Can’t Activate Windows 8

If you’re like me, you couldn’t wait to download Windows 8 RTM from MSDN subscriptions today.

And judging by how swamped MSDN was today, a lot of you are like me.

But it’s possible that later that day after you’ve finally downloaded and installed the beautiful thing, you might have one problem:


Windows 8 was telling me it wasn’t activated and was giving an annoying message in the corner of my Hulu watching to let me know. When I’d try to activate, it said it couldn’t activate at this time.

I had my product key from MSDN:

But when I was trying to activate, it kept showing me the last several characters of a completely different key, and I couldn’t figure out how to change it to the one I wanted.

Here’s where I finally found how to do it:

1) Navigate to C:\Windows\system32
2) Find cmd.exe, right click it and Run as Administrator (the following command won’t work if you’re not running in this mode)
3) Type “slmgr.vbs -ipk <insert your new product key here>” in the command and execute

Activation should be a breeze after that.