Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8/8.1 activation nightmare

  1. #1


    Posts : 6
    windows 8.1 pro

    Windows 8/8.1 activation nightmare


    Hi all got a Windows 8 desktop tower, brand unknown and up until yesterday it was working fine but today it has activation trouble. The system has been running fine for a while so this isn't because I have just updated to 8.1

    It has a Windows 8 Key sticker on the case. (That's 8 - Eight not 8.1 Eight dot one)

    From Control Panel > System:

    Windows edition: Windows 8.1

    Windows activation.
    Windows is not activated read the Microsoft Software Licence terms

    Product Id: Not Available ------- Activate Windows

    So I click activate windows, Click Enter key and the Key fails.
    Shows the Windows 8.1 Build 9600 Text in bottom right corner of screen

    Things I've tried:
    • Running Slui.exe 4 (Nothing appears, tried from Run and from an admin cmd prompt)
    • Chkdsk (it found errors and fixed them)
    • SFC /scannow from cmd prompt (found errors but couldn't some of them) Ran this twice
    • Run a few scripts and programs to try and determine key, found an installed key but it wouldn't activate windows 8.1


    So any tips would be great will add more as I work through potential solutions

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    What do you mean a Windows 8 key sticker on the case? Windows 8 never had the key on a sticker afaik...

    Please download the 2 scripts from here Please Read: Activation troubleshooting and post the results
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    SFC /scannow from cmd prompt (found errors but couldn't some of them)
    Run---

    Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

    then sfc /scannow

    Try this script to find your keys---

    ShowKey v1.3.vbs

    It shows OEM key & installed key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 6
    windows 8.1 pro


    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    What do you mean a Windows 8 key sticker on the case? Windows 8 never had the key on a sticker afaik...

    Please download the 2 scripts from here Please Read: Activation troubleshooting and post the results
    Yes the case has a COA sticker on it and states: Windows 8 ENG INTL or OEM Software and displays a key with a QRcode.

    Just read up on DISM and will try it out tomorrow.

    I have run the showkeys script but not that version so I will try version 1.3 tomorrow as I'm at work now. The version I ran version 1.2 gave me the installed key but not the OEM key.

    I have downloaded the Win8diag script and the licencing info script and will post the info tomorrow.

    Thanks for the help so far.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    You can also run Belarc advisor to find the keys.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


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


    Product Key - Find for Windows 8 I would recommend option 5.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


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


    One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of these key finding utilities read the key out of the Registry. That key will not always match the OEM embedded key or the original key used to activate Windows. For example, if you use Add features, to upgrade from Core to Pro, the Pro key is what's stored in the registry. Same deal if you add Media Center. Using a script to enter a key may do the same thing. Option 5 in my above post should get you the OEM key, if there is one. It will also show you the current key in use.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/produkey.zip

    reads the firmware embedded key
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 6
    windows 8.1 pro


    Hi all, sorry for the delay, life getting in the way.

    Right, I have run Showkey 1.3, Belarc Advisor, Productkeyx64 and I have been to this post and run through the options: Product Key - Find for Windows 8

    Showkey 1.3
    Product Name: Windows 8.1
    Product ID: 00260-70000-00000-AA086
    Installed Key: M9Q9P-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
    OEM Key: Key not found

    The installed key is not the key from the COA on the case.

    Productkeyx64:
    ==================================================
    Product Name : Internet Explorer
    Product ID : 00179-70801-93175-AAOEM
    Product Key : PRNTW-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
    Installation Folder :
    Service Pack :
    Computer Name : OFFICE
    Modified Time : 04/11/2014 10:49:03
    ==================================================

    ==================================================
    Product Name : Windows 8.1
    Product ID : 00260-70000-00000-AA086
    Product Key : M9Q9P-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
    Installation Folder : C:\WINDOWS
    Service Pack :
    Computer Name : OFFICE
    Modified Time : 21/01/2015 12:20:07
    ==================================================

    Belarc Advisor has the same info as Productkeyx64. I have tried both keys in the activation window and both are rejected with the statement: This key didn't work, please check it and try again or try a different key.
    Windows 8/8.1 activation nightmare Attached Files
    Last edited by darkan9el; 22 Jan 2015 at 11:29. Reason: additional info
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


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


    No OEM key found means there is no OEM embedded key? Is it actually a Windows product key on the COA sticker, 5 groups of 5 characters? Don't post them here, just want to confirm it is actually a product code and not some other number printed on the sticker.

    I Googled M9Q9P-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx and it lead me to here, Please Read: Activation troubleshooting
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Windows 8/8.1 activation nightmare
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