried on anyway.
    After the restart the system is now telling me that the key is invalid as it's being used on another pc. So they actually sent me the same key for WMC/Windows activation.
    I do some reading and see that MS states that only one WMC key can be used per email address. So that's why they sent me the same key again.
    My problem is that now I've used this key on the second system Windows 8 is now showing that it isn't activated. This is obviously a problem.

    So it seems that even though I've got 2 separate valid Windows installations, with separate valid keys, I can only have the free version of WMC on one of them.
    Not happy but if that's how it is then so be it.
    My problem is that my second system is not now activated.

    Can I just uninstall WMC from one laptop and re-activate Windows with the old key?

    I'm stumped

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,577
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Duckface,

    If you like, you could use the tutorial below to change the product key number of the not activated installation to another Pro product key. It will then activate with the new key number.

    Product Key Number - Change in Windows 8

    If you have another Media Center product key number, then you could just use step 8 in the tutorial below with Add Features to activate with it.

    Add Features to Windows 8

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Manchester, UK
    Posts : 113
    OS X / Windows 8.1 Pro / Ubuntu 13.10


    Thanks Brink but wouldn't option 1 fail due to the fact that WMC is installed in the "non"activated system?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 22,577
    64-bit Windows 10


    If you have a different Windows 8 Pro product key to use, it should work with option 1.

    If not, then you could use option 2 with a new WMC key.

    Windows Media Center - Add to Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Manchester, UK
    Posts : 113
    OS X / Windows 8.1 Pro / Ubuntu 13.10


    I rang Microsoft..........10 times! They batted me about from activation teams to Microsoft Store and back to after sales support. I was cut off 4 times. It was a helluva couple of hours.
    Eventually I spoke to a man who actually listened to me and tried to help out.
    He took remote control of my machine and did some diagnostics (not sure why exactly) but in the end he was given the go ahead to generate a new WMC key for me - and it worked!
    Back up and running again! Oh happy day :-)
    Thanks Brink for your suggestions, but I couldn't get a second WMC key from MS. It refused to process the request.

    Anyway, all's well that ends well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 22,577
    64-bit Windows 10


    Great news.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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