Not sure yet what was replaced/repaired on my daughters laptop--we are waiting to hear back from the repair service the warranty company used. Booting up her repaired laptop we are being asked for the Windows Key. Windows came pre-loaded. No disc, No sticker. Supposedly key is in bios. How do we locate it or what do we enter? I had included the Dell recovery discs I made just before I sent it for repair (as requested), so I assumed everything would be reloaded and ready to go when we received it back.
I tried contacting Dell through their facebook page and was told because it is out of warranty that I will need to purchase a new OS disc. What?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
If the mainboard was replaced, the replacement will not have the embedded Windows 8 key - Dell ships a product key with its replacement mainboards. If the system was repaired by another company, you'll need to find out from them what they did.
The Dell OEM recovery media on the original mainboard would not have required activation - either the board was replaced or the repairer used a non-OEM recovery medium.
Unless you can find out what they did, you will need to purchase the recovery media from Dell. If Windows 8 wouldn't activate, neither will the free (for two more days) windows 10 media.
Sounds like the repair company replaced your mainboard with a new mainboard without a Windows 8 key... What model of Dell was this?
You will need to find out what they did - if the Dell copy of Windows did not activate, chances are the mainboard was replaced. If so, you'll need to get a Windows 8 license key from the servicer who repaired the system. Even getting recovery media from Dell won't help if the board was replaced -- the replacement board won't have the embedded product key.
You should try clean installation with a Windows 10 TH2 .iso, if that asks for a Product Key quit installation and try again with a Windows 10 TH2 Single Language .iso:
These .isos work with Windows 8.x keys and also Windows 8.1 with Bing keys (which you may have). DO THIS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AS THE FREE UPGRADE EXPIRES IN A DAY.
If both .isos ask for a key let us know.
I don't have experience in troubleshooting. Does it matter if the main board & HD may have been replaced?
The laptop is currently awaiting input of the windows key. What do I do? Do I download this Windows 10 TH2.iso to a disc and insert it???
It matters that the motherboard has been replaced... Hopefully the new motherboard has a Windows 8.x key embedded in its UEFI BIOS but given you couldn't install before it might be a different version of Windows 8.x.
Note also that Microsoft made crucial mistakes with early Windows 8 installation media and Windows 8.1 installation media. So Windows 8.1 installation media rejected Windows 8 product keys and vice versa... If your installation media is pretty ancient then it could also be the issue regarding not finding the key.
With Windows 10 TH2 Installation media you just need to check with two .isos. The first one is the "Windows 10 TH2 .iso" and the second one is the "Windows 10 TH2 Single Language .iso".
DVDs are obsolete and you should make a USB Flash Drive for UEFI BIOS... I give full instructions here:
I also give a set of video tutorials on creating the Windows 10 TH2 installation media and clean installing here:
Focus on video 2, 4 and 7.
Note the following....
Windows 10 Installation with correct Edition of Installation Media and correct Windows 8.x/10 UEFI BIOS SLP key:
Windows 10 Installation with incorrect Edition of Installation Media for Windows 8.x/10 UEFI BIOS SLP key or no key:
Sorry for the delay in replying. I was nervous about completing the instructions you sent, so I waited to hear back from the warranty company as to what repairs were made to the laptop...in the hopes that there might be an easier way to get Windows to load. Finally heard back, and I was told that only the hard drive was replaced. Not the mother board. I asked him about Windows, if my recovery discs were used. He couldn't tell me much, but he thought that a generic version of whatever operating system it came with originally would have been reloaded. I asked if it would work with my windows key. He said it should, but he doesn't work for the repair company, so I don't know how knowledgeable he is.
My understanding is that the Windows key should be injected on the motherboard. Can I access it?
Only the Dell reinstallation media will access the Windows key on the mainboard - you cannot use any other windows 8 installation media without supplying a product key.
That said, if you have a copy of Windows 10 TH2, it WILL pick up the key on the mainboard and allow you to install the WIndows 10 upgrade (until midnight tonight).