Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


New Hard Drive - Win 8 Re Install

  1. #1

    New Hard Drive - Win 8 Re Install


    I have a win 8 Dell Vostro 2520 - The hard drive has crashed - so Ive ordered a new one. I have a win 8.1 home premuim DVD - but have used the license key on another install.

    Would I be able to use this disk to reinstall Win 8 on the laptop - or does it have to be precisley the same version to pick up the key in the Bios ?

    If I have to go to dell for reinstall disks or buy and 8.1 license - it makes the repair not viable....

    Any help appreciated....

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Download the same version of Windows that you had from this link:
    Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help
    then re-install. As long as it's the same version, Windows will read the Keys from BIOS and activate it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Thank you.
    How do I know which version of win 8 I had installed ? - can I tell this from the bios

    What I trying to avoid is downloading loads of different version of win 8 ...win 8.1 - install, install, then if fails to activate !
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64


    Quote Originally Posted by kingrollo View Post
    How do I know which version of win 8 I had installed ? - can I tell this from the bios
    If you can not boot your Windows, its difficult to say. Another option would be to surf your laptops manufacturer and search your laptop model in its database. They usually publish whats called Product Page, or Product specifications, where they mention preinstalled Windows version.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingrollo View Post
    If I have to go to dell for reinstall disks or buy and 8.1 license - it makes the repair not viable....
    A way to avoid reinstalling your Windows everytime something goes terribly wrong is to get an image of your Windows installation using image software such as TrueImage. It will also preserve your Windows license.

    However, if you have already purchased a Windows license by the time you adquired your laptop, from my perspective, its acceptable to install a pirated copy (but same edition) and then proceed with pirate activation. Therefore you wont have to worry about license, activation process, etc.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


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


    My MSDN ISO's, which I believe are identical to retail DVD's, will install 8.1 (Core) or 8.1 Pro depending on what key is detected or entered. If I use that ISO on my laptop, 8.1 (Core) is installed by default with no prompt to enter any key. Activates online automatically with no issues. My laptop has an 8.0 (Core) embedded key. If I use the same ISO on my desktop PC, that has no embedded key, I'm prompted to enter a product code. If I enter a Pro key Pro is installed, if I enter a non Pro Core key, core is installed. Try the DVD you have, if you don't get prompted for a key your all set, if you do get asked to enter a key, then try the Media Creation Tool download. If the COA sticker doesn't say Pro on it, it's likely 8.1 or 8.1 Single Language. Hopefully its not the With Bing version as that can be hard to get your hands on. As far as I know, there is no such thing as Windows 8.1 Home Premium? There is 8.1 and 8.1 Pro.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    OK - its asking for key ! - with the 8.1 OEM version that I purchased or the 8.1 pro ISO that I downloaded ? - any ideas - ? pretty desparate now !
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by kingrollo View Post
    OK - its asking for key ! - with the 8.1 OEM version that I purchased or the 8.1 pro ISO that I downloaded ? - any ideas - ? pretty desparate now !
    Well if you downloaded a Pro version you'll need to put in a Pro Key! If your OEM version was Core then you'll need to download core version for your embedded key to work!! or to use your purchased OEM Core Key

    If its not accepting your embedded key you probably have the wrong ISO
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Clintlgm View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kingrollo View Post
    OK - its asking for key ! - with the 8.1 OEM version that I purchased or the 8.1 pro ISO that I downloaded ? - any ideas - ? pretty desparate now !
    Well if you downloaded a Pro version you'll need to put in a Pro Key! If your OEM version was Core then you'll need to download core version for your embedded key to work!! or to use your purchased OEM Core Key

    If its not accepting your embedded key you probably have the wrong ISO
    Thats the problem as the HDD crashed I don't know which version it is ? - its a dell vostro 2520 it came with win 8 preinstalled
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


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


    If the COA sticker doesn't say Pro its likely Core or Core Single language. If you've tried Core now try the Single Language version. If you still get asked for a key then it was the with Bing edition. I'd be surprised if it was the with Bing, that's only installed on low end system with small screens, as far as I know anyway. There is a showkey.vbs tool that will tell you but you have to be able to boot into windows to run it. these keys will let you install Windows 8 but won't activate.
    Windows 8 (core): 334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT

    Windows 8 Pro: XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB

    Windows 8 Enterprise: MNDGV-M6PKV-DV4DR-CYY8X-2YRXH
    FHQNR-XYXYC-8PMHT-TV4PH-DRQ3H
    I got them from this thread, Activate retail Windows 8.1 with Windows 8 Product key. Once in option six here, Product Key - Find for Windows 8 should tell you what you want to know.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Did you register the computer when you bought it? If so you may be able to go to the Manufacturers web site and see the specs for you system, including what OS was installed.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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