Monday, July 12, 2010 3:01 PM
Can someone point me in the right direction in who to contact for resetting the activation on my Expression Studio 4 ultimate from MSDN. My computer died and I went to install Expression Studio 4 on my new machine and it says all activations have been used.
So I have been on the phone with tech support for two hours and they don't know who to contact to have my activation reset.
Please help, I have a project that I need to get done soon.
- Moved by Jay_WangMicrosoft Employee Tuesday, July 13, 2010 2:06 AM Expression Studio Issue (From:Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF))
Monday, July 12, 2010 3:30 PMWhen you say tech support, do you mean some local dealer? Or do you mean MSDN tech support? MSDN tech support should be able to reset it for you. If not use the trial (won't expire for 60 days or maybe that's 90 days not sure). And meanwhile get this activation resolved.
Monday, July 12, 2010 3:35 PM
Tech Support for MSDN, and they don't seem to know very much about resetting the activation concerning Expression Studio 4 Ultimate. Last responce I received was could take 3-5 business days to resolve. A few years back this was a single phone call and the key was reset. Now customer service seems to be more of a problem when it comes to resetting MSDN keys.
Monday, July 12, 2010 3:41 PMYeah, that's where the trial will help. I checked now and it works for 60 days. And is fully functional.
Friday, November 12, 2010 1:29 PMI have this exact same problem and spent 1.5 hours on the phone with various Microsoft folks--from MSDN to BizSpark to tech support--and no one could help me. Most of them had never heard of Expression Blend and made me spell B-L-E-N-D over and over. "Is that a game?" No, not a game. Your post was from July 13th. have you made any progress since then? I'd very much appreciate any tips you have from your experience.
Saturday, November 13, 2010 1:03 AMWell there in may lie your answer bizspark is not completely geared for Microsoft Web Products the folks you want to talk to are at Webspark http://www.microsoft.com/web/websitespark/Support.aspx give them folks a holler they probably can do more for you or even the people at the microsoft store who are incharge of downloadable software. Be cautioned tho you'll need a road map, GPS, and several himilyan guides to speak to the people at microsoft store.
Thursday, November 25, 2010 11:07 PM
A previous thread promised some kind of resolution to deactivation and activation resets but now appears to be locked and forgotten:
I've migrated all my projects back to Win Forms and will stay there until these MSDN issues are resolved!
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 3:26 PMI have to say that the lack of a solution to this problem coupled with the ridiculous price for Expression Blend as well as the questionable future for this product has led me to the decision to look for another platform.
Thursday, December 02, 2010 4:23 AM
Same problem here. Expression Studio 4 installed > 60 days ago on laptop as backup ... but not activated:
"You have 0 days to activate your Expression product. You must activate your product now."
OK, so I entered the license key, and receive this error message:
"The key you entered is not valid. Please enter a valid license key."
Who came up with the idea of a license key that expires? Paid for product, and can't use it--with nowhere to turn for help or support.
I would tend to agree with jrboddie above: this does tend to drive you to competitive products.
Thursday, December 02, 2010 2:36 PMLike jrboddie, I feel that this Expression Blend problem is so serious as to cause me to question Microsoft's technologies going forward. It seems just crazy compared to the very excellent Visual Studio products they've always made. Certainly, I have never been as frustrated at Microsoft as I have over Expression Blend activation and all support groups with whom I spoke (probably 8 or 10 different groups). Microsoft's reputation as being one of the most developer-friendly companies is called into question with Expression Blend activation.
Saturday, December 11, 2010 8:06 PM
As with several other people in this thread, the lack of a way to deactivate Expression Web is enough to cause me to ditch the product altogether, and go with a competitor. (I'll be happy to provide my registration details to a Microsoft employee outside of this thread, as proof that I'm a paying customer whom you've now lost, permanently.)
If only two machines can ever be licensed and there's then no way to continue to use your software with future machines, it should be made clear on the product packaging and Microsoft's website that you are not in fact purchasing a product, but instead merely renting it for as long as your computer continues to work.
