Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to clean install Windows 8.1

  1. #1


    Posts : 9
    Windows 7

    How to clean install Windows 8.1


    Good Morning,

    I have bought a Dell Inspiron 15R which arrived this week. I have already decided that I am going to install my own copy of Windows 8.1 Professional on to my system.

    I have tried this several times now and I keep failing. I am booting from my DVD and the install goes fine. However during install I am normally prompted to enter my Serial for 8.1 and it does not do this. It progresses as though everything is ok, I can format the Hard drive and then it proceeds to install Windows 8.1.

    Once fully installed I then go to see if it is activated and to my surprise it is. It has activated with the same Serial as the OEM that came with the laptop.

    I have also noticed that this copy of 8.1 cannot join the laptop to my own domain (the options to do this are greyed out) which I am also wanting to do. So this copy of 8.1 is not the copy I am trying to install.

    How can I install my own copy of 8.1. I think this is something to do with Dells bios configuration but not sure where to start.

    Please help.

    Regards,

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Southern California
    Posts : 788
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center x64


    Hey mate,

    first, make sure you have the latest BIOS by dell. Then see if following this tutorial can help at all: Clean Install - Windows 8

    Note that if you are doing (what I recommend) UEFI install, you'll also want to take a look at this tutorial before you begin: UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 8 with
    For the UEFI, note what is required:
    You will need to satisfy the following requirements in order to proceed:


    • A Windows 8 compatible system
    • A Windows 8 64-bit installation media. 32-bit is not supported.
    • A UEFI v2.0+ compliant PC. Check your chipset manufacturer/firmware documentation.
    • A blank, partition-free, hard disk for installation.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Southern California
    Posts : 788
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center x64


    If you fear your DVD is to blame for the problems, you could possibly download the ISO: Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 9
    Windows 7


    Thanks for your help. Why on earth are companies like Dell corrupting our computers like this? I have installed thousands of operating systems and never had issues like this before. I'm at work at the moment so will try the posts tonight.

    added - the Windows 8.1 Pro DVD I have is fine, It's a brand new copy and I have installed this previously to a Virtual Machine just as a test etc.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Southern California
    Posts : 788
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center x64


    Because Dell is a terrible company lol. But good luck on the problem. If it doesn't work out, you could consider giving them a call to find out why it isn't working. I've never heard of something like this before
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


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


    Welcome to EightForums.


    To upgrade Windows 8/8.1 core, you need to use the Pro Pack.

    To upgrade to Pro Pack
    No install files needed.
    Only the Upgrade/ Full key is need.

    Add Features to Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


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


    Your PC has an OEM key embedded in the BIOS. Windows 8 install media is setup to look for and use that key automatically during the install. It looks like Windows 8.1 media does the same thing. Core was installed because that's what the embedded key is for. Dell isn't the only one doing it, they all do it for systems that come with Windows pre installed by the manufacturer. You could go to "add features" and try entering your pro key and see if it will except it. One way around it is to add a PID.txt to the sources folder of your install media. Put the pro key in the PID.txt file and windows will use it instead of the embedded key during the install. Replace the x's with your product code.
    [PID]
    Value=xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 9
    Windows 7


    I shouldn't have to do this.

    I just want to install from the Media I have. It is Windows 8.1 Professional. Since the days of Windows XP i have been able to install from a CD/DVD with no issue. Why do they do this?

    It corrupts the whole system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


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


    Windows 8/8.1 uses OA 3.0, Windows 7 and earlier use OA2.x. OA stands for Oem Activation. Before Windows 8 you had to have Branded custom install media to make use of the OEM SLIC table in the BIOS. Regular install media prompted for a product code, custom media "made for that PC brand" entered it automatically. Microsoft changed it with OA 3.0, all media looks for the embedded key and uses it automatically. Your DVD can install Core or Pro even though the Box says Pro. If you bought Core you'd get the same DVD just a different product code. To go from core to pro you need the Pro Pack. It sucks for some but that's the way it is. Normally you wouldn't buy full media to install on a PC that came with 8.1 already installed. You'd buy the Pro Pack that is only a Product key to be used though the add features. Or a Media Center key that is used the same way. If you use that media on a PC that doesn't have an OEM embedded key you'll get prompted to enter one. You could enter a Core or Pro key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 879
    Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by NEOBAHAMUT View Post
    I have bought a Dell Inspiron 15R which arrived this week. I have already decided that I am going to install my own copy of Windows 8.1 Professional on to my system.

    I have tried this several times now and I keep failing. I am booting from my DVD and the install goes fine. However during install I am normally prompted to enter my Serial for 8.1 and it does not do this. It progresses as though everything is ok, I can format the Hard drive and then it proceeds to install Windows 8.1.

    Once fully installed I then go to see if it is activated and to my surprise it is. It has activated with the same Serial as the OEM that came with the laptop.
    Upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Pro with a Windows 8.1 Pro product key.

    Add Features to Windows 8





    8. If you Already Have a Product Key Number

    A) Enter your product key number of the feature or edition that you purchased, wait for the key to be approved, click/tap on Next, and go to step 10 below. (see screenshot below)

    Note
    You can use this option to do either of this below:


    • Add the Windows Media Center feature to Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro.
    • Upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro with a Windows 8 Pro product key.
    • Upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Pro with a Windows 8.1 Pro product key.




      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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