Last reply by 05-05-2020 Solved
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2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Windows 10 Activation Latitude 5490

Hi Everyone,

As per the the subject line I am having trouble activating Windows 10 on my Latitude 5490. The machine came with Windows 10 Pro preinstalled. I recently performed a reinstall using the Dell OS Recovery tool due to some performance issues. Windows is indicating that it cannot find a product key (error 0xC004C003).

The only reason I can think of is that the motherboard was replaced while the machine was under warranty? Maybe the bios of replacement motherboard I received didn't include a windows key?

I'm worried as my warranty has expired but feel I don't know I resolve this without doing so?

Edit - I tried the "I have recently changed my hardware route" and it still doesn't work.......I haven't changed my hardware other then using an SSD but this happened before the reinstall of windows and did not lead to any activation issues. 

Replies (10)
7 Thorium

The Product Key is embedded on the UEFI BIOS of the motherboard. When the motherboard is replaced, usually a replacement motherboard is used that doesn't have an embedded product key. The repair centre are meant to give you a card with a 25 digit product key as a just in case. Right now it is a bit too late to ask for support as the system is out of warranty and the cost for support might be equivalent to a retail license in any case.

Activating Windows After The Motherboard Has Been Replaced

In such a case the Microsoft Product Activation server seems to recognise that the rest of the system is the same and automatically reactivates the system as normal (likely akin to the activation mechanism used when it comes to the Windows 7 to Windows 10 Free Upgrade). At least that's what happened in the case of my XPS 13 9365.

Run the Activation Troubleshooter, then when you get "Troubleshooting has Completed. We weren't able to activate Windows on this device". Click Contact Support to get Help. It will begin automated. Go through and answer some of the questions. I think I selected:

  • Activate Windows 10
  • Activation after Reinstalling Windows 10.
  • No
  • This PC
  • No

Then at this stage you can sign in with a Microsoft Account with the Activation Troubleshooter and talk to a Microsoft Support Agent. You should be able to explain to the agent that it is a system that had a repair in the past and won't reactivate. It may be useful to have the systems service tag to hand (they are Microsoft not Dell so it may not be the most useful thing for them) and/or a receipt available (just in case they ask for it).


Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads

#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
Community Accepted Solution

This makes no sense.

The product key is reportedly embedded on the a chip on the motherboard since the days of Windows 8.


I have installed Windows 10 on several laptops purchased on eBay which had wiped hard drives but that originally came with Windows 8 and Windows 10. Not a single problem.

The activation will happen when you go online. Easiest to do via Ethernet.


9 Rhodium



Latitude 5490 default OS is WIN10 home.

Pro is only available for those models that have pro windows genuine label and bios key.  There is no card.

Windows now comes with a Genuine Microsoft Label there are NO MORE Certificate of Authenticity (COA) Labels.  Key is in bios.


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The system was repaired by Dell on site and I was not provided with a card. 

If the system was repaired by Dell, under warranty -- and you received the system back directly, you should have a card with a Windows 10 license key on it.

If the system was repaired by Dell, under warranty - and your reseller received the system, then they have the card.


So Dell isn't responsible for issues arising as a result of the repair work they have undertaken? That doesn't make sense to me.

The reseller is your point of contact. If it was brand-new in box, they should be able to explain what happened.  You purchased the system from them - not Dell.


1. They didn't supply a card

2. I bought it through a reseller brand new. Dell IS responsible as Ford would be if they undertook the repair themselves under warranty!


When Dell replaces a board under warranty, it supplies a license key for Windows with the repaired system.  It comes on a "do not lose" card.

If you purchased the system third-party, no way to know, any more than Ford is responsible for the keys to a salvage/repaired Fusion you buy from a private seller.


2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Its definitely missing from the bios as there is no record in the MSDM table in ACPI table.

My supplier is assisting me now but i'm very disappointed Dell doesn't have a way for people to rectify this as I have paid Dell for Windows so even with it being out of warranty I still think they should support users with this issue.

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