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I have a Lenovo Workstation that came pre-installed with Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. I purchased this about 3 months ago, and the first thing I did was install a new SSD and a clean copy of Windows 10 downloaded directly from Microsoft. I was able to get it up and running and successfully activated as Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. (I don't remember if I did this using my embedded UEFI key, or if I used the generic key, but either way, the activation process evidently successfully recognized the embedded entitlement and activated.)

I experienced a system crash last night, and when I rebooted this morning, Windows is suddenly no longer activated. The Activation page in Settings says, It looks like the hardware on this device has changed. … Error code: 0xC0EA000A. Note that the hardware has NOT changed since the initial setup 3 months ago.

Further details:

  • (Get-WmiObject -Class SoftwareLicensingService).OA3xOriginalProductkey successfully reports the UEFI embedded product key.
  • wmic bios get serialnumber successfully reports the motherboard serial number.
  • slmgr.vbs /ipk with the product key reported by OA3xOriginalProductkey results in Error: 0xC004F060 The Software Licensing Service reported that the product key is invalid.
  • slmgr.vbs /ipk with the generic product key (DXG7C-N36C4-C4HTG-X4T3X-2YV77) succeeds, but activation is still unsuccessful.
  • slmgr.vbs /dlv reports that my Prouduct Key Channel is Retail, regardless of which key I use. This seems wrong. I should be on the OEM channel. Furthermore, it reports my Partial Product Key as 2YV77 (the generic key), also regardless of which key I use.
  • slmgr.vbs /ato results in Error: 0xC0EA000A CLiP license device ID does not match the device ID in the bound device license. (SWbemObjectEx) (again, regardless of which key I use)

Does anyone have any ideas of how to fix this – preferably without a full reinstall?


UPDATE: The problem has fixed itself. Roughly 24 hours after the activation problem appeared, the system now activates without a problem. I assume this means there was some problem with Microsoft's activation servers yesterday, which is now fixed.

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  • I am 90% Windows 10 Pro for Workstations doesn’t come preinstalled on OEM products, are you sure, that’s the version that came with your device? Windows 10 Pro for Workstations ISOs to my knowledge don’t even exist. You cannot activate Windows with a generic key, the keys listed on that page, can not be used to activate Windows.
    – Ramhound
    Oct 30, 2019 at 3:32
  • @Ramhound Yes, quite sure. This is a Lenovo ThinkStation P520, and it definitely came with Win10 Pro for Workstations.
    – SWB
    Oct 30, 2019 at 3:52
  • I would try and use the key you detect using this tool, and activate by phone, that should solve the problem for you
    – Ramhound
    Oct 30, 2019 at 11:44
  • @Ramhound Phone activation (e.g. slui.exe 4) appears to not work on Windows 10 version 1903. (I think I saw somewhere that this started with 1809 or 1803, but I can't find the link.) But update: problem fixed itself. (See updated post.)
    – SWB
    Oct 30, 2019 at 16:11
  • Considering I recently used that method to activate my own installation I can confirm it actually does work. I have used that method on numerous different versions including (1903, 1809, and 1803).
    – Ramhound
    Oct 30, 2019 at 16:21

1 Answer 1

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Paste the following script in an administrative PowerShell:

$key = (Get-WmiObject -query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService').OA3xOriginalProductKey
$instance = (Get-WmiObject -query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService')
$instance.ClearProductKeyFromRegistry()
$instance.InstallProductKey($key)
$instance.RefreshLicenseStatus()

This is an excerpt from a script I use to automatically activate Windows during deployment.

You said you installed Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. You'll need to make sure your system came with Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. If it didn't you will need to reinstall Windows with the proper version using the generic product key for that version. For instance, Windows 10 Pro is VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T. Typically, if you have the proper installation media, Windows 10 will not ask for a product key during setup. It will pick it up from the UEFI firmware and automatically install and activate the proper version of Windows 10.

There is no downgrade path from Windows 10 Pro for Workstations to Windows 10 Pro according to this article: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/upgrade/windows-10-edition-upgrades.

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  • Tried it; didn't work. I get a WMIMethodException after both $instance.InstallProductKey($key) and $instance.RefreshLicenseStatus(). It looks this script is functionally equivalent to the slmgr.vbs commands I mentioned in my original post, which also didn't work.
    – SWB
    Oct 30, 2019 at 3:59

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