Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Fresh 8.1 install, but unable to activate windows

  1. #1

    Fresh 8.1 install, but unable to activate windows


    Hello,

    I'm in a twist and I'm not exactly sure what the problem is.

    I bought a new laptop with Win8 pre-installed (and immediately updated it to 8.1).
    I decided after a week to buy an SSD and installed Win8.
    I now find there is no product key to be found, and can't seem to activate Windows.

    1. I've tried a few things. I tried to enable UEFI in PC Settings, but the setting isn't there (does this mean my laptop doesn't support UEFI?)
    2. I entered my BIOS. CWM was enabled, and pwe enable. But SECURE BOOT disabled. So I enabled SECURE BOOT, but regardless of what options I select, the laptop keeps booting into the [Legacy] BIOS, possible because there are no BOOT OPTION PRIORITIES found any longer?

    And where I'm at. My problem is activating windows, and if UEFI is an option, enabling it.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 406
    W10 Pro X64


    amalething, welcome to EightForums. Look here to find your product key

    Product Key - Find for Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Hi Dude,
    Thank you for your recommendation. I didn't realise this was the case.
    I suspected it wouldn't be of help, but I downloaded Produkey, but its only reporting the temporary Win8 Enterprise Product Key.

    To clarify, having freshly installed Win8.1, would you recommend reinstalling Win8 instead?
    From your previous link, it would appear I've installed the wrong copy.

    Thanks again.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by amalething View Post
    Hi Dude,
    Thank you for your recommendation. I didn't realise this was the case.
    I suspected it wouldn't be of help, but I downloaded Produkey, but its only reporting the temporary Win8 Enterprise Product Key.

    To clarify, having freshly installed Win8.1, would you recommend reinstalling Win8 instead?
    From your previous link, it would appear I've installed the wrong copy.

    Thanks again.
    It sounds as if you are trying to activate and Enterprise Win 8.1, the key built into your MB is probably a Core Version, you will need to purchase a Enterprise Product Key to activate? To use the key embedded on your motherboard you will have to load the same version. Core, Pro, Enterprise?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Thanks Clintlgm

    I still have the original HDD in tact, so I'll boot from that drive and find which OS was installed.
    Failing the fresh install route, I'll consider cloning my original drive.

    Update to follow
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


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


    If you can get hold of the correct install media it will read your embedded OEM key from the BIOS automatically. My TechNet 8.0 ISO's read my laptops OEM 8 Core key and install 8 Core automatically. I'm not prompted to enter a code and activation is done automatically online. As far as I know Retail DVD's do it too. They are multi edition and can install Core or Pro depending on the key entered. It sounds like you downloaded the Windows 8 Enterprise trial, which won't use the embedded key. Even if you know what it is the Enterprise edition will reject it if you try to enter it manually.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Hi alphanumeric
    Thanks for your input. I think you're right, from what I read it sounds like it should read it automatically.

    I currently running the original hdd which has been activated. So I've got me key just in case. And I'm about to find out which version of Windows I have.

    I'm swapping out the hdds into my server to clone the original. Fortunately my hdd was in AHCI mode, perfect for the SSD.

    Would the general opinion be that its best to clone, or fresh install?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


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


    I did a fresh install when I swapped my laptops drive with an SSD. I tried cloning but it didn't work. I used the utility that came with my Crucial M4, it came with a cloning kit with the USB to SATA adapter. I had also tried doing a Reset with the Recovery Drive I created before the swap and it failed too. Most of my issues were "I believe" due to the size difference of the two drives. The factory drive was 750 GB and my SSD was only 128 GB. Resizing some of the partitions to make them fit seemed to mess things up. It was quit a while ago now so what I did is a bit hazy now. It shouldn't hurt to try cloning first, if it works it makes things easy.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Just checked the OS version using Belarc, it says "Windows 8.1 (x64) (build 9600)". It was 8.1 build 9600 (Enterprise) that I'd just installed.
    How can I find out which exact version Pro, Core or Enterprise, that I have?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Yeah, I thought cloning seemed hard work. Given the laptop is only 4 weeks old and I saved all my installs/drivers ready for when I purchase the SSD.
    I too have the Crucial M4 128.

    I'm still wondering about the Secure Boot issue. Belarc reports "Boot Mode: UEFI with Secure Boot disabled", which is also my understanding.
    If I was to enable this, must it be done before installing Windows, or can this be looked into at a later date?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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