Windows 8.1 deactivated itself and can't re-activate

Hi,

I have Windows 8.1 Pro installed (fresh install) and activated. I then added the Media Center feature and successfully activated. Please note that I'm using the Media Center key I purchased when I was on Windows 8. The Windows 8.1 Pro key is however a retail key, not an upgrade key, which I bought later.

Occasionally, I find that Windows 8.1 would deactivate itself from time to time for unknown reasons. Sometimes it does that when I change some BIOS settings. I normally resolve this by using System Restore. However, on my latest occurrence, for some odd reason, there is no available restore point for me to restore to.

Now, when I go to the Activate Windows screen, I'm asked to enter the product key. Entering both the Windows 8.1 Pro key and Media Center key fail with the following message,

"The key can't be used to activate this edition of Windows. Please try a different key"

"The key didn't work, please check it and try again, or try a different key."

I tried the "slmgr /ipk" method and I get the following error,

0xc004f069 for Windows 8.1 Pro key

0xc004f061 for Media Center key

How do I resolve this issue?

 

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Last updated October 17, 2018 Views 8,605 Applies to:

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If you want the ISO media, you can search the web for the links. Only download the one linked to Microsoft sites.

Else, you can use this, http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/upgrade-product-key-only. Download the installer and run it. It will then ask for your product key. If your product key is valid, it will start downloading. I did not test pass that, so I'm not sure what will happen after that. Based on this site, http://www.howtogeek.com/186775/how-to-download-windows-7-8-and-8.1-installation-media-legally/?PageSpeed=noscript, you'll be given a choice to create an ISO image of the download. If you choose ISO file, once completed, just double click on the file and it will be loaded into a virtual DVD drive. A new drive will appear. Start the installation from there.

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Windows was already preinstalled when I got it at Best Buy. Where can I download it?

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In your case, I think it is best to perform an in place upgrade/install using Windows installation media which come with your system or download directly from Microsoft. Use your Windows 8.1 key when asked. You'll be given 3 choices,

  1. Retain everything
  2. Retain only user profiles
  3. Fresh installation. Choose one

This will most likely resolve your issue.

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I likely forgot to mention in my original post that I have actually tried the refresh option 3x and factory default x2 with the most recent one being on the 27th of July.  I managed to stop the never ending attempt and fail looping of the windows update by turning them completely off for now as I really don't have time to wait what could be hours every time I attempt to just simply reboot. As far as the system restore option there is no date existing in there that goes back to before the problem occurred so I'm thinking that likely wouldn't help if the factory default even failed.  I was actually half heartedly counting on that working and accepting that I'll have to reinstall anything I had installed on the C drive which actually isn't too much as I've been downloading anything worth keeping on my separate 2TB drive so that its not such a headache if I need to reset it but since that solution didn't help I'm stuck now.  The only thing I haven't tried is factory reset while disconnected from the internet but I believe that you suggested that as possible fix to the update thing specifically but I have since found a remedy to that.  Unless of course you think disconnecting the internet could have some effect on the activation nightmare cause I'd be willing to try it again if I thought it would have a chance of giving me a different result when it comes to that.

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I totally understand your frustration when a simple task turns out to be a major problem. Imagine in my case, when everything is working fine and it just deactivated itself. Now that is what only will happen with a Microsoft product.

Anyway, for your problem, you can try,

  1. Refreshing the system again but now with internet connection disconnected since you mentioned that the failure occurs during applying done updates.
  2. Perform system restore to an earlier point. If one point fails, try the other.
  3. Install Windows again from within Windows to perform an upgrade and choose to either retain everything or fresh install. This will most likely with for you since your pc is originally Windows 8.1.

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I am having this EXACT issue and also getting no help whatsoever.  Basically, here is my situation along with things I tried (to no avail) but have failed in reactivating windows 8.1 after it became deactivated.

