Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Dreaded OEM Clean Install

  1. #11


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


    >>The .iso I used was sourced from the Microsoft store download.<< as in from here? >> Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create
    If you downloaded from that link your ISO is not multi edition, it will be Core or Pro depending on what product code you entered during the download. If you downloaded Pro and your laptop is Core or vise versa that may be your issue.

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  2. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by oneeyed View Post
    No need for ei.cfg, delete it and just try to install with a generic key. Find one for your version there :
    MSDN Subscriber Downloads

    Once installed and if you're connected to internet the activation should be automatic (it will get your product key directly from the bios). Retail does work with oem embedded keys, I've done it . Just make sure that the version you install corresponds to the one you had (core / single language / N / Pro / etc...) or it just won't work (I hope you ran slmgr /dlv beforehand on your old system for that tho or you'll have to trust your luck)
    I do not have access to the MSDN downloads area, at least that's what it says when I try and download any of the .iso files. Checking slmgr /dlv indicates that I do have the Core flavor of Windows 8.

    Click image for larger version

    So the iso that I have been using to try and do a clean install was generated from the windows store here: Upgrade Windows with only a product key - Microsoft Windows Help After downloading the software it prompts you for a product key. If I use the OEM product key it generates an error saying, "This product key cannot be used to install a retail version of Windows 8." So I previously got around this by using the product key from my tablet that I upgraded back in December. Running slmgr / dlv on the tablet told me that it is actually the Professional Edition not core.

    So that's why my .iso file isn't working, but how do I get my hands on a core iso instead? I noticed that there is a generic key that you can use for 8.1 and then use your actual key to activate. Is there a generic CORE key for 8.0 that could be used to generate the appropriate CORE iso I need and then activate with the key I have found in the bios?

    Thank you everyone for the help so far. It is invaluable.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails PIDChecker.png  
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  3. #13


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


    So that's why my .iso file isn't working, but how do I get my hands on a core iso instead? I noticed that there is a generic key that you can use for 8.1 and then use your actual key to activate. Is there a generic CORE key for 8.0 that could be used to generate the appropriate CORE iso I need and then activate with the key I have found in the bios?
    NO, you would need to buy the CORE key first.
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  4. #14


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


    MSDN and TechNet are subscriber only downloads. If memory serves me that download you linked to won't accept OEM keys, only Retail. I don't think the leaked generic install keys will let you download either. I haven't seen any for windows 8 anyway. I used my TechNet keys as a test, they are Retail keys. That's how I know the key determines what version you get, Core or Pro. Your stuck between a rock and a hard place. You need a Retail 8 Core product code to get the Core download. Or a full retail ISO/DVD to use as install media. One thing you can get from The MSDN site is MD5 check sums. If you can find an ISO from another source you can check the hash code to see if that ISO has been altered or modified from the original.
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  5. #15


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Your stuck between a rock and a hard place. You need a Retail 8 Core product code to get the Core download. Or a full retail ISO/DVD to use as install media. One thing you can get from The MSDN site is MD5 check sums. If you can find an ISO from another source you can check the hash code to see if that ISO has been altered or modified from the original.
    So it seems I have 1/2 a key to two different locks. The retail ISO for W8 PRO and a key for OEM Core with no ISO.

    Before I look into the MD5 check sums and comparing them to what else is available on the interweb, would it be possible to use the generic Windows 8.1 key to do a clean install with that .ISO and then activate it using the Windows 8.0 OEM key that I have?
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  6. #16


    Posts : 328
    Windows 8.1 (x64)


    Sorry if I wasn't specific about retrieving your key...

    Microsoft distributes generic keys (they are free and totally legal) for most of its software. They are used by OEMs to ease installation and aren't valid for the activation process (that's when the OS retrieves your emebedded key).

    So you'll have to :
    * Retrieve an .ISO for the specific version you had installed (you can confirm it with slmgr /dlv)
    * You can find MS keys here : Appendix A: KMS Client Setup Keys
    * If your version isn't listed here are some more : Windows ADK (scroll to the bottom, click on default product keys)
    * Install Windows and give your default key during installation
    * Once installed make sure you are connected to internet

    If everything's done right the activation is automatic.

    And yes you can do it with a windows 8.1 ISO instead but again it has to match the version for which your embedded key works.
    I had to do the same as you for a clean install on my ASUS PC, it came bloated with a bunch of software that wouldn't uninstall completely(especially 2 services that have a memory leak and a registration auto run that wouldn't go even after registration). Sigh... I wonder why PC manufacturers feel the need to stuff all their PCs with all this useless crap. And of course all that would reinstall after a refresh/reset.
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  7. #17


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Pelmore View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Your stuck between a rock and a hard place. You need a Retail 8 Core product code to get the Core download. Or a full retail ISO/DVD to use as install media. One thing you can get from The MSDN site is MD5 check sums. If you can find an ISO from another source you can check the hash code to see if that ISO has been altered or modified from the original.
    So it seems I have 1/2 a key to two different locks. The retail ISO for W8 PRO and a key for OEM Core with no ISO.

    Before I look into the MD5 check sums and comparing them to what else is available on the interweb, would it be possible to use the generic Windows 8.1 key to do a clean install with that .ISO and then activate it using the Windows 8.0 OEM key that I have?
    Yes and no. Your still stuck with the wrong version. If your 8.0 product code is for 8 Pro your going to end up with an 8.1 Pro download that will not activate with an 8 Core key. But yes you can install with the generic key and activate with a 8.0 key. You can try downloading with the 8 Core generic key but I don't think it will work. I'd have to read though that thread again to confirm. I really should be writing this stuff down as my memory isn't what it should be some times.
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  8. #18


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


    Quote Originally Posted by oneeyed View Post
    Sorry if I wasn't specific about retrieving your key...

    Microsoft distributes generic keys (they are free and totally legal) for most of its software. They are used by OEMs to ease installation and aren't valid for the activation process (that's when the OS retrieves your emebedded key).

    So you'll have to :
    * Retrieve an .ISO for the specific version you had installed (you can confirm it with slmgr /dlv)
    * You can find MS keys here : Appendix A: KMS Client Setup Keys
    * If your version isn't listed here are some more : Windows ADK (scroll to the bottom, click on default product keys)
    * Install Windows and give your default key during installation
    * Once installed make sure you are connected to internet

    If everything's done right the activation is automatic.
    There's the rub though, he doesn't have an ISO or an easy way to get one. I've bookmarked those sites though for future reference, thanks for the links.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


    Posts : 328
    Windows 8.1 (x64)


    Well how to retrieve an ISO is another problem entirely but not really a difficult one. Keep in mind you do have the legal right to own windows 8. If you happen to get an ISO in whatever way (hint:google), there's nothing wrong in using it (the physical download isn't what's important, your key and your right to use it is). Just make sure whatever ISO you get has matching hashes to the official MS ones (MSDN Subscriber Downloads). You can use Sigcheck from microsoft to retrieve the hash (sigcheck -h filename/directory).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


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


    Quote Originally Posted by oneeyed View Post
    Well how to retrieve an ISO is another problem entirely but not really a difficult one. Keep in mind you do have the legal right to own windows 8. If you happen to get an ISO in whatever way (hint:google), there's nothing wrong in using it (the physical download isn't what's important, your key and your right to use it is). Just make sure whatever ISO you get has matching hashes to the official MS ones (MSDN Subscriber Downloads). You can use Sigcheck from microsoft to retrieve the hash (sigcheck -h filename/directory).
    I agree, I had to go that route in the past when I didn't have my MSDN subscription.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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