Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


What happens to Windows 8 Product Key after Format?

  1. #1


    Posts : 15
    Windows 8.1 Professional x64

    What happens to Windows 8 Product Key after Format?


    Hi guys
    So i brought a copy of Windows 8 Pro and upgraded my pc thinking i could handle it
    everything was fine, it all worked etc etc expect my games are not taking it very well,
    so ive decided to format and reinstall windows 7 Home Premium

    what i want to know is, what will happen with my Windows 8 product key that i brought?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,577
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Orblitzer, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    Nothing. Your Windows 8 upgrade product key is still valid.


    https://www.eightforums.com/general-d...tml#post129442 for below.


    What about upgrading the software?
    The software covered by this agreement is an upgrade to your existing operating system software, so the upgrade replaces the original software that you are upgrading. You do not retain any rights to the original software after you have upgraded and you may not continue to use it or transfer it in any way. This agreement governs your rights to use the upgrade software and replaces the agreement for the software from which you upgraded. After you complete your upgrade, additional software will be required to playback or record certain types of media, including DVDs.

    Can I transfer the software to another computer or user?
    You may transfer the software to another computer that belongs to you. You may also transfer the software (together with the license) to a computer owned by someone else if a) you are the first licensed user of the software and b) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement. To make that transfer, you must transfer the original media, the certificate of authenticity, the product key and the proof of purchase directly to that other person, without retaining any copies of the software. You may use the backup copy we allow you to make or the media that the software came on to transfer the software. Anytime you transfer the software to a new computer, you must remove the software from the prior computer. You may not transfer the software to share licenses between computers. You may transfer Get Genuine Windows software, Pro Pack or Media Center Pack software only together with the licensed computer.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 3
    Win 7


    Hi all.
    I am a hardware reviewer for a web site called ZWAME and I'm always changing hardware.
    Can I use the same key or I have to use different keys ?
    If I have to use different keys it will became very expensive.

    Thank you
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 22,577
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello M4ster, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    As long as it's a retail product key and is not activated on more than on PC at the same time, then you can. However, with you changing hardware as often as you do, you'll most likely end up having to do a phone activation.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5



    The Contemplator
    (1963-2013)
    Doncaster, UK
    Posts : 638
    Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64


    I agree with Shawn in that you will very likely end up having to use the phone activation method, certainly after the first few installations on different hardware. However, be aware that Microsoft might decide to blacklist the key, particularly if they see it being used on different hardware in a relatively short period of time. If and when and at what point MS decide to do that, only they know and they don't disclose how many installations on different hardware setups they will allow you prior to blocking the key; you will only find out when the key is rejected.

    Having said that, it might be an idea to explain the reason for activating multiple times with the same key on different hardware when you do have to activate over the phone.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 3
    Win 7


    Thank you guys for the reply.

    I have some other questions if you don't mind.
    For instance, if I change the graphics card and the memories it will be necessary to activate again?

    Or there are some kind of hardware that not count?

    Win7 allowed me to change the motherboard if it have the same chipset and if it's the same brand, for example two ASUS boards, a Maximus V GENE and a Maximus V Formula, I used the same WIN7 install, just changed the drivers.

    Will WIN8 allow me the same?

    Thank you.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7



    The Contemplator
    (1963-2013)
    Doncaster, UK
    Posts : 638
    Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64


    It might, but then again it might not. Changes have been made to the activation procedure in W8 when compared with Windows 7. Entering a product key is now mandatory during installation of W8, and indeed installation cannot proceed until one has been entered. In short, MS have tightened up on this aspect of system licensing/activation when compared with older OSes.

    Merely changing the graphics card and/or RAM shouldn't be a problem, as MS know that these are the two components that people are likely to change at some point during the life of the system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 3
    Win 7


    Thank you again, thats what I thought.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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