Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Reinstall Windows 8 OEM- no product key

  1. #1


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8 64-bit

    Reinstall Windows 8 OEM- no product key


    I've seen similar problems to this all over the place. I bought a Lenovo laptop with Windows 8 installed on a 1 TB HDD and used a 16GB mSATA SSD as a cache. My plan was/is to upgrade the 16GB SSD to 120GB and install the OS to it. Lenovo support initially told me this was impossible, but I talked them into send me the system restore disks, however they proved to be of limited utility.

    I installed the new SSD but the options weren't there in the recovery disks to choose the install location, it just reinstalled to the HDD. So I used a Windows 7 install disk and did a clean install of Windows 7. So the computer is set up how I want it now (OS on SSD and User and ProgramData folders on HDD) except I'd like to upgrade it to Windows 8. I don't have a Windows 8 disk and don't have the product code because it's encrypted in the BIOS I guess.

    So what's the best way to proceed from here?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8 64-bit


    I should probably add that I had to disable UEFI in the BIOS in order to install Windows 7.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    information   Information

    We always assume you have made your Recovery Disks using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Media Creator app the first day you had your new PC.
    & made the Startup Repair CD.
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8
    System Repair Disc - Create in Windows 8





    You can use the Lenovo version of
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8

    This is a tutorial by Lenovo using the Windows 8 USB Drive Recovery app.

    Methodology to create Recovery Media and reload a Lenovo Think system with Microsoft Windows 8 preload


    Quote Originally Posted by Lenovo
    NOTE: From this point forward in the recovery process, the choices for actual operating system recovery depend on the existing state of the computer hard drive.

    Below are the instructions if there is an existing Microsoft Windows 8 install on the hard drive.
    1.Select the target operating system of Microsoft Windows 8 to reload over existing Lenovo preload.
    2.Select "Yes" to repartition the drives or "No" to keep existing partitions. For a clean install, the drives should be repartitioned.
    3.Select "Fully Clean the drive".
    4.Click Reset to begin the process.
    5.The reset/recovery process takes approximately 90 minutes.
    6.Once the reset/recovery is complete, the system will reboot into Microsoft Windows 8.

    Below are the instructions if the hard drive is blank.
    1.Select "Yes" to repartition the HDD or "No" to keep the existing partitions.
    2.Click either choice, but these instructions follow the repartition scenario.
    3.Select "Fully Clean the drive" as this will take several minutes to complete.
    4.Click Reset to begin the process.
    5.The reset/recovery process takes approximately 90 minutes.
    6.Once the reset/recovery is complete, the system will reboot into Microsoft Windows 8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8 64-bit


    Ok, so that is good info, thanks. I guess you're suggesting that I go back to square 1 and use the disks to do a factory reinstall of the computer and then make this USB recovery drive and go from there?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    I just upgraded my laptops spinner to an SSD. Two SSD's actually, A 128 GB for the OS and a 256 GB for DATA. I made a recovery drive and tried to use that to do a Reset (factory restore) to the SSD but it didn't work. I got a "A required partition is missing" error message. I tried a few other things but finally just ended up downloading a Windows 8 ISO (bit torrent) and doing a clean install. I'm actually happy I ended up doing it that way. Its a nice clean install with only the utilities I actually use and all the latest drivers.
      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


    Quote Originally Posted by Monumental View Post
    I've seen similar problems to this all over the place. I bought a Lenovo laptop with Windows 8 installed on a 1 TB HDD and used a 16GB mSATA SSD as a cache. My plan was/is to upgrade the 16GB SSD to 120GB and install the OS to it. Lenovo support initially told me this was impossible, but I talked them into send me the system restore disks, however they proved to be of limited utility.

    I installed the new SSD but the options weren't there in the recovery disks to choose the install location, it just reinstalled to the HDD. So I used a Windows 7 install disk and did a clean install of Windows 7. So the computer is set up how I want it now (OS on SSD and User and ProgramData folders on HDD) except I'd like to upgrade it to Windows 8. I don't have a Windows 8 disk and don't have the product code because it's encrypted in the BIOS I guess.

