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Received a replacement NUC; Windows 10 Pro won't reactivate with my original product code

I recently received a replacement for my defective Intel NUC8i7HVK.

I then removed the memory and SSD from the original NUC and installed them on the replacement NUC. Everything appears to work fine except that Microsoft will no longer recognize the Windows 10 Pro operating system that I transferred via the SSD. I've followed the Windows 10 instructions (Windows 10 works in a minimal way even without a product key) by both trying to activate Windows with my product code and also running the Troubleshooter. But whatever I do the Troubleshooter says I now have an invalid product code. Please advise me what I should do.

For your convenience, I've attached the message saying 1) I need to activate the product key, and 2) that the product key I then entered is invalid. I get the same 2) message after running the troubleshooter.

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5 Replies
New Contributor II

Hi Snider,

I do not have much knowledge about Microsoft licensing, but it looks like you have an OEM license.

These licenses are non-transferable to other systems even when its a system with the same hardware.

You can try to contact Microsoft for a new activation code, but you might have to buy a new license.


Leon Merts

Super User

This document from Microsoft may help with windows 10 licenses: Windows 10 - How to tell what type of Activation I have, Digital - Microsoft Community


New Contributor III

If you did a free upgrade from windows 7 to Win 10 I think the rule is that you can only transfer that upgraded windows to new hardware one time, so you probably have to get on to Microsoft support to sort it out.

They should be able to sort it out since you have replaced faulty hardware. Mind you we live in an era where Common Sense has been firmly buried (and missed by many old enough to remember who she was)

So I wish you good Luck.

Super User

You will find all the answer you need in the link provided by Al Hill (in the post above). Here I will sumarise it for you:

Use the Activation troubleshooter after a significant hardware change. Here you can read how:

You will be able to use Activation troubleshooter only if your license was linked to your Microsoft account before hardware change. If it wasn't, the troubleshooter will be not available for you. In this case, you should contact Microsoft Customer Support:


New Contributor II

It's also worth noting that Windows now stores your product key in the EFI/BIOS on the computer, so even if you do a clean reinstall it will be picked up automatically.

You can first deactivate the copy of Windows on your current computer when you intend to move it to a new machine: