activation

Why won't Windows 7 activate?

Microsoft Windows 7

Episode 1465

Mike from Kentucky

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.

Why can't I activate Windows XP?

Linux Mint

Episode 1338

Ted from San Diego, CA

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.

Why hasn't Windows 10 activated?

Episode 1296

Jose from Modesto, CA

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.

Why is Windows 10 asking me to activate?

Windows 10 Start Menu

Episode 1268

John from Manhattan Beach, CA

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.

How can I activate Windows without the activation key?

Episode 1054

Mike from Glendale, CA

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.