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Windows Activation error occurs following a system board replacement - ThinkCentre, ThinkStation, ThinkPad, Idea Tablet, IdeaPad and IdeaCentre


Following a system board replacement repair, one of the following Windows Activation Error’s may occur as shown below:

PC settings - Activate Windows: 

“There’s a problem with Activation. Please contact the manufacture of your PC or buy a new key.”

Windows Activation – Windows isn’t activated:

“The preinstalled version of Windows can’t be activated.  Contact your PC manufacture for assistance, or buy a new key.” 

Affected configurations

The above symptom is associated with, but not limited to, the following systems:

  • ThinkCentre
  • ThinkStation
  • ThinkPad
  • Idea Tablet
  • IdeaPad
  • IdeaCentre
Applies to:
  • Microsoft Windows 8
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1

For Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, run Windows Update

To run Windows Update, follow these steps:

  • Begin by simultaneously pressing the Windows Key and x key.  Select Control Panel from the menu.
  • Next, Select System and Security
    • NOTE: If you have changed the view to Large or Small icons, then go to the bottom and select Windows Updates.
    • Then, Select Check for Updates
    • Then select, and install updates that are listed as: important updates are available


Windows Updates Notes:

  1. It is recommended to run Windows Updates multiple times. After each Windows Update is completed, reboot the system.
  2. It is recommended to allow Windows Update to automatically select the important updates, and not manually put a check mark in any important updates not already selected by Windows Update itself.  
  3. Windows can automatically check for important updates, and install them. To automatically check for important updates, within Windows Update, select Change Settings, then select Install updates automatically (recommended), and select ok. 


If you are unable to run Windows Update, the following patches can be manually downloaded at:

NOTE: 32-bit/64-bit OS information is identified in System properties. (From Windows Start, select: Control Panel > System and Security > System).

Additional Information

For more information on Windows Update, the following additional information is available:

Windows Update: Frequently Asked Questions 

Windows 8.1 Support Center

  • Alias ID: SF14-D0055
  • Document ID: HT082409
  • Last Updated :30 Jul 2014
  • (c) 2014 Lenovo