08-19-2015 06:05 PM
Recently I had to replace my hard drive. My computer repair person apparently used his disc to replace the Windows 8.1 operating system. Now I continue to receive a message that the certificate is set to expire soon. The online activation button is not working. I have to input a product key, but because I purchased the laptop with windows 8.1 already installed I do not have a product key. Will you be able to assist me with acquiring my product key for Windows 8.1 to stop this error message?
08-20-2015 12:40 AM
If your Windows 8.1 is pre-installed (OEM) and legitimate, the license key should be right installed in your BIOS system.
Just like my PC, I upgraded to Windows 10 from DVD and just activate online.
If the online activation button is disabled or encountered an error, try this:
- Go to Command Prompt as Administrator
- Execute 'slmgr /ato' (without quotes) to activate Windows
- Use 'slmgr /xpr' to check Expiry date of Windows and 'slmgr /dli' to check about your licensing.
Wish you best of luck!
NB: unofficial would be using Microsoft Toolkit. But be careful. You could lose your legitimate license info.
08-20-2015 01:54 PM
Is that your only solution? It wasn't quit the answer I was looking for. How do you back up a dead hard drive. He replaced the hard drive and did not charge me to do so, nor did he charge me for the hard drive. There has got to be some way to contact hp for a product key #. If you have that it would be helpful. How about someone that works for hp contact me, or at least someone that has some fact and not opinion comment please.
08-20-2015 04:58 PM
What PeerOne is trying to say is, there could be a probability, that the guy you hired to fix your HDD may have installed the different version/edition of Windows 8.1 that came with your PC. If that really happened, then you should ask him to re-install the OS for you, according to the version/edition that came with your PC.
Windows OSes that was pre-installed on a PC has its product key and license information installed right into your UEFI/BIOS system. So, no matter how many times you reinstall Windows, if it's the right edition of Windows and matches the product key that came with your PC, then Windows will activate through online activation.
Here's some thing you could try:
1. Go to your BIOS system and look for the text "OS preinstalled: Win8.1". If it's there, then I'm positive that you have your product key built right into your BIOS system.
2. Check your Windows 8.1 edition from Computer properties. Another way is to go to cmd and use slmgr /xpr to check your accurate Windows edition. Why do this? You got to match the OS edition that "man" installed and the one pre-installed. Usually, pre-installed Windows came with Core or Single Language edition. IF you know what edition Windows came preinstalled, then you could just find the right Windows 8.1 ISO and install it. IF you don't know, check. If it says Windows 8.1 Enterprise, it's wrong. Preinstalleds never come with Enterprise. If it's Pro or anything else other than Core or Single Language, you are having the wrong edition (according to me).
3. The easiest way would be: HP always give a Windows Recovery Image with a pre-installed Windows. Just reboot your system and when on BIOS POST, press F11 (or other, according to your PC) to open System Recovery. When a blue recovery UI show up, navigate to advanced options and click on HP Recovery Tool and reinstall Windows there. If you followed this HP Recovery method, 100% the version of Windows you are installing is just right the one that came with your PC.
What you did is, you took your PC to some "other" person that is not HP's rep. THAT is a mistake. You should have taken your PC to HP's customer service. Never mind the past. Now just try.
Let me tell you:
- Replacing your HDD with new ones will likely lose your HP's RECOVERY partition (2GB in size approx). THAT partition contains your Windows setup files for recovery. Thus, the 3rd solution might not work, but just try.
- Replacing HDD will not remove the pkey built into BIOS. Just simply installing the correct edition and version of Windows that matches the key will work as is.
- HP never know what your product key is (IMHO). It's OEM and it's built in. Nor does Microsoft.
Good luck, and wish you all the best.
05-28-2016 05:24 AM
Sorry, but it is impossible to extract your OEM Windows product key out of your system.
You could, though, extract your BIOS firmware image from your CMOS using some sort of BIOS mod systems available online, but it will be hell a lot of work.
I would recommend if you are about to reinstall your Windows, simply reinstall the correct edition of Windows which your PC came in with and simply activate online. There will be "This PC is activated using digital entitlement" some sort of sentence in the Activation section in Windows 10.
If your PC came in with Windows 7 or older, there's a chance you can find the product key located below your laptop, or beneath the battery, in the battery slot.
I haven't tried, though, using slmgr could also give you your product key, you can try to find how online, but the furthest you can get is only the last five letters of your actual product key.
05-28-2016 05:16 PM - edited 05-28-2016 05:18 PM