Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Possible to do a clean install with Windows 8 NFR license?

  1. #1


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8

    Possible to do a clean install with Windows 8 NFR license?


    Over the weekend I managed to get my hands on a computer on the cheap, but the OS was wrecked. So I decided to wipe and install a new OS. I work at a big box retailer and managed to get an NFR license (It's legit. An Employee promo of sorts. NFR meaning not for resale.) from the management. My question is, can I use this license on an empty hard drive? According to MS's website, this needs to be done inside an existing install, but I've seen all the tutorials out there including the ones on here for either refreshing or editing some registry keys to do a clean install and activate Windows Upgrade version. Will it work like this with this license?

    I'm still at work, just wondering about this before getting home to try it.

    Side note: the NFR is only a little cardboard license packet, I had to burn an ISO of Windows 8 Pro from a repository of system disks we keep.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Toronto, Canada. Born in the U.K.
    Posts : 691
    Win 10 Pro + Win 7 Ult SP1 (x64)


    According to a response on the Microsoft forums from an MVP, yes you can.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Hello, Daolpu. Welcome to EightForums.

    I would think one would need a qualifying OS with an upgrade version to stay within the bounds of EULA. Probably not the answer you want to hear.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8


    Mixed messages! I'm hoping the MVP is correct, and the clean install work-around for upgrades posted on these forums works for this as well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Toronto, Canada. Born in the U.K.
    Posts : 691
    Win 10 Pro + Win 7 Ult SP1 (x64)


    Good luck ;-)

    Let us know if it works.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8


    Thanks! I'll update later this afternoon, and hopefully the answer will help others with NFR copies.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Yes, all one can do is try. I hope I am wrong and it works for you. Good luck.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there
    If it's only a "Qualifying" OS you need just download a W7 one - don't activate it and then install your NFR system.

    As you work in a store - just borrow a system from a workmate -- or even the service dept -- you don't have to activate a W7 version immediately in any case -- you get 30 days.

    I rather suspect the NFR system won't check in any case --otherwise what would you do if the NFR system crashes and you have to re-install. Would it expect you to re-install the prior OS first before proceeding.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Hi there
    If it's only a "Qualifying" OS you need just download a W7 one - don't activate it and then install your NFR system.

    As you work in a store - just borrow a system from a workmate -- or even the service dept -- you don't have to activate a W7 version immediately in any case -- you get 30 days.

    I rather suspect the NFR system won't check in any case --otherwise what would you do if the NFR system crashes and you have to re-install. Would it expect you to re-install the prior OS first before proceeding.

    Cheers
    jimbo

    This is an excellent suggestion. We keep copies of most Windows install disks on a hard drive, .isos, in case we need them for something. I'll burn a W7 disc from that and take it with me.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8


    Update. I can confirm a clean install with a copy of Windows 8 Pro NFR works. I used a Windows 8 Pro .iso to launch the setup, put in my key, and everything went smoothly. I did not need to do the "upgrade workaround" or manual activation, it automatically validated on a formatted hard drive, no Qualifying OS required. Screenshot for proof!

    P.S. Got this machine for $350 from someone who thought it was 'broken'. You can see the specs there in the screenshot, along with a ATI 5870, and now a free working install of Windows. It all makes me quite the happy camper!

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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