Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Refurbished Laptop: Is the Key still good?

  1. #1


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 64bit

    Refurbished Laptop: Is the Key still good?


    I want to perform a fresh install for a refurbished laptop; but I heard that the product keys for a refurbished computer may not be "compatible" with the retail Windows 8 used for reinstallation via the application from the windows website. Is this true? If I go ahead with a fresh install, should I use a keyfinder program beforehand? Even so, would it work?

    Also, does Windows 8 offer phone verification like windows 7 did?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 64bit


    installation - Clean install Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 from OEM key - Super User

    I found an apparent work around, can anyone here confirm this works or not? I don't want to be stuck with an inactivated copy of windows
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


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


    All I can tell you is, the ISO's available on TechNet and MSDN will read and use the embedded OEM BIOS keys. The Microsoft Windows 8.0 ISO will read and use my laptops embedded 8.0 key. The keys offered for those ISO's are Retail keys so those ISO's will use OEM or Retail keys. You have to match the version to the key though. My TechNet 8.1 ISO will not use the 8.0 embedded key, it prompts to enter one. I do believe the TechNet ISO's are identical to what you would get if you bought a Windows DVD off the shelf or online. I haven't confirmed it though. If your embedded key is for a special version like "Single Language" that can be the issue you mention. Retail install media may reject that key.
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  4. #4


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink
    Unfortunately, you will not be able to activate a "retail" Windows 8 with an OEM product key. You must have a retail key instead.
    As with all OEM manufacturer's PC to do a clean install, you use the OEM recovery media.

    To do a custom clean install on OEM manufacturer's PC, as you would do on self-build you need to buy a Product Key.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 64bit


    It's just that I bought a refurbished laptop with an OEM key. I've heard that I could do a fresh install of 8.1 using a generic install key and then when I activate it, I could use my OEM key. Is this true?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2,627
    win8.1.1 enterprise


    how old is the laptop,and what is its make and model laptop.
    as for the msdn iso's working to reinstall with a oem key ,i have never done it with a uefi bios embedded key ,but have been using them for years now on laptops with no recovery partition or dvd of there own ,and using the windows key on the bottom of the laptop
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  7. #7


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 64bit


    Asus G75VX; refurbished, bought from newegg. Came only with the battery/power supply. If they supplied a retail license instead of this OEM stuff, I wouldn't have this problem. Talked online with an MS rep and they said I couldn't switch/upgrade from an OEM to a Retail License, I would have to buy a new retail license. The key was embedded in the OS. The sticker for Win8 is on the bottom of course, but the product key is no longer there (which is normal from what I hear).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


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


    Quote Originally Posted by danmaku View Post
    It's just that I bought a refurbished laptop with an OEM key. I've heard that I could do a fresh install of 8.1 using a generic install key and then when I activate it, I could use my OEM key. Is this true?
    Post no 14 here would indicate to me that yes you can. Activate retail Windows 8.1 with Windows 8 Product key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 2,627
    win8.1.1 enterprise


    Quote Originally Posted by danmaku View Post
    Asus G75VX; refurbished, bought from newegg. Came only with the battery/power supply. If they supplied a retail license instead of this OEM stuff, I wouldn't have this problem. Talked online with an MS rep and they said I couldn't switch/upgrade from an OEM to a Retail License, I would have to buy a new retail license. The key was embedded in the OS. The sticker for Win8 is on the bottom of course, but the product key is no longer there (which is normal from what I hear).
    yeah, the key is now embedded into the bios ,and windows gets it from there when you install it .other poster on here who uses msdn retail win8.1 iso's and it worked
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


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


    Quote Originally Posted by caperjack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by danmaku View Post
    Asus G75VX; refurbished, bought from newegg. Came only with the battery/power supply. If they supplied a retail license instead of this OEM stuff, I wouldn't have this problem. Talked online with an MS rep and they said I couldn't switch/upgrade from an OEM to a Retail License, I would have to buy a new retail license. The key was embedded in the OS. The sticker for Win8 is on the bottom of course, but the product key is no longer there (which is normal from what I hear).
    yeah, the key is now embedded into the bios ,and windows gets it from there when you install it .other poster on here who uses msdn retail win8.1 iso's and it worked
    My COA sticker on my laptop has no product code on it. I used RWEverything to pull it out of the BIOS. RWEverything | Read & Write Everything ACPI > MSDM > scroll down and you should find it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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