- Proposed As Answer by Blair Allen Stark Sunday, June 24, 2012 5:24 AM
Thursday, December 16, 2010 5:26 AM
This issue is very frustrating, but what's worse is how this problem is being treated. How can Microsoft expect developers to take them seriously and adopt their technologies while ignoring them (the developers who use their tools) at the same time.
How long can we expect this issue to be brushed under the carpet?
Wednesday, January 12, 2011 4:48 PMI am experiencing this same issue and I was seeing if any Microsoft employees had an update on a process to deactivate a key. We bought new machines at my office but can't use Blend on any of them because the keys are still active on the old machines. Please help, this is one of our main production tools.
Thursday, January 13, 2011 6:26 AMI think Microsoft and Adobe are biting themselves on the b*** with their activation now. Both companies software are the most hacked and pirated in the world and they're trying to stop this with their latest activation processes. This seems to be causing us the end user the problems not the hackers. They're still hacking both companies software left and right 24 hours a day so their activation process is in all actuality a failure.
One thing Adobe does is let you deactivate and reactivate their software and this should be considered a failure on MS part not to have this process in place for us the end user.
I've moved Dreamweaver CS4 to different machines 2 times and had no problems because I could deactivate the program and reactivate it on other machines.
Actually we're not purchasing the product, only the license to use it on two machines are my thoughts.
just my 2 cents worth
Wednesday, February 02, 2011 8:31 PM
Someone up the thread pointed to another thread that suggested installing IE8 at the Safe Mode command prompt. The explanation was that when the Microsoft XP Professional CD is used to Repair the broken XP system, although it "fixes" the XP system, it installs IE6 in place of IE8. The problem is that IE6 is no longer allowed to connect to Microsoft for product activation.
I followed the directions on the other thread by downloading the IE8 exe installation file to my USB flash drive, using another working computer. I booted to Safe Mode, command prompt, and changed from C: to D: (luckily, the USB thumb drive was recognized as D:) I ran the installer from the USB thumb drive and IE8 was easily installed. After rebooting the system I was able to logon and activate Windows XP Professional. Yeah! Problem solved!
I hope someone else finds this solution as helpful as I did.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011 11:05 PM
We are sorry that you are facing this issue. We are investigating. As part of our investigation, would you be willing to run a small program to output the state of your machine's license store? This tool neither collects nor displays any personally identifiable information. Please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org with the best way to contact you.
Sunday, March 06, 2011 4:02 PMI am having a similar problem and have sent an email to the above address. Thank you.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011 7:56 PM
Responding via email.
Microsoft Expression Blend
[This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.]
Thursday, March 10, 2011 1:11 PMModeratorIf you have a legitimate reason for exceeding the number of allowed activations (such as buying a new computer, a new hard drive, etc.), you can contact us and we can assist you. If you are a retail customer (purchased the product from a retail store, Microsoft Store, etc.), you can find a number to call by going to support.microsoft.com. If you are an MSDN subscriber and obtained the product via your subscription, you can contact MSDN subscriber services. If you obtained the product through volume licensing or other means, you'll need to contact that source for assistance.
Jim Cheshire -- Microsoft
- Proposed As Answer by cacccia Saturday, February 04, 2012 4:59 PM
Friday, March 18, 2011 4:28 PM
I'm experiencing a similar problem. I have a new machine and need to move Blend from an older machine. I went to "support.microsoft.com" but cannot find a phone number anywhere. How exactly do I find help for this problem? Instead of providing a URL for the phone number how about providing the phone number? All I can find is tech support that states it will cost $259 to ask a question and a useless automated help.
Please help, I'm losing time and money trying to get this working.
Friday, March 18, 2011 10:06 PM
Finally managed to find a phone number and got bounced around until I spoke to someone in India. They gave me an email address, email@example.com to write to for assistance. Thank you very much but the emails I send bounce back. Wonderful customer service.
Exactly how do you get help for Microsoft products? I'm amazed at how difficult this has been and completely unprofessional.
Anyone know how to get help? Anyone? Helloooo?
