WIndows 11 ARM won't accept product key

asked 2021-11-03T16:50:20.387+00:00
Jean Neron 1 Reputation point

I'm trying to activate Win 11, ARM version and as soon as I type the first character of the product key (a zero), it gives me the error "Some of these characters can't appear in a product key". I'm using my Win 10 Pro product key.

FWIW I'm running Parallels on an M1 Mac.

Should this work?



Windows 11
Windows 11
A Microsoft operating system designed for productivity, creativity, and ease of use.
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  1. answered 2021-11-03T17:53:13.223+00:00
    Michael Taylor 37,456 Reputation points

    Sure the 0 isn't an O, Q or perhaps U? However even then I don't know that I've ever heard of a product key starting with either of these.

    Another thing to consider is that a while back Windows 10 moved to a digital license such that it is tied to your MS account and not a product key. Not sure if that applies here.

    Yet another thing to consider is that if you got your Win 10 license as part of a pre-purchased device then you got an OEM license. OEM licenses (recently) don't allow you to use the license on another machine at all. This prevents you from transferring the license from an older machine that you bought to a newer machine that you might have built. It is unfortunately but MS has to make money somewhere I guess.

    Still, given your error it seems like you're entering the wrong letter.

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  2. answered 2021-11-03T18:12:37.143+00:00
    Jean Neron 1 Reputation point

    It's definitely a zero, but I tried an O just in case and I got the same message. Can't enter a 1 either, same message.

  3. answered 2021-11-04T17:29:11.267+00:00
    Jean Neron 1 Reputation point

    Yes, that's my exact scenario.

    Hard to say how this will all pan out. MS says they don't support WoA on Apple silicon, but Parallels does support it. So at the moment, any problems running WoA on M1 are Parallels to solve, which apparently they have already had to do after a recent new update to WoA. As far as I can tell, the current version of Parallels runs the current version of WoA with no problems.

    The inability to purchase a WoA license could be a problem for me if MS ends the Insider program. From what I've been able to find out, Windows will still run without activation with just a few limitations. If WoA is the same, then I can live with it, but I would probably buy a license if MS would sell it to me.

    VMware is also working on updating their Fusion product to run WoA, so that might put additional pressure on MS to allow retail licenses for WoA.

    For now, I'll just ignore the activation messages...:-)

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  4. answered 2021-11-05T17:12:47.123+00:00
    Jean Neron 1 Reputation point

    Also found this in the Parallels forum:

    You can install the Microsoft Store, and then the 'Store' button in Settings ->Activation will work and you can purchase a license.

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