The other day I logged on to my backup laptop (Win 7 N 64 Bit) and had this nice little warning and error message to greet me. My activation had failed and had been nagging me from the systray. Too bad I ignored it for a month or so.
Now I was a bit in panic mode. I knew what the issue really was – but couldn’t find that silly little fix on the net. See, my Windows came from my MSDN subscription. I used this to reinstall Windows after getting my hard drive replaced following the disaster I blogged about back in June.
I knew that the key that I had was legit – and that my copy of Windows was indeed authentic and legit. It’s just that sometimes Windows needs a little extra prompting to stop nagging you about that darned activation. And you kinda need to get it activated to make sure you can properly patch your system and avoid those stupid nags.
The fix really is stupid simple. I googled for the fix for about 30 minutes and kept getting search results related to hacking the install and even one that said it was impossible unless the Win version was stored in the bios. I didn’t really care for any of those results. I don’t need to hack my legit copy and I don’t need somebody saying it can’t be registered/activated legitimately.
So, I final found the answer hidden in about two sentences in a forum. The answer was so short that it could be easily passed over while looking at all of the other proposed fixes. Here is all that I needed to do.
First step. Open up Control Panel. Step two, go to the System control panel. You may need to scroll to the bottom of this screen to find the “Change Product Key” clickable link. This will open a new screen where you can input your product key.
Once done, I was able to successfully activate windows. Windows updates began working again and the Genuine Advantage applet also works.
Now, knowing that it is the “Change Product Key” that needs to occur, here is another link that shows this method plus a couple others to achieve the same desired effect.