Sunday, March 20, 2011 1:48 PMModerator
You need to go to support.microsoft.com and click the link at the bottom that allows you to speak to a support professional. It will tell you that charges MAY apply for your issue. Charges don't apply for product key issues, and the person who answers the phone (a customer service representative) should be able to assist you with this.
Jim Cheshire -- Microsoft
Monday, April 04, 2011 6:57 PM
Thanks for the response, but your suggested path doesn't work when it thinks the product key is invalid. Follow me here:
- At bottom of page, click link: 'Contact a support Professional'
- Scroll to Developer Tools, click 'Expression Studio.'
- Select a support topic drop-down menu ... select 'Other.' Continue.
- Now, three Support Options:
- Let Microsoft Locate the product identification number (THIS OPTION DOESN'T WORK; there is no product key to find, because that's the problem I'm having.)
- Type in product identification number. (THIS OPTION DOESN'T WORK; it doesn't accept the product key that I have. This is the problem I'm having.)
- Only option: "on't use a product identification number (charges may apply)" Continue.
6. Now there are three support options:
- 4-8 hour response time. $259.
- 1 business day response time: $99
- Response time varies: $259.
So, here I am: Following your suggestion above, there is no way to contact Microsoft for assistance with a new product key without paying.
This is absurd.
I am a former MS Exec in Redmond.
Monday, April 04, 2011 7:45 PMModerator
As I indicated in my message, the page says that charges MAY apply, but charges do not apply for issues regarding activation and product keys. You do have to provide a credit card number to open a case, but charges will not be applied to that card.
Jim Cheshire -- Microsoft
Monday, April 25, 2011 11:25 PM
This is tangentially related. My problem:
--Moved from a desktop machine to a laptop.
--Went to activate Expression Web 4 using my EW 3 license (EW 4 is a free upgrade to EW 3 users).
--Dreaded invalid key error.
--After burning over an hour searching for a solution, gave up and opened a support ticket. Supplying my credit card for a $95 charge made me very unhappy.
--Found this thread afterward.
--My support rep solved my problem quickly. I improved her solution to this: 1) Install EW 3 using EW 3 key. 2) Open EW 4, enter EW 3 key, and activate. Yes, EW 3 must be installed (but no need to open and activate) -- the key alone is not enough.
Jim, the help documentation for activation problems on the EW 4 activation dialog box and online help is beyond horrible. And, while it's true that the word "may" is used in the preamble to submitting a support ticket, the credit card number submission page clearly says that my card will be charged -- and the implication is that it will happen immediately. [It has not yet been charged, and I e-mailed my support rep a link to your post. Waiting for her response.]
If you don't think it's a waste of my time and yours, I'd be happy to burn 15 minutes making some documentation suggestions. [But, please -- if there is zero chance of them seeing the light of the day, let's not!]
Thanks to all who posted above!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011 8:03 PMModerator
Hi, Kewlgeek. We've documented the known activation issues in the forum and in our blogs. I'm certainly open to any recommendations you have regarding further documentation. Feel free to contact me directly at jamesche at Microsoft.
As for the process for opening a case, there really isn't a way to change what you see there. Expression Studio is considered a professional product, and there is no free support for professional products. We do always provide free support for any issue that is caused by a problem with Microsoft software, and this falls into that bucket.
Jim Cheshire -- Microsoft
Tuesday, April 26, 2011 8:54 PM
Thanks for your reply. It seems to me that Microsoft is using blogs and forums to "patch" faulty support documentation? Shouldn't I be able to go to support.microsoft.com and find a place to address an EW licensing problem? Windows and Office license problems are covered thoroughly -- but nary a mention of other products. My only recourse was to burn an hour reading about Windows and Office licensing, and then properly phrase (lucky I picked the right keywords) a, um, let's pretend it was Bing, search to find this thread. That's an ugly path to a simple answer, isn't it?
As for the case opening process, what do you mean there is no way change what I see there? You did a very good job of writing a first draft of the revised wording: "We do always provide free support for any issue that is caused by a problem with Microsoft software."
But, I gather I'm fighting City Hall here.
Make no mistake: I'm grateful for your help on this issue. If the rest of the support system has to stay the way it is, at least people like you make it all work out in the end.
