Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


keep getting "Activate Windows" message

  1. #1


    Posts : 28
    windows 10

    keep getting "Activate Windows" message


    For the past week or so, I am suddenly (in the middle of working on something) getting a blue screen that says "Activate Windows. Go to PC Settings to activate Windows." And there's a PC settings button to click. The only way out of that screen is to click there. So I do, and it briefly looks like I'm going to go to some sort of settings screen, but then it disappears and it takes me to my start screen. When I go back to my desktop, whatever I was working on is right where I left it. Happens several times a day.

    Any ideas why this is happening and why it never actually takes me to PC Settings and what I can do to stop this?

    I'm running 8.1 - I "upgraded" (I use that term loosely!) when it first became available back in October.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    It sounds like a prankware. Try running a scan with Malwarebytes Free
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 28
    windows 10


    Thanks, running a scan now...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


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


    Press the Windows key and the pause/break key to bring up the System Screen. The look at the status under Windows Activation down at the bottom. It should say "Windows is activated". If its not, there should be an activate windows option there. If you see that option click it and see what happens.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 28
    windows 10


    The malware scan turned up nothing. But this way to find out if Windows is activated is very helpful! I have tried (and tried!) to get to the 'activate windows' screen through PC Settings, but every time I click PC Settings, it starts to go there, but them promptly disappears. This is what happens to most of the tiles I click on, on the start screen, ever since I "upgraded" to 8.1 (but that's a whole other thread I should start!). Weather, finance, nothing works since the 'upgrade'.

    So I have discovered that my Windows is not activated. I've had this computer since last spring - why is this suddenly coming up now?? I have to contact my IT guy for the product key, but I am thinking this problem is getting close to being solved.

    Thanks!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 28
    windows 10


    Gahhhh!!! I clicked 'activate on the web' (or something similar), realized I needed a code, so closed out. Now I can't get back to that screen because it just disappears every time I try to go there, and I get taken to my start screen (just like when I click on any app there).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


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


    Is this your PC, or a company supplied PC? If its yours, did it come with Windows 8 pre installed by the manufacturer? If Windows 8 was pre installed your OEM key is embedded in the BIOS. Updating to 8.1 though the Windows store wouldn't normally break activation, it would use the Windows 8 OEM key. If this is a company PC using a KMS server for activation that might explain it. This utility will read your embedded OEM key, RWEverything | Read & Write Everything Run it. Click on the ACPI Table button at the top. After that click on the MSDM tab. Your BIOS's product key is at the bottom.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 28
    windows 10


    It's a company PC, but I'm at a remote location, not connected to any server. So I'm guessing it might as well be 'mine'. Pretty sure it came with Windows 8 pre-installed though. But I could ask my IT guy.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


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


    There are 8 Pro Volume License editions that activate though that companies own activation server. KMS, Key Management Server. Activation is checked periodically and will eventually time out if the PC cannot connect to the company server and be verified. Bumping the OS from 8.0 to 8.1 may cause an issue to, as the KMS server may be looking for Windows 8.0 to be tied to the key. When it see's 8.1 it refuses to activate that PC. I'd contact your IT guy, be warned that he or she may not be impressed with you updating to 8.1. What is shown for Windows Edition at the top of the System screen I mentioned earlier?

    EDIT: In Windows 8.1 you can also right click the Start Button in the lower left corner and select System from the list. There are a lot of other quick links there too.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 28
    windows 10


    For Windows Edition, it shows Windows 8.1. Thanks for the easier way to get to that screen.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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keep getting "Activate Windows" message
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