- Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms is a common error you receive when trying to install Windows. It fails to validate the installation sources and requires you to restart the installation.
- In this article, we're showing you 8 solutions to fix the Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms error. Most of them don't require expert computer skills, so don't feel intimated if you're inexperienced.
- If you lost your Windows 10 product key, there are easy ways to get it back.
- Visit our Windows 10 Errors hub for more quick fixes!
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 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, 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 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).
How to fix Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms
- Reset your BIOS
- Disconnect the installation media during the installation
- Use Rufus to create an installation media
- Try using a different flash drive
- Check your hardware
- Use Diskpart to clean your drive
- Change virtual machine settings
- Increase the amount of RAM and remove the floppy drive in the virtual machine
- Create your own ei.cfg file
Solution 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 to enter BIOS and restore 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.
Solution 2 – Disconnect the installation media during 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.
To do that, follow these steps:
- Follow the installation steps until you reach the Install Now screen.
- Disconnect your installation media and click the Install Now button.
- Now continue the installation as you would do normally.
- Once the setup is ready to start copying files, it will ask you to reconnect your installation media, so be sure to do so.
- After you connect the installation media, follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.
Several users claim that this solution might help with this problem, so be sure to try it out and check if it solves your problem.
Solution 3 – Use Rufus to create an installation media
Many users prefer using Media Creation Tool for creating installation media. Although it’s straightforward to use, sometimes problems can occur. Many users reported that Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms message occurred while using installation media created by Media Creation Tool.
To fix this problem, users are suggesting to use a different application to create the installation media. Many users are suggesting to download Rufus so be sure to try it. Bear in mind that this application is slightly more complex than Media Creation Tool, but you should be able to manage.
A key difference between the two is that Rufus won’t download the ISO file on its own, so you’ll need to download it first from Microsoft’s website or by using the Media Creation Tool. After you download the ISO file, add it to Rufus and create the installation media.
Many users reported that using the installation media created by Rufus fixed this problem for them, so we strongly encourage you to try this method out.
Solution 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.
Solution 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.
Solution 6 – Use Diskpart to clean your drive
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.
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.
To use the Diskpart tool, you just need to do the following:
- Boot your PC from the installation media.
- Once you get to the Install Now screen, click Repair your computer.
- Navigate to Advanced Options > Troubleshoot > Command Prompt.
- When Command Prompt starts, run the following commands:
- list volume
- 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. Be extra cautious and make sure that you select the correct drive. 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 #
- convert mbr
- partition primary
- format quick fs=ntfs
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.
Solution 7 – Change virtual machine settings
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 these steps:
- Download and install virtual machine software.
- Create a new virtual machine on your PC.
- Make sure that you select I will install operating system later option in the virtual machine wizard.
- Now select the version of Windows that you want to install and click Next.
- Now click the Customize Hardware button.
- 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.
Solution 8 – 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 to disable Dynamic RAM feature and instead set the fixed amount of RAM that the virtual machine will use, so be sure to try that as well. Some users are suggesting to increase 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.
Solution 9 – 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:
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.
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.
FAQ: Learn more about the Windows 10 license
- What is the error code for Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms?
The error code for Windows cannot find the Microsoft license software terms is 0xE0000100.
- How to check Windows 10 accept license terms without mouse?
Press Tab until the Accept box is highlighted, then press Spacebar to send the command and accept the Windows 10 license terms. If the Windows 10 Setup window isn’t in focus, use Alt+Tab.
- Do you need a license for Windows 10?
Yes, you need a license for Windows 10, although you can use it for free until you start receiving the activation message. If your Windows 10 activation key doesn’t work, there are ways to fix it quickly.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.