Hi All ; just got this warning message - never seen it before -
" Windows licence will expire soon. You need to activate windows
in PC settings " by May 4 it will want a long authentication code.
Lenovo T500 laptop purchased used ~ 14 months ago.
Running Win 8.1 Pro ; sticker says Win Vista Business.
No problems or issues of any kind - until now :-(
Any advice on this or a work-around ?
Thanks in advance.
On 4/4/2016 10:27 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Are you sure it was a *valid* license when you purchased it?
Esp given that the CoA doesn't agree with the reported OS version...
Were you given the original (re-)install media for the machine
at the time of purchase?
On Monday, April 4, 2016 at 1:40:55 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:
Sounds like that is likely what the problem is. When Windows is installed
it needs to be activated, otherwise it will only work for a certain
amount of time. If he has the activation code, then activate it.
If not, then I guess it's time to contact the seller, if they can be
I don't know how many days one has to activate Windows, but since it's
been 14 months it would have been activated a long time ago.
If hardware was changed it may ask for re-activation...so if it needs to
be re-activated...then do so.
The Vista Business sticker looks like the original -
the Win 8 was installed by a previous owner -
no disks came with the computer - it was a private sale.
... if I had the stuff you ask about - I doubt that I would
be asking, here, for a work-around - right ?
but thanks for the reply - any help is appreciated.
On 4/4/2016 10:54 AM, email@example.com wrote:
You only have documented proof that you are entitled to a Vista
Business license. For all you know, the 8.1 upgrade may have been
[Would you buy a car without a copy of the title?]
Most folks that have asked me for help with their computers
HAVE the original install disks -- or, a way of having their
computer *make* them. Yet, they still "ask (here)".
I suspect you have a hacked license and the chickens have
now come home to roost. Fourteen months is a LOT longer
than the time it takes for Windows to pester you about
"activation" -- IIRC, 30 or 90 days (and, in recent
releases, it may just nag you -- and refuse to allow
any updates -- instead of "refusing to boot")
On Mon, 04 Apr 2016 13:27:38 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
soon. You need to activate windows in PC setting".
Windows licences do not "expire" They are "perpetual" after
activation. If they were never activated you will get a message
Press the Windows key and the pause/break key to bring up the System
Screen. The look at the status under Windows Activation down at the
bottom. It should say "Windows is activated". If its not, there should
be an activate windows option there. If you see that option click it
and see what happens.
My suspicion is something got screwed up when you updated from 8.0 to
Install Belarc Advisor and it will give you the installation key used
to install windows and then you can do the phone activation, giving
Microsoft the code.
version of windows. The key reported by Belarc WILL be the key of the
currently installed product.
I've been forced to do this several times for customers who have lost
their licence certificate, or on laptops where the label has been
worn so badly it cannot be read.
| Hi All ; just got this warning message - never seen it before -
| " Windows licence will expire soon. You need to activate windows
| in PC settings " by May 4 it will want a long authentication code.
| Lenovo T500 laptop purchased used ~ 14 months ago.
| Running Win 8.1 Pro ; sticker says Win Vista Business.
| No problems or issues of any kind - until now :-(
| Any advice on this or a work-around ?
It's hard to know for sure from the wording, but
it could be a scam. OEM computers (made by name
brand companies) shouldn't ever need activation,
and Windows license don't expire. If you don't figure
it out you could try two things:
1) Do a search for the exact wording to see if
it's a known scam.
2) While the message is onscreen, press
Ctl + Alt + Delete and select Task Manager.
Under applications or processes see what's
running. If anything looks unusual you can
track down that EXE file name and see what
it is. Sysinternals.com has a better tool,
called Process Explorer. In that you can hover
the mouse over a running program listing and
see the EXE path. Then find that file, right-
click, click Properties, click Version to find
out about it. You can also do a search for
the EXE name.
| Lots of OEM installations require authentication (if they use an
| install disk instead of an image)
They don't use a disk. It's pre-installed
and locked to the BIOS. It's rare to even get
a restore disk anymore. Most just have a
hidden partition for restore. The OEM license
specifies being limited to a single machine.
