I took over the maintenance of a Windows Essentials 2016 server last October 2017. The OS was already installed on the server by a previous employee, who is no longer with the company. In December 2017, the hard drive crashed; fortunately, I was able to recover, re-install the OS and not lose any data. However, since the re-installation, the OS is always asking to be activated. The ex-employee, who installed the OS, was let go before I could retrieve the activation key. Unfortunately, when the ex-employee purchased the software, his personal email account was used and not his business account. I contacted the company that Windows Essentials 2016 was purchased from, and obviously, they could not give out any information, which is understandable.
Question: Is there anyway that you know of that could help me retrieve the activation key?
The OS must know that it was previously activated because since the re-installation of last December 2017, the server has been running perfectly fine. The OS has not stopped running due to an expiry activation code; the server hums along with no issues (Thank God). The only issue (which so far is a non-issue) is that on the desktop in the lower right hand corner it says "Activate Windows Go to Settings to activate Windows." I know I have dragged my feet in the getting the activation code entered; but, I don't know how to retrieve it. I want to get the OS activated before it comes back and bites me.