Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

How do I find my Windows CD Key and install on new HD

  1. #1

    Posts : 2
    Windows 8.1

    How do I find my Windows CD Key and install on new HD

    Hi there,

    This is a question in related to a work machine. It's a rather dodgy Advent PC. We were never supplied with a windows disk and I've got a new SSD in there that I want to get Windows on. We have other Windows disk about so I can install fine, but I need to find the CD key.

    I have used some software which claims my key is X and I've then tried to boot from CD and install using the key the software gave me but it got rejected. Which I assume must mean it's not found the correct key? The software I tried is called Belarc Advisor.

    Help appreciated.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 21,858
    64-bit Windows 10

    Hello Gerico, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    If the PC came with Windows 8 preinstalled, then the product key will be embedded in the UEFI firmware chip on the motherboard. When you install the same edition of Windows on the PC, it should auto detect the key from UEFI and activate with it.

    If you have not already, you can use OPTION ONE in the tutorial below to download an official 8.1 ISO file that you can create a USB with to install Windows 8.1 on the PC that will be able to activate with the embedded key.

    Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create

    Option Six in the tutorial below can show you what your product key is from the UEFI firmware.

    Product Key - Find for Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 2
    Windows 8.1

    Hi Brink,

    Thanks for the welcome and for answering my question.

    The product key I originally found does seem to be the right thing, as all the programs I've tried show me the same and its definitely right. I did look at the link for creating the ISO but the Microsoft site doesn't work when you try download it.

    I found this link: Clean Install - Windows 8 which by the looks of things suggests that if the windows copy is OEM, and I want a clean install, then I need to install on the new drive - enter the suggested generic key, and then once installed, I should be able to enter this existing key?

    I'm just worried that it might get rejected again - then I'd be stuck. Is the key being rejected because the disk I'm using to try install windows on the new drive might be a different version of 8 than this disk?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 21,858
    64-bit Windows 10

    If you are able to download and use the ISO from OPTION ONE, you won't need to enter a generic key first. It'll be activated by the key in your UEFI firmware chip.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Posts : 123

    On a home built computer with UEFI, will the Windows install key "embed" itself into the UEFI (firmware chip) so I don't need to keep track of the key number when/if I do a clean re-install with the same version?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by gerico View Post
    I did look at the link for creating the ISO but the Microsoft site doesn't work when you try download it.
    The site was down for a while, maybe updating the images to include latest updates. Working now as I'm now in the process of downloading.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

How do I find my Windows CD Key and install on new HD

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