Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Embedded Product Key (8.0) for 8.1 install

  1. #21


    Alright, my boot issue was a Paragon Backup and Restore issue. It was very easy to fix.

    After restoring my image, boot from Windows 8.1 USB key. Repair. Command prompt. Run, bootrec /rebuildbcd

    Then, reboot and the box will come right up.



    Now, onto what happens to the actual key. To recap

    • Take running box with 8.0 and run showkey.vbs (found in another thread)
    • Install Windows 8.1 clean from MSDN media and use the dummy key in this thread
    • Boot into Windows, run slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxxx.xxxxx.xxxxx.xxxxx.xxxxx (input the legit key from the host)
    • Reboot with network connected and it will activate
    • Run, Sysprep and choose Shutdown option
    • I used Paragon Back and Restore to grab an image of the hard drive
    • Restore the image on another 6430u that I have lying around.
    • Boot from the Windows 8.1 USB key
    • Repair, command prompt, bootrec /rebuildbcd
    • Reboot computer into Windows 8.1
    • answer mini setup questions, accept license, etc
    • Optional: Ran showkey.vbs and confirmed that it's actually the embedded key for THIS laptop, it's not the same key that I had input before.
    • Connect ethernet, go to Properties of THIS COMPUTER. Click on Activate Windows. In a few seconds, it will say "Thanks, you are all done".
    • The box is now activated, reboot and the watermark will be gone.
    • Optional: Ran showkey.vbs and confirmed that it's still using the embedded key for the actual laptop in use.


    Moral of the story:
    I was able to install 8.1 clean with a dummy key. I was able to change the product key back to the real embedded key. Was able to sysprep, then restore on another machine and it will activate (and it uses the other machines embedded key, thus my licensing is legit).

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #22


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


    Thanks for that pp. Wasn't sure what would be the result re the embedded key after restore to different machine .

    Curious to know if a Paragon image (not sysprepped ) would have the same result.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #23


    Quote Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
    Curious to know if a Paragon image (not sysprepped ) would have the same result.
    i tested that very thing and it still had the problem. Restoring on the same machine also had same problem. Windows 8.0 works fine. It's definitely a Paragon/8.1 thing.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #24


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    This is what I've been looking for. The ability to get a clean install of 8.1, not just upgrade, with an OEM key.

    pparks1, you da man!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #25


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


      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #26


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


    I didn't expect it it have any result on the boot problem after restore.

    I meant the same result re the key. I.E

    a sysprepped image accepts the embedded key automatically after restore to a different machine.

    Does a non sysprepped image also do that?


    Quote Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
    Curious to know if a Paragon image (not sysprepped ) would have the same result.
    i tested that very thing and it still had the problem. Restoring on the same machine also had same problem. Windows 8.0 works fine. It's definitely a Paragon/8.1 thing.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #27


    Quote Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
    Does a non sysprepped image also do that?
    That I do not know. I don't restore images on other hardware without it being sysprepped first.

    However, I restored the sysprepped image on machine #2. Verified it was using machine #2's, key and it was. Then, I physically removed the drive from machine #2 and put it back into machine #1. I simply booted machine #1 and it came back up, still activated, and showkey.vbs shows that the key is the key from machine #1. So, it changed from 1 key to the other, without me doing anything and without having to manually activate anything.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #28


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    So, can we get a step-by-step guide with the things we need to download first before we start, then the process?

    I know I'm sounding like an idiot but I really want to be sure I have everything lined up before I attempt this. I have extracted my embedded key awhile back with the vbs script. I also lost track about getting the actual 8.1 ISO. I can download it as described in the retail instructions?

    Yes, a bit confused.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #29


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


    I also lost track about getting the actual 8.1 ISO. I can download it as described in the retail instructions?
    No, because you have an oem key
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #30


    Quote Originally Posted by popeye View Post
    I also lost track about getting the actual 8.1 ISO. I can download it as described in the retail instructions?

    Yes, a bit confused.
    I got my Windows 8.1 ISO from my MSDN account.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Embedded Product Key (8.0) for 8.1 install
Related Threads
Read more at source: Will BIOS-embedded Windows 8 product keys cause reinstall troubles? | ZDNet
Hi there Is it possible does anybody know that if you have a Bios with a PROTECTED OS (Key in the BIOS), can you make the OEM install .ISO and then re-install on the same machine in NON PROTECTED mode by simply using the key from the BIOS. (You need to turn off protected boot -- you can leave...
Hi EF! I have a dreamspark account and in that I am provided with the Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro . So, I was thinking if there are any differences in that one and also would I be able to use it like a Home User? I am also getting the Server 2012 Datacentre Edition. So which one should...
Hi everyone, quick intro.. I own a small company which recycles IT equipment. Mostly we dismantle laptops and sell the individual parts but occasionally we get something in that's a little too good to cannibalise. This week we got a nice Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook and all it needed was a hard...
Hey guys, I have been trying to figure out how I can go about installing 8.1 on a blank hdd using my embedded product key. I hate using the manufacturer recovery because there is a slew of bloatware that I need to get rid of. If anybody could help I would appreciate it.
Hi I've currently got Windows 7 Pro installed on a system at work and am trying to install Windows Embedded 8, but I'm getting an error during setup. I've downloaded the rar files from the official Microsoft site, used their .exe to generate an .iso file, and have mounted it to the system using...
This recent thread (Way of Performing Clean Install of Windows 8 OEM) (which also spawned this one--Marketplace Vote Win8 OEM Machine) identifies a number problems arising because of the way OEMs (particularly Dell) are installing Win8. The first thread, at its most fundamental level, deals with...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook