Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Does Windows 8 Pro RTM automatically activate?

  1. #1

    Does Windows 8 Pro RTM automatically activate?


    So, I went into MSDN today and downloaded the Windows 8 Pro product (as well as Enterprise). For the Pro product, I get 5 retail keys with my MSDN subscription.

    I know that during the installation of Windows 8, you "have" to input a key to complete the install. But I have read that it will also automatically "activate" when it boots up and connects to the Internet for the first time.

    Why isn't there a few days at least between install and having to activate so that I can play, poke and test before I commit one of my retail keys to this PC?

    Am I missing something?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Covington, La
    Posts : 1,130
    Windows 7 HP 64bit, Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64BIT


    I got Windows 8 Pro from TechNet and it activated itself. MS has tightened up on their "free" stuff. I assume each key can be used 10 times like Windows 7.

    Jim
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    I found this page from MSDN which explains

    Retail key: This key allows multiple activations and is used for retail builds of the product. In many cases, 10 activations are allowed per key, though often more are allowed on the same machine.
    So, for example, tonight I installed (or tried to install) a 64bit version of Windows 8. Apparently it's not compatible with my hardware as the screen was garbled during the install and unusable after boot. This could have easily burned an activation before I figured out that I needed to try a 32bit version which installed just fine. Which could have burned another activation.

    I liked the way 7 worked in this respect, because you had 30 days essentially to ensure you were committed and willing to burn the activation. Oh well, I guess with 10 activations or more on the same machine, I will never see an issue.

    Its very common for me at work to get a question about something and want to test. So, I usually spin up a Windows Edition Enterprise and simply don't activate it. I load up whatever they needed tested, and often times within 45 minutes to 2 hours I'm done with the VM. I usually just delete the VM and at a later time when testing is required again, I just reinstall the OS. (This only takes about 10 minutes).

    On the page reference above, Microsoft even says:
    When activation is required, many products - including Windows and Office - allow you to install and use the product without activation for 30 days or more. If you re-image your computers frequently (i.e. once every 30 days), consider NOT activating the product. Product keys supplied as part of your MSDN subscription do not allow unlimited activations of a product.
    It seems on the Windows 8 Pro front, this suggestion doesn't apply anymore from MS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. #4


    Redmond
    Posts : 629
    Windows 8.1 x64


    Windows 8 will only activate automatically if you're on a corporate network and have a KMS server, or if a valid KMS or MAK key is installed as part of the unattended process with a custom image, or if you have an OEM install from a vendor on an OEM machine (at this point, such a thing does not exist, so that leaves 1 or 2). Otherwise, just like Windows 7, it installs with a "default" product key, and will start nagging for activation within 2 hours of installation.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Cluberti,

    I was talking about the Pro version, not the Enterprise version. Pro does not install with a default key, you have to put in your key during the install.

    It does automatically activate if you are online. You don't get a 30 day window like you used to get.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 167
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
    I was talking about the Pro version, not the Enterprise version. Pro does not install with a default key, you have to put in your key during the install.
    That's because the ISO includes two versions: "Windows 8 Core" and "Windows 8 Pro". So the install process needs a key to know what version to install.

    When you integrate a "ei.cfg" file into the ISO folder "/sources" (hint: install from USB stick) then you see the key input screen - but can skipped. Windows installs then with a default key.

    ei.cfg for "Windows 8 Pro":
    Code:
    [EditionID]
    Professional
    
    [Channel]
    Retail
    
    [VL]
    0
    ei.cfg for "Windows 8 Core":
    Code:
    [EditionID]
    Core
    
    [Channel]
    Retail
    
    [VL]
    0
    I can post the two default keys for "Core" and "Pro" - then the "ei.cfg" files are not necessary. They were included in an earlier version in the "product.ini" file. But I don't know if that's allowed in this forum.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 8
    Windows 8


    I got mine from DreamSpark's MSDN, and it asked me to put in my key when I started the setup.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Does Windows 8 Pro RTM automatically activate?

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