troubleshooting Question

Windows 10 Activation fails after cloning hard drive

Avatar of Bob Vaal
Bob VaalFlag for United States of America asked on
Windows 10Windows OS
8 Comments3 Solutions1042 ViewsLast Modified:
1. I have several computers I am re-purposing with Windows 10 Pro.  I have Software Assurance volume licenses from Microsoft I have purchased.
2. I downloaded the latest 1709 build of Windows 10 Pro and setup the first of many computers.  All the computers are of the same make and model.  I installed my apps (Adobe Reader, Chrome, Office 2016, etc.) and I activated Windows 10 Pro using my volume license.  I ran MS Update and installed all current updates.
3.  I removed the hard drive from the system and using an external drive cloning device (Wavlink) cloned the master to several targets of the exact same make and size of hard drive.
4. I put a cloned drive in the original system to test and it booted up okay.  I had to activate Windows 10  which it did without a hitch.
5. I put a second cloned drive into a second system.  It boots fine.  My Office 2016 installation is activate but Windows 10 Pro is not.  I did the Change Product Key and pasted my volume license key again.  It says

Unable to activate Windows
We can't activate Windows on this device because you don't have a valid digital license or product key.  

I click troubleshoot and it comes back stating to make sure I am connected to the internet which I am. (confirmed by launching Chrome)

Having a second volume product key I tried it.  Same messages.

Is it not possible to make a master hard drive running Windows 10 Pro and clone it?
This is the first time using an external device like the Wavlink.  Could that be the issue?

I have not used Acronis which I have in the past for Windows 7.  Maybe I'll try it even though the Wavlink cloned the entire master in less than 5 minutes and all I had to do was plug them into the device.
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