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Cannot Activate - Dell/McAfee Preinstall

My new Dell laptop is supposed to come with six months' McAfee. I have two weeks to activate the subscription or I lose the six months' protection. When I try to activate, McAfee just says it is trying to connect to but never connects. It's not a problem with my internet connectivity. Having spoken to three different McAfee representatives and tried a load of different fixes which haven't worked, they have come to the conclusion that they can't do anything without the CD product key. Obviously though, it was mass installed by Dell and I don't have a CD or product key.

Does anyone know what I can do about this?

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Re: Cannot Activate - Dell/McAfee Preinstall

Hi KalandraJane,

1.    Please  open Internet Explorer and click Tools -> Internet options.

2.    Please  click on Connections tab.

3.    Click LAN Settings… and a window named LAN Settings will open.

4.    Please  uncheck all options and click on Ok.

5.    Please  close Internet Explorer window.

Let me know what happens.


Re: Cannot Activate - Dell/McAfee Preinstall

Hi Conor,

Thanks for trying - it didn't work though. I'm using mobile broadband, could it be something to do with that?

The McAfee representatives went through loads of things with me, including editing scripts, allowing a technician to remotely control my desktop, changing security settings etc. but nothing has worked 

Apparently the only thing which will work is a product code which I can't obtain. So annoying!

Re: Cannot Activate - Dell/McAfee Preinstall

Just a couple of thoughts.

1.  Is your system clock accurate for both time and time zone?

2. Did you download from the Dell/McAfee page or from the McAfee direct page?  The Dell page (correct one) is here:

If from the wrong page try uninstalling, running the cleanup tool signing out and back in again on that page and see if you can activate after downloading again.

Re: Cannot Activate - Dell/McAfee Preinstall

Yes, the clock and time zone were set when I first used the computer on Sunday and went through all the ususal first use settings.

I didn't download it. It came pre-installed by Dell on the computer, not on a disc or from the internet, and without a product key. Therefore I don't have a McAfee account with the product listed.

I followed your link and created an account, then attempted to activate the pre-loaded product again. I entered my account details and now instead of the 'please wait while we connect to' message I just get a waiting for... screen for McAfee account home, which never loads. 

Re: Cannot Activate - Dell/McAfee Preinstall

Dell Support have a key perhaps?

Re: Cannot Activate - Dell/McAfee Preinstall

Another thought, what happens when you right-click the taskbar icon and select Verify Subscription?

Re: Cannot Activate - Dell/McAfee Preinstall

McAfee told me they needed a key from the CD used to install it - but Dell don't use CDs to install it, from what I can gather it appears it's a mass install code which they don't give out. I spoke to their customer service bods but they were totally useless. You would have thought McAfee would have a record of Dell's code, but that's probably beyond what the customer service reps can access.

It seems hopeless, and I don't know whether it's an issue with McAfee, Dell or my system - doubtful as it's a brand new system with only the pre-installed programs and an internet program installed, there's not much that could have gone wrong.

Re: Cannot Activate - Dell/McAfee Preinstall

It says it can't verify my subscription until I have activated the product - it's the product activation that I'm having problems with.

Re: Cannot Activate - Dell/McAfee Preinstall

I guess you feel like you going around in circles and getting nowhere fast.  Sorry about that.  I'll flag this to see if a McAfee person can assist.

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