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To help prevent software piracy, Microsoft requires that Windows 8 is activated before it can be used. All i-google-map.com and Compaq computers and tablets that come with Windows 8 installed activates automatically once connected to the Internet, to make it easier for you to set up your computer. However, if you decide to install a different version of Windows 8 (such as an upgrade to the Enterprise version) or a store-bought copy of Windows 8, you need to activate Windows as part of the installation process. There also might be situations when Windows prompts you to activate the product, even though the product has already been activated.

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If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, some graphics and information in this document may vary. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.
Windows Product Activation (WPA) sends an installation ID number to Microsoft before Windows is verified, and then activated. WPA involves two numbers. One is an installation ID (generated by entering a Windows 8 product key) that the computer owner submits to Microsoft, either over the Internet or by phone. The second is a confirmation ID, assigned by Microsoft, which is used to activate the operating system’s software. This method is used when upgrading or installing Windows 8 from disc (not i-google-map.com System Recovery).
OEM Activation 3.0 (OA3) takes place at the factory. A digital product key (DPK) is installed on the motherboard BIOS during the manufacturing process. Windows 8 will activate automatically the first time the computer is connected to the Internet. With OA3-activated systems, most of the computer"s hardware can be replaced without the need to reactivate the software through Microsoft.
If your computer came with Windows 8 pre-installed, Windows might require activation through Microsoft due to:
Replacement of the motherboard with one that does not contain the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) version of the BIOS.
Windows Product Activation (WPA): Requires a person to unlock the computer before Windows can be used.
OEM Activation 3.0 (OA3): No personal intervention is required normally to activate Windows, but the computer must be connected to the Internet for Windows to activate automatically.
End-User License Agreement (EULA): The agreement that the Windows user must accept to use the Windows product.
Certificate of Authenticity (COA): A proof of ownership identification method to help prove that a Windows product is not counterfeit or copied. The COA might be in the form of a label that contains a bar code and product key.

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Genuine Microsoft Label (GML): A label included on computers that came with Windows 8 pre-installed. The GML indicates which version of Windows 8 was installed originally on the computer.
Installation Identification Number: A number generated based on the product key entered during Windows setup.
The quickest and easiest way to activate your copy of Windows 8 is to activate it over the Internet. If you do not have an Internet connection, or if it is inconvenient to make a network connection, see the Other ways to activate Windows 8 section of this document.
Press the Windows
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+ I keys to open the Settings charm.
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If you used discs to install Windows 8, you might find the product key on the disc packaging. If you bought Windows 8 over the Internet, the product number might be included in an email you received after the purchase and download of Windows 8.
If you have the Windows8 disc packaging, apply the Windows 8 Certificate of Authenticity label to your computer for easy reference in the future.
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You can add features to Windows 8, or get a different version of Windows 8. From the Start screen, type add features to open the Search charm, and then select Add features to Windows 8.1 from the search results. When the Add features to Windows 8.1 screen opens, follow the onscreen instructions.