Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Fresh Windows 8 Pro OEM Install on New SSD on Same Laptop

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1 Pro w/ Media Center

    Fresh Windows 8 Pro OEM Install on New SSD on Same Laptop


    Greetings,

    Situation:
    I purchased an ASUS laptop with an OEM Windows 8 Pro (not 8.1) OS back in December of 2012. Windows 8 Pro came pre-installed on the single HDD that was in the laptop. Since then I have upgraded to Windows 8.1 and have also purchased the Windows Pro Media Pack license key which is now installed on the HDD. So my current state on the HDD is Windows 8.1 Pro with the Media Center.

    Now, the laptop has a place for two hard drives and I recently purchased an SSD drive and installed it in the second slot. My goal here is to install Windows 8 using my original OEM key on my new SSD drive and then wipe my old HDD clean.

    Issue:

    I know that Windows 8 and 8.1 have different product keys. I also know that my OEM key is stored on my UEFI, which I was able to retrieve using a few of the tools supplied in various posts on the forums here. I downloaded the Windows 8.1 Media Creation Tool, chose Windows 8.1 Pro, and created an ISO. I then installed Windows 8.1 successfully on my SSD using the generic OEM key found in one of the other posts. However, when I go to activate my original Windows 8 Pro OEM key that I got from my BIOS it says the key won't work.

    What am I doing wrong here? I've been scouring this site for a few days now and have tried a few other approaches but to no avail. It seems like if this route won't work then I could get things working with a true Windows 8 Pro (not 8.1) ISO, but I can't find one anywhere that isn't shady, and Microsoft seems to have removed their Windows 8 (not 8.1) setup downloads from their site (although they used to have one because I've seen screenshots of it in a post on a different forum).

    I'm willing to provide any more information needed and retry any of the steps in any order recommended. I have a legal OEM key...it seems like I should be able to legally install Windows on a new drive on the same machine.

    Thanks to all who help!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    I know that Windows 8 and 8.1 have different product keys
    They use the same product key....

    I then installed Windows 8.1 successfully on my SSD using the generic OEM key found in one of the other posts.
    No need to use a generic key... If you where asked to enter a product key when using PRO software > then your Embedded Product Key is not a PRO key..

    Use ShowkeyPlus to retrieve the OEM embedded key and windows edition... link in my sig below...
    As there is Core, Single language and CoreConnected editions that OEM used..

    So since PRO asked for a product key - then the OEM Key is not for PRO Edition..

    have also purchased the Windows Pro Media Pack license key
    Or you may have to use that product key to activate PRO and get Media Center...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1 Pro w/ Media Center


    I'm quite confused then about your comment on the product keys not being different for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Here's a blurb from another reputable site about that:

    The problem is that Windows 8.1 product keys are different from Windows 8 product keys. You canít enter a Windows 8 product key into the Windows 8.1 installer, just as you canít enter a Windows 7 product key into the Windows 8 installer. You also canít install the original version of Windows 8 with a Windows 8.1 product key.
    This normally makes sense, but Windows 8.1 isnít really a different version of Windows. Itís a free upgrade to every single Windows 8 user, so thereís absolutely no reason to introduce a new product key system.
    Also, this link on the forum also show different OEM product keys for Windows 8 & 8.1 down in step 4.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1 Pro w/ Media Center


    Here are the details of what one of the key tools shows:

    Windows Product Key Information

    Product Name: Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Product ID: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX


    Installed Key: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX


    Original Key: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX


    Original Edition: Win 8 RTM Core OEM: DM


    OEM Key: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX


    OEM Edition: Win 8 RTM Core OEM: DM
    So this is showing both Windows 8 Pro and Core? I'm confused by that because when I purchased the laptop Windows 8 Pro was pre-installed.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    the OEM Embedded key is for standard windows 8/8.1 (Home/Core)

    the installed key is the Generic Key ( or your Pro Pack Key)

