I am trying to activate Windows Home Single Language 10 (latest build 10586) using a Windows 8.1 Single Language Product Key.

But it's saying:

You are running Windows 10 Home Single Language. The Product key you entered cannot be used to activate this edition.
Error Code: 0xc004f210

I extracted the product key from the BIOS using the ProduKey utility when I was running Windows 8.1.

Here is a link to an article reporting that it's now possible to activate Windows with a previous Windows product key (from Windows 7 or later):

http://download.cnet.com/blog/download-blog/activate-windows-10-with-a-previous-windows-product-key/

I chatted with Microsoft Technical support; they said:

Ryan P
Basically "If you install this build of the Windows 10 Insider Preview on a PC and it doesn’t automatically activate, you can enter the product key from Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 used to activate the prior Windows version on the same device to activate Windows 10" meant the product key will not activate Windows because it is not a unique product key and is therefore blocked at the activation servers just like OEM keys are to prevent piracy. The free Windows 10 does not activate by key. It is an entitlement activation. Here is Microsoft's explanation.

I am not able to understand what exactly they meant.

As mentioned in comment/answers I tried clean install hoping it would automatically detect the key and proceed. Instead it requested a product key. And on manually entering the product key, it gives this error:

enter image description here

In case the image not clear it says:

The product key entered does not match any of the Windows images available for installation. Enter a different product key.

  • 1
    Windows 10 cannot be activated with a key for a different product. If you want to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1, you need to use the Media Creation Tool's local upgrade option or install the "Upgrade to Windows 10" Windows Update. – Ben N Nov 15 '15 at 18:37
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    In windows Build 10586 Microsoft has added option to activate windows from 7/8/8.1 Product key – Akash Kumar Nov 15 '15 at 18:38
  • Re your added convo with MS Tech support - sounds like they haven't been told about the new system yet, as they're still talking about the Insider, not the Fall update. Ask to speak to someone higher up. They may be right about the OEM key activation, but they will need to have a method in place for this type of upgrade 'accident' because it will not happen to only you. – Tetsujin Nov 16 '15 at 7:58
  • @BenN - That is no longer true as of Nov 12th 2015. – Ramhound Nov 16 '15 at 17:13
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    @AkashKumar OK, I can only assume what's happening. You (fresh) installed the first version of Win10 without a valid key. This installation must have somehow messed up your BIOS into invalidating any key you had there from your previous Win8 installation. So, when you now install the correct Win10 unto the disk, it cannot retrieve the valid Win8 key. Therefore my advice: Reinstall Win8. Make sure it's activated! Then make a fresh install of the correct Win10. This really should work. Or don't risk it and just upgrade instead. – vic Nov 16 '15 at 18:52

Pre Fall Update: You can't activate a fresh Win 10 install using a Win7/8 key. You'll have to install Win8 back to your computer and then update using Windows Update or run Setup from installation media while you're logged on Windows 8.

Post Fall Update: You can use a Win7/8 license key for a fresh Win10 install as long as the key was already used on the same machine before. Thanks to Tetsujin for pointing that out.

  • That is specifically not supposed to be the same for the Fall upgrade. The caveat is that the key must have been used on that machine before. – Tetsujin Nov 15 '15 at 18:43
  • Thanks, I'll edit my answer then. Or you create one and I'll withdraw mine. – vic Nov 15 '15 at 18:45
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    I only now see where you have your product key from. Probably this is the problem. Try installing Windows 10 again, without entering a key (you should be able to skip it). If that works and you can install, then Windows should activate based on the key in the BIOS. – vic Nov 15 '15 at 19:13
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    Seems pretty obvious that the inactivated version of Win 10 left some mark on your BIOS, saying that a Win10 Product Key is needed. Try a fresh Win10 install using the new build. If it still doesn't work, then your previous Win10 install must have messed something up and you will have to reinstall Win8 first. – vic Nov 15 '15 at 19:32
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    tbh, I've never rung them. I'd rather poke my eyes out with blunt spoon, but there has to be some way round this, as it's a legitimate case… albeit that the OP has missed several golden opportunities to have already done the activation. – Tetsujin Nov 15 '15 at 19:39

What a pain, had the same 0xc004f210 error, using MediaCreationTool.exe I picked 'Windows 10 Home Single Language' thinking it would be more compact.

While the ISO worked fine for a clean install on a computer with the key in the BIOS ( Windows 8 sticker ) it failed for a Windows 7 Home Premium license. Note the Windows 7 computer had already been upgraded to Windows 10 and was successfully activated, but a clean install failed to activate.

