Jeff has had Windows 10 for a few years and suddenly he's getting a demand to activate again. Leo says that is a known problem with Windows. It's an erroneous notification cause by an error on the authentication servers. Microsoft is in the process of fixing the error, and he'll likely get a fix on Patch Tuesday.
Mike reinstalled Windows 7, but it won't authenticate. He contacted Microsoft and they want him to buy Windows 10. Leo says that can happen when modifying a computer significantly to the point that Windows doesn't recognize it as the same computer. But Microsoft still supports Windows 7, and they can reassign his serial number to the new configuration, so that's odd. It may be that using reinstall disks that didn't come with his computer could be causing it.
Al wants to install Windows on his second computer. Can he do that? Rich says that his license for Windows is only good for one computer. He could install it, but it won't activate. He'll have 30 days to use it, but then it will require a license key. So he'll have to bite the bullet and buy another copy of Windows.
Ted has to install XP every 30 days, even though he bought it. Leo says it's possible that since XP is now "end of life," they may not be activating it anymore. Leo says that it's time for Ted to go to Linux.
Ted also can't install Microsoft Office. He tried to copy the program folder over and it won't work. Leo says it can't work that way. He'll miss important system files. He'll have to reinstall from the program disc.
Jose has updated to Windows 10, will he have to pay for the update after one year? Leo says no, the free upgrade was only a window of one year to upgrade. After July 29th, you'll have to buy it if you don't upgrade. So upgrade, activate. And then downgrade just so you have access to it in the future, because once you've updated, it's free forever. And Leo thinks that Windows 10 will just keep getting updated and this could be the last version of Windows coming.
John wants to upgrade to Windows 10 and he can't find the product key. Leo says that if the computer is already activated, the free Windows 10 will just take that authorization and apply it to his new version of Windows. There's no need to to reactivate or re-enter the license key. Windows will not ask him for it. If he's getting the product key request, then the previous version wasn't activated. But Microsoft has changed the way it licenses Windows now to an entitlement system where his computer is entitled to run Windows 10.
Randy's wireless provider is an MVNO, or a third party carrier, and the phones he gets are unlocked as a result. But he wants to buy a new phone and keep his existing account. Leo says he can, as long as it's GSM. Leo suggests going with T-Mobile because it's unlocked out of the box. Then he can use it with any carrier.
Mike bought a Dell Latitude and had to replace the hard drive. Now he doesn't have a serial number to activate it. Leo says that Dell puts a sticker on the bottom of the laptop that has the activation code on it. Mike says it wasn't there. Leo says he should contact Dell and tell them that he can't activate the machine.
The chatroom says that Dell puts the serial number in the BIOS, so that may be a place to look. There are also programs that will provide the key from the installation.