Not providing a disk helps enforce that.
| and the installed Win* may well be
| an upfrade purchaced retail, or a total new installation purchased
That's possible. He says it has a Vista sticker
but that it's running Win8. He may just be
misquoting the message it's giving him. I could
imagine someone shoehorning any old Win8
onto the laptop with no possibility of ever
activating, only as a means to get it sold. Most
people would consider Win8 better than Vista
because it's newer.
I'm in the business. There are 2 ways "oem" licences are provided.
There are the smaller OEMs that use an OEM install disk that is
identical to a retail package except for the key, and then there is
the "pre-install" The "pre-install" comes 2 different ways. Some come
with an installtion key and requires authentication. Others, like the
new ACERS do not have a separate installation key and do not
(generally) require authentication.(all VM4630G systems, for instance,
use the same installation key). I have had some that required
re-authentication after adding or changing things like different hard
drive, add-on video, and a RAID controller. I think it is 3 "major"
changes trips the authentication - and "usually" the online
authentication doesn't work - but phone-in does. When they ask how
many systems this copy of the program is installed on you have to say
"one" and it says "confirmed" and authenticates.
With both of the latter, there is a hidden partition that contains an
"image" that it installs from. It has all the drivers for the
equipment that comes on the computer, and virtually no extras - and is
usually also full of "bloatware". Both are also capable of creating a
"restore disk" - and "restore disks" are available for purchace from
the company. Virtually NONE are locked to the bios in that they will
not run on another motherboard of the same model - and very few won't
install on a different motherboard with the same chip-set. (I've had
to replace a few motherboards on off-warranty systems and have used
boards from other manufacturers - as long as they have the same
On the newest computers that don't use a "bios" and don't use an "MBR"
things are more complex. I have not had to replace any motherboards -
but cloning a hard-drive to put in a larger drive can be a real
challenge. Rolling out software on one system and then cloning the
drive to the other 49 sytems on a 50 system install doesn't work like
it did on the systems with a bios and MBR.
The first type uses an "installation disk" - not a "restore disk" -
and it will work on virtually any hardware - but it requires the
proper installation key.
On 4/4/2016 4:55 PM, email@example.com wrote:
This depends on the OEM and the type of licensing in place.
It has also changed, over time. E.g., for XP, the BIOS simply
needed to include a (appropriately tagged) name of the PC vendor.
So, a "Dell" installation CD can typically install that version of
Windows on any PC's of "the appropriate age/generation". The machine
will not prompt for a license key during the installation. And, will
not whine about trying to phone home (for automatic activation).
Using Dell media on a non-Dell machine will behave in much the same
way as RETAIL media -- you will be prompted for a key, it will be
"activated" when you go on-line, etc.
The annoying aspect is that the mechanisms are not backward compatible.
E.g., I had a genuine Dell machine on which I installed 7even to see
what it was like (i.e., do I want to go to the trouble of trying to install
all of my software on a newer OS? what will that buy me in terms of
performance? etc.). As the machine couldn't talk to the outside world,
Windows eventually complained that the copy wasn't "genuine".
AFAIK, it may be possible to patch a (FLASH) BIOS to insert/replace the
appropriate key and tag. But, as I have no desire to undertake the
effort (gamble!) of installing all of my tools on a newer OS, I've not
explored that option.
On 4/5/2016 5:02 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I'm aware of that. My point is that it couldn't "silently" do that
and, as a result, displays the "not genuine" message. As *I* wasn't
interested in running it on that machine, *I* didn't take the effort
to even try to activate it.
On Monday, April 4, 2016 at 1:26:27 PM UTC-4, email@example.com wrote:
Thanks all for helping. I did find a fix/work-around
using a google search for "windows license will expire soon"
lots of hits for Win 8.1 and a fairly easy fix - if it works ..
fingers crossed ..
btw the Belarc Win 8.1 key didn't work ; and the Vista key didn't work - tried them both twice prior to trying the fix.
.. they were rejected as not valid ..
Fix is : cmd prompt <admin> slmgr -rearm
then re-start computer.
The file that generates the message is LicensingUI.exe.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.