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Discussion Starter #1
So basically I bought a ASUS Core i5 laptop online from someone. I clearly am a beginner at this because I didn't realize until I got home that the Windows 10 that was downloaded onto laptop was not "activated". I messaged the person I bought it from & asked if they had the "product key" in order to activate the Windows 10 onto the laptop, he claimed he downloaded the Windows 10 with a disk & that he never had to put a product key in before. I even tried to go onto Microsoft & order the Windows 10 properly but it won't go through. I'm so frustrated & I'm not sure what else I can do at this point :( If anyone has any suggestions, comments, or questions please reply! Thanks!
 

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Once you are online, first go to Settings, Updates & Security, Activation Pane and see what it tells you with regard to activation. If you don't have an option to activate there, then you are going to have to acquire a Windows 10 license key for the version you wish to have activated, and use the Change product key link on that same pane to enter it and activate your copy.

At the moment, unactivated Windows 10 seems to run in that state without any time limit, but who knows when Microsoft may suspend that. There is a very active grey (not black) market in Windows 10 keys on eBay, as within the EU it is legal to resell keys from decommissioned machines, and a cottage industry has sprung up extracting license keys from machines being decommissioned and reselling them. Otherwise, you can buy a product key from Microsoft online, or any of a number of brick and mortar stores like Best Buy, Staples, etc., whether in store or online.
 

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Moderator TSF, Hardware Team Moderator
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Let's start with the full model number of the laptop. Look at the bottom for any stickers/labels with information on it. If the laptop originally came with Windows installed from the factory, there should be a sticker with the Windows logo on it (for Windows 8 and higher) or a product key (for Windows 7 and lower). If there are no stickers and the battery is removable, then look inside the battery compartment for the model number. The Windows logo will always be either on the top or bottom covers of the laptop. If it's not there then it didn't come with Windows factory installed, and you'll have to buy a Windows 10 license. You can buy it from Amazon instead. If it has a Windows 7 product key, use it to activate Windows 10.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
When I go to Activation it says "We can't activate Windows on this device because you don't have a valid digital license or product key. If you think you do have a valid license or key, Select troubleshoot below. Error code: 0x803F7001" I bought the laptop as is so I have no idea what to do. I went to the "store" where you can buy Windows 10 Pro the "proper" way I guess you would say. I went through the whole procedure to buy it & right after the purchase went through it canceled & wouldn't download onto the laptop. Is there a way to remove the corrupted Windows 10 that is currently on the laptop? Or should I meet with the guy who gave me the laptop & see if he can fix it(he offered to run the "disk" again because he's "never seen that error before" but I don't know if that is a good idea because I feel like whatever he put on the laptop is not the proper way it should have been put on here in the first place. Thanks for responding!
 

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As for the stickers/labels that say Windows on them, there are none on the top or the bottom of the laptop. There are 3 stickers by the keyboard that says intel inside core i5, HDMI, & Energy star. Where would I find the full model number of the laptop?
 

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Moderator TSF, Hardware Team Moderator
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As for the stickers/labels that say Windows on them, there are none on the top or the bottom of the laptop. There are 3 stickers by the keyboard that says intel inside core i5, HDMI, & Energy star. Where would I find the full model number of the laptop?
The full model number and other details like serial number and product number are usually printed on the bottom of the laptop, either directly on the cover or on a sticker/label. Sometimes they are inside the battery compartment. So, are there absolutely no such stickers or print in those places, except the ones near the keyboard?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The full model number and other details like serial number and product number are usually printed on the bottom of the laptop, either directly on the cover or on a sticker/label. Sometimes they are inside the battery compartment. So, are there absolutely no such stickers or print in those places, except the ones near the keyboard?
Okay so I found a Windows 8 sticker on the bottom of the laptop, I missed it the first time I looked on the bottom because I wasn't able to see it until I laid it down flat. Also the model number is 2230BNHMW.
 

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When looking for something on the bottom of the laptop, close the cover. When rebooting everything comes back to exactly where you were.
 

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take a photo of the Windows 8 key or write it down. Boot into Windows and go to Settings/Update & Security/ Activation/Change Product key and type in the Windows 8 product key
Yep. Definitely the most direct route.

If that were not to work, and I see no reason why it should not, then Doing a Completely Clean (Re)install of Windows 10 Using Media Creation Tool to Create Bootable Win10 Install Media on a USB Thumb Drive, and using the Windows 8 key if requested during the install, or via the Activation Pane as noted above after install, should work.
 

