Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


My Windows 8.1 is not genuine - how to back up everything?

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1

    My Windows 8.1 is not genuine - how to back up everything?


    Hi, I'm in a bit of a pickle and I'm wondering if anyone here can give me some advice?

    Just over a month ago I bought a laptop from a local shop that came with Windows 8.1 installed. I've spent the time since then installing programs, copying all my files over and most importantly tweaking a lot of things to get everything looking and working just how I want it to.

    I'm really happy with it now but last week I found out that the shop I bought it from had closed down and the man running it has been arrested for supplying & installing counterfeit software (among other things). I didn't get any sort of documentation or discs with the laptop and there is a Windows sticker on the bottom but all the writing is sort of faded/rubbed off so I'm pretty sure that the copy of Windows on my system is dodgy.

    I've ordered a legal copy of Windows 8.1 from Amazon but I really don't want to start from scratch and install everything all over again - I can't even remember exactly what settings and tweaks I have implemented on the system so it wouldn't be an easy task at all to get it back to its current state.

    Is there any way that I can just copy my files, installed programs, settings etc. so that when I get the genuine Windows 8.1 and install it, I can just restore the backup and have everything exactly as it is now?

    Thanks
    Jamie

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Control Panel\System and Security\System bottom right corner "change Product Key" I believe this is all you'll need to do.
    Otherwise back up your data and clean Install and reconfigure
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Clintlgm View Post
    Control Panel\System and Security\System bottom right corner "change Product Key" I believe this is all you'll need to do.
    Otherwise back up your data and clean Install and reconfigure
    That may or may not work, depending on what edition is installed. If it's Core you'll have to enter a Core key, Pro a pro key. If it's Enterprise it likely won't accept a regular Core or Pro key. It's a good idea and would greatly simplify things if it worked but it has pitfalls. The other thing I'd worry about is how or if its been hacked/modified to cheat activation. If it was me I'd be seriously considering doing a clean install just to make sure my system was clean and secure.
    Last edited by alphanumeric; 25 May 2014 at 09:10.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


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


    @ BlueLightAlarm, open the system page and see what version is installed and if its activated. Press the Windows Logo Key and the pause/break key, then look under Windows edition. Also Can you tell what version of Windows the COA sticker is for?. The OEM applied Windows 8 COA stickers don't have a product code on them, all they have is Windows 8 Logo.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Thanks for the replies guys! I think the sticker is for Windows 7 - I can just about make out some of the lettering and there's deffo a '7' there.

    @alphanumeric - You raise a good point about what's been added to cheat activation - I may just do a clean install to be 100% sure it's all OK. Is there any way I can backup all my documents, files, programs etc. or will I just have to go through all my folders and copy all files to my USB HDD then re-install all the programs?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Canada
    Posts : 1,950
    windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro 64bit


    Use backup software like Macrium Reflect (Free) to backup your files. Note that backing up your programs will do no good in this case if you are doing a Clean install, they will have to be reinstalled.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Thanks.

    One thing I forgot to ask - is there a way to backup my drivers? I've re-installed earlier versions of Windows in the past and have always had problems with finding the right drivers so it'd be easier if I could just back them all up now
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Canada
    Posts : 1,950
    windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro 64bit


    Not a good idea to even try unless you want some little yellow flags. There are some programs out there but they are not reliable for the most part.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


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


    Quote Originally Posted by BlueLightAlarm View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys! I think the sticker is for Windows 7 - I can just about make out some of the lettering and there's deffo a '7' there.

    @alphanumeric - You raise a good point about what's been added to cheat activation - I may just do a clean install to be 100% sure it's all OK. Is there any way I can backup all my documents, files, programs etc. or will I just have to go through all my folders and copy all files to my USB HDD then re-install all the programs?
    C:\Users\(your user name) will be where your user folders are. Documents, Pictures, Music etc. You can just copy those folders to external media to backup most of your files. If your logged in with a Live ID and haven't turned off the OneDrive SYNC your PC settings will be backed up online. Charms Bar > Settings > Change PC Settings > OneDrive > Sync Settings. Depending on whats enebled it will save your IE favorites and passwords. Installed Apps, Start Screen etc. You can pick and chose what to sync or not. Otherwise you'll want to export your IE favorites and cookies, and maybe export your Outlook PST file if that's what you use for e-mail.


    Did you have a look at your system screen to see what's installed and if its activated? I'm just curious.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Did you have a look at your system screen to see what's installed and if its activated? I'm just curious.
    I just looked and it says Windows 8.1 Pro then at the bottom it says "Windows is activated" and there's a Product ID number
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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