Reactivating Windows 10 After a Hardware Upgrade or Reinstall

Users often ask for it: Can I reactivate Windows 10 if I change my computer’s hardware configuration (motherboard, SSD hard drive, CPU upgrade, etc.) or after reinstalling Windows? In fact, a copy of Windows 10 must be reactivated after you make significant changes to your computer’s hardware configuration.

With a large hardware modification of a PC, Microsoft means changing the motherboard, processor, TPM chip (changing the hard disk to SSD, graphics card or memory module is not a large modification and does not affect the activation of Windows). Moving your Windows 10 license to another computer can be an option to significantly change your hardware (does not work for Windows 10 Home or Professional with an OEM license). This means that Windows is successfully activated when only a few parts have been replaced, but not all (a brand new computer). If Windows was pre-installed on your computer before you upgraded to Windows 10, you probably had an OEM license. This type of license cannot be transferred to another computer. However, Microsoft allows you to enable Windows on a device with a new hardware configuration if you have had to replace it due to damage to important components.

First of all, I have to say something about the digital Windows licenses. In fact, the digital licenses have replaced the traditional product keys and have been extended through the Microsoft Store on users’ computers as part of the free upgrade from previous versions of Windows (Windows 7, 8.1) to Windows 10. A Windows digital license is linked to a specific physical computer (the hardware configuration code, which takes into account certain important hardware components of your computer). The digital license for your device is stored as hash (installation ID) in a database on Microsoft’s activation servers and is automatically linked to your Microsoft account (MSA) when you use it to authenticate on your computer (this MSA user must have local administrator rights). In order to successfully re-activate Windows on a different hardware, you must therefore log in to your computer with your MSA account before you (!!) change the hardware configuration (your Windows digital license will then be linked to your Microsoft account).

The first time you connect to Windows 10 after replacing the hardware (such as a motherboard), you will get activation errors 03F7001, 0xC004F211 or 0xC004C008.

We cannot activate Windows 10 on this unit because you do not have a valid digital license or product key Error code 03F7001 We cannot activate Windows 10 on this unit because you do not have a valid digital license or product key Error code 03F7001

To reactivate Windows 10 on new hardware, use the Activation Troubleshooting (available in the Windows 10 1607 Anniversary Update). Follow the steps below to reactivate Windows 10 after replacing the motherboard :

  1. Log in to your MSA computer with local administrator rights;
  2. Go to Settings -> Update and Security -> Activation ;
  3. Select Enable Troubleshooter (only available if Windows 10 is not enabled) ;
  4. You will receive the following message: We have found a digital license for this device with Windows 10 Pro ;
  5. Select I have recently changed the hardware of this device;
  6. If you are not logged in with your MSA account, a window will appear asking you to enter your username and password for the Microsoft account;
  7. Find your computer in the list of devices connected to your Microsoft account and select it by host name;
  8. Select the option This is the device I currently use;
  9. Click on the Activate button;
  10. When Windows 10 is successfully re-activated, the activation status window indicates that Windows has been activated with a digital license associated with your Microsoft account. account account

If you are logged in to your Microsoft account, but you cannot activate Windows 10, there may be one of the following reasons:

  • Your computer does not have an Internet connection or access to Microsoft’s activation servers is blocked;
  • The Windows edition installed on your device does not match the digital license of the operating system edition associated with your account;
  • The type of device you are trying to activate does not match the type of device in your digital license;
  • Windows has never been activated on your device;
  • You have reached the limit of the number of times you can reactivate Windows 10 on your device;
  • You have several administrators on your device, and one of them has already activated Windows;
  • The device connects to an Active Directory domain with centralized computer activation settings (e.g. KMS or Active Directory-based activation).

If you cannot resume Windows 10 using the method described above, contact Microsoft Technical Support by phone. For Microsoft Customer Service phone numbers for your country, see C:WindowsSystem32sppuiphone.inf.


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