My Experience Activating Windows 10 Many Times

Microsoft has improved with activation on a technical level, but I wonder how it all works.

It’s great to be able to get licensed Window 7 OEM CoAs activated on Windows 10 simply by booting with UEFI configuration, installing, entering the key on the sticker or running the Windows 10 upgrade from Windows 7. I’m not even sure whether one needs UEFI or not.

A screencap of my Windows 10 Activation on Dell Latitude E6410 on 2009 hardware.

I’ve upgraded older ASUS, Lenovo, and Dell hardware using the 25-character license key (CoA) attached to its exterior, as long as I was using the corresponding edition of Windows matching that of the sticker’s. If you have a Windows 7 Home CoA, install Windows 10 Home; If you have a Windows 7 Pro CoA, install Windows 10 Pro.

The only hardware I have not been able to activate, at all, were custom built PCs without any original OEM-supplied license key.

Overall, I like how simplified the activation process has become, but I also like not having to buy new hardware.

I am not a Microsoft licensing expert, as I mostly focus on the applications, services and systems themselves, but I encourage anyone interested in this topic to drop me a line at paul@rapideyeconsulting.ca to try to help me understand how all of this works.

January 2020: Windows 7 to Windows 10 Upgrades

All the advice you need to make the decision to finally switch to Windows 10 is right at Microsoft’s website from the link below.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4057281/windows-7-support-will-end-on-january-14-2020

One might be inclined to upgrade their business to Windows 10 by purchasing new computers, because MSPs will likely recommend that they replace the hardware. If you want to avoid issues with aging hardware with inherited service cost, you’ll want to do your new hardware roll-out ASAP.

Alternatively…

Consider using existing hardware with Windows 10, if your system was built between 3-6 years ago. Why not purchase a license? The new installer is super easy to use. Moderately old hardware can work great on Windows 10, if you are looking to save short-term bucks.

Get Computer Help

At RapidEye Consulting, we try to do a lot of the general IT service work that MSPs offer to SMBs. Doing things at a smaller scale and highly customized. Help us grow into a great MSP and hire us for your next Windows 10 task list. We’re looking for steady client relationships with businesses from the Toronto area. Reach out to us for all things computer and on-site networking.

Windows 10 – Helpful Tips for fixing or repairing Microsoft Windows Store apps

Corrupted or Glitchy Windows Tiles in new Start Menu???

 Start Menu and Windows App Beheaviour – Not Appearing

I was having a lot of issues on my Windows 10 PC. Most of the standard apps, like Weather, Xbox, and Microsoft Store would abruptly exit. There are lots of resources on the net which aim to repair this problem simply by copying/typing the following into powershell. I am writing this for other techs so they can read this and try this out on their own systems. Please do not hold me accountable if you run into issues….Here’s what I did…:

Get-AppXPackage -Users | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

Basically, what’s happening here is that all registered Windows app configuration data is read and then the data found is used to reregister a fresh app instance for each app found in the “Users\AppData” folder based on the system’s default user account & other system folders.

This fix repairs the issue in the when clicking the Start button and no Start menu appears.

Check “Users” Folder Junctions

A machine I was using was also having a permissions issue in the ‘Application Data’ shortcut or junction of the user’s “AppData\Local” folder. The lack of junction points was causing the above command or similar commands to iterate through ‘Application Data’, resulting in duplicates AppData\Local\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\.

The solution to this is to navigate to all your Application Data shortcuts with ‘hidden file’ viewing enabled, right-clicking, hitting properties and the security tab, then disabling inheritance and removing all access to these and hitting ok. This might cause issues with legacy applications….but all worked for me…

If you simply try running the Add-AppXPackage command from within a powershell loop alone and hope that it works, it might unless if have permission issues on the machine. If you are reading this and can take on the challenge, I recommend giving this a shot before you obliterate your whole machine by formatting and reinstalling Windows.

If permissions are the issue…

Generally, a system with file permission problems is caused by users or IT technicians in error. You should use the following two commands to help repair Windows App issues if you believe file permissions are playing some sort of role with your Store Apps.

icacls "C:\Windows\SystemApps" /reset /T /C /Q

icacls "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" /reset /T /C /Q