Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to get upgrade licenses for non-tech family/friends?

  1. #1


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

    How to get upgrade licenses for non-tech family/friends?


    Hi,

    I upgraded to Win8 when it became available using the $39.99 upgrade option from MS.

    I understood people can buy up to 5 copies at that price.

    My father and sister asked me to upgrade their Win7 PCs. Neither would have much chance getting thru the process for the $39.99 upgrade. To start neither have a flash drive or know how to burn a DVD. So I told them, I would get keys for them and let them use my media.

    Apparently, you can't just buy a key but have to go thru the entire upgrade assistant, download media, etc process. So I started that process (on my PC) and the upgrade assistant fails saying that no downloads are available in this country. I finally figured out its just an incorrect error message and what I think they mean to say is that you can't order from a PC that already has Win 8 (or another non-upgradable OS) installed.

    Is there a way to buy the extra keys without going thru the assistant, download, burn process at each PC? I already know the PCs are compatible. I built the $%^* things. And I know I can go to their PCs but don't want to waste their AND my time for that phase. Plus one of them doesn't want to do the upgrade anyway until they leave on a vacation the first week of February, so it would be TWO trips for me to upgrade that one.

    Rant for the bored:

    FWIW, that isn't the only part of this process that was poorly designed. When you download the assistant and try to run it it tells you it must be run as an administrator. Okay, so you right click and run as administrator. Then it tells you that you also have to be logged onto a userid that is in the administrator group. Really? you can't make that clear up front or at least tell people exactly how it must be run the first time it fails, instead of making them run it multiple times?

    I understand they have sold 40 millions of copies. I don't know how many were sold this way, but wonder how many lifetimes have been lost from millions of people running the assistant 3 times instead of once due to poor documentation? LoL
    Last edited by HoosierDaddy; 18 Jan 2013 at 15:50.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    I have purchased four licenses online, but only downloaded the .ISO once. Although I'm not about to do a fifth purchase just to find out exactly how I avoided the download, I can assure you that it is possible.

    If nothing else, isn't the download *after* you have been given the product key? If so, when the download begins, just close your browser. Inelegant, but effective. Then just use your existing media, and the newly acquired product key, to install/upgrade.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 22,578
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello HoosierDaddy,

    Yes, you can use the "Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant" to purchase as many product keys as you like without having to download Windows 8.

    When you get to step 14 in the tutorial below, just close the "Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant" window instead of clicking on Next. It's only when you click on Next is when it starts the download process. Be sure to write down your product key number first though.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Hi,

    I may not have explained the problem well enough. The problem is that when I run the upgrade assistant it displays its findings (all okay) but when I click on next I get the message mentioned in the 1st post. It says:

    Sorry, Windows 8 isn't available for online purchases in the country/region you're in.


    That's not likely since I am using the same desktop PC at the same IP in the same country (USA) that I ordered the Windows 8 I am now using. Since the message was wrong I went looking for the real reason for rejection and see that the download page for the assistant says you must be using a listed OS. My current OS (Windows 8 Pro) was NOT on that list although that should NOT matter.

    So to recap: I am not given any option to purchase a license (with or without a download) and the reason given is bogus (unavailable in the USA).

    Issue one: Why does the upgrade assistant say the offer isn't available in the USA? I assumed it was throwing the wrong error message but maybe not. Maybe Windows 8 has been a real hot seller and all possible keys have already been sold

    Issue two: The download page naturally says you must be running specific OSs (XP, Vista, 7, Win 8 preview) to use the upgrade. Since the error message (not available in the USA) is obviously bogus, is it possible that the upgrade assistant is (now) refusing to go further if not run on one of those OSs?

    If it matters: here is how I got the upgrade assistant this time: (1) went to Windows.com, (2) clicked on purchase/download, (3) clicked on download upgrade assistant.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 22,578
    64-bit Windows 10


    That's just a generic error.

    You can only purchase a product key if you run the "Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant" from within XP (SP3), Vista, or Windows 7.

    Since you are running this in Windows 8 Pro, this is why you are getting this generic error message. You will need to run the "Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant" from a computer running XP (SP3), Vista, or Windows 7 using what I posted above instead to purchase another key without downloading again.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    That's just a generic error.

    You can only purchase a product key if you run the "Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant" from within XP (SP3), Vista, or Windows 7.

    Since you are running this in Windows 8 Pro, this is why you are getting this generic error message. You will need to run the "Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant" from a computer running XP (SP3), Vista, or Windows 7 using what I posted above instead to purchase another key without downloading again.
    Thanks. FYI: I had said in my original post that I was doing this from Windows 8.

    So this is basically what I expected: Typical MS bogus error messages causing people to chase their tails.

    And since MS will allow you to purchase the upgrade even if the upgrade assistant says NONE of your hardware and software is compatible, this isn't done to protect the customer.

    I can only guess they want to keep anyone from buying more keys than they have PCs out of fear of them being resold/used after the Jan 31 date. Naturally this doesn't prevent that at all, since anyone could buy up to 5 keys BEFORE upgrading the 1st PC, or dual boot back to Win 7 and do it from there or probably even do it from a virtual machine running XP, Vista, 7 or 8 preview. I guess that's what I will have to do to get legitimate upgrades without a lot of travel and inconvenience. So all that happened was that MS spent time and money putting up roadblocks that hurt their loyal customers in a futile attempt to prevent a non-problem from happening. Thumbs up MS!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 22,578
    64-bit Windows 10


    You're welcome.

    FYI: If you read the link I posted above, it addresses your "FYI: I had said in my original post that I was doing this from Windows 8."


    Anyways, you are just misunderstanding the purpose of this.

    There are two types of Windows 8. The cheaper "upgrade" copy, and full priced "System Builder" copy. The cheaper priced upgrade is Microsoft's reward and thank you for loyal customers.

    If you wanted to replace your XP (SP3), Vista, or Windows 7 with Windows 8, then you qualify for the upgrade.

    The "Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant" checks the operating system of the computer it is running on to see if it qualifies for you to be able to purchase a Windows 8 Upgrade copy. The message you got is what happens when you don't.

    This is done to prevent people that do not qualify from just buying a cheaper "upgrade" instead of the full priced "System Builder" copy.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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