Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


8.1 pro volume license key fails when installing from USB

  1. #1


    Posts : 38
    Windows 8.1x64 pro

    8.1 pro volume license key fails when installing from USB


    I have a Vostro laptop running Win 7 pro x86. I want to upgrade it to Win 8.1 pro x64 and have a volume license key. The optical drive on the laptop is broken so I need to install from a USB stick. I created a bootable USB drive from here:
    Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help

    The laptop boots from the stick, but when I input my license key, a message pops up saying it can't verify the product key.... please check your installation media. I have the laptop connected via ethernet cable, so I don't believe it's a connection issue.

    Is installing from a USB stick not supported for a volume license key?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/.../hh824952.aspx

    It appears you need to use volume license software and not OEM/Retail software
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 879
    Windows 10


    Windows 8.1 Pro Volume License with Update (x64) - MSDN ISO [November 2014 Rollup]

    File Name: en_windows_8.1_pro_vl_with_update_x64_dvd_6050880.iso
    Languages: English
    SHA1: 962A1D890987B5877469433928B8C8B8A3E945CD
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    The last time I messed around with VL, I could swap keys on retail media... things may have changed subsequently - need to do a quick VM test. Assume it's a Professional Volume:MAK key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 38
    Windows 8.1x64 pro


    Yes, I have the Win8.1 x64 ISO file. I tried the Windows USB/DVD download tool:
    Windows USB/DVD Download Tool - Microsoft Store

    but it failed with an error message something like:
    unable to run bootsect to make the usb bootable

    This on both a Win 8.1 pro x64 and a Win 7pro x64 computer.

    Now I'm trying a tool called Rufus: (I found over in Sevenforums)
    Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool - "unable to run bootsect" - Windows 7 Help Forums
    https://rufus.akeo.ie/

    It created the bootable USB drive without issue. I'll find out shortly if it works.

    Edit: Plugged in the USB drive, rebooted the laptop and chose the USB drive to boot from and it works great!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Good to hear - FYI: seems the retail media doesn't like MAK keys - they accept GVLK's though.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

8.1 pro volume license key fails when installing from USB
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