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Windows 10 install DVD says "This product key didn't work"

Posted on 2016-08-08
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Last Modified: 2016-08-08
Ran Produkey and "Enchanted Keyfinder" on a somewhat dead old laptop hard dive. Computer had been upgraded from Windows 7 to 10 Pro using the upgrade wizard about 2 months ago.

Both product key finder programs list the same product key identified as "Windows 10 Pro".  I installed a new hard disk, ran the DVD installer and when I input that Windows 10 product key, it says, "This product key didn't work".  Checked for typos multiple times.

Any ideas?
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Question by:DaveWWW
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by:DaveWWW
ID: 41747622
...Just noticed the installer I used is a year old.  I'm downloading a fresh one. I'll see how it goes.
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☠ MASQ ☠ earned 500 total points
ID: 41747625
So the drive is from a machine that was upgraded from 7 to 10 under the free "Digital Entitlement" programme that recently ended?

In that case when you are asked to enter a Key don't  - once online the fresh Win 10 install will "call" Microsoft and send the PC's digital fingerprint for verification and if this is the same machine it will be sent an activation code.  Entering an activation key is only needed for a new (unactivated) system.
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by:DaveWWW
ID: 41747639
Do you think the DVD I burned back in August 2015 will work fine with respect to the laptop "calling" Microsoft etc.?
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 41747661
It should but why not use the newer build and save on update downloads and odd conflicts  - you really should build with Windows 10 November Update (#1511) as a minimum (nothing older) but ideally just download the current Redstone base build (#1607 - August 2nd - and subsequents).  They all use the same verification system for previously upgraded machines being reinstalled (and Redstone actually builds on this).
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Author Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 41747781
Hmm - I just realized that I installed the 64 bit version of Windows 10.  The original Windows 7 install (and subsequent upgrade to Win 10) was 32 bit.  Will I need to install Windows 10 32 bit for the activation to work?
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Author Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 41747784
My Win 10 install is a full install, fresh onto a new hard disk, by the way.
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Author Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 41747837
Never mind, sorry - I went into Settings and it indicates it is activated.  Great!
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 41747845
The move from 32 to 64 bit shouldn't affect this as the activation is based on the hardware ID not the architecture of the OS
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 41747849
:)
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Author Closing Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 41747869
Thanks for the help!
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 41748078
Nice to know that the "bitness" doesn't matter.    My understanding was that if you did a reinstall on a previously upgraded system it had to be the same version (Home vs. Pro) AND the same "bitness" (32 vs 64 bits).    While I suspect the former is indeed true, apparently (based on your experience) the "bitness" doesn't matter.
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