Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Effect of Embedded Product Key on OEM Win8's--New License

  1. #1


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP

    Effect of Embedded Product Key on OEM Win8's--New License


    This recent thread (Way of Performing Clean Install of Windows 8 OEM) (which also spawned this one--Marketplace Vote Win8 OEM Machine) identifies a number problems arising because of the way OEMs (particularly Dell) are installing Win8. The first thread, at its most fundamental level, deals with this issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by natakuc4 View Post
    The point I am having issues with is to obtain Windows 8 media to clean install Windows 8 on a machine with Windows 8 OEM preinstalled without buying a second license.
    This issue remains unresolved. And, it raises other important issues.

    What happens if an OEM Win8 machine owner wants to reinstall Win8 using a purchased second license? Let's say he purchases Win8 system builder software to reinstall under the personal use license. In this regard, the product key provided by an OEM is somewhere embedded in the OEM Win8 machine (some say baked into the mobo, while others say embedded in the BIOS (what about UEFI?)).

    Anyway, could/would the "embedded-ness" of this key cause any problems in reinstalling, as mentioned, using system builder software under the personal use license?

    And, let's relax the system builder assumption--assuming instead that the owner purchases retail Win8 upgrade software. Here, could/would the "embedded-ness" of this key cause any problems in reinstalling cleanly as our tutorials show can be done (but maybe not in this case)?

    Finally, for sure, where is the OEM provided product key embedded on the OEM Win8 machines?

    Edit: It now is clear that embedded-ness is not an issue in regard to obliterating an OEM preinstalled installation of Windows 8 and clean reinstalling Windows 8. The embedded product key is used automatically by the "machine."
    Last edited by znod; 09 Mar 2013 at 09:18.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by znod View Post
    In this regard, the product key provided by an OEM is somewhere embedded in the OEM Win8 machine (some say baked into the mobo, while others say embedded in the BIOS (what about UEFI?)).

    Finally, for sure, where is the OEM provided product key embedded on the OEM Win8 machines?
    I will relate my experience installing Win 8 Pro with Media Center.
    I have a Gateway that had Win 8 OEM.
    I went to the store & bought Win 8 Pro with Media Center.
    I followed the instructions & got it installed without any problems.

    Just to make sure everything was OK, I called--

    Microsoft Product Support Customer Phone Number | Shortest Wait | Best Support | GetHuman.com

    And talked to a Tech guy about it & he did a RPC & changed a few things free.
    That was nice.

    The point here is the new Windows had its own Product Key.
    Different from the OEM Key.

    There was a post here a while back about finding the Product Key.
    The attached VBS script was posted.
    It works good.

    It showed my new Product Key.
    And Product ID.
    The ID being what you give to Microsoft when you ask for help.
    You can find it in Control Panel under System.

    I wrote down my ID & Key so I would have a hard copy to refer to before I used the VBS.

    The VBS showed the exact same info I had written down, so I know it works.
    Right click it & choose to Open with Command Prompt.

    I hope this information is useful to somebody.
    Added a picture-


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Untitled.png  
    Effect of Embedded Product Key on OEM Win8's--New License Attached Files
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    If you reinstall the same version, you won't need to input a key or activate as the burned in Oem key well get used.

    If you install a different version, you would have to provide a key and then it would have to activate.

    Don't think it makes a difference if you use system builder, retail,.MSDN or TechNet version of the disc.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 14
    windows 8 pro mce


    Well my question Is can you use that build in reset function on oem computer's, say if hp has put a laptop full of crapware will that reset function clean my c:/ drive so that laptop has clean crapwarefree windows 8 or would it just put that computer back to the state where it was when it was in store.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Factory restores well put you back just as it was from the store the day you got it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Hi Gang. Sorry to get back to you so late today. Spent a bunch of time on ESD-TO-ISO Won't Work in Win8 Pro: Try It 4 Me?, and I had too many other things going on to get back earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by medab1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by znod View Post
    In this regard, the product key provided by an OEM is somewhere embedded in the OEM Win8 machine (some say baked into the mobo, while others say embedded in the BIOS (what about UEFI?)).

    Finally, for sure, where is the OEM provided product key embedded on the OEM Win8 machines?
    I will relate my experience installing Win 8 Pro with Media Center.
    I have a Gateway that had Win 8 OEM.
    I went to the store & bought Win 8 Pro with Media Center.
    I followed the instructions & got it installed without any problems.

    Just to make sure everything was OK, I called--

    Microsoft Product Support Customer Phone Number | Shortest Wait | Best Support | GetHuman.com

    And talked to a Tech guy about it & he did a RPC & changed a few things free.
    That was nice.

    The point here is the new Windows had its own Product Key.
    Different from the OEM Key.

    There was a post here a while back about finding the Product Key.
    The attached VBS script was posted.
    It works good.

    It showed my new Product Key.
    And Product ID.
    The ID being what you give to Microsoft when you ask for help.
    You can find it in Control Panel under System.

    I wrote down my ID & Key so I would have a hard copy to refer to before I used the VBS.

    The VBS showed the exact same info I had written down, so I know it works.
    Right click it & choose to Open with Command Prompt.

    I hope this information is useful to somebody.
    Added a picture-
    Thank you. So, the bottom line is that you did an upgrade clean reinstall (or was it an upgrade reinstall?), and the old product key did not hold you back in any way, right? Did you obliterate all OEM input when you did what you did? Please see my next two replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
    If you reinstall the same version, you won't need to input a key or activate as the burned in Oem key well get used.

    If you install a different version, you would have to provide a key and then it would have to activate.

