Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


BIOS-embedded Windows 8 product keys - reinstall troubles?

  1. #71


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    Agreed.. also regarding retail transfer, it would be great if there was a slmgr command to deactivate (on M$ server) the current install and reactivate the new online, when upgrading PC's...instead of having to jump through hoops with telephone activaton...
    doesn't slmgr.vbs -upk do that? I haven't got the confidence to try it personally in case I'm wrong.

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  2. #72


    Nope, just uninstalls the key locally -(the opposite of slmgr /ipk) - I was thinking something like the opposite of slmgr /ato.
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  3. #73


    Posts : 91
    windows 7 & 8


    I have 3 Windows 8 units... and have had to re-install all of them several times, for various reasons. Every time it is a nightmare, and have had to call Microsoft for verification every time, and the problem persists, because you have to have the identical product key for each machine.


    We use Media center, which forces you to upgrade to Windows pro and then install Media Center and each install changes your product key. I hate, HATE, HATE Microsoft for making it so damned hard to use your own legal machine. So even if you do a factory update, you have to make sure you have the identical Pro disk and/or key that you used for that machine. I can't remember if media center key are separate or if you have to use the same key, I think you do.

    I have 2 tablets I won't upgrade to 8.1, because it is just to difficult to re-install, if something goes awry.
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  4. #74


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by RBS View Post
    I have 3 Windows 8 units... and have had to re-install all of them several times, for various reasons. Every time it is a nightmare, and have had to call Microsoft for verification every time, and the problem persists, because you have to have the identical product key for key machine.


    We use Media center, which forces you to upgrade to Windows pro and then install Media Center and each install changes your product key. I hate, HATE, HATE Microsoft for making it so damned hard to use your own legal machine.

    I have 2 tablets I won't upgrade to 8.1, because it is just to difficult to re-install, if something goes awry.
    Try---

    Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

    {Standard Version}

    Restoring an image is easier than restoring an OS from scratch.
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  5. #75


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RBS View Post
    I have 3 Windows 8 units... and have had to re-install all of them several times, for various reasons. Every time it is a nightmare, and have had to call Microsoft for verification every time, and the problem persists, because you have to have the identical product key for key machine.


    We use Media center, which forces you to upgrade to Windows pro and then install Media Center and each install changes your product key. I hate, HATE, HATE Microsoft for making it so damned hard to use your own legal machine.

    I have 2 tablets I won't upgrade to 8.1, because it is just to difficult to re-install, if something goes awry.
    Try---

    Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

    {Standard Version}

    Restoring an image is easier than restoring an OS from scratch.
    Amen brother David, amen!

    Thanks for the reminder, time to image.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #76


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


    Quote Originally Posted by RBS View Post
    I have 3 Windows 8 units... and have had to re-install all of them several times, for various reasons. Every time it is a nightmare, and have had to call Microsoft for verification every time, and the problem persists, because you have to have the identical product key for each machine.


    We use Media center, which forces you to upgrade to Windows pro and then install Media Center and each install changes your product key. I hate, HATE, HATE Microsoft for making it so damned hard to use your own legal machine. So even if you do a factory update, you have to make sure you have the identical Pro disk and/or key that you used for that machine. I can't remember if media center key are separate or if you have to use the same key, I think you do.

    I have 2 tablets I won't upgrade to 8.1, because it is just to difficult to re-install, if something goes awry.
    I've reinstalled Windows 8/8.1 on all my various PC's many times and had no issues. Clean installs, not factory restores. I keep track of what keys were used on what PC. Media Center keys once used are tied to the PC they were used on so I note which key was used on which PC. I only ever had to call Microsoft once for a phone activation of Media Center. I transferred that one key from one dead retired PC to its replacement. Even then it was all automated without having to talk to an actual person. If your not keeping track of what key was used on what PC that could be your issue. You also can not use the same key on more than one PC, if you are doing that then you are going to have activation issues for sure. Are your Pro keys full retail keys or Pro Pack keys? If they are full retail keys you can skip installing Core and then upgrading to Pro. Adding a PID.txt file to the sources folder of your install media will let you bypass using the embedded OEM BIOS key and install Pro from a clean install. You can't do that with Media Center though. You can't install with a Media center key.
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  7. #77


    Posts : 91
    windows 7 & 8


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RBS View Post
    I have 3 Windows 8 units... and have had to re-install all of them several times, for various reasons. Every time it is a nightmare, and have had to call Microsoft for verification every time, and the problem persists, because you have to have the identical product key for each machine.