The solution was to use MediaCreationTool again and this time pick 'Windows 10' for the ISO then during the install pick 'Home' and 'I don't have a key'.

Ok, I also faced the same problem, with my Canvas Laptab, this is how I solved it.

First make sure the version of windows you are downloading is the exact version of the Windows 8.1 including the language, mine was English(US), I downloaded English(UK) leading to lots of hair shedding rectifying the mistake,so please make sure you got the version right.

Don't clean install the first time try to do an upgrade from the ISO, now even if you did upgrade they will ask you a product key, enter the generic key 7HNRX-D7KGG-3K4RQ-4WPJ4-YTDFH then install. I have never seen the skip option here in Windows 10 Home Single Language anyway if your device encryption is on,turn it off by going in settings via the notification centre and clicking on System then About.

After installation your device will not be activated and will get error code 0x8007007B(The filename,directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect)

Then, change the product key to another generic key BT79Q-G7N6G-PGBYW-4YWX6-6F4BT, your device will seem like its activating but you will get error code 0x803F7001 stating the digital license was not licensed to the device,which is true as the device was never activated with that product key.

Now change the product key again with the product key of your earlier activated Windows 8.1 Key that you used in the device, and viola its activated, that's how I activated mine. No use calling Microsoft Help, they give you a diverse elaborate crazy explanation that helps no one

I hope you can activate your windows, mine was a 8.1 product key oem provided that I copied down from command prompt(wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey).

I did upgrade from ISO both windows 10 update and November update the activation only occurred after the November update and in that flow of event only, I wasted countless hrs talking to Microsoft support they even made me call up the OEM of my device Micromax,it was all of no use.

Really hope this works for you, upgraded Windows 8.1 Single Language(English US) to Windows 10 Home Single Language (English US) and activated with Windows 8.1 Single Language product key.

  • The generic key for Windows 10 Home Single Language and the other versions of Windows 10 are all different. So unless you also use the Single Language version of Windows 10 best not to provide details of what the key should start or end in for that reason. In my personal opinion because of statements like "or something" this answer is less helpful then it could be. – Ramhound Nov 17 '15 at 14:11
  • So the answer is slightly more helpful. It just lacks any sort of formatting. So in its current form its just a huge block of text. – Ramhound Nov 17 '15 at 14:28
  • Thank you, I just hope it helps whoever is reading. I would have not wasted my energy and time if the answers were provided before, that's the only reason I am answering this. Otherwise I feel tech sites are filled with people much more knowledgeable than me. Wish they were a bit helpful. – Ian Nov 17 '15 at 15:09

(for future reference) if you like me are in the following situation:

Clean setup (or upgraded from 7/8) windows 10 home and have a fully activated OS, used it for a while (installed your applications etc) and in the need of an upgrade to windows 10 pro using a windows 7/8 pro license key (don't want to format or spend money)

since it won't recognize and accept your windows 7/8 license key directly, cause your "digital entitlement" license for that system is already set to "windows 10 home"

do the following:

  1. change product key via control panel to the following (pro dummy one) NCH3J-3Y32T-QY4Y9-4CDK3-C3726

  2. it will upgrade the os to windows 10 pro, but without activating it of course

  3. disconnect your current hard drive, and attach a second one which has windows 7/8 pro installed and activated (using the key you mean to upgrade)

  4. insert windows 10 dvd while on windows 7/8 and run the setup, upgrade to windows 10 pro

  5. using nirsoft free ProduKey software grab the new updated windows 10 pro key

  6. reconnect the current hard drive, and change the product key to the new one just grabbed

BTW is longer to write than actually to do it, if you have a spare old image of any windows 7/8 pro and a hard drive it would be less than an hour to accomplish

  • beware the following key finders gave me OLDER product keys: Nirsoft, Magical Jelly Bean, Belarc, FreeAudit & Product Key Finder. Do not use them. Use these: The following gave me Correct current win key (product key): Enhanced Key Finder & MSKeyViewrPlus. Also vbs script productkey.vbs (google) gives correct current key. – washere Sep 2 '16 at 22:54
  • Even Windows 10 activation page gives wrong older product (Win) key. Only Enhanced Key Finder & MSKeyViewrPlus & productkey.vbs give correct current numbers. If googling for productkey.vbs, there are 2 versions for win7 and win10, choose correct one. – washere Sep 2 '16 at 23:05

protected by JakeGould Dec 14 '15 at 7:11

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