    Don't think it makes a difference if you use system builder, retail,.MSDN or TechNet version of the disc.
    Thank you for your help. Let me make sure we are together here. What I would want to do is take things to the point of having only unallocated space on my HDD before reinstalling-whether or not changing version (wouldn't be changing version though). I don't think I made that clear above. Agree on no "difference if you use system builder, retail,.MSDN or TechNet version of the disc."

    Quote Originally Posted by atomi View Post
    Well my question Is can you use that build in reset function on oem computer's, say if hp has put a laptop full of crapware will that reset function clean my c:/ drive so that laptop has clean crapwarefree windows 8 or would it just put that computer back to the state where it was when it was in store.
    Wanting to obliterate all OEM input into my reinstall is what I am up to. Not made clear originally, I think. So, part of what I would want to do is rid myself of OEM crapware. I don't think the reset function from available via HP would do what you want. I don't think HP would let you off that easy. I am not sure what would happen if you tried reset from, say, the system builder software I mentioned.

    To all, I am trying to make sure that if I obliterated all OEM installation input (except product key), then I would have no battles with my OEM-embedded product key when reinstalling starting with a drive having had zeros written to it--having all unallocated space prior to partitioning and whatever.
    Last edited by znod; 09 Feb 2013 at 21:04.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Thank you. So, the bottom line is that you did an upgrade clean re-install (or was it an upgrade re-install?), and the old product key did not hold you back in any way, right? Did you obliterate all OEM input when you did what you did?
    No upgrade version.
    It was a FULL VERSION INSTALL

    The OEM key did not affect the installation.

    I bought the FULL version because in the past I had lots of troubles fixing things with simple UPGRADE versions.
    I did a recovery backup on a thumb drive.
    This will re-install the Full version.
    After re-installing, I can use the product key that came with it to Activate it.

    I also have a thumb drive with the OEM version.
    I'll never use it, but I'll keep it just in case.

    Also, my computer has a factory default recovery option.
    I hope I never have to use IT.

    Full versions are much better.
    I got it when it was $40.
    Now it costs much more.

    EDIT- I removed crap I didn't want after it was installed & activated.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Quote Originally Posted by medab1 View Post
    Thank you. So, the bottom line is that you did an upgrade clean re-install (or was it an upgrade re-install?), and the old product key did not hold you back in any way, right? Did you obliterate all OEM input when you did what you did?
    No upgrade version.
    It was a FULL VERSION INSTALL

    I'm not understanding. Full install, as in system builder, has always cost more that $40. Did you get the $39.99 version available through Jan 31--the one that increased drastically in price afterwards? If so, then all it provides is for is an upgrade install--which can be done cleanly with DVD or USB or "uncleanly" using various media.

    The OEM key did not affect the installation.

    That is good to know. Did you ever have to use the OEM product key in any way in doing your reinstallation?

    I bought the FULL version because in the past I had lots of troubles fixing things with simple UPGRADE versions.

    Full???


    I did a recovery backup on a thumb drive.
    This will re-install the Full version.
    After re-installing, I can use the product key that came with it to Activate it.

    How did you use the new product key? Did you use the change product key feature?

    I also have a thumb drive with the OEM version.
    I'll never use it, but I'll keep it just in case.

    Good idea

    Also, my computer has a factory default recovery option.
    I hope I never have to use IT.

    Full versions are much better. ???
    I got it when it was $40. ???
    Now it costs much more.

    EDIT- I removed crap I didn't want after it was installed & activated.

    What did you remove--given clean install from non-OEM source?
    Thanks very much for your reply. Please see inserts above.
    Last edited by znod; 09 Mar 2013 at 09:19.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by znod View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by medab1 View Post
    Thank you. So, the bottom line is that you did an upgrade clean re-install (or was it an upgrade re-install?), and the old product key did not hold you back in any way, right? Did you obliterate all OEM input when you did what you did?
    No upgrade version.
    It was a FULL VERSION INSTALL

    I'm not understanding. Full install, as in system builder, has always cost more that $40. Did you get the $39.99 version available through Jan 31? If so, then all it provides is for is an upgrade install--which can be done cleanly with DVD or USB or "uncleanly" using various media.

    I went to Staples.
    I picked out what I thought was the Full version.
    I asked the clerk & he said no,that was the Upgrade from OEM version.
    He picked out the Full version for me.
    I asked if it was $40 too.
    He said yes.I bought it.My computer had Windows 8 oem. I replaced it with Windows 8 Pro with Media center.

    The OEM key did not affect the installation.

    That is good to know. Did you ever have to use the OEM product key in any way in doing your reinstallation?

    NO.

    I bought the FULL version because in the past I had lots of troubles fixing things with simple UPGRADE versions.

    Full???

    Years ago I had XP oem.There was an upgrade for $200 & full for $300.I got the $300 one.It replaced the oem entirely.Same with the win 8 pro I bought.

    I did a recovery backup on a thumb drive.
    This will re-install the Full version.
    After re-installing, I can use the product key that came with it to Activate it.

    How did you use the new product key? Did you use the change product key feature?

    I activated it online.The old key had nothing to do with it.

    I also have a thumb drive with the OEM version.
    I'll never use it, but I'll keep it just in case.

    Good idea

    Also, my computer has a factory default recovery option.
    I hope I never have to use IT.

    Full versions are much better. ???--- If something goes wrong they are easier to fix.
    I got it when it was $40. ???--- That's what they charged me.
    Now it costs much more.

    EDIT- I removed crap I didn't want after it was installed & activated.

    What did you remove--given clean install from non-OEM source?--- Bing,& other stuff I can't remember.Stuff that I would never use.I Un-installed the stuff.I never just Delete.Bad practice.
    Thanks very much for your careful reply. Please see inserts above.
    ​All I have now is Windows 8 Pro with Media Center.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    If you are going to upgrade you can use the vbs script to find your present ID & Key.
    Write them down.
    Then if you need them, you'll have them.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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