Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


WMC add-on changes cd key of OS installed

  1. #1


    Posts : 185
    W10 Pro/W8.1 Pro/ W7 Ult

    WMC add-on changes cd key of OS installed


    Installing WMC Add-On appears to change W8's cd key to that used to install the add-on. I had to re-activate the OS after that. The new OS's name is shown as "Windows 8 Pro with Windows Media Center".

    I am wondering if the CD Key for W8 Pro remains valid. What is the process of reinstalling W8 Pro with WMC without its setup DVD. Anyone did the reinstall?
    Last edited by churin; 17 Apr 2013 at 09:37.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,581
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Churin,

    You would install Windows 8 Pro and activate it with the Windows 8 Pro product key normally first.
    Afterwards, you would add WMC again by selecting the I already have a product key option to enter your WMC product key.


    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 185
    W10 Pro/W8.1 Pro/ W7 Ult


    Thank you for your help.
    I wondered if the W8 Pro CD Key was invalidated since it was replaced with the new CD key which appeared to be for entire W8, not just for the add-on. So, your reply indicates that the new CD Key remains to be just for the add-on. Then, why change the CD Key as shown on the system properties? It is confusing.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 22,581
    64-bit Windows 10


    Both keys will always remain valid.

    When you install the WMC with it's key, it basically updates and changes your "Windows 8 Pro" edition to be the "Windows 8 Pro with Windows Media Center" edition now instead.

    This is why they have separate keys for separate editions. You just can't do a direct clean install of "Windows 8 Pro with Windows Media Center". Instead you have to go through the routine I posted about to clean install Pro, then add WMC again.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 185
    W10 Pro/W8.1 Pro/ W7 Ult


    I completely understand what you stated.

    This is my gripe: Just as we install any third party software, why don't MS let the CD Key be used for activating the add-on and leaving the CD Key of the OS unchanged? After all, the CD Key is only associated with the add-on.

    After installing the add-on in my case I had to re-activate the OS. I had no idea why. The on-line acitivation did not work and it said "This CD Key is already used for another computer". This was crazy since I just got the CD Key and entered it for the very first time! I had to use tedious and time consuming activation by phone.

    This must be one of the wonderful new features of W8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 22,581
    64-bit Windows 10


    It was just something in the activation process that failed. It shouldn't do it all the time though unless you change computers or motherboard.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

WMC add-on changes cd key of OS installed
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