Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Can't update to Windows 8.1

  1. #1


    Posts : 24
    Windows 8

    Can't update to Windows 8.1


    Hi all--hoping someone can help---

    I have a fairly new PC running Windows 8 and I can't seem to upgrade to Windows 8.1--There are a bunch of issues-

    1. Can't connect to the Windows Store--tried everything here save the refresh, which I do NOT want to do.
    2. Downloaded the 8.1 ISO and burned it to a disc--get the error message that 8.1 could not be installed--0x101-0x20017 error--tried installing with a clean boot, turned off antivirus suite, etc
    3.sfc /scannow does not work.

    So currently I'd like to forget about the store for the moment and continue updating from the downloaded ISO, but don't know what else to do to solve the issue--I really do not wish to restore the computer and I have a lot of software I'd need to reinstall and this would take a long time

    Thanks,
    -Yvette

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Hi kami,

    When attempting to do a clean install from the downloaded Win 8.1 ISO, it basically boils down to this:

    Do the initial install with a special key for the downloaded 8.1 ISO. Read more here and see post 16 for a key that might work:
    How to download the Windows 8.1 ISO

    After the installation is completed, you must "activate it" by using your legitimate Windows 8 key like so:

    Click image for larger version

    However, since you are not clear about your current version of Windows, how you obtained it, and your expectations going forward, I cannot say for sure that all of the above applies to your current situation; however, I can only tell you that the above worked for me when doing a clean install of Windows 8.1 Pro and I used my Windows 8 Pro key to complete the activation.

    Good luck.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by kami View Post
    Hi all--hoping someone can help---

    I have a fairly new PC running Windows 8 and I can't seem to upgrade to Windows 8.1--There are a bunch of issues-

    1. Can't connect to the Windows Store--tried everything here save the refresh, which I do NOT want to do.
    2. Downloaded the 8.1 ISO and burned it to a disc--get the error message that 8.1 could not be installed--0x101-0x20017 error--tried installing with a clean boot, turned off antivirus suite, etc
    3.sfc /scannow does not work.

    So currently I'd like to forget about the store for the moment and continue updating from the downloaded ISO, but don't know what else to do to solve the issue--I really do not wish to restore the computer and I have a lot of software I'd need to reinstall and this would take a long time

    Thanks,
    -Yvette
    Having a fairly new PC, did you get all the updates from "Windows updates". Not having an updated PC can hinder the 8.1 upgrade process.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Here are two additional resources for your review:

    https://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...1-preview.html

    https://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...ad-create.html

    Note: Since you only have a Windows 8 product key (presumed) and you downloaded the Windows 8.1 ISO, I thought you were trying for a clean install:

    Downloaded the 8.1 ISO and burned it to a disc
    And that is why I responded as such previously; however, if you are still intent on upgrading via an ISO, you'll need the Windows 8 ISO instead because a Windows 8 product key will not activate Windows 8.1 directly using the Win 8.1 ISO.

    Good luck.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 24
    Windows 8


    Thanks my2cents and MR Sardonicus--I have Windows 8 Pro and I believe I purchased it online and installed it last Oct..This update in available, but doesn't seem to install-Update for Windows 8 for x64-based Systems (KB2802618)-Download size: 25 KB--no idea why--just goes through the motions...
    my2cents--the reason I am intent on installing from disc is because I can't connect to the Windows Store--I found this link--bluej has posted instructions in the comments sections on how to use a temp key.
    Code:
    When you use the Windows 8.1 ISO created by the Setup process above, you will need to enter a generic placeholder Windows 8.1 product key to get it to install (as explained in a superuser.com thread). Use 334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT for normal, or XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB for Professional (these keys only work to install and cannot be activated). Once Windows is installed, you will need to change the key to your key. To do that, Right-Click the Start button and start the Command Prompt (Admin).
    Type the following commands:
    slmgr /ipk YOUR-KEY-WITH-DASHES-HERE
    slmgr /rearm
    reboot you computer and it should be activated.
    And this does seem to allow the installation process to begin--However, once the computer finishes installing and reboots I get the error that Windows 8.1 could not be installed and my configuration was restored along with that error code

    Do you know what that error code means?

    Thanks,
    --Yvette
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    So it did go through the entire install and you made it into Windows 8.1 with the generic key? Or did it just reboot on its own without allowing you to navigate around a bit? Can you please describe your process in a bit more detail because it sounds like you are almost there!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Just for reference, the confusing part about you description seems to be that you claim to have completed the installation but you are somehow being reminded that you need a "generic placeholder key" which should have been required to even start the installation process. So, I'm thinking there is more to this story than meets the eye. What else are you doing? It almost seems like you have also found that work-around to bypass the Win 8.1 generic product key requirement (initially) and it is somehow giving you that notice after the fact. Anyway, I'm about to hit the sack. Good luck.

    Update:

    OK, so I went back and read bluej's post thoroughly and, if you use his method, you should be able to activate the installation by inserting your windows 8 pro product key into the message. However, alternatively, you should just be able to go to Control Panel> System, and in the lower right hand corner, click the activate windows link and it should do the same thing by inserting your win 8 pro key into the prompt. BTW, I actually thought that your previous message was an installation warning. I did not realize that you just copied his post.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 24
    Windows 8


    Thanks my2cents--it goes through the install process,1% complete to 100% complete, and then reboots--upon reboot my computer informs me that the installation has failed and that my system was reverted back to its previous configuration, that is, Windows 8(or something to that effect)--so, I never actually get to a place where Windows 8.1 is installed and have no opportunity to activate the key according to bluej's instructions--
    I'm assuming I need that placeholder key because I'm am trying to install from the ISO, not being able to access the Windows Store--I don't know why my Windows 8 activation key doesn't work--seems a bit nonsensical to me, that one would need a separate activation key for Windows 8.1, being it is supposed to be a free update for Windows 8 owners...

    Thanks,
    ---Yvette
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


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


    You can not use a Windows 8 key to install Windows 8.1.

    Activate retail Windows 8.1 with Windows 8 Product key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 24
    Windows 8


    Hi theog--I can't install it much less activate it--I was assuming that the link I posted with bluej's comments addressed that issue--it is unclear what key he is talking about, so I guess I made the wrong assumption-

    If that is the case, how do I get an activation key being I can't access the Windows Store?

    Thanks,
    --Yvette
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Can't update to Windows 8.1
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