Bought my pc at Best Buy in May 2014.  PC came with windows 8.1 already installed and activated but I ended up encountering issues with the pc and when I went looking through the system settings for my former windows xp go to solution (aka system restore) I saw an option called "REFRESH" which supposedly was intended to preserve your files while recovering your system files so like an idiot, I thought that sounded like a "perfect" solution so I proceeded with the "Refresh" then that was when everything went downhill from there.

Upon rebooting I saw a message stating not to turn off the pc as its installing updates then after what felt like HOURS I noticed another message saying something about how the updates failed and it needs to revert back to the original state which again, took what felt like HOURS.

When my pc finally booted back up I was greeted with an "activate windows" message that basically pops up randomly multiple times per day (typically when im in the middle of doing something important) but upon entering my CORRECT *(and valid)* key  (Validated by a Microsoft live chat support person who after spending an hour with her basically only ended up being able to confirm it was valid but unable to get it to activate when I gave her control of the system. At that point she was out of suggestions and basically said to contact the pc manufacturer ASUS to resolve this)

I contacted Asus who told me to perform the factory reset on my machine which should fix that and if not I would have to ship my pc off to them (for who knows how long) and they will fix it for me.  This is not an option as I currently work from home and can't exactly just be without a pc and off work until when they decide to ship it back to me.

I have tried the provided embedded keys (extracted with a program called Belaric Advisor) but I have repeatedly got "this key wont work please try a different key"  I have tried every possible key I could find online including dummy keys and supposed generic install keys and not one of them have been able to fix this issue.

I don't get why Microsoft would go and install a function *(like REFRESH)* if it is going to basically screw up my system and deactivate windows and like the many people with this same issue I am getting fed up.

I have also tried the change the key function which also fails. 

I am open to any suggestion from anyone to get rid of this (aside from shipping my pc somewhere as that is not an option)

Thanks in advance for your time and sorry for the ranting and raving tone of my post but this issue is so frustrating its not even possible to not rant and rave at this point.

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As a legitimate user, I think this is unacceptable. I tried contacting Microsoft support for help but to no success. However I've been successfully in having the support team accusing me of trying to use my keys on a freshly installed Windows 8.1 when in actual, the stupid Windows deactivated itself. The problem is, when Windows deactivated itself, the Product Key that is left on it is the common product key for Windows 8.1, the one that can't be activated. I believe this key is used by Microsoft Store when it upgraded Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. Also, since my keys are actually the keys for Windows 8, they won't be accepted. So, this is the root cause of the problem why I can get it reactivate again. But the main issue is not that. Why the **** does Windows decide to deactivate itself is more of a concern here and need to be fixed but Microsoft seems to be ignoring that.

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I, too have had this type issue and am getting fed up with the run-around I am getting from Microsoft. I purchased a legitmate copy of windows 8 pro. Loaded it and proceeded to upgrade to Media Center and then 8.1. The last update to 8.1 was forced on me. Now I can't reload or refresh, short of formatting completely and starting all over for the third time. It is truly pathetic.

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Definitely not working as when this happen, the Product ID is now empty in System. And damon it Microsoft, my Windows 8.1 got deactivated again and I stuck like always.

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To Re-Activate your product id when windows 8 pro won't let you is easy with these simple steps.

1. Hit ctrl + esc to get apps screen.

2. Right click on a blank part of the screen to get all apps at the bottom and click on all apps.

3. Click Control panel and then choose System to see your product id at the bottom of screen.

4. write down your product id number in this format ####-####-####-####, ex

    ex, 1234-2345-3456-aa45

5. repeat steps 1 and 2 and locate command prompt, right click on command prompt and click

   down at the bottom, run as administrator.

6. Once command prompt window is open do the following.

   Type slmgr/ipk (your product id) and hit enter.

7. A window will pop up stating that your activated.

8. To check that it is, in the command prompt type slui

9 Once you've done all this, Re-start your computer and the "windows is not activated message should no longer appear.

Note: I'm not sure if this will work with other versions of Windows.

[DOES. NOT. WORK. Reports that the key is invalid.]

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