Windows 10 Message invalid Windows 10 product key


Honorable Member
Apr 9, 2016
I need to change a corrupted setting in personalisation, but get the message that I need to activate Windows first. My computer started as Windows 7 and was upgraded to Windows 10 using the upgrade option available at the time. I have a Windows 7 product key and a product key for Windows 10 which I obtained using Belarc Advisor software key list for my computer, but receive the message that both are invalid and that I need to buy a new copy of Windows 10. Obviously I do not want to buy Windows 10 – what is the solution?

If hardware was changed it could invalid the license depending on what type of license it is or if someone changed the edition of Windows.

If it was a significant hardware change you'll need purchase a retail windows license. If the edition was changed you can use the correct edition/version key to change the edition back and then try and activate

Thank you. The desktop is 12 years old; the only upgrading has been to replace the hard drive with an SSD, double the RAM to 8GB and fit a quad processor in the motherboard in place of the existing twin – and that was several years ago. The name in the path after “users” remains as it was, and was the name that appeared on the screen during the boot up process. Neither the original Windows 7 product key or the “new” windows 10 key are recognised, preventing me changing back the ridiculous name that appears during the boot process

so this 12 year old system allowed Windows 11 upgrade?

i ask because that would should have linked to your Microsoft account where these two older keys are stored... or perhaps you are using local accounts instead?


ref = Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22557

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No - it was Windows 7 and now Windows 10, with all the feature updates. It has been "refreshed" several times, keeping files and programs.

If it is a Home edition you will likely need to do the phone activation since they have a limited number of rearms

It is the Home edition. How do I do a phone reactivation. I looked on line and found the following:

Free upgrade to Windows 10​

If you upgraded to Windows 10 for free from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you should have a digital license instead of a product key.

Where do I find the digital licence?

Press [win key + r]
Type slui 4
Follow the prompts

The digital entitlement is stored on Microsoft's activation servers and should activate automatically provided the systems signature has not changed (this signature is based on a calculated value based on the hardware)

Thank you all for your help - nothing works and I keep going round in circles. Something is corrupt but as the only effect of the non-activation is the corruption of my name on the boot screen I will just live with it. A new computer is not on at 95.