Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Published on September 28, 2019 By Frogboy In Personal Computing

What an adventure...

So I built "Frog-2019" and this time I bought a Fractal Design case that has a USB-C port on the front!  Great.  Well, my first motherboard, an ASROCK X299 Tachi said it had a USB-C front panel on it but when I got it, the actual header on the motherboard was missing.

Ok.  That gets swapped out with an ASUS and now Windows 10 wants activation.  And this was a ridiculous situation.

It said I needed to reactivate.


Ah but there's a link that I changed my hardware.


No go.

I now spend the next HOUR on the phone with Microsoft that involves, I kid you not: Giving them control over my PC so that they can do the following:

  1. Verify I purchased this new motherboard (going to Amazon and seeing it).
  2. Verifying that this is the motherboard in question through looking at msinfo32.
  3. Generating a new key.

Now, mind you, this guy on the phone was pretty technical and professional which means he's probably not cheap to employ.  Similarly, suffice to say, my time isn't cheap either.  Yet this was all wasted over something that everyone else (including Office365) has figured out how to do with regards to licensing.

So now I'm all set.

But wait, not quite.  My front panel USB-C is working on the new motherboard...but the USB 3.1 Gen 1 (i.e USB 3.0) is not working. Why? So I take a look at where the 20 pin connector goes and realize it can't quite get in all the way because the header next to it is too close.  I order a 20 pin extender.  Not because I need an extender but because it's connector is skinnier and hook that up.

Now I'm all set.  I load up my tools, start to debug.

Blue screen.

But I'm getting closer than ever!

on Sep 28, 2019

I have to salute your patience and persistence. There's a lot of extra unnecessary aggravation in there. 

on Sep 28, 2019

Funny, but not.  I build a lot of PCs, so, I feel ya.

on Sep 28, 2019

All that effort to activate an OS for which you likely paid exactly what it was worth....aka...nothing.

They give it away...then get anal about whether it's still legit or not...

on Sep 29, 2019

I built a long time ago and then stopped.  As was said, if your time is that expensive, don't do it.   It's not that you can't.  It's that the economics just don't make sense.

on Sep 29, 2019

Frogboy's previous critter would have been the one at the same time as mine then [and still using].  Both were pretty similar in spec....though Windows 7 [for me] didn't even know what some of the hardware actually DDR4 and M.2 drives.

It was future-proof.....that is...HAD to it cost me 10K....and it's still humming along like new [though the humming is can't hear it].

I really enjoy building them....this was the third generation....the first would have been at least 15 years ago...

I may yet do a new one...but I really think it'll have to fit into this one's simply cost too much to make semi-redundant...

on Sep 29, 2019

Since 2004, I have built probably 30 or more PCs. I love building them. Problem is I am having issues selling them, and as such, can't afford to build until I unload a few.

on Oct 10, 2019

one thing i'm curious about.. when you say reactivating win 10, do you mean you're using ms account as login and basically using the old win10 from your previous machine... or do you mean the asrock mb is brand new and you've activated a new win10 on it, but then had to swap out the mb?