Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

8.1 fresh installation

  1. #1

    8.1 fresh installation

    Is there such a thing as running a fresh installation of 8.1 without having the COA or product at the time of setting up on a pc? I'm asking this because someone I know was given a laptop by his son which had Ubuntu and because Linux frightened the life out of him his son put W8.1 on it. Unfortunately he doesn't like 8.1 either so I told him that W7 would be more up his street, but that if 8.1 has already been paid for he could get used to it. I haven't seen the pc to get any info about the installation, but I thought that you no longer get 30 days to activate.

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  2. #2

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    If your question is whether it is possible to install Win 8.1 without activating it then the answer is yes.

    Assuming he had the install media he could have installed using a generic key and not activated it. Various things don't work until you activate it with a valid key. (I'm not sure what exactly - the store I think and some other bits).

    I guess you need to find out some more - has 8.1 been activated? Has it been paid for? Is it wanted?

    8.1 desktop isn't that different from 7 really and you can make it even more similar with start button replacements and so on if you want to. However if you do want to change to 7 instead, doing so before starting using it would be the ideal time.
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  3. #3

    I have no trouble with 8.1 although I also use 7 and XP but he is in his 70's and is not very good with pc's. His wife has 7 on her laptop and he can manage that after using XP for years. I'm sure he could manage 8.1 if he had to.
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  4. #4

    Install Classic Shell, set it's options to disable hot corners.
    Set 8.1 to boot to the Desktop.

    He will never even see the Metro interface unless he presses Windows key + C.

    It will look and feel like Windows 7.
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  5. #5

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

    With official unaltered Windows 8 install media you have to enter a key to finish the install. So technically there isn't (supposed to be) a 30 day trial. That was the intent anyway with Windows 8. With previous versions of Windows you could just leave the product code box empty and click next, now you can't do that. But as mentioned, with Windows 8.1 there are generic product codes that will let you install without activating. Those codes won't activate as they are blocked on the activation servers. One would have to know about them though to use them, I'm not sure that's common knowledge. It is here on these forums but I'm not sure the average Joe would know. In any case if its a Retail version you can move it to another PC, so even if it was activated it shouldn't be that big of a deal. Just press the Windows Logo key and the pause/break key to bring up the system screen. Activation status is listed there.
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