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Just lost my license?

November 8, 2018/0/0
Home / Blog / Blog / Just lost my license?

Today started just like any other. The kids are at school, and I settle into my home office to get some work done. I have a triple monitor setup, so I switch often from one screen to another. My main work load is on the centre screen, information is on the left, and results are on the right. I’s about 8:30 when I notice something is wrong.

This is an “old” computer. It’s a second generation i7, but it gets the job done well. I’ve had it for close to five years now, and it wasn’t exactly new when I got the processor and mainboard. I had originally installed Windows 7 on it, but I took advantage of the Windows 10 free upgrade. The computer has been through a few changes; the mechanical drives have been swapped out for a 2Tb SSD, and the graphics card has gone through a few changed; 550Ti, 750Ti and now a 970.  Still, the mainboard and other critical components have remained the same.

Over the years, I have reinstalled Windows several times. I don’t know my license number, and in fact I don’t even need to.  I just need to install the system, ignore the license information request, and on first boot, the system activates itself with a digital license. A genuine Windows 10 Pro.

Which was why I was very surprised to see a message telling me that my system wasn’t activated. It was, and had been for the best part of a year.

Oh well, nugs like this can happen. Time to reboot. Nope. Well, there is a troubleshooter in the activation settings page. Nope. However, it did give me some information, I had error0xC004C003. It told me that my license was for Windows Home, and not Windows Pro.  This was strange, since I did install Windows Pro, and I use Windows Pro features (Bitlocker, for a start). Not good. Time to call Microsoft.

The first call didn’t go well. It was an automated system that said what it said on the configuration page – you have the wrong system installed. The second call didn’t go that much better, I managed to talk to a human, but he couldn’t help. The third was much better.

My phone call must have lasted about 30 minutes, during which time the Microsoft technician took control of my PC, and tried a few things. He got me off the Insider Preview system, which is just as well, being an Insider is cool, but you shouldn’t do this on a production machine. Then he had a look at the registry, rebooted one or twice, but to no avail. Error 0xC004C003 was here to stay.

The end result isn’t that good. I have a horrible watermark on my screen, telling me my Windows isn’t genuine. There is no fix for the time being, but the Microsoft technician told me not to worry, that they were aware of a problem, but it might take some time to correct. Oh well.

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