I installed a new motherboard and when I tried to activate my copy of Windows 10 Home Edition it failed to activate. After working with Microsoft's customer support they advised that the product key for the copy of Windows 10 Home Edition that was installed on my desktop as part of a repair job done at the Madison Heights, MI location in mid-2020 is showing as a blocked key and instructed me to contact the shop that installed the OS for a replacement key. However, there seems to be absolutely no way to contact the store that I can find anywhere online, and I Iive roughly an hour and a half away from the store so spending three hours driving to the store and back with no guarantee of support/service is out of the question. How can I get assistance regarding this? Is there some form of contact to the store that I'm missing, or am I simply at the mercy of however long it takes for them to respond to my email request? Any support or assistance would be greatly appreciated; I love shopping at Micro Center but it is extremely frustrating that there is no way to contact the store for customer service/assistance.
Officially the terms of the upgrade are that the 'digital entitlement' is attached the motherboard you upgrade on. After the board is replaced, that's the end of the entitlement to that upgrade. We're at the mercy of Microsoft here, on whether they're going to let you reactivate on this new board. Which they may if it's a repair, but generally won't for an upgrade. Try this. Windows + R and type: slui 4
Does that bring up the phone activation option?
I would consider instead buying a retail Windows 11 Pro license. You should be able to downgrade to Windows 10 Pro for now. Then you'll have a Windows 11 license going forward whenever you do decide to upgrade. Keep the licensing package. So long as you have your COA/License package you should be able to upgrade your board down the road and upgrade without any issues. If you don't have any reason to stick to 10, and I haven't had any serious issues on 11, just go for 11 Home.
As an update I was finally able to locate the national support phone line and the technician I spoke with has passed stuff along to the technical support team to try and figure out what happened/is going on. He couldn't locate any record of the OS having been purchased as part of the repair service in September of 2020 but theorized that they may have just never activated the OS after they installed it. I'm hoping for a nice quick call back, but if anyone has any further advise or assistance they can offer I would be most appreciative.
So I bit the bullet last night after work and made the drive in to the store where this copy of Windows 10 was purchased at and installed by their service team and spoke to the service center in the store somewhere around ~8:30pm ish. While both Gina and the other service technician (Whose name I couldn't recall) were sympathetic and as helpful as they could be given the level of authority they have, the Manager who came up to "help" me, a man named Joel, seemed dismissive and disinterested in helping me in any form. He did not ask me anything about my situation, saying only that "he had been briefed on the situation", and refused to help to take care of me in any form despite the fact that this copy of Windows 10 Home Edition was paid for and installed at this store as part of a service job in September of 2020 where they had to put two new SSDs in the computer and then install a new copy of the OS. According to Joel there was nothing they could do to take care of me in any way other than offer what sounded like an insincere apology.
From what I have been able to find a common cause of this error code (0x803fa067) when trying to reactivate a copy of Windows that was installed at a repair shop is the key having been used multiple times for different repairs/computers. If that is what happened here, when I paid for this copy of Windows 10 as part of a repair performed at this location, then it is absolutely on the store that my product key is now showing as a blocked key. Instead, Joel just foisted me back off on Microsoft Support, whose instruction had been to go to the shop that installed my copy of Windows 10 for a replacement product key, and left me with nothing to show for having spent three hours of my time and driven over a hundred and sixty miles to the store for assistance. I would have very much preferred to have been able to be brushed off by an unconcerned manager via phone, rather than having wasted the time and gas going to the store. While I have had nothing but positive experiences with buying from Micro Center, this experience has soured my opinion of their repair services and I am highly unlikely to ever trust them to work on my computer in the future if they is how they "stand by" their work. I now feel as if I'm just being tossed back and forth between two parties who don't care about helping me.
I still have an email chain open with Micro Center's national support team, and have yet to receive the callback mentioned in my above comment, so hopefully one of those avenues of support will result in some actual assistance.
Sorry to hear about the trouble with activation. I've never known Microsoft to refuse to release a bound key like this. Please answer two questions for me. Do you have the packaging and certification for the purchased key? What brand/model of PC is this? What brand of board was installed if it was aftermarket?
Thank you for your time and assistance Mike.
I do not have the packaging and certification, at least not to my knowledge. I can try and dig the box for the computer case out of storage after work, as I used that box to safely transport the computer when I had it serviced so any paperwork might be in there, but I have gone through a move since the repair was done so I'm not sure if it will be there or not. It was installed by the service repair team at the Madison Heights, MI Micro Center location and I don't recall there being any packaging for a copy of Windows 10 that was given to me when I got the computer back from being serviced. I initially brought the computer in because it wouldn't boot and they later contacted me and advised they they would need to put two new SSDs in as well as a replacement copy of Windows 10 as they could not recover my original copy. I remember them quoting me an additional cost for the new OS, but don't remember the exact amount off hand.
To answer the second question, this is a custom built tower that I originally built in 2017, and the new board is an Asus TUF Gaming X570 motherboard. The old board that I replaced was a Sabertooth F990 if I am recalling correctly.
Most likely then the installed key is a generic preinstall key. That would be the reason it's blocked. Do you have any backups from the system before the repair, or do you possibly have the drive that was replaced? If it's still functional, it is possible to pull the key.
Looking through your order history I'm not finding the repair work either.
The drives in the computer are still the same drives from before the new motherboard was installed. The only stuff that was replaced as part of the recent work that resulted in this was the motherboard, the CPU, and the RAM as I was upgrading to get ready for Windows 11. So, to answer the actual question I suppose, yes, I do have access to the drive.
Was the OS wiped? Do you have any image backups from before this by chance? If it wasn't wiped, has it been more than 30 days?
Nope. All I did was swap in a new Motherboard, CPU, RAM and PSU (That was a day or two later, so I forgot to mention it initially. My apologies). Nothing was changed or done to the drives when I changed out the aforementioned hardware. And this was done within the last week.
We may have a recourse here then. Do you have a C:\Windows.old folder?
I don't see a Windows.old folder in my C drive, nor did C:\Windows.old pull anything up when I tried to go directly to it. Would I need to view hidden folders or anything like that to see it?
No, this is something that's generated on a reset or major update. I wanted to see if something like that had triggered this. New plan. Check the Microsoft store for a free app called "ShowKeyPlus". I'd like to you to verify your key in here. Then copy the key down, and enter it on the "Check Edition" tab. What type of key is this detected as?
Win 10 RTM Core Retail is what it is showing as, with an EULA of retail. The home page of the app also has an asterisk next to eh product key that says "Default key - requires a Digital License for activation". And I double check and that key it is seeing does match the key I had and was trying.
Was the system upgraded from Windows 7 or 8.1 originally?
If I am recalling correctly the original Windows install from 2017 was a copy of I /think/ 7 that was upgraded to 10 but I'm not 100% certain. It's been a while and my memory can be pretty garbage at times. The new install of Windows after the repair at Micro Center in 2020 was Windows 10.
I tried running that and nothing happened when I ran it. No windows popped up or anything. It's sounding like this may be our culprit then. I'm just surprised that it carried over into the new OS install when it was repaired somehow.
The entitlement from my knowledge is tied to a hardware has generated from the motherboard. You can replace anything except the board and it should reactivate as soon as you connect to the internet.
Ah, well that would do it then. I wish Microsoft had told me that when I'd spoken to them; would have saved us a bunch of frustration and headaches. Thank you so much for all of your patience and assistance Mike. If I may ask, would I potentially run into this problem again down the line if I bought a new copy of Windows 10 and then took the free upgrade to 11? And if so, would you recommend just going straight for Windows 11 to try and prevent this from happening down the road?
Alrighty. Thank you again for all of your patience and assistance today Mike. You've been wonderful. I hope you have an excellent day/weekend.
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