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The Windows 8 key will activate Windows 10 fine. But, it has to be the same version. If Windows 8 was the "Home" edition, then Windows 10 must be the "Home" edition. The versions must match. My guess is that the person before you installed a Pro version of Windows 10. Activation is now encoded into the motherboard so if Windows 8 Home was the original OS, if you update to Windows 10 Home it should activate all on it's own. If the version of Windows now on the laptop differs, I would download the Windows 10 Home ISO from Microsoft and reinstall Windows 10. Then it should activate with correctly.
 

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. . . I would download the Windows 10 Home ISO from Microsoft and reinstall Windows 10. Then it should activate with correctly.
There is no Home ISO and Pro ISO - there is one ISO for both.

Even machines with a Home installation can upgrade to Pro without need to download another copy of the OS.

The Windows 10 editions are differentiated by what features are enabled by the key used. Pro features are on a Home machine, but lie fallow until or unless a Pro key is supplied. And I can speak to this directly, having done exactly this sort of in-place edition change on the machine I am typing from, among others.
 

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There is no Home ISO and Pro ISO - there is one ISO for both.

Even machines with a Home installation can upgrade to Pro without need to download another copy of the OS.

The Windows 10 editions are differentiated by what features are enabled by the key used. Pro features are on a Home machine, but lie fallow until or unless a Pro key is supplied. And I can speak to this directly, having done exactly this sort of in-place edition change on the machine I am typing from, among others.
I agree, but if someone had installed Pro and originally Win 8 was a Home edition, Win 10 will not activate because it doesn't match the original. Also, I do believe the edition has to be the same 32-bit or 64-bit. I know that when I built my new system with Win 10 64-bit I was not able to activate it with my Win 7 32-bit key.

If Win 10 Pro was in fact installed, then it will have to be uninstalled. You can't go back from Pro to Home even though you can go up from Home to Pro.
 

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If you want to go from 32-bit to 64-bit, you have to install Windows 10 32-bit and activate it, then do a completely clean reinstall with 64-bit.

I have an ancient Gateway machine that, while 64-bit hardware, came with Windows 7 32-bit way back when. I upgraded from that to Win10 32-bit, then did a completely clean reinstall using the 64-bit ISO, which does work.

But there is no direct, in-place, "don't lose your files and apps" upgrade method to go from a 32-bit version (whether Home or Pro) to the 64-bit version. It's a nuke and pave but Microsoft does not care what bit-depth the machine's license was originally for. If the hardware will support 64-bit, and you had 32-bit, it will still allow you to do a completely clean reinstall with the 64-bit ISO. (I have never tried the "dual ISO," which if memory serves does exist. I always made dedicated 32-bit or 64-bit ISOs, and honestly can't recall when I last created a 32-bit ISO.)
 

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If you want to go from 32-bit to 64-bit, you have to install Windows 10 32-bit and activate it, then do a completely clean reinstall with 64-bit.

I have an ancient Gateway machine that, while 64-bit hardware, came with Windows 7 32-bit way back when. I upgraded from that to Win10 32-bit, then did a completely clean reinstall using the 64-bit ISO, which does work.

But there is no direct, in-place, "don't lose your files and apps" upgrade method to go from a 32-bit version (whether Home or Pro) to the 64-bit version. It's a nuke and pave but Microsoft does not care what bit-depth the machine's license was originally for. If the hardware will support 64-bit, and you had 32-bit, it will still allow you to do a completely clean reinstall with the 64-bit ISO. (I have never tried the "dual ISO," which if memory serves does exist. I always made dedicated 32-bit or 64-bit ISOs, and honestly can't recall when I last created a 32-bit ISO.)
Thank you for that information. Yes, I understood that there was no direct path from a 32-bit to a 64-bit upgrade and that it would require a complete fresh install. My experience was that I had an old Windows 7 32-bit computer. I built a complete new computer with Windows 10 64-bit. The Windows 7 license key would not activate Win 10 on the new build. I surely didn't want to install Win 7 on the new system in order to do an upgrade to Win 10. Could not install Win 10 on the old computer because the CPU was not compatible. It was twelve years old but still ran quite well. Still using it in the basement as a second computer when I am down there working.:wink:
 
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