Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8.1 box unactivated frequently

  1. #1

    Windows 8.1 box unactivated frequently


    Starting noticing around the 1st of the year, that my work laptop running Windows 8.1 with update 1 frequently boots up, shows the watermark in the lower right and if I check computer properties will show that Windows is not activated.

    I don't have to do anything, and within about 2 minutes, the watermark goes away and Windows shows as activated.

    I don't really see anything useful in the event viewer to explain what is going on. My laptop was purchased from Dell with an embedded OEM code in the BIOS for Windows 8.0 Professional. Over time, I did the store upgrade to 8.1 and have kept up with Windows update on the web to get to update 1. It's been very stable so haven't reloaded the OS at all after that first attempt.

    Anybody else see this happen? I'm not too fussed about it, since it causes me no problems and goes away on it's own, but I'm trying to figure out what is happening in case other machines at work start doing something similar.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Canada
    Posts : 1,950
    windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro 64bit


    Never seen anything like this. File checker fix anything or activation troubleshooter present anything:
    Please Read: Activation troubleshooting
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    I also can't recall seeing this behaviour... can only guess that Software Protection service (has inherited the Windows 8 default startup type of Automatic (Delayed Start) - which in windows 8.1 should be Automatic, as should RPC service. - but as Nuccii says may be helpful to run Display_Licence_Info to check event log messages - A Diag. report run in the de-activated state will be interesting as well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


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


    Microsoft changed the OEM activation for Windows 8. In Windows 7 and earlier, factory OEM installs activated against the SLIC table in the BIOS. They didn't activate online. Retail versions activated online though. In Windows 8, even though the product key is in the BIOS, OEM factory installs now activate online. I don't know how often, it might be every time you boot up. There is likely a grace period if that PC doesn't have Internet access. Then when that times out you get the watermark and a reminder to activate.

    Another scenario is it could be a Pro Volume License version that activates through a company KMS server. If it can't connect to the KMS server activation times out and you enter a grace period. Once you log back into the company network it activates again and resets the timer.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 9
    Windows XP


    I get the blue screen to 'activate windows'. I click on the button to go to settings, enter my product key, then it tells me 'this key did not work. Check it and try again' What do I do?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Canada
    Posts : 1,950
    windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro 64bit


    @JillR
    Please create a new thread, it will create less confusion with this one as the problem is not the same.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 9
    Windows XP


    how do I do hat?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Canada
    Posts : 1,950
    windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro 64bit


    Quote Originally Posted by JillR View Post
    how do I do hat?
    Go to Forum main page, select Windows Update and Activation then Post New Thread
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    I also can't recall seeing this behaviour... can only guess that Software Protection service (has inherited the Windows 8 default startup type of Automatic (Delayed Start) - which in windows 8.1 should be Automatic, as should RPC service. - but as Nuccii says may be helpful to run Display_Licence_Info to check event log messages - A Diag. report run in the de-activated state will be interesting as well.
    Hey Superfly,

    My RPC is set as automatic, but my Software Protection option is indeed set to Automatic (Delayed Start, Trigger Start). I double checked some other PC's at work and they are all set to Delayed Start too, and don't exhibit this behavior. From what I have read, that is the default setup type for this service.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    I also can't recall seeing this behaviour... can only guess that Software Protection service (has inherited the Windows 8 default startup type of Automatic (Delayed Start) - which in windows 8.1 should be Automatic, as should RPC service. - but as Nuccii says may be helpful to run Display_Licence_Info to check event log messages - A Diag. report run in the de-activated state will be interesting as well.
    Hey Superfly,

    My RPC is set as automatic, but my Software Protection option is indeed set to Automatic (Delayed Start, Trigger Start). I double checked some other PC's at work and they are all set to Delayed Start too, and don't exhibit this behavior. From what I have read, that is the default setup type for this service.
    Mmmm, yes you're correct - not sure why I was under that impression :/

    At least we have excluded one variable...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Windows 8.1 box unactivated frequently
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