Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How do I install Windows 8 and use the embedded COA?

  1. #1

    How do I install Windows 8 and use the embedded COA?


    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 drive. Now.. here's the problem.. I'm good with a screwdriver or a soldering iron but software isn't my strong point.

    It's a genuine Windows 8 machine and as I understand it, it will have the genuine COA embedded in the bios right?
    Now I've tried installing Windows 8.0 64bit OEM which I believe is the correct uk ISO, and I've tried the Pro version also but with both, neither seem to pick up the embedded COA and therefor do not activate.

    Am I correct in thinking that it might be because I have to use CSM mode in the bios to get it to recognise my installation media? If I had a UEFI version would it make any difference?
    Or am I barking up the wrong tree altogether lol

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


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


    I own a small company which recycles IT equipment.
    http://oem.microsoft.com/public/worl...guidelines.pdf

    Microsoft Windows Operating System Licensing Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Microsoft Windows Operating System Licensing Guide
    When is a new Windows operating system license required and when is one not required?

    A new Windows license is not required for a refurbished PC that has:
    1. The original Certificate of Authenticity (COA) for a Windows operating system affixed to the PC, and
    2. The original recovery media or hard-disk based recovery image associated with the PC.
    The operating system identified on the original COA indicates the edition of Windows that was originally licensed for that PC and the refurbisher can
    use either:
    1. The original recovery media or
    2. The original hard-disk based recovery image to reinstall the operating system software specified on the COA.
    The original recovery option (described above) used to reinstall the software on a refurbished PC must accompany any distribution of the
    refurbished PC. Prior to relinquishing a PC for refurbishment, the end user can contact the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the PC to
    obtain the appropriate recovery media for a fee—subject to availability. Second-hand recovery media is sometimes offered for sale by individuals
    in various forums and markets. Purchasing media from unknown sources is not recommended as it introduces the risks of copyright infringement,
    improper licensing and infected/corrupted or incomplete software.

    A new Windows license is required for a refurbished PC if:
    1. The refurbisher did not obtain the original recovery media along with the system to be refurbished or
    2. The PC does not have a hard-disk based recovery image.
    The refurbisher must purchase a new Windows license in order to
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Are you looking for the Product Key ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Ahhh... so does that mean then that because the hard drive has been removed, that it now needs a new purchase of a license?

    This is a new problem for us. We are now beginning to have Windows 8 machines filtering in as ex-lease machines and normally all hard drives are removed or at the very least completely formatted.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Are you looking for the Product Key ?
    That would be good. We had a similar problem with one a few weeks ago but ended up dismantling it anyway. I'm sure the retrieved key (using Belarc) came us as being blacklisted when we tried to use it for activation? We haven't tried that method with this one, I had hoped for a solution where the key would automatically be detected.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Why not just use the option to return them to original factory settings instead of removing the hard drives ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Sausage View Post
    Ahhh... so does that mean then that because the hard drive has been removed, that it now needs a new purchase of a license?

    This is a new problem for us. We are now beginning to have Windows 8 machines filtering in as ex-lease machines and normally all hard drives are removed or at the very least completely formatted.
    If you do not use OEM manufacturer's PC Recovery disk or Recovery Partition, YES you need a new purchase of a license as always with OEM manufacturer's Windows .
    but you can sell a PC with no OS installed.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Why not just use the option to return them to original factory settings instead of removing the hard drives ?
    These are removed or wiped before we get them by paranoid IT companies at the end of the equipment's lease period.

    Ok. It seems that we may need to look into the cost of joining the MS refurbisher program if we are to explore the possibility of reselling these as complete machines - although I suspect it will be simpler and possibly more profitable just to carry on breaking them for individual parts..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by Sausage View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Are you looking for the Product Key ?
    That would be good. We had a similar problem with one a few weeks ago but ended up dismantling it anyway. I'm sure the retrieved key (using Belarc) came us as being blacklisted when we tried to use it for activation? We haven't tried that method with this one, I had hoped for a solution where the key would automatically be detected.
    If you have a way to find the key with Belarc, my method would be useless.
    I'll provide it anyway.

    Crank up the Ultrabook & connect it to the internet & download this vbs script:

    ShowKey.vbs

    Right click it & choose Properties & click Unblock & Apply & OK.
    {check it with a virus scanner first if you wish}

    Then run it.
    It should show your Product ID & Key.

    Click image for larger version

    If you still have the original HD in it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    If you still have the original HD in it.
    Thanks David, this particular machine came without the original hard drive unfortunately

    Does anyone know the approximate cost for joining the refurbisher programs? I'm not really sure if we'd have a big enough turnover of machines to make it cost effective.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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