    So what's the best way to proceed from here?
    FYI, see System Builder Install/HP 32GB mSSD HDD Acceleration Cache.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    information   Information

    We always assume you have made your Recovery Disks using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Media Creator app the first day you had your new PC.
    & made the Startup Repair CD.
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8
    System Repair Disc - Create in Windows 8





    You can use the Lenovo version of
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8

    This is a tutorial by Lenovo using the Windows 8 USB Drive Recovery app.

    Methodology to create Recovery Media and reload a Lenovo Think system with Microsoft Windows 8 preload


    Quote Originally Posted by Lenovo
    NOTE: From this point forward in the recovery process, the choices for actual operating system recovery depend on the existing state of the computer hard drive.

    Below are the instructions if there is an existing Microsoft Windows 8 install on the hard drive.
    1.Select the target operating system of Microsoft Windows 8 to reload over existing Lenovo preload.
    2.Select "Yes" to repartition the drives or "No" to keep existing partitions. For a clean install, the drives should be repartitioned.
    3.Select "Fully Clean the drive".
    4.Click Reset to begin the process.
    5.The reset/recovery process takes approximately 90 minutes.
    6.Once the reset/recovery is complete, the system will reboot into Microsoft Windows 8.

    Below are the instructions if the hard drive is blank.
    1.Select "Yes" to repartition the HDD or "No" to keep the existing partitions.
    2.Click either choice, but these instructions follow the repartition scenario.
    3.Select "Fully Clean the drive" as this will take several minutes to complete.
    4.Click Reset to begin the process.
    5.The reset/recovery process takes approximately 90 minutes.
    6.Once the reset/recovery is complete, the system will reboot into Microsoft Windows 8.
    This doesn't appear to work because there's no option to reinstall to a different disk.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    I just upgraded my laptops spinner to an SSD. Two SSD's actually, A 128 GB for the OS and a 256 GB for DATA. I made a recovery drive and tried to use that to do a Reset (factory restore) to the SSD but it didn't work. I got a "A required partition is missing" error message. I tried a few other things but finally just ended up downloading a Windows 8 ISO (bit torrent) and doing a clean install. I'm actually happy I ended up doing it that way. Its a nice clean install with only the utilities I actually use and all the latest drivers.
    I'm beginning to think this is the best option. I'll give znod's link a look first though.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by znod View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Monumental View Post
    I've seen similar problems to this all over the place. I bought a Lenovo laptop with Windows 8 installed on a 1 TB HDD and used a 16GB mSATA SSD as a cache. My plan was/is to upgrade the 16GB SSD to 120GB and install the OS to it. Lenovo support initially told me this was impossible, but I talked them into send me the system restore disks, however they proved to be of limited utility.

    I installed the new SSD but the options weren't there in the recovery disks to choose the install location, it just reinstalled to the HDD. So I used a Windows 7 install disk and did a clean install of Windows 7. So the computer is set up how I want it now (OS on SSD and User and ProgramData folders on HDD) except I'd like to upgrade it to Windows 8. I don't have a Windows 8 disk and don't have the product code because it's encrypted in the BIOS I guess.

    So what's the best way to proceed from here?
    FYI, see System Builder Install/HP 32GB mSSD HDD Acceleration Cache.
    Thanks for the link but I don't think you did what I'm trying to do. I want to install the OS on the mSATA SSD. I successfully installed Windows 7 to the SSD and set up the HDD as Data driver for User folders using audit mode, but I've run into trouble trying to decipher how to do the same thing with Windows 8 and trying to keep the Lenovo OneTouch Recovery.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


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


    You are very welcome. WRT to the link I posted, I actually didn't do anything. Not going to pursue farther. I misinterpreted something you said initially.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Reinstall Windows 8 OEM- no product key
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