What looks strange to me about all this is you can restore an System Image (Windows 8 using Windows 8 recovery media) without any keys and it is already activated and ready to go, assuming you made the image after you activated.
That image can be put on a clean hard drive, so some of the problems that seem to have been encountered in this thread do not make sense. It may not want to re-image a Windows 8 image to a hard drive with 8.1 already on it.
Went to mount the .vhd file from my windowsimagebackup file and found that there were 3 total .vhd files to chose from (I'm using a Samsung Windows 8 tablet). I'm assuming the largest is the one that I should be mounting, correct?
When I image the mount of the .vhd and restore it, is there any chance of messing up the two other recovery images that appear to be on my c: drive when I look at the disk management screen?
I don't want to do anything that might not let me get back to square one if I need to.