    As far as Product Keys = windows 8.1 will use and activate a windows 8 key

    If you want the SSD to use the OEM Embedded Product Key - Do Not Install Pro Edition..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


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


    Quote Originally Posted by risingTide View Post
    I'm quite confused then about your comment on the product keys not being different for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Here's a blurb from another reputable site about that:

    The problem is that Windows 8.1 product keys are different from Windows 8 product keys. You canít enter a Windows 8 product key into the Windows 8.1 installer, just as you canít enter a Windows 7 product key into the Windows 8 installer. You also canít install the original version of Windows 8 with a Windows 8.1 product key.
    This normally makes sense, but Windows 8.1 isnít really a different version of Windows. Itís a free upgrade to every single Windows 8 user, so thereís absolutely no reason to introduce a new product key system.
    Also, this link on the forum also show different OEM product keys for Windows 8 & 8.1 down in step 4.
    Originally that was true. Windows 8.0 and 8.1 had different sets of keys issued. But when Microsoft made 8.1 a free upgrade to 8.0, they coded 8.1 to accept 8.0 keys. current Windows 8.1 install media will install and activate with Windows 8.0 keys. As KYHI mentioned though, Core will not accept Pro keys and vice versa. If your OEM key is a Core key and you install Pro it will reject your OEM Core key. Install 8.1 Core and it will use your OEM Embedded 8.1 key. I've done it myself. Then do an add features and enter you Pro Pack key. My Media Center key that I got for Windows 8.0 also works in 8.1. I just can't install with it, it can only be used via add features.

    showkey will tell you what version your OEM embedded key is for. Verify that, then go from there. Showkey - Windows 10 Forums
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1 Pro w/ Media Center

    Solved!


    KYHI/alphanumeric,

    Thanks so much for the help. Over the last week had time to get back into this and got it working due to your advice. My fundamental flaw seemed to be...well...my human memory! I thought for sure that I purchased my laptop with Windows 8 Pro already installed, and then subsequently bought just the Windows Media Pack, and then upgraded to Windows 8.1. That's why I tried the fresh install with the Windows 8.1 Pro ISO. Apparently I was quite wrong, however, and purchased my laptop with Windows 8 Home (Core) and then subsequently bought WIndows Pro Pack with Media Center, and then upgrade to Windows 8.1. After figuring this out via finding "Core" on my OEM Edition Key (see above) and looking back through some old receipts and such I took your advice and created a Windows 8.1 Core ISO. Behold! It read the product key from the BIOS just as you both stated it would and I installed Windows 8.1 with an already activated product key upon first boot. I was then able to add my Windows Pro Pack with Media Center key as well.

    Now while that ended the current issue, I ran into another one so I figure I'll finish the story in case it helps someone. At that point I tried to upgrade to Windows 10. It downloaded fine but every time it went to reboot on the install it would boot up saying it failed, and would just start to download the Windows 10 upgrade from scratch again. After a few times of this I looked more closely at the error messages on the failed install and did some Googling. Well, in the midst of that googling I found a Microsoft page for a Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. So I did some research and found that in theory I should be able to create a Windows 10 ISO and it too will automatically pickup my Windows 8 OEM BIOS product key on install. Since my current Windows 10 upgrade wasn't working I abandoned that route (again) and tried the clean install with the Windows 10 ISO. And it worked! So then I had a fresh install of Windows 10 Home.

    Now that was good, but since I had bought the WIndows 8 Pro upgrade (turns out Media Center is dead after windows 8 but I still wanted Pro) I figured I should be able to apply that product key and upgrade my Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro. Simply changing the Windows 8 Pro product key wouldn't work and it turns out you have to apply a sort of generic Windows 10 Pro product key first which will actually upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, and then change your product key using the Windows 8 Pro Pack product key. Here's a link off Microsoft's site with the details of that process. Well, that worked and I now have the end result I wanted on my SSD drive: A clean, activated, genuine version of Windows 10 Pro.

    Thanks again KYHI & alphanumeric for the help!

    Hopefully this will help someone else in the future...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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