I had this happen this week myself, Microsoft has a problem with their licensing platform for weeks now already. Users who have previously utilized complimentary license upgrades are encountering difficulties after hardware modifications or BIOS updates. These challenges may manifest as part of the process involving the replacement of hardware components or the updating of system BIOS.
Following the cessation of complimentary Windows 10 and 11 upgrade licenses from previous versions, users are experiencing activation difficulties. The option to upgrade without cost from Windows 7 or 8 was terminated by Microsoft in late September, with the intention of phasing out older operating systems in favor of newer, more secure versions. It is important to note that the free upgrade path's discontinuation does not affect users moving from Windows 10 to Windows 11, assuming compatibility with the newer version's requirements.
Challenges have arisen particularly for individuals who had utilized a product key from Windows 7 or 8 to activate their Windows 10 or 11 systems. Such issues tend to surface after hardware modifications or during BIOS firmware updates, resulting in the deactivation of the system and the associated product key becoming void.
The issue has garnered attention through various user testimonies, several faced the necessity of acquiring a new Windows 11 product key subsequent to a motherboard replacement. Other user experiences indicate that BIOS updates may also trigger deactivation.
In response to these activation challenges, Microsoft is conducting an investigation. The company has suggested that customers encountering these problems should seek assistance from their customer support team. Microsoft has clarified that hardware alterations do not inherently contravene the licensing agreement of Windows software.
This technical overview addresses the activation problems users may face with Windows 10 and 11 post-upgrade from Windows 7 or 8, especially after hardware or firmware updates. Microsoft acknowledges the issue and advises affected users to contact their support services for resolution.