    We use Media center, which forces you to upgrade to Windows pro and then install Media Center and each install changes your product key. I hate, HATE, HATE Microsoft for making it so damned hard to use your own legal machine. So even if you do a factory update, you have to make sure you have the identical Pro disk and/or key that you used for that machine. I can't remember if media center key are separate or if you have to use the same key, I think you do.

    It is total BS.

    I have 2 tablets I won't upgrade to 8.1, because it is just to difficult to re-install, if something goes awry.
    I've reinstalled Windows 8/8.1 on all my various PC's many times and had no issues. Clean installs, not factory restores. I keep track of what keys were used on what PC. Media Center keys once used are tied to the PC they were used on so I note which key was used on which PC. I only ever had to call Microsoft once for a phone activation of Media Center. I transferred that one key from one dead retired PC to its replacement. Even then it was all automated without having to talk to an actual person. If your not keeping track of what key was used on what PC that could be your issue. You also can not use the same key on more than one PC, if you are doing that then you are going to have activation issues for sure. Are your Pro keys full retail keys or Pro Pack keys? If they are full retail keys you can skip installing Core and then upgrading to Pro. Adding a PID.txt file to the sources folder of your install media will let you bypass using the embedded OEM BIOS key and install Pro from a clean install. You can't do that with Media Center though. You can't install with a Media center key.
    They are Pro full retail keys, but, i prefer to keep some programs that came pre-installed with the machine, I lose those if I do an over write. All I know is, that I have never had the issues with Windows 7, Vista, XP when it came to installing, I could reinstall to any unit I wanted. And not to give you the retail key from the manufacturer is garbage too. At least if I lost a had disk before I had the original manufacturer key I could use to install. We pay extra to have Windows pre-installed on a machine, I want the key to be able to use it where ever I want. I paid for it.

    It is total BS
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  8. #78


    Posts : 53
    7 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by basher View Post
    Anyway, just buy pc without any os, because it really is bad to buy windows os like 10 times .... Why should i buy it, when i already bought it with my first laptop ?
    You didn't buy it mate, you licensed it for use on that specific machine. If you had bought a transferable retail license you would probably remember as you would have paid more (about double) and have to have explicitly purchased it not just got the OEM version delivered with your PC.
    Even more so, if i have bought just windows, then it is a real pain in the ass trying to find a good laptop without os. Anyway, all those very confusing licenses are bulls***, and it doesnt work on me, so i do whatever i want
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  9. #79


    There is talk the activation and upgrade process in Windows 9 will be a lot easier.... let's wait and see
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  10. #80


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


    Embedded, OEM keys do have advantages. For one, you'll never lose it. Or have to worry about the number being rubbed off of a worn COA sticker to where you can't read it. If you have legit official install media you normally don't need to even know what it is. Microsoft install media will read and use it automatically. The one big drawback, at this time, is the OEM's not supplying real install media with a new PC. This isn't anything new though. They did it with Windows 7 too. And even when you got disks a lot of the time they were recovery disks not Windows install Media. The embedded keys actually make life easier. With Windows 7 and earlier, to use the OEM BIOS SLIC table you had to nave custom install media from that OEM, Normal Windows Retail disks won't use the SLIC table. If you had one of those disks you had to use the code on the COA sticker, if you could read it that is. If it was missing or worn so you couldn't read it you were SOL and had to buy a new Windows License. With the embedded key, it always going to be there and always usable.
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BIOS-embedded Windows 8 product keys - reinstall troubles?
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