Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Cannot install in UEFI, how to retrieve key?

  1. #1


    Posts : 50
    Windows 7 64bit

    Cannot install in UEFI, how to retrieve key?


    So this machine apparently has an issue where it wont boot to the cdrom in UEFI mode, Secure boot on or off. Doesnt even give the option. I loaded it with 8.1 fine in legacy mode but it wont pull the key with the old tool i use that apparently most of you say dont even use anymore.


    Any ideas for me for maybe a bootable disk that can read the key?

    Its a Inspiron 5720 if anybody knows a workaround. The old drive died completely that was UEFI loaded so I couldnt get into it to read the key to activate the legacy mode load.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    If the computer came with Windows 8 or 8.1 then the key is embedded in BIOS so all you need to do is reinstall the OS and you should be set.

    If you didn't make the recovery disc set, you can download a Windows 8.1 ISO then create a DVD or bootable flash drive (my preference) and install that way.

    See here: Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create

    If it came with Windows 7 then Key should be on the COA sticker on the case somewhere. Look under the battery.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 50
    Windows 7 64bit


    For being you have 2714 posts I would think by now you would have caught on that machines havent had keys on the case in i believe 3 years?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    I did "catch on". I forgot that this was the Windows 8 forum, as I was just in the Windows 7 forum.

    I was fixing my original post while you were composing your snide remark.

    By the way. Any computer OS prior to Windows 8 will have a COA sticker on the case, even if it is purchased today. Age of computer has nothing to do with it. Which OS was install is the determining factor, and even then, not all Windows 8 computers had the key embedded in BIOS. Some early ones did not.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 50
    Windows 7 64bit


    Well I found an explanation on how to add a boot device to secure boot. No clue why this machine even after bios updates it wont detect the windows disk as bootable.

    For those who come across this post. You add a boot device. Name is whatever you want. Select the cdrom. Under file name you must type \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI

    I think its stupid that the technology that is so much more advanced than bios cant distinguish that a disk is bootable without that but I dont know.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 50
    Windows 7 64bit


    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    I did "catch on". I forgot that this was the Windows 8 forum, as I was just in the Windows 7 forum.

    I was fixing my original post while you were composing your snide remark.

    By the way. Any computer OS prior to Windows 8 will have a COA sticker on the case, even if it is purchased today. Age of computer has nothing to do with it. Which OS was install is the determining factor, and even then, not all Windows 8 computers had the key embedded in BIOS. Some early ones did not.

    You can order a brand new machine with windows 7. HP, Dell, Acer, And Lenovo. None of them give you that key. They are all windows 8 or 10 pro copy with downgrades. So the 7 activates similarly to the OEM activation back before windows 8 and use a generic key making it a nightmare to reload without the official disks.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


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


    This utility will get you your Windows 8 embedded key and tell you what version its for. Showkey - Windows 10 Forums Then go here and download the version you need, Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help Use the option to create install media and make a bootable thumb drive.

    It's been my experience that windows 7 OEM PC's that use OEM SLP activation also have a COA sticker on them with a product code that will work with standard off the shelf install media. If you can read that code you don't need the custom OEM install media. There is no key stored in the BIOS for Windows 7 and earlier. That's why a code is printed on the COA sticker. It's not printed on Windows 8/8.1 and 10 OEM PC's because its stored in the BIOS and not needed. Any official Microsoft install media will read it and use it, and activate with it. The only caveat is you have to install the correct version matching the key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 50
    Windows 7 64bit


    Thanks.. The one thing that pisses me off sometimes is when the machines go in for service and they dont put a code in the bios. Microsoft should require this as 90% of the time they dont issue a paper key since with a bad motherboard they cannot pull up the key and dont want to issue another.

    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    This utility will get you your Windows 8 embedded key and tell you what version its for. Showkey - Windows 10 Forums Then go here and download the version you need, Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help Use the option to create install media and make a bootable thumb drive.

    It's been my experience that windows 7 OEM PC's that use OEM SLP activation also have a COA sticker on them with a product code that will work with standard off the shelf install media. If you can read that code you don't need the custom OEM install media. There is no key stored in the BIOS for Windows 7 and earlier. That's why a code is printed on the COA sticker. It's not printed on Windows 8/8.1 and 10 OEM PC's because its stored in the BIOS and not needed. Any official Microsoft install media will read it and use it, and activate with it. The only caveat is you have to install the correct version matching the key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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