Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Windows 8 key and SSD replacement

  1. #1

    Posts : 1
    Windows 8

    Windows 8 key and SSD replacement

    Hello Everyone,
    I am sure these question will sound very noobie to most of you, I apologize in advance
    A few months ago I bought a used laptop from Ebay. The seller also gave me a "windows 8 reinstallation DVD".
    Recently the SSD drive failed, so I had to replace it with a new one.
    After installing in the new drive windows 8 with that DVD, it tells me that the licence is already in use by another computer.
    I am quite confused on how the key licensing works on windows 8: I run a product key finder on the new installation and I noticed that the BIOS and windows 8 have the same key; so the questions are:
    - why windows 8 did not see the windows key matching the bios one as a proof that I am reinstalling it on the same computer? Did the bios one got overwritten during the new installation?
    - I can still access most of the files and run programs via DOS prompt in the failed ssd drive. Is there anything I can do with that drive that would help me reactivate windows in the new one, like recovering a product key?


      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 50
    Windows 7 64bit

    Its very possible that sometime before you got your PC the key was pulled from the BIOS and used on other computers. Its something I see happen alot on ebay, windows 7 also has this issue as if the key is activated too many times microsoft flags it. Did you look back at that sellers feedback and see if anyone is complaining of similar issues?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

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

    What did you use to retrieve the key? Is there a Windows 8 sticker/COA on the laptop? Where you prompted to enter a key when you reinstalled Windows?

    Product Key - Find for Windows 8 < I would recommend option 5 to verify that there is an embedded key and what it is. A lot of those key finding utilities pull the key from the registry. The key in the registry doesn't always match the OEM embedded key, if there is one.

    You can get install media here that will use the OEM key automatically, Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help. You just have to know what version to download. If that PC didn't ship with Windows 8 from the factory it will not have an embedded OEM Windows 8 key. If it came with say Windows 7, and somebody upgraded it to Windows 8, illegally. That would explain your issue.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

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

    If there is an OEM embedded Windows 8 key, replacing the hard drive does not change that key. I've done it on my laptop, I replaced the original hard drive with a SSD. The key is embedded in the BIOS chip on the motherboard. Flashing the BIOS won't erase it or change it either. The Windows 8 OEM keys are unique to that PC. Each one has a different key. In the past say with Windows 7, each OEM would have a master key and Windows activated against a SLIC table in the BIOS. Windows 8 and 8.1 activate online, even with OEM keys. My laptop came with 8.0 Core. If I install Pro from the download I linked too it will ignore the Core key and prompt me to enter one. I can then enter one of my TechNet Pro keys and install Pro. If I run a keyfinder that pulls the key from the Windows Registry it will list the Pro key, not the OEM Core key. The showkey.vbs script will show my OEM key. Same thing will happen if you use add features to upgrade to Pro or add Media Center, the key in the registry won't be the OEM key. It will be the currently in use key, the one Windows is trying to activate with.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    When I upgraded from from "old" magnectic hhd to ssd I just backed up activation and restored on the new ssd drive.
    But that was with retail key, dunno if that will work with OEMM key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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