Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Use a Windows 8 OEM key, for a retail copy of Windows 8.

  1. #1

    Use a Windows 8 OEM key, for a retail copy of Windows 8.

    Hello everyone. I have a bit of a dilemma. I have extracted my OEM key for Windows 8 from the BIOS with a tool called RWutility. However, when I use
    HTML Code:
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    it says that this product key cannot be used with a retail copy of windows. Currently this PC is running windows 7, (Which I downgraded to because I didn't like Windows 8 on a non-touch computer.) however I would like to upgrade back to Windows 8. Is it possible that there is a tool for OEM copies, or do I need to download an iso from some archive, and use that product key. It is Windows 8 not 8.1 and it is the standard edition not pro. Any suggestions?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,476
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit

    That download you linked to will only except Retail keys. Retail install media will activate with the embedded OEM keys you just can't download from that link with an OEM key. A lot of people with factory OEM installs have got caught by that restriction. You'll have to find another source for your install media. Did you make a set of recovery disks or make a recovery drive before installing Windows 7?. My TechNet Windows 8 ISO will read the embedded key in my laptops BIOS and install the matching version automatically without prompting me to enter a key. In my case its 8 Core. My Windows 8.1 ISO won't use the embedded code and prompt for an 8.1 code to install. It will not except my 8.0 OEM code either.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

    What model/make computer? You may have a recovery partition that has 8 OEM on it unless you re-partitioned the drive. But then you've removed the recovery software that was part of your 8 OEM installation. There is a way to get it to work but it gets complicated. There is a thread here someplace where a member successfully did it. Will try to find it.

    If you still have the recovery partition you can try tapping F11 at boot and see if the recovery screen come up.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1

    Have you made the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disks?

    information   Information

    We always assume you have made your Recovery Disks using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Media Creator app the first day you had your new PC.
    & made the Startup Repair CD. (Windows 8 only)
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8
    System Repair Disc - Create in Windows 8 (Windows 8 only)

    I would recommend you making the OEM manufacturer's Recovery DVD's or USB drive.
    You can order the Microsoft official OEM Recovery disks from the OEM manufacturer's website.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Posts : 879
    Windows 10

    You'll want to download the Windows 8.1 ISO image, because then you don't need to run the Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 update from Windows Store.

    How to clean install Windows 8.1 if you have OEM computer with UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8 product key?
    Last edited by genet; 11 Apr 2014 at 07:46.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Thanks for the quick replies. I do not have the OEM Recovery Partition, as I re-partitioned the drive when I installed Windows 7. It is a Dell Inspiron 15 3521, with Intel Celeron. Is there a place where I can get some vanilla Windows 8.1 install media? BESIDES Pirate Bay or some torrent site? Or will I need to download something with a torrent? (Which would be last resort for me)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1

    Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create

    You can not use the key extracted from the UEFI/BIOS firmware or a OEM key to download the Windows 8.1 ISO, you can only use the key to ACTIVATE.

    The generic keys can only be used to install Windows 8.1 & not ACTIVATE or to download the Windows 8.1 ISO .

    How to order Microsoft official Dell OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disks.
    Cost about $5.

    Dell Windows 8 Recovery.
    Windows 8 - Recovery Media in 99 Seconds - YouTube
    Recovering Windows using the Dell Direct USB Key - YouTube
    Dell Direct USB Key Solution - YouTube
    Dell Recovery Mode - Making Recovery CD - YouTube
    Factory image restore method for Windows 8 (DBRM) | Dell US
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    Thanks again. I found out that there might be a way of using a "Dummy Key" as a placeholder in the upgrade utility, then using an elevated command prompt to activate Windows once installed. Would this work?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1

    You can only legally download a ISO with a RETAIL KEY.
    Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10

    Thanks again. Well it looks like I'm gonna be stuck on Windows 7 with this PC since I do not have a retail key. Not that that's bad, Windows 7 is an excellent OS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Use a Windows 8 OEM key, for a retail copy of Windows 8.

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