Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Fresh install and product key confusion

  1. #1

    Posts : 23
    Windows 8.1 (64-bit)

    Fresh install and product key confusion

    Hi everybody, I will soon replace my HDD with an SSD and make a fresh install of windows.

    Here's my problem: I bought Windows 8 and received a Windows 8 product key but am now running Win8.1. Microsoft clearly states that a windows 8 product key CAN NOT be used with Win8.1.

    Here are the options I see:
    1. I download the Win8 ISO and place it on a USB drive and use my Win8 product key and update to Win8.1 after installation.

    2. I make a bootable USB drive in Win8.1 and use a Product Key finder program to scan the registry for the Win8.1 product key.

    What is the best/safest method? What would you guys do?

    This is the first time I replace a HDD but I've found loads of information online so it shouldn't be a problem. I'm mostly confused about the OS reinstall. I know I can clone my HDD but I've had a few errors and random crashes and would rather do a fresh install than porting those errors over to the SSD.

    Thanks in advance,


      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin

    Microsoft clearly states that a windows 8 product key CAN NOT be used with Windows 8.1.
    Yes it can.

    Install from 8.1 dvd/usb using the generic install key:




    Then activate with your 8.0 key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 23
    Windows 8.1 (64-bit)

    Alright, cool

    Just to make sure I understood everything:

    1. I make a bootable usb in Win8.1

    2. I boot from that usb drive in BIOS

    3. I enter the generic install key for my system (Professional)

    4. I then activate with my Win8 key

    Quick question: Should I make a bootable usb through windows or do you recommend a third-party software? I'm asking because I've had bootable drives not working properly in critical moments before and I'd like to avoid that.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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