Windows Media Centre - Activation

  Podracer 20:40 25 Jan 2013

I have recently upgraded from Windows 7 to W8, and also installed Windows Media Centre (free till 31 January), using the product key that Microsoft e-mailed me. WMC seems to work fine at the moment.

However, those awfully nice chaps at Microsoft have e-mailed me to say:

**This is a reminder that you must activate your free Windows 8 Media Center Pack product key by January 31, 2013: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX Follow these steps to add Windows 8 Media Center Pack to your PC running Windows 8 Pro: 1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. (If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, and then click Search). 2. Enter add features in the search box, and then tap or click Settings. 3. Tap or click Add features to Windows 8. 4. Then tap or click I already have a product key. 5. Enter the product key, and then click Next. 6. Read the license terms, select the check box to accept the license terms, and then click Add features. Your PC will restart automatically and Windows Media Center will be available for use.**

I have tried to follow the instructions, but I don't seem to be getting past stage 2. Does this mean that my copy of WMC is already fully activated, and the e-mail is Microsoft just spamming me, or do I need to do something.

In short, how do I know if my copy of WMC is activated?

Thanks in advance.

  aquatarkus 21:00 25 Jan 2013

Did you activate when you installed the media centre pack, if so you are still activated. M/S are not spamming you they are simply making sure that you activate the media centre pack before 31st Jan, as the key code you have wont activate after that date. (it will reactivate after that date if you have activated already, in case of reinstallation etc.)

The reason for this is that media centre was given to you for free, after Jan 31st it will cost £10 or there abouts.

To check if you are activated simply use the charms bar (win key + c)click settings then PC Info it will show you if you are activated.

Regards Aquatarkus

  aquatarkus 09:33 26 Jan 2013

They simply want to make sure that you have activated the free key for media centre before 31st January.

Think there are quite a few people who got the free key for media centre but have not used it. I have a spare key that I haven't yet used, going to go on my daughters htpc this weekend. Can then install MediaBrowser.

Regards Aquatarkus

  Podracer 23:52 26 Jan 2013

Thank you for your comments - glad I am not the only one being bombarded by Microsoft; I am grateful for the information as to how to check activation, and I have discovered that I am. Happy now!

  aquatarkus 09:06 27 Jan 2013


Key code is different for every one.

They haven't opened your email box! they have simply sent you a reminder email to the email address that YOU registered with Microsoft to obtain the FREE media Centre key.

If you registered for 2 keys (only ONE key per email address)you used 2 different email addresses that's why you got 2 reminders.

All Microsoft sent you in your original email is an activation key to enable media centre. (add features to Windows) Microsoft didn't retrieve ANY information form your pc apart from a hash key about the hardware that the upgrade was being installed on. Exactly the same as when you 1st activated windows be it Vista, 7 or 8.

Regards Aquatarkus

  aquatarkus 15:12 27 Jan 2013

Then you obviously registered with 4 different email addresses, you therefore got 4 keys.

  rdave13 20:15 27 Jan 2013

Jock1e, a bit unlike you to be so, ummm, how can I put it.. slightly sarcastic? Be it ever so slightly. I can see what you thought, though.

Got the same email for my ex Vista older laptop. Uninstalled WMC, rebooted, tried the above email re-activation but no WMC listed. Re-enabled WMC and all is as it should be.

Unfortunately I never use it as it is crap in my humble opinion.

  rdave13 22:04 27 Jan 2013

Jock1e no need to delete as you've paid for it. You never know, one day, you might find an use for it.

One day.


  aquatarkus 19:33 28 Jan 2013

Jock1e and rdave13

Windows media centre on its own isn't much cop but if you add things like MediaBrowser Radiotime Kylo browser

to media centre it suddenly opens up a whole world of possibilities if you are using your PC as a HTPC (home theatre PC)and have it connected to your large screen TV.

Regards Aquatarkus

  rdave13 20:49 28 Jan 2013

aquatarkus , thanks for that. Don't use my PC as a home theatre PC. Have played around with WMC for quite a while - I still don't like it - but thanks all the same. Seems to be an upgrade to Zune (which is now defunct I believe) but Xbox Live is now the king.

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