FIX: Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms

Try disconnecting the installation media during the installation process

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about technology ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. He's a PC enthusiast and he... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms is a common error you receive when trying to install Windows.
  • This error means that the system fails to validate the installation sources and requires you to restart the installation.
  • The Windows cannot find license terms error can be solved by resetting your BIOS.
  • A different solution for this problem is to use a third-party tool to create a bootable media.
how to fix Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms

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Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms error can sometimes appear while trying to install Windows.

This error message prevents you from setting up Windows 10 on your PC, but there’s a workaround.

Various problems can stop you from installing Windows on your PC. Here are some examples reported by users:

  • Windows cannot find the Microsoft software license terms clean install, Hyper-V, VMware, Parallels, USB boot, VirtualBox – This issue usually occurs when trying to install Windows on a virtual machine. To fix it, change the configuration settings of the virtual machine (see how).
  • Windows cannot find the Microsoft license terms to make sure the installation sources are valid – Sometimes this error can occur when there’s a problem with the installation media. To fix it, create a new installation media (see how).
In this article

How do I fix the Microsoft license software terms issue?

1. Reset your BIOS

A common cause for Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms can be your BIOS. Sometimes certain BIOS settings can interfere with your system and prevent Windows from installing.

To fix the issue, users are suggesting entering BIOS and restoring the default settings.

This is fairly simple to do, but if you don’t know how to do it properly, we advise you to check your motherboard manual for detailed instructions. After restoring the default settings, try to install Windows again.

2. Disconnect the installation media during the installation

  1. Follow the installation steps until you reach the Install Now screen.
  2. Disconnect your installation media and click the Install Now button.
  3. Continue the installation as you would do normally.
  4. Once the setup is ready to start copying files, it will ask you to reconnect your installation media, so be sure to do so.
  5. After you connect the installation media, follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.

This solution might sound a bit counter-intuitive, but some users claim that you can fix the Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms message simply by removing your installation media.

3. Use a third-party tool to create an installation media

Many users prefer using the Media Creation Tool for creating installation media.

The Media Creation Tool lets you download a Windows 10 installation file to a flash drive for use in reinstalling Windows 10.

This backup option is essential in the event that something goes wrong with your computer. Furthermore, having a physical copy of the operating system is helpful.

After you download the ISO file, add it to the dedicated software and create the installation media.

4. Try using a different flash drive

If you keep getting Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms message, perhaps there’s an issue with your flash drive.

Your flash drive can sometimes be a problem, and in order to fix this issue, you might want to try replacing it.

If you have an extra USB flash drive, use it to create an installation media and boot Windows from USB. This isn’t the most reliable solution, but it might work for you, so feel free to try it.

5. Check your hardware

According to users, sometimes Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms message can appear due to hardware issues on your PC.

Several users reported that their hard drive was the issue, but after replacing it, they were able to install Windows 10 without issues.

Another cause can be your CPU, and few users reported that the problem was resolved after replacing their CPU, so you might want to check your processor as well.

Finding out which hardware component is the problem can be a bit complicated, but you can resort to hardware diagnostic tools for Windows.

If your PC is under warranty or you don’t know how to do fix hardware errors properly, perhaps you should contact a professional.

6. Use Diskpart to clean your drive

  1. Boot your PC using the installation media.
  2. Once you get to the Install Now screen, click Repair your computer.
  3. Navigate to Advanced Options, select Troubleshoot and then Command Prompt.
  4. When Command Prompt starts, run the following commands:
    • DISKPART
    • list volume
  5. You’ll now see a list of all drives on your PC. Now you need to locate the correct drive. This step is crucial and if you select the wrong hard drive you’ll erase all files from it. Simply replace the # symbol with the number of your hard drive. Once again, double-check everything and make sure that you’re selecting the correct drive in order to avoid permanent file loss. After you find your drive, run the following commands:
    • select disk #
      clean
      convert mbr
      partition primary
      active
      format quick fs=ntfs
      exit
      exit

If you’re encountering Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms message, perhaps the problem is related to your hard drive.

Sometimes there might be certain issues with your hard drive, and in order to fix them, it’s advised that you clean your hard drive with the Diskpart tool from Windows 10.

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Be sure to use a dedicated tool, such as Fortect, which will scan and replace your broken files with their fresh versions from its repository.

Note: By using this solution you’ll remove all files from your hard drive, so be sure to back up important files.

Alternatively, you can use this solution on a new hard drive that doesn’t have any files without any worries. After doing that, close Command Prompt and restart your PC. Now try to install Windows again.

Once again, be extra cautious while using Diskpart, and keep in mind that this method will remove all files from the selected hard drive, so be sure to back up important files beforehand.

7. Change the virtual machine settings

  1. Download and install virtual machine software.
  2. Create a new virtual machine on your PC.
  3. Make sure that you select I will install operating system later option in the virtual machine wizard.
  4. Now select the version of Windows that you want to install and click Next.
  5. Now click the Customize Hardware button.
  6. Select the DVD drive and in the Connection section select Use ISO image file. Now select the Windows ISO file.

After doing that, you can start your virtual machine and the Windows installation should work without any problems.

If you’re getting Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms message while installing Windows on a virtual machine, then your settings might be an issue.

To fix the problem, you just need to create a new virtual machine and make a few changes. To do that, follow the steps above.

If you need reliable virtual machine software we recommend getting the one below. It’s the most popular among coders and it’s great for running under Windows 10.

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8. Enable Secure Boot in Hyper-V

  1. Open Hyper-V‘s Settings.
  2. Click on Security under the Hardware settings from the left pane and click on Enable Secure Boot from the right (make sure that the virtual machine is not running because otherwise, the option will be greyed out, like in our example).

Some users claim that this error is caused by the fac that the Secure Boot option is disabled in Hyper-V. Therefore, you can enable it by using the simple steps above to fix the problem.

9. Increase the amount of RAM and remove the floppy drive in the virtual machine

Sometimes Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms error can occur on a virtual machine due to your settings.

To fix the problem, many users are suggesting that you remove the floppy drive from your virtual machine, so be sure to open the hardware settings and remove it.

In addition, some users are suggesting disabling Dynamic RAM feature and instead setting the fixed amount of RAM that the virtual machine will use, so be sure to try that as well.

Some users are suggesting increasing the amount of RAM that the virtual machine is using, so feel free to try that as well.

If all those solutions fail, use RAM optimizers for Windows to speed up your PC.

10. Create your own ei.cfg file

If you’re unable to install Windows due to this error message, perhaps the problem is your ei.cfg file. To fix the problem, create a new ei.cfg file with the following values:

  • [Channel]
  • OEM

Now open the installation media and navigate to the sources folder. Paste the ei.cfg file to it. If asked to replace a ei.cfg file, be sure to choose Yes.

Alternatively, you can open ei.cfg file on the installation media and make sure that it has the same values as above.

Once you overwrite or modify the ei.cfg file, try to install Windows again and the error message shouldn’t appear anymore.

One of our readers managed to fix this problem by disabling the floppy drive in the virtual machine so make sure you try that too.

Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms message can be quite problematic, but we hope that you managed to fix the problem using one of our solutions.

If you have other solutions, we haven’t already covered, don’t hesitate to leave us your suggestions in the comment section below.

Still experiencing issues?

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If the above suggestions have not solved your problem, your computer may experience more severe Windows troubles. We suggest choosing an all-in-one solution like Fortect to fix problems efficiently. After installation, just click the View&Fix button and then press Start Repair.