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View Full Version : G750JS Cant't activate Windows 8.1 after installed new SSD with Asus backtracker



Bokai
09-26-2015, 09:17 AM
Hi!

I can't seem to activate Windows 8.1 on my newly bought 250 GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD. What am I doing wrong?

This is what I have done:

1. Run Asus Backtracker to create recovery to my 16GB USB Drive. (from original 750GB HDD, with activated Windows 8.1)
2. Remove HDD, insert SDD in the same slot
3. Reboot from USB, recover to SDD
4. Boot in to freshly installed Windows 8.1 from SDD - Windows can't activate even though it finds the key from the BIOS. The CD-key is the same as in step 1...

I've used different tools extract the key from the old HDD to make sure it is exactly the same in the new SSD, and it is. I even tried to manually enter the key, but it just says "the product key doesn't work" in Activate Windows. I also tried to activate windows by phone, but no luck.

Anyone else experienced anything similar? Any tips?

Edit: Forgot to mention that this is on my G750JS laptop

/Bokai

Darnassus
09-26-2015, 02:09 PM
Erm.. were you 8.1 in the first place? I THINK your key upgrades when you move from 8 to 8.1 (Not sure.)

Bokai
09-26-2015, 03:00 PM
Erm.. were you 8.1 in the first place? I THINK your key upgrades when you move from 8 to 8.1 (Not sure.)

Yes it was 8.1 in the first place. The BIOS key is the same as the key used for Windows, so it hasn't changed anyway. :/

redduc900
09-26-2015, 04:37 PM
See if this thread is of any help to you...

Bypass UEFI provided product key to install Windows 8???
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-windows_install/bipass-uefi-provided-product-key-to-install/a271067b-d655-4b46-8b52-b3f191b9370c?auth=1

Darnassus
09-27-2015, 08:29 AM
Yes it was 8.1 in the first place. The BIOS key is the same as the key used for Windows, so it hasn't changed anyway. :/

Umm..

http://en.janek2012.eu/ultimate-pid-checker/ Use this from now on to make sure you get the right key.

P.S.

Are you sure you installed Windows in UEFI mode? I think it's GPT not MBR.

Bokai
09-27-2015, 03:11 PM
Hi, thanks for you help! But I'm not totally sure what you mean?

I am not doing a clean install with a random windows 8.1 installation disc. I am using the Asus backtracker tool that comes with the ROG laptop to create bootable recovery media on to a 16GB USB stick.

When I run the recovery media from the USB with my new SSD I never choose what windows version to install, nor do I get any options to choose MBT or GPT. The same key that is used on the old HDD is automatically added to the new SSD installation, and the windows versions are the same. It boots just fine, but it can't be activated... (

Bokai
09-27-2015, 03:17 PM
Oh, and I just checked, the new SSD is automatically set as GPT, so it shouldn't be that. :(

redduc900
09-27-2015, 05:09 PM
I have to be clear on something... you used a tool like RWEverything to access the ACPI tables--> MSDM tab, then used the product key located adjacent to the Data entry?

Bokai
09-27-2015, 05:20 PM
I have to be clear on something... you used a tool like RWEverything to access the ACPI tables--> MSDM tab, then used the product key located adjacent to the Data entry?

Yes, that key is already the one used, both in the old installation and in the new on the SSD. But just to make sure, I tried copying it again and enter it as a "new key" under Windows activation. Still no change.

redduc900
09-27-2015, 09:01 PM
When you called MS to activate, did you use their automated system or talk to a live person?

Bokai
09-27-2015, 09:17 PM
I used the automated system, because they don't have live support on the weekends here. I am gonna try tomorrow again though!

Bokai
09-28-2015, 07:19 AM
Just got off the phone with ASUS tech support, which was a very dissapointing conversation.

I learned the following:
- "Recovering" the OS to the new SSD with ASUS Backtracker is not supported, or guaranteed to work
- The CD Key provided should only work with the pre-installed "special OS", and not any other.
- Installation of a new SSD, or upgrades in general is not supported and support will not help in any way.
- That the G750JS doesn't have any recovery CDs that can be sent out to customer(even the support was suprised to find this)
- That ASUS tech support knows less of hardware and OS than I do...

All in all, in the future I will stick to getting my support from you guys here. :)

Darnassus
09-28-2015, 06:33 PM
Just got off the phone with ASUS tech support, which was a very dissapointing conversation.

I learned the following:
- "Recovering" the OS to the new SSD with ASUS Backtracker is not supported, or guaranteed to work
- The CD Key provided should only work with the pre-installed "special OS", and not any other.
- Installation of a new SSD, or upgrades in general is not supported and support will not help in any way.
- That the G750JS doesn't have any recovery CDs that can be sent out to customer(even the support was suprised to find this)
- That ASUS tech support knows less of hardware and OS than I do...

All in all, in the future I will stick to getting my support from you guys here. :)

When you call "ASUS Tech Support" you most likely get forwarded to a Call Center in India where the guy who picks up your call has many 'hats' for each company. They're a "level 1 technician" and have absolutely no idea what's going on with your machine and read from a step by step manual. Don't bother with 'em. Your best chance is here because some of us have experienced the issue. I haven't but I'm sure a few ideas could work.

Personally I reinstalled Windows 8.1 with a completely different disc, I used 'Core' and my key worked fine. Even when I installed it on another hard drive.

Have you tried to put in the old drive, as well as the new one in the other bay and CLONE the operating system over, then swap the drive bays over?

Bokai
09-29-2015, 07:48 AM
When you call "ASUS Tech Support" you most likely get forwarded to a Call Center in India where the guy who picks up your call has many 'hats' for each company. They're a "level 1 technician" and have absolutely no idea what's going on with your machine and read from a step by step manual. Don't bother with 'em. Your best chance is here because some of us have experienced the issue. I haven't but I'm sure a few ideas could work.

Personally I reinstalled Windows 8.1 with a completely different disc, I used 'Core' and my key worked fine. Even when I installed it on another hard drive.

Have you tried to put in the old drive, as well as the new one in the other bay and CLONE the operating system over, then swap the drive bays over?

First off, yes I tried cloning but it had the same outcome.

I called the local(Swedish) ASUS support office, which usually are better than the Indian call centers you refer to since they actually work at ASUS directly. But as I said it didn't help that time.

HOWEVER, after speaking with Microsoft support today they adviced me to contact Asus again and specifically ask what modifications/upgrades can be done to the laptop within the limits of my OEM license. When I did this today the new, friendlier tech support dropped this bomb: "If Windows isn't activating after a repair/reset, you can always request a new Windows 8/10 license key"(!!).

So apparently, what I have to do is to log in to my ASUS account with my laptop, go to My Products -> Other Support -> Activate Windows 8/10.

I haven't tried it yet, since I'm at work. But this definitely sounds promising... I'll post what the outcome is.

/Bokai

Darnassus
09-29-2015, 10:32 AM
Well that sounds good, I might keep that information in mind. I guess the ring-around-the-telephone game actually paid off. I've never had a good experience with 'customer care' when it comes to computers. :f

Also good luck, hit back with your findings!

Bokai
09-29-2015, 04:57 PM
Unfortunately that didn't work either. The page I was referring doesn't do anything, it justs loads a page saying:

"If you do not have any product preloaded with Windows 8/10, please ignore this page.
If your product is preloaded with Windows 8/10 and has activation issue after repair service,
please contact ASUS service center. Thank you!"

Back to square one. :( :(

toronto699
09-29-2015, 05:09 PM
maybe he can help asus employee
https://rog.asus.com/forum/member.php?105838-cl-Albert

see if he can earn his salary
I earn my salary

Bokai
09-29-2015, 05:18 PM
I sent him a PM, thanks for the suggestion!

toronto699
09-29-2015, 05:25 PM
I sent him a PM, thanks for the suggestion!


this guy had prob to install W10 heres video of how he did it mite help
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7UkxAZjKjs&feature=youtu.be

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
but see what Asus Albert says first

cl-Albert
09-29-2015, 06:37 PM
Doesn't look like I will earn my salary for this case, but I'm pretty stumped by this one and maybe just don't know enough about upgrades which I don't get involved with as much.

1. As far as I can tell, there are many people able to upgrade their hard drive to SSDs successfully (with some difficulty sometimes?) although not sure if they have better luck with ASUS Backtracker or other cloning software.
You might want to do a quick check with your SSD manufacturer too and see if they have any ideas about the problem or suggestions to image your SSD.

2. If the original hard drive with Windows 8.1 is activated (double-check if necessary to confirm this?), expect you should be able to use this image on another hard drive/SSD of the same system which most people probably agree with. Not sure if there is any point in comparing with other imaging software or even a different hard drive/SSD, but it's an idea.
This is another bad idea, but would be curious if you try to use that backtracker image on your original hard drive just to see if it will activate since I'm almost starting to think it may not and something the repair department may need to check more if it does not.

3. Check the Windows activation error code with your SSD to try to get more information about it.

4. This is probably something you want to avoid, but curious what is involved (there might be some charge?) or if it's possible to get your local ASUS repair to install the ASUS factory image to your SSD drive to check this.

5. As suggested by toronto699 in post #19 above, if you upgrade your original activated Win8.1 hard drive to Win10 (you can 'go back' to your current Win8.1 image within 30 days as long as you don't remove this option earlier), you should be able to create the Win10 ISO to do a clean install on your SSD and hopefully activate?

6. Prefer to stick to the ASUS image rather than clean installs, but know there are always some ROG members as Darnassus mentioned in post #13 above trying clean installs (of Win8.1) if you want to look into this more, but haven't looked into it much on my end.

7. Don't think I will be able to check this on my end, but you may want to check with your local support to find out if the motherboard has ever been replaced and maybe find out if there is any way to double-check your product key as well although it's safer for you if other people don't know what it is.

7a. You may want to double-check your product key a few more times if you haven't already since I'm always confusing the 'G' with '6' and 'B' with '8', etc., but you should only need to worry about manually entering the product key if your motherboard was replaced and the bios doesn't have your correct key which may not even be the case.

7b.
I used the automated system, because they don't have live support on the weekends here. I am gonna try tomorrow again though!
You may want to disconnect from the internet, but there should be a way to activate by phone instead of through the internet (click on 'show me other ways to activate' to find the phone number for your region?) if you want to try this.


Well, hopefully others have better ideas to get it working since I don't feel real good about mine right now.

toronto699
09-29-2015, 07:07 PM
CL-Albert I was just kidding about salary sorry I made the comment u are a pretty smart cookie , if he installs W10 do not delete any files or software any where on the laptop , or W8.1 wiil not install again, even old emails
99$ US for new W10 Product Key
All Product Keys for W10 Home download are the same generic key. but Microsoft takes some kind of ID from your PC to active it.
u are correct thought he should see if W8.1 is activated on his laptop

cl-Albert
09-29-2015, 07:30 PM
CL-Albert I was just kidding about salary sorry I made the comment u are a pretty smart cookie , if he installs W10 do not delete any files or software any where on the laptop , or W8.1 wiil not install again, even old emails
99$ US for new W10 Product Key
All Product Keys for W10 Home download are the same generic key. but Microsoft takes some kind of ID from your PC to active it.
u are correct thought he should see if W8.1 is activated on his laptop

No worries toronto699 since I don't know as much about everything as I would like to.
The customer should be able to upgrade their original ASUS Win8.1 image to Win10 for free though, so they should not need to worry about buying a new Win10 product key as long as they upgrade first.

Yes, once you have upgraded to Win10, Microsoft should have the information on their side to allow you to install the Win10 ISO without a product key (although I wonder if using a different hard drive/SSD will change anything).

Yes, the customer's system seems to act like the original Win8.1 is not even activated although there are other reasons it could act like this.

Bokai
09-30-2015, 08:06 AM
Thanks a lot for your time and answer/suggestions Albert!

The thing that bugs me the most with all this is that I wouldn't have this issue if I went the illegal way of piracy. Shouldn't it be the other way around? :(


Doesn't look like I will earn my salary for this case, but I'm pretty stumped by this one and maybe just don't know enough about upgrades which I don't get involved with as much.

1. As far as I can tell, there are many people able to upgrade their hard drive to SSDs successfully (with some difficulty sometimes?) although not sure if they have better luck with ASUS Backtracker or other cloning software.
You might want to do a quick check with your SSD manufacturer too and see if they have any ideas about the problem or suggestions to image your SSD.


1. Yes, I've read about many people that have sucessfully upgraded their HDD to SSD and got it activated. And I hardly think an 250GB Samsung 840 EVO is an uncommon choice.



2. If the original hard drive with Windows 8.1 is activated (double-check if necessary to confirm this?), expect you should be able to use this image on another hard drive/SSD of the same system which most people probably agree with. Not sure if there is any point in comparing with other imaging software or even a different hard drive/SSD, but it's an idea.
This is another bad idea, but would be curious if you try to use that backtracker image on your original hard drive just to see if it will activate since I'm almost starting to think it may not and something the repair department may need to check more if it does not.


2. Double-checked, it is indeed activated. I've so far tried creating a system restore with Asus Backtracker, cloning the original HDD with Mycelium and clean installs with different versions of Windows 8.1 ISOs.

I'm also curious if the restore would work on the original HDD, but I don't want to try it. Besides, isn't the backtracker image supposed to be a copy of the restore partition? And isn't the Windows "Recovery" using that partition(Settings->Update and Recovery -> Recovery)? I have used that functions many times and Windows still activates.




3. Check the Windows activation error code with your SSD to try to get more information about it.


3. There is no code I think, it just says "The key is not working".



4. This is probably something you want to avoid, but curious what is involved (there might be some charge?) or if it's possible to get your local ASUS repair to install the ASUS factory image to your SSD drive to check this.


4. That would be great if they could do that, but that is a last resort option.


5. As suggested by toronto699 in post #19 above, if you upgrade your original activated Win8.1 hard drive to Win10 (you can 'go back' to your current Win8.1 image within 30 days as long as you don't remove this option earlier), you should be able to create the Win10 ISO to do a clean install on your SSD and hopefully activate?


5. This is something I should try! I have already been to Windows 10 and back again on the HDD, but it never occured to me to create a Win 10 image. Do you know if you get a key prompt when doing a clean install with the Win 10 image, or if it somehow try to use my key in UEFI?



6. Prefer to stick to the ASUS image rather than clean installs, but know there are always some ROG members as Darnassus mentioned in post #13 above trying clean installs (of Win8.1) if you want to look into this more, but haven't looked into it much on my end.


6. As mentioned above, I already tried this with different versions of Windows 8.1. A clean installation of a Core 8.1 windows is installed just fine, it even finds the UEFI key automatically and everything seems to work perfectly. Except for Activation when installation is complete, that is.


7. Don't think I will be able to check this on my end, but you may want to check with your local support to find out if the motherboard has ever been replaced and maybe find out if there is any way to double-check your product key as well although it's safer for you if other people don't know what it is.


7. You have a point there, I know this laptop has been repaired because of faulty fans, but perhaps there were bigger problems than just the fans?



7a. You may want to double-check your product key a few more times if you haven't already since I'm always confusing the 'G' with '6' and 'B' with '8', etc., but you should only need to worry about manually entering the product key if your motherboard was replaced and the bios doesn't have your correct key which may not even be the case.


7a. It has been double-checked and acatually confirmed with Asus and Microsoft personell over the phone, so it is correct.


7b.
You may want to disconnect from the internet, but there should be a way to activate by phone instead of through the internet (click on 'show me other ways to activate' to find the phone number for your region?) if you want to try this.


7B. Already tried this. MS support just says it is an actual key, but it just can't be activated. And they can't see what restrictions the license has regarding harware changes, so they asked me to contact ASUS.

cl-Albert
10-01-2015, 11:01 PM
2. Double-checked, it is indeed activated. I've so far tried creating a system restore with Asus Backtracker, cloning the original HDD with Mycelium and clean installs with different versions of Windows 8.1 ISOs.

I'm also curious if the restore would work on the original HDD, but I don't want to try it. Besides, isn't the backtracker image supposed to be a copy of the restore partition? And isn't the Windows "Recovery" using that partition(Settings->Update and Recovery -> Recovery)? I have used that functions many times and Windows still activates.

Yes, don't blame you for not wanting to erase your original hard drive, but really restoring the backtracker image on your SSD should be pretty much the same thing if you didn't see any problems during the imaging process.



5. This is something I should try! I have already been to Windows 10 and back again on the HDD, but it never occured to me to create a Win 10 image. Do you know if you get a key prompt when doing a clean install with the Win 10 image, or if it somehow try to use my key in UEFI?

Honestly, haven't tried this myself or heard from others to know if it will work, but heard you are supposed to have an option to skip the product key if you upgraded from (activated) Win8.1 first if you want to look into it more.




7. You have a point there, I know this laptop has been repaired because of faulty fans, but perhaps there were bigger problems than just the fans?


Yes, if repair replaced your motherboard and forgot to inject the Win8.1 product key, maybe it has something to do with the problems you are seeing, but don't think this explains how your current Win8.1 installation is activated and why you cannot use this product key if you are able to find it.

Unfortunately, the problem is not very obvious to me and will probably require more investigation.