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#256 deinabog

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 16:03

I have been digging through all the posts here and can't find a solid, 100% confirmation on the following:

Can you install the Windows 8 Upgrade on a totally blank (ie new) hard drive? I keep seeing people post that they booted off the disc and were able to do a clean install, but they don't always indicate if there was an existing OS installed, which the upgrade disc would obviously see. Has anyone taken a totally empty/new drive with absolutely nothing on it prior to booting off the upgrade disc, no other drives with an OS that might be seen, and installed Windows 8 and have it activate properly? Microsoft supposedly has said a previous OS has to be installed/seen.


I've done it. I used the keys provided by Microsoft thru my Technet subscription and booted off a Windows 8 disc I burned. If you purchase an upgrade then you will need a an OS such as Windows 7 or Vista to install Win8; the full version will allow you to boot from the disc and perform a clean installation. Hope this helps.


#257 Harrison H.

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 16:18

Been discussed, and that's a workaround that involves violating the End User License Agreement.

If you don't have a valid license that you have used to upgrade from then essentially you're committing fraud in order to get a good price. :p


I'm not advocating doing it for the price. I was simply stating it's an option instead of having to do an in place upgrade. I prefer clean installs. If I build a new computer, I'd buy the system builder license though. The times I've used this trick was simply to do a clean install instead of an in place upgrade from Win7.

#258 fixxxer2014

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 16:34

no you cannot as i tried. you need to install w7 first then do a fresh install of w8.

#259 Shane Nokes

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 16:42

I'm not advocating doing it for the price. I was simply stating it's an option instead of having to do an in place upgrade. I prefer clean installs. If I build a new computer, I'd buy the system builder license though. The times I've used this trick was simply to do a clean install instead of an in place upgrade from Win7.


In that case then the trick isn't needed. You boot, it picks up 7 on the disk, you wipe the disk and install 8.

Clean install that activates due to detection of prior valid OS.

#260 Xenomorph

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 16:49

no you cannot as i tried. you need to install w7 first then do a fresh install of w8.



I purchased the $14.99 Upgrade key. Using that, I did a FRESH/CLEAN instal (formatted hard drive, NO previous OS) with the following media:

- Windows 8 Pro Retail
- Windows 8 Pro Volume License

With the Retail media, you must enter a key during install. It accepts the Upgrade key.
With the Volume License media, you do not need to enter a key during install.

With the Retail media install, you must change the registry key from 1 to 0, do "slmgr -rearm", then reboot. It will activate.
With the Volume License media install, you must change your key using "slmgr.vbs -ipk", then change the registry key from 1 to 0, do "slmgr -rearm", then reboot. It will activate.

I do not recommend using the Volume License media, as it does not support the "Add features to Windows" function, and so cannot install Media Center.

#261 xWhiplash

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 17:25

I think people are getting confused about the different usage of the word Clean Install.

When I had Windows 7 installed, I used my OS X partition to delete the drive. In this case, I installed Windows 8 on the clean drive BEFORE the upgrade process began. It would not activate.

If you have Windows 7 installed and perform a clean install WITH the Windows 8 media, it will work.

So yes, I think the upgrade media/process needs to be aware of a previous OS. It would not work for me on a clean drive BEFORE the process began, I needed Windows 7 installed, then with the Windows 8 media I performed a clean install by formatting the drive, but I did it with the Windows 8 media.

Is that the case, or was it a fluke my key did not activate at the same time I use OS X to delete Windows 7 and try it?

I was also using the $40 upgrade ISO it downloaded, so the rules might be different with the retail version?

#262 stockwiz

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 19:10

just tried reinstalling windows 8 on a brand new intel 180GB solid state drive purchased Thanksgiving day and got the error using the upgrade key without upgrading. . A quick google search provided the registry fix and the rearm and restart method which worked immediately and it activated automatically upon reboot. The only hardware change was this boot drive.

The solid state drive I had I put in my bedroom computer and reinstalled windows 8. That one activated itself automatically with the product key I used for that computer with no errors. Windows appeared to recognize the previous installation of windows 8 on the drive. The only hardware change was again, this boot drive.

#263 dhaslam67

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:42

Wow Shane seems like you don't believe there are honest people in the world. Personally I have at least 10 XPpro valid license keys that I paid a total of over a thousand dollars for and countless Win7 honest to goodness real licenses. Seems that I should be able to call MS and give them one of my legitimate keys and do a clean install. Seems to me that if you call and they are intelligent enough to accept a person like me as a credible key holder they are obligated to take care of my needs, and correct me if I'm wrong, if MS agrees that I am credible and have valid keys with which to upgrade from it is not a violation at all. The only violation here seeems to me to be the violation of my intelligence by someone who clearly has no idea that the world harbors not only the dis-honest people but the honest too. And after forking over a thousand dollars I am not only in perfect harmony with the license agreement but I am 100% entitled to not be treated like a two bit criminal just because I'd like to put my new version of windows on a, wait for it...NEW hard drive that has no existing OpSys on it. Thanks for your opinion, but perhaps you're not as smart as you think you are, if you look real close you might find out your just a...well that wouldn't be nice now would it? Bottom line if MS agrees you deserve a working OS it's not a violation, get it?

#264 ingramator

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:18

Wow Shane seems like you don't believe there are honest people in the world. Personally I have at least 10 XPpro valid license keys that I paid a total of over a thousand dollars for and countless Win7 honest to goodness real licenses. Seems that I should be able to call MS and give them one of my legitimate keys and do a clean install. Seems to me that if you call and they are intelligent enough to accept a person like me as a credible key holder they are obligated to take care of my needs, and correct me if I'm wrong, if MS agrees that I am credible and have valid keys with which to upgrade from it is not a violation at all. The only violation here seeems to me to be the violation of my intelligence by someone who clearly has no idea that the world harbors not only the dis-honest people but the honest too. And after forking over a thousand dollars I am not only in perfect harmony with the license agreement but I am 100% entitled to not be treated like a two bit criminal just because I'd like to put my new version of windows on a, wait for it...NEW hard drive that has no existing OpSys on it. Thanks for your opinion, but perhaps you're not as smart as you think you are, if you look real close you might find out your just a...well that wouldn't be nice now would it? Bottom line if MS agrees you deserve a working OS it's not a violation, get it?


If you buy a new drive