Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Broken activation after upgrade to 8.1

  1. #1


    Posts : 1
    windows 8

    Broken activation after upgrade to 8.1


    If you are one of the people who got free media center addon last year, don't upgrade. You windows 8 key won't be able to activate after upgrade.

    I called microsoft activation center and the only suggestion they have is clean install of windows 8 and redo the upgrade because the media center activation key was expired (after the promotion period). It wasted me an hour to make the call and talk with the manger (employee id 2814). They sound like it is none of their business.

    I was never so pissed off by a free product before but now it does seem like they are not willing to help customers at all. Now I can understand why so many people hate their company/product.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    This may be stupid question but did you try phone activation.

    I'm asking because one 8.1 update what I made turned my mothers activated windows 8.1 pro mce install to unactivated state.
    In my case however I only needed to call that activation line.
    That pro license was also bought during that 15 promotion and that mce key was also free one.

    If you allready did try that, then try calling them again as that free mce key is same as those you could bought their site, ony difference is that they had to be activated before that promo ended.

    My dad had his 15 pro and free mce keys transfered to new w8 core laptop because his laptop broke down.
    So that thing they said about not been able to renew or geve you new key is complite bulls***.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 376
    W8.1, W7


    If you are one of the people who got free media center addon last year, don't upgrade. You windows 8 key won't be able to activate after upgrade.
    Just for the record, am posting this from my test-laptop, it's got the cheap 8 upgrade offered last year, & free media center added. No problems going to 8.1 using the store upgrade, was no need to enter any key, it auto-activated and works fine.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails medcent.PNG  
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 511
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    I had the same problem. After the 8.1 update, I used the 8 key to activate. It activated and worked fine. Then I installed the Media Center key. On reboot, it was not activated. I tried to activate again with the 8 key and it wouldn't accept it. I was on the phone for over 3 hours with Microsoft. I talked to 4 different people with no success. They tried all they knew. When they transferred me to another specialist , they hung up on me. The next day I worked on it again for several hours. I finally tried the key that Belarc Advisor shoed when I had Win 8. It worked and activated. I don't know why I saved that key, but I'm glad that I did. I wished I had never installed the Media Center because I never used it anyway and you can't uninstall it.
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  5. #5


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


    Chenwli, Is this the first time you used that key? If so there was a time limit on its use. I forget what it was but Microsoft did warn that the free MC keys would expire if not used by a certain date. I have actually used one of mine after that date and it still worked. I've also used two other free codes on clean 8.1 installs and had no problems activating. The only time I've had any problems using one was when I transferred one to another PC. I had to replace my wife's laptop. Even then it worked with the phone activation. It is a catch 22 though as once installed you can't easily go back if it won't activate.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 1
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit Media Center


    At "Get more features with a new edition of Windows" (in the System window), if you type in a Media Center key (for Windows 8 Pro) that expired on 31 January 2013 then your operating system becomes unusable; it can no longer be activated. You can't purchase and install a new Media Center key to replace the bad one either.

    At "Get more features with a new edition of Windows", if you type a Media Center key that won't work then it should say "Product key no longer valid" and should not proceed with the installation. Instead, it incorrectly says "Your key works. Continue when ready" and irreversibly converts your Windows copy into one that cannot be activated. Then (if you started with a Windows 7 computer) you have to clean-install Windows 7 with SP1, upgrade it to Windows 8 Pro with your Windows 8 Pro upgrade product key, update it to Windows 8.1 Pro, then purchase and install the $9.99 Media Center product key. And, of course, install all of your programs.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


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


    I agree, it should not let you proceed with a bad key, problem is activation isn't done until after you upgrade to MC. Same as Windows doesn't activate until the install is completed. The first check that's done when you type it in is just to verify the key matches what you are installing. Windows runs an algorithm to verify that the key is valid for that install. What is needed is a roll back feature to the last legal version when activation fails after doing an add features. I had one activation failure when I moved a MC key from a dead Acer laptop to my wife's replacement Acer Laptop. Activated by phone totally automated no problem. Don't get me wrong, I do understand the frustration form anybody that had to reinstall Windows when MC failed activation.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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