Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Product Key confusion

  1. #1


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1

    Product Key confusion


    Hi, my laptop has recently been causing me problems so I thought that I would reset or refresh the installation. Unfortunately I reached the point where I am totally confused. I'm really regretting upgrading from Windows 7 but maybe someone can help me out.

    I purchased my laptop some 3 years ago with Windows 7 pre installed. In January 2013 I decided to take advantage of the special offer to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro and purchased it online. I successfully downloaded and completed the install.

    I then added Windows Media centre.

    So at this point I had a working machine a product key for Windows 8 Pro and another key for Media Centre.

    Following recent updates I have run into numerous problems. Inability to get online, Windows update constantly fails, occasionally when I boot up the keyboard goes crazy, certain keys don't work at all and the w acts as a delete button!

    So I decided to do something about it. I tried windows recovery via the usb that I set up sometime ago but it failed saying the media was invalid. So I then went to the Microsoft site to download an ISO version of 8.1 but it rejected my product key. Probably because the Media centre key had overwritten the Windows key.

    I have a genuine version of Windows 8.1 Pro with Media centre but I cannot repair it as I don't have a product key that will allow me to download a copy of the version that I have.

    If I download Windows 8 from the Microsoft site how can I then make it 8 Pro and can I also re download Media centre using my old media centre product key and then cross my fingers and trust that update will successfully work?

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Llewitha

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


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


    What site did you go to, to do the download? And what key did you use for that download? If you used a key finder to retrieve your key it likely pulled the Media Center Key from the registry. Once you upgrade to Media center it becomes the key your PC activates with. You can't download 8 or 8.1 with a Media Center key. If it was your 8.0 Pro key, you can't download 8.1 Pro with it either. Well you can but you have to have the old setup file listed in this tutorial. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create.
    Once you get the ISO you can do this. Activate retail Windows 8.1 with Windows 8 Product key.
    The Media Center key can only be used though add features if you are running Pro.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1


    Hi thanks for responding,
    This is the site I went to to do the download Upgrading Windows with only a product key - Windows Help. Yes I used a key finder and as I said I did think that it was the Media centre key. The only other key I have is the original 8.0 Pro key.

    I will try your suggestion going to that tutorial to access the old set up file and report back. Don't think I'm messing you about if you don't hear from me for a day or two. I'm going to a beer festival (real ale) so I might need a couple of days to get my head back on.

    Thanks again
    I'll be back

    Llewitha
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


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


    Yeah, use the 8 Pro key not the Media Center key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1


    Thanks guys for your help.

    All sorted now

    Btw The beer festival was good.

    Llewitha
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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