I had a preinstalled win8 from HP when I bought laptop in 2013, which I eventually upgraded to win8.1 down the line in few years.
I had to update my Hard Disk as old HDD crash, I did that with .iso file from Microssft website. As I was not sure which windows version I had I took first option without anything like Pro/SingleLanguage etc. behind the name to create the bootable USB.
During installation from USB I had to use generic key, and while trying to activate windows after installation it displays following message "This key can't be used for this edition of Windows. Please try different key"
Error code: 0xC004C003
Error description: The activation server determined the specified product key is blocked
@Dhaval24 This error can occur if the activation servers are busy. If that’s the case, simply wait for a couple of hours and try to activate Windows 10 again, if that doesn't help, make
use the HP recovery media, If you don't have an HP Recovery media and have attempted reset using the windows troubleshooter or a retail copy of windows, you'll need to order a recovery media: Click here for steps.
Or you may also attempt to download the same using the steps on this link: click here
For details on how to perform a successful reset: click here
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My question is for windows8.1, as mentioned my HDD is completely crashed and I do not have a way to create recovery media in that case. I installed using retail copy of windows from windows site, in this case only option I see is to order new license or a get a recovery media for a cost from HP as I no longer have warranty for my product (It was purchased in 2013). This solution is not nice, as I have windows license which becomes unusable if my original hardware fails. Raises questions of why one might use BIOS OEM key against retail key when your key is not transferable in case of hardware upgrade / damage without official recovery media.
@Dhaval24 That's right, you can't create one now, that's quite obvious, no what I meant was, you could attempt to download one (if available) using an alternate computer via the cloud services, if your computer is not eligible for it, you will have to order one, the key difference between a retail copy and an OEM, is that you get all the software/driver along with the OEM version and you don't have to worry about looking for each hardware individually and go on a driver hunt, therefore making life a lot easier, if you know what I mean.
Also, if you have any other issues in the future (God forbid) you can always re-use the same disc to reinstall the OS (unlimited times), that said, if you have trouble ordering one online, I suggest you talk to HP support and discuss your options, follow the below steps to get started:
2) Click on Sign-in or select the product using the below step:
3) Enter the serial of your device.
4) Select the country from the drop-down.
5) Click on "Show Options".
Fill the web-form, to populate a case number and phone number for yourself!
Also, if you are having trouble navigating through the above options, it's most likely because the device is out of warranty, if yes? please send me a private message with the region you are contacting us from,
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