- Proposed As Answer by vijaykamat Thursday, April 12, 2012 8:20 AM
Saturday, April 30, 2011 7:20 PM
Kewlgeek: Because I there was an offer to upgrade to Studio 4 for those folks who had licensed Studio 3, I originally used Studio 3 Product Key to activate. However, the system still won't accept on my new laptop.
I will next try Jim's suggestion for the support option route above, paying $x to my credit card, in hopes that the charge will be reversed.
Sunday, May 01, 2011 2:21 AM
When you say "new laptop", you mean a laptop w/ an installed copy of EW3? If not, installing it as I described above will fix 'ya.
I had no trouble getting the charge reversed -- my support technician's mgr actually called me to tell me that there was no charge.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011 12:36 PMModerator
Charges won't have to be reversed. We never apply the charge to the card on these issues.
Jim Cheshire -- Microsoft
Wednesday, May 04, 2011 1:02 PMYes, that's true. Despite the dual facts that the credit card confirmation screen says that my card will be charged immediately and the supervisor I spoke with said the charge would be reversed, my card was never charged.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011 1:24 PM
I had the same issue and found this worked for me...
Open Expression Encoder, went to Help->Enter Product Key, entered my product key again and hit continue.
This sorted out the licensing problem with Expression Blend\Design and Web, I’m not getting prompted anymore.
Andrew C Pierrepoint
Saturday, February 04, 2012 5:07 PM
You're a very funny guy Jim !
As you suggested, I got no where and spent another 2 hours going no where. I give up.
I have come to realize that MS places you into a loop hoping that you'll give up by forcing you to navigate endless help screens.
If MS products are cutting technology, why is upgrading to new computer and re-installing your original purchased software so difficult to re-install on a new machine ?
A quality product should give you quality service. I want to talk to a person......I have a problem !
Saturday, February 04, 2012 5:35 PMModerator
I don't really understand the confusion here. You can certainly talk to a person for this, but you need to contact us using the method I've clearly described. This forum isn't Microsoft technical support. This is a user forum. If you want tech support from us on this, you need to open a case.
If you follow the steps I've provided here, it will get you right to someone who can open a case for you. It should take you no more than 5 minutes. We can then fix this for you.
Jim Cheshire -- Microsoft
Friday, April 27, 2012 2:12 PM
I am the Director of a county library in Missour. We use the donation options from TechSoup for most of our Microsoft needs. We do change out our computers on the occasions when we get grant money. We recently installed Windows 7 (and Expression Studio 4 Ultimate on two web design and tech machines), but shorly after that purchase we were able to buy all new (refurbished, new to us), faster and more reliable machines. We had enough activations on our key (MAK) to install but how to we get credit for the old PCs? Our tech staff removed Win7 from the old machines, formatted the HDs and they were sold publicly. Similarly, one of the tech PCs with Expression Studio crashed and our key only allowed for 2 activations. The tech tried to do an install but it was rejected. How can we get credit for that activation? It seem that this is an on going problem and no one seems to know the exact process to follow to get new keys issued.
Thank you for any information you can provide.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012 5:10 PM
I bought Expression Studio 4 Ultimate here at Amazon Germany one year ago for 600 Euro.
This year i replaced both my Laptop and Desktop with brand new hardware. I installed Expression Studio 4 on the Desktop but didn't use it until now.
I did that now but when I enter the product key it says invalid product key, when I want to activate it says product already activated. A symptom already described here.
I already called customer support germany and tried to contact technet to get professional support as described in
but they either don't understand my problem or sent me around in circles. I have given up. The last support person i chatted with even directed me to this forum and said to me this is the only place where i can get help (really?).
I had a look on the official MS license terms of Expression Studio 4 and there it says:
License Model. The software is licensed on a per user basis.
Nowwhere it says that i have to buy a new copy of a software i already bought to be able to use it on a new computer.
Does this mean i have to ditch an investment of 600 EU now? I certainly will not buy that software again.
- Edited by gunters Tuesday, November 06, 2012 5:14 PM