Scratched Off Part of Windows Server 2019 Essentials OEM Product Key; Need Help! RRS feed

  • Question

  • I purchased an OEM copy of Windows Server 2019 Essentials 64-Bit for use on a home server that I'm building for my dad.

    I guess that, as of late, the product keys included in newer OEM copies of Windows and Windows Server products are coming with a scratch-off film/cover over the product key.

    Well, in scratching off this film/cover to reveal the full product key, I seem to have scratched off quite a few characters from the product key, thereby making it unreadable, and my OEM license unusuable.

    I am told that the first course of action to resolving an issue such as this one is to contact the vendor that sold me the product key (in my case, Newegg) and to see if anything could be done.  I did a web-chat with a level 1 customer support representative that told me that since I scratched off the cover improperly, there was nothing she could do for me.  (I am going to try them by phone during normal business hours tomorrow to see if I can get anywhere else, but I'm not exactly hopeful that I'll be able to do anything here).

    Past that, I need to contact someone at Microsoft to assist as I basically spent $370 on an OEM license of Windows Server 2019 Essentials 64-Bit that I cannot even use because someone in the OEM department thought it would be a good idea to put a measure that makes it easy to accidentally ruin the product key.

    What additional recourse do I have here?  Should I call the product activation line, give them my now-incomplete product key and sob story and hope they have the missing digits?  Or is there a place where I can mail in the OEM copy that I have in exchange for another one?  What are my options?  The last thing I want to do is have to spend another $370 to buy another copy of this software and hope that this new scratch-off strip doesn't screw me over again.

    Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:24 PM

All replies

  • OEMs are bound under contract to provide the support for microsoft products they sell. That being said it may be that the OEM has no knowledge of the actual product key for products so you may well be out of luck. Either case no one in forums can help with activation issues, only microsoft can do that so you can try contacting the activation center.


    (please don't forget to mark helpful replies as answer)



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:29 PM
  • How did you purchase the software? 

    Do you have the proof of purchase? Did you use a credit card that potentially might provide some type of consumer protection functionality?


    Thursday, January 23, 2020 11:13 PM
  • Hi,

    We could do little for your activation issue as it is not a technical support on system to troubleshoot. We would recommend to contact with Activation center to check if it is available to activate with incomplete product key. 


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact

    Friday, January 24, 2020 7:14 AM
  • Hi,

    If any reply is helpful, please remember to mark it as answer.


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact

    Monday, February 10, 2020 4:13 PM