Question Windows 10 activation issue

Mike RB

Active Member
OK, this is a little bit confusing. Here goes. I bought a Windows 8 pro license back when they were on offer when it came out. I have the key for this.

I since bought a Windows 8 laptop with an embedded key on the system board.

Back before Windows 10 came out I wanted to do a clean Windows 8 install on the laptop so used the Pro key with a retail disc. I since upgraded this copy of Windows to Windows 10. All ok so far...

I now want to buy a desktop PC but keep this laptop so my plan is to use the pro key on the new desktop which means installing the Toshiba recovery media (Windows 8) on the laptop. Shouldn't be a problem, right..

I installed 8, upgraded to 8.1 then took the 10 upgrade. All ok and activated. So, today I use the media creation tool and run a clean install of 10 but it won't activate. I get an error saying the key is blocked.

I'm concerned that MS has my hardware ID linked to the pro key which I want to use elsewhere and this is causing activation issues with the factory recovery load.

Anyone any views on this? I would like to do a clean install on the laptop (its 10 home) and use the pro key on a new machine. Will I be able to use my pro key on another machine? It's not an OEM key, it was bought from MS.


Well-known Member
Yep see what you're saying and think you've stuffed yourself a bit by using the Pro key on the laptop and having done the Windows 10 upgrade in relation to that Pro key. Why did you do that when it's already got an embedded OEM key on the laptop!?!?
When you installed your bought Windows 8 Pro license on the new Desktop, did you activate the license on the desktop before upgrading to Windows 10?
Have you put the laptop back to it's oem license and successfully upgraded that to Windows 10? You should be able to do that and then do a clean install. How that then works with microsoft's activation servers I don't know as the hardware ID will be registered twice.
Might be best calling Microsoft to ask. But suspect they tell you to buy a fresh Windows 10 license.

Mike RB

Active Member
Thanks for the reply. Let's see, well, I put the pro copy on the laptop before Windows 10 was announced a while ago as I wanted a clean windows install and had a pro key I wasn't using. The recovery load with the machine was full of Toshiba rubbish.

I've not bought the desktop yet but want to use my bought from MS Windows 8 pro license on it.

I've installed the Toshiba recovery media on the laptop and upgraded to 10. This gave me 10 home as expected and activated.

It's when I run a clean install of 10 home on this laptop where I get the activation error. I guess I could just keep the upgrade and not run the clean install.

My main concern is that I don't want to shell out for a 10 license when I have an unused copy of Windows 8 pro that I'd like to use on the new desktop.

I feel that the hardware ID of the laptop is registered twice as you do to.

Oh, and yes, I'm a bell end. Thanks for any input.


Well-known Member
I can see your logic. Just a shame you didn't have a clean Windows 8 Home install disc to save you using that Pro license. In this case I think you'd be wasting your time contacting Microsoft.

So I'd just keep the upgrade on the laptop, get hold of a fresh install of home 8.1 for your base starting point, then you won't have all the rubbish from your recovery media.

Then use the 8.1 Pro license on the new desktop machine, activating, upgrading to 10 and then doing a clean install won't be a problem.

Mike RB

Active Member
Then use the 8.1 Pro license on the new desktop machine, activating, upgrading to 10 and then doing a clean install won't be a problem.

Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it.

I'm seeing conflicting views online about whether I can move my Windows 10 pro upgrade to another machine. I'm hoping I can.

I'm concerned its tied to my laptop hardware ID.

J J Carter

Active Member
So you used your retail 8 Pro to install on the laptop, then upgraded to Windows 10?

If so, the 10 Pro license is definitely associated with the h/w 'signature' of the laptop on Microsoft's database and you've consumed the retail 8 Pro by upgrading.

I think you'd best call Microsoft's licensing hotline and hope they'll be sympathetic.

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