• Question

  • I have a 2013 Dell Inspiron 660 that came with a OEM Windows 8 that was upgraded to windows 8.1 via windows update shortly after purchase, and later, again upgraded to Windows 10 via windows update. For reasons unknown, it developed a system boot issue this week that would not reset or restore so the wife brought it over to Best Buy/Geek Squad who extracted all save files and then reinstalled Windows 10. Problem is that Windows 10 will not activate/validate, reporting an error (Error code: 0xC004C003) that the product key is incorrect and is being blocked - offering the option to manually enter a different product key.  Microsoft Support says that I need to get the original Windows 8 product key from Dell or buy a retail license of Windows 10 for $199. Dell says they don't have or know the key because it is embedded in the motherboard at manufacture and they don't keep a record of it nor do they put a sticker on the machine anymore providing the key. Dell suggests I buy a $20 Windows 8 reinstall DVD, reinstall Windows 8, then use windows update to upgrade to windows 8.1, then hope I'm then offered a Windows 10 free upgrade again through windows update.

    Seems like there has to be a better way to get the original Windows 8.0 product key.

    Hard to tell whether Microsoft or Dell is giving me the biggest run around, but both want my money to try to fix the problem.

    Friday, November 6, 2015 4:53 AM


  • You need to repost your query in the Windows 10 Community forums here,


    complete with a Licensingdiag report...

    Please open an Elevated Command Prompt window (in Start, type 'Command' - a Command Prompt icon will appear, right-click on it, and select Run as Administrator)

    At the Prompt, type

    Licensingdiag.exe -report %userprofile%\desktop\report.txt -log %userprofile%\desktop\repfiles.cab

    (note the spaces!)

    two files will be put on your desktop -

    open the 'report.txt' file in Notepad, and copy/paste the results to your post - you can ignore the repfiles.cab file for the moment, as it's only backup data

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    • Proposed as answer by Mike Laughlin Wednesday, November 11, 2015 5:01 PM
    • Marked as answer by Just Karl Thursday, November 19, 2015 5:01 PM
    Tuesday, November 10, 2015 9:07 PM