Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to Upgrade from 8.1 Retail to 8.1 OEM?

  1. #11


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player


    I'm not a techie, but having lived through some refreshes and restores recently, I thought the following might be of interest:

    If it's OEM maybe you have a Recovery partition that you can restore back to. Or maybe you could Refresh (which I think uses that same Recovery partition if it exists, otherwise may work with your cd).

    Problem is that whichever of these options you use, you will lose all programs you have installed since you first started, but with refresh at least you keep your files. Plus if your OEM was W8 it will take you back to W8 again.

    If you have a system image that you made after you set up Windows as you wanted it that could avoid having to reinstall programs but you might still have to go through all the updates to W8.1.

    Or you could have a look at this thread:

    Official Microsoft ISO/Media Creation Tool

    which will allow you to download a copy of W8.1 complete with updates to use as a fresh install. But again you wouldn't have all your additional programs and files.

    Think you will probably have to choose which of these is the least painful and go for it .

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


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


    Quote Originally Posted by FritzCT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    This generic code you entered? Where did you enter it, in add features? If you open the System page does it show Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center?
    Ok so I was using 8.1 Pro (OEM). If I remember correctly there was a link under Windows Edition in System (it doesn't seem to be there now though) that I followed. I then followed on screen prompts that eventually took me to an upgrade page. That's where I used the code. The system re-booted and it now says Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Centre, which MS support have told me is a retail version for which I would need to buy another key to activate. All links followed were direct from windows and then from MS page to MS page, no external links.

    I'm not going to buy a new key just so I can have Media Centre so I'd like to go back to my OEM version, which I can activate.

    Fritz
    Once you add Media Center the Add Features link goes away. There are no more features to add. Also, once you add Media Center, Windows activates with the Media Center key. That's your issue now, your Media Center key is blocked from activation. My guess is you used a key that was floating around for use with the preview builds. That key is now blacklisted by Microsoft. Do you have another Media Center key? If not your going to have to reinstall 8.1 Pro to get back to a legally activated system. You can't just uninstall Media Center either. You can turn it off in Windows features but that won't fix you activation issue.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 Bit


    Thanks for the help guys, feeling like such a dinlo right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by FritzCT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    This generic code you entered? Where did you enter it, in add features? If you open the System page does it show Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center?
    Ok so I was using 8.1 Pro (OEM). If I remember correctly there was a link under Windows Edition in System (it doesn't seem to be there now though) that I followed. I then followed on screen prompts that eventually took me to an upgrade page. That's where I used the code. The system re-booted and it now says Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Centre, which MS support have told me is a retail version for which I would need to buy another key to activate. All links followed were direct from windows and then from MS page to MS page, no external links.

    I'm not going to buy a new key just so I can have Media Centre so I'd like to go back to my OEM version, which I can activate.

    Fritz
    Once you add Media Center the Add Features link goes away. There are no more features to add. Also, once you add Media Center, Windows activates with the Media Center key. That's your issue now, your Media Center key is blocked from activation. My guess is you used a key that was floating around for use with the preview builds. That key is now blacklisted by Microsoft. Do you have another Media Center key? If not your going to have to reinstall 8.1 Pro to get back to a legally activated system. You can't just uninstall Media Center either. You can turn it off in Windows features but that won't fix you activation issue.
    I think you have summarised my problem perfectly (the term preview absolutely rings a bell) and it sounds like the clean install/ restore from image might be my only option.

    @saggymaggy, yes I'm, kind of hoping that there's still an image/ restore that I can access another way but it seems not.

    Lesson learnt, don't play with things you don't really understand!!

    If I go for the image restore what should I be saving/copyig before I do so?

    Fritz
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player


    Quote Originally Posted by FritzCT View Post
    If I go for the image restore what should I be saving/copyig before I do so?

    Fritz
    I would suggest you copy all your libraries (docs, videos, pictures etc.) onto an external drive. If you do a refresh you will still have these but no harm in doing it just in case. And you won't have them if you do a restore, factory restore or fresh install.

    Also export all your browser favourites. And try to get either a .exe for all the 3rd party programs you have installed, or know where to go to get these back.

    Basically anything that wasn't there when you first got the machine may be lost depending on the method used. I tend to go for overkill and save things even if I may not lose them.

    I did a refresh (well 2 actually), which sort of kept my Windows Store apps. They were listed in my Store account but I had to reinstall them. And I lost my history on them (I was playing solitaire daily challenges and lost everything I had done during the month).

    If your system image is very old, you might not gain a lot from using that unless it does have the 3rd party programs you want to keep.

    If you choose to refresh or recover, remember this will take you back to W8 if that was what you started with. There will then be well over 100 updates to install before you can move up to W8.1, plus a stack more afterwards. You can get challenges from trying to install all the updates in one go and it can take a few attempts (and several hours) to get through the process.

    If I have to do this again, I will definitely be looking at the clean install from the link I posted before. It should remove a lot of the pain of getting back to where you are now.

    On the positive side: it could be a good opportunity to do a clean-up of programs that seemed like a good idea .

    And there is a lot of helpful advice on the forum, including lots of tutorials that will give you a step by step guide to refreshing, restoring etc. I'm not very technical but the information on this forum has helped me work through a whole range of issues.

    Good luck whatever you decide to do.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


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


    I think this will work for Windows 8 also, I just don't know what you would enter, UNAWAVE - Downgrade Ultimate to Home Premium or Professional
    I'm pretty sure at least one forum member has tried it, but it will be a really old thread and hard to find. You need somebody with Core (I think) to look up what they have listed in their registry. All my PC's are running 8.1 Pro with MC so I can't help you with that. Just backup the registry key before you try editing it, if you decide to try it. What do you have for install media? You may have to download 8.1 Pro from here, Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    After seeing all this discussion I think the image from May is the best bet.

    Restore your computer from a system image backup - Windows Help

    But make sure you save your files first (if they are still there).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    I think this will work for Windows 8 also, I just don't know what you would enter, UNAWAVE - Downgrade Ultimate to Home Premium or Professional
    I'm pretty sure at least one forum member has tried it, but it will be a really old thread and hard to find.
    This tutorial uses the same method to remove WMC from 8.1 Pro so should let you revert to non-pro also - Media Center - Remove and Go Back to Windows 8 Pro
    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    You need somebody with Core (I think) to look up what they have listed in their registry.
    - I don't have non-pro either unfortunately.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    South Coast NSW, Australia
    Posts : 615
    Windows 8.1 'Ultimate' RTM 64 bit (Pro/WMC).


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by FritzCT View Post
    No it doesn't. I know I'm in retail because I spoke to MS support and they told me what had happened. They looked for a restore point, couldn't find one (I had already looked) and said simplest way back is to re-install. I'm just hoping there's another way back without me having to do a clean install
    There is no easy way to go back once you upgrade to Pro or add Media Center. Old restore points are deleted, likely because if you used one of them you would mess up your system.

    That's why I love system images, Alpha... always dead easy to go back (assuming the image you restore is a good one - I have struck a bad one occasionally).


    Wenda.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


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


    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    I think this will work for Windows 8 also, I just don't know what you would enter, UNAWAVE - Downgrade Ultimate to Home Premium or Professional
    I'm pretty sure at least one forum member has tried it, but it will be a really old thread and hard to find.
    This tutorial uses the same method to remove WMC from 8.1 Pro so should let you revert to non-pro also - Media Center - Remove and Go Back to Windows 8 Pro
    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    You need somebody with Core (I think) to look up what they have listed in their registry.
    - I don't have non-pro either unfortunately.
    I didn't think there was a tutorial on that or I would have looked, my bad. I do believe the OP has an 8.1 Pro key so that should work for him. I just wasn't sure if you had to change it to Pro or Core in the registry. Now we'll just wait and see what the OP actually does or did.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 Bit


    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    I think this will work for Windows 8 also, I just don't know what you would enter, UNAWAVE - Downgrade Ultimate to Home Premium or Professional
    I'm pretty sure at least one forum member has tried it, but it will be a really old thread and hard to find.
    This tutorial uses the same method to remove WMC from 8.1 Pro so should let you revert to non-pro also - Media Center - Remove and Go Back to Windows 8 Pro
    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    You need somebody with Core (I think) to look up what they have listed in their registry.
    - I don't have non-pro either unfortunately.

    Ok so do I understand correctly that the 8forums 16077 link you have provided is to remove MC from win 8 Pro with MC and revert back to win 8 Pro. Because this sound like what I need to do albeit with 8.1 not 8. I don't own 8 and never have the original install on this PC was Win 8.1 Pro 64 bit OEM.

    If so I assume I can just change the Product Name to Windows 8.1 Pro instead of Windows 8 Pro as in the tutorial?

    I have the original install disk still so there's no need for me to create the install media.

    Assuming I do this and it all goes wrong will I still be able to use my May restore image?

    I guess you can guess what I'm thinking. Try to go back using the link posted and if that fails use my image.

    Also many thanks for your help so far, it is very much appreciated.

    fritz

    EDIT: I have 83 Gb of 223 Gb available on my C drive. I think that's plenty but is that enough?

    EDIT 2: The original install was Windows 8.1 Pro OEM so if anyone has that please can they tell me what their registry says
    Last edited by FritzCT; 02 Dec 2014 at 07:58.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
How to Upgrade from 8.1 Retail to 8.1 OEM?
Related Threads
can i change the key, from a volume license kms one, to upgrade retail one?
Sorry if this is in the wrong section or a similar question has been asked before. My Desktop is Windows 7 Pro, (which I am used to), and I wondered can someone point me in the right direction please :o I am getting, (hope) a new HP laptop for Xmas with OEM version of Windows 8. In case I...
Hi I have a full retail copy of Windows 7 and upgraded to WIndows 8 Pro via the online download and did a fresh install. My question is what happens if I want to replace the motherboard? With the Windows 7 Retail copy I could just reinstall and away I go, but now that've I've upgraded, I have...
I just downloaded the Technet version of Win8 Pro. When trying to UPGRADE the RP version, I keep getting a message to "remove install media, boot windows normally, and then add the install media afterwards". Of course, nothing happens when I reboot, heh. It LOOKS like I will have to do a clean...
Solved Windows 8 Retail upgrade over WGA Windows 7 in Windows Updates & Activation
Hi, I have a neghbourhood-assembled PC in which they installed bootlegged Windows 7 copy. I later availed the Windows Genuine Advantage offer on a Windows 7 Ultimate copy. Per the licence, the licence is valid for only that computer on which the activation failed (my above mentioned PC). Now,...
I have windows 7 home premium with retail box license in my computer. I am thinking of upgrading to windows 8 pro because of low upgrading fee but I doubt if I have a retail box license after upgrade ? I wanna keep my retail license since oem license expires if I chance my mainboard.I experienced ...
Hi there I needed a second smallish decent laptop -- I bought one the other day -- was pre-installed with W7 but I got a free voucher for a W8 upgrade when W8 hits the streets. My point is this : the W7 pre-installed stuff is full of Vendors junk and stupid things like Mcafee 60 day trial....
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook