Windows 10: Cannot activate windows after hardware change

Discus and support Cannot activate windows after hardware change in Windows 10 Updates and Activation to solve the problem; Hello I recently upgraded my pc. I purchased a digital license for it in 2018 for a starter build using hand-me-down parts, with every intention of... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Updates and Activation' started by HelenaCard1, Oct 11, 2020.

  1. Cannot activate windows after hardware change


    Hello


    I recently upgraded my pc. I purchased a digital license for it in 2018 for a starter build using hand-me-down parts, with every intention of upgrading the pc when I could afford to. I have only reformatted this computer a handful of times. On this particular occasion, because I was keeping my storage medium, I did not need to reformat. I changed the motherboard, cpu, and memory, but kept my harddrives, video card, psu, and case. Windows booted without a hitch, but the "activate windows" watermark appeared.


    I attempted to resolve this issue in the following ways:

    1. I attempted the troubleshooting method listed in Settings > Update & Security > Activation and attempted "I changed hardware on this device recently." This did not work, and I attempted listing my devices, and was met with "We can't reactivate Windows from these devices."


    2. Using the Get Help app, I attempted describing my situation. I was directed to use my phone or contact the community. I attempted Phone support multiple times. Each time the rep directed me to perform the steps I listed above, and after they did not work, I was transferred to tech support-- but not really, because I received and automated message noting tech support was unavailable. One representative told me to try chatting with tech support using the Get help app, but there was no option to do this any of the times I tried.


    3. At this point, I attempted manually removing the devices from my Microsoft account profile in a web browser, switching to signing in with a local account, and repeating 1.


    4. One of the representatives gave me a direct support number: 18009365700 in case I was dropped when they attempted to redirect me. He told me to "select tech support." I called the number and was met with a voice activated automated system. I responded with "tech support" as directed. I received an automated message directing me to an alias domain for https://support.microsoft.com/. Which is obviously pretty much where I started. The only option remaining to communicate with anybody associated with Microsoft is through the Microsoft community, which is why I am here writing this now.


    This entire experience has felt like being physically stuck inside of a broken while loop. I have been going in circles here and I have no new information about my situation. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

    :)
     
    HelenaCard1, Oct 11, 2020
    #1
  2. HAT
    hat Win User

    windows activation—hardware changed siginficantly

    From time to time on my thoroughbred PC, I get a Windows activation message that says my hardware changed siginificantly and I have to re-activate Windows. My hardware hasn't changed any more than a network card (went from a wireless g card to onboard lan to a wired network card), and the install is legit. Why is it doing this, and how can I stop it?
     
  3. Nikhar_K Win User
    Unable to activate Windows after hardware change

    Hi,

    Thank you for writing to Microsoft Community Forums.

    Usually the error code 0xC004F213 comes when there is a hardware change done on the computer (like Motherboard or Hard drive). The Windows license is associated with the device hardware. If there is any significant hardware changes, such as replacing
    motherboard or hard drive, Windows won’t be able to recognize the license.

    I suggest you to try the troubleshooting steps from the article
    Reactivating Windows 10 after a hardware change
    and see if Windows gets activated.

    If you are using an OEM computer that came with Windows 7, and the motherboard has not been changed, then you can follow the steps to retrieve the product key that came with your OEM computer. To retrieve the product key follow the steps mentioned
    below:

    1. Type Command prompt in the search bar, that is on the taskbar.
    2. Right click on Command prompt icon and select Run as administrator.
    3. Type the command and press on Enter: wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey
    4. You will find the product key.

    Hope it helps.

    Please reply with the status of the issue, we will be glad to help you further.

    Nikhar Khare

    Microsoft Community - Moderator
     
    Nikhar_K, Oct 11, 2020
    #3
  4. Cannot activate windows after hardware change

    Activation problems after hardware changes and reinstallations.

    Hi Meli,

    Thank you for posting the query on Microsoft Community.

    I do appreciate your efforts and time.

    Was Windows 10 activated before re-installing it?

    Along with the suggestions provided by Greg, you can also refer the steps below.



    The only hardware changes that can negatively impact activation status once you upgrade to free version are the changes to the:

    • CPU
    • TPM
    • Motherboard replacement
    The following changes are examples of hardware changes that will NOT impact the activation status:

    • HDD/SSD
    • Video card
    • Adding extra memory
    If you replace the CPU, TPM, or Motherboard you may have to re-activate but this will not require a purchase of Windows 10.

    Why can't I activate Windows 10?:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/why-activate-windows-10

    Get help with Windows 10 activation errors:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/activation-errors-windows-10

    Can I clean re-install Windows 10 after upgrading?

    Can I clean re-install Windows 10 after upgrading?

    Hope this helps in resolving the issue. If the issue persists, do get back to us. We will be happy to assist you.
     
    Kalpana Shankarappa, Oct 11, 2020
    #4
Thema:

Cannot activate windows after hardware change

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