Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows reactivated by MS, change Prod Key?

  1. #1

    Windows reactivated by MS, change Prod Key?


    I had to have Microsoft tech support reactivate the Win 8 install on my second PC, due to a motherboard replacement. Does this change the Product Key? e.g. if at some point I had to do a complete new install, do I use the original product key or is there now a different key?

    I ran Speccy and it reported a different key, but is that actually the product key?

    I do full backups of the hard drive, but that didn't help with the original problem. When the motherboard failed it also corrupted the hard drive. I had a full, recent, Acronis backup but Acronis failed me and it wouldn't restore using a WinPE Acronis rescue disc with the new motherboard. I was finally able to restore using a different PC and a USB connected hard drive interface unit after a couple of restore attempts. (I have since moved to Macrium for my backup software). When I finally got a hard drive restored and booted with it in the new motherboard (a different motherboard as I couldn't get an exact replacement) Windows 8 detected the new hardware and apparently that caused the reactivation. However, the activation failed with an error code of 0xC004C400 and the only recourse was to contact Microsoft.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Quote Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
    I had to have Microsoft tech support reactivate the Win 8 install on my second PC, due to a motherboard replacement. Does this change the Product Key? e.g. if at some point I had to do a complete new install, do I use the original product key or is there now a different key?

    I ran Speccy and it reported a different key, but is that actually the product key?

    I do full backups of the hard drive, but that didn't help with the original problem. When the motherboard failed it also corrupted the hard drive. I had a full, recent, Acronis backup but Acronis failed me and it wouldn't restore using a WinPE Acronis rescue disc with the new motherboard. I was finally able to restore using a different PC and a USB connected hard drive interface unit after a couple of restore attempts. (I have since moved to Macrium for my backup software). When I finally got a hard drive restored and booted with it in the new motherboard (a different motherboard as I couldn't get an exact replacement) Windows 8 detected the new hardware and apparently that caused the reactivation. However, the activation failed with an error code of 0xC004C400 and the only recourse was to contact Microsoft.
    Nope, the product key is the same.
    While contacting MS, don't select any options, wait until the Customer Service answers.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 94
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    When you called MS, the activation server learned the new hardware profile of your computer, next install, if hardware matches online profile, the activation is performed unattended, if not, you'll end calling again.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    I seem to remember it being said that Speccy and other similar programs often get it wrong when they read the Windows 8 Product codes. There was a script on the go that was supposed to get you the correct product code. I think what has been said is correct. A new hardware hash has been read in so you "should" be good to go with your current code next time around. Assuming you don't do another major hardware swap. A motherboard swap, especially if you change chip-sets, would be an activation trigger.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Microsoft gets picky on hardware changes, more than they should. A couple years ago I had an Intel motherboard fail under warranty and Intel replaced it with an exact same model motherboard. I reused the CPU, memory, etc. I still had to call Microsoft to get it reactivated.

    On this one, I went from an ASRock Z77 board to an ASUS Z77 board. Reused the same CPU/Memory. I didn't have any issue with the Microsoft reactivation, was just wondering about the Product Code.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    I went from an ASUS M2N68-AM SE2 to a M4N68T-M V2, same chip-set but with some different hardware. Windows 7 didn't even blink or ask to reactivate. I have done the activate over the phone deal and gotten a new code to activate. It's not a product code though its more of an authorization code. Online activations after that were no problem with the original product code used to do the phone activation.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Windows reactivated by MS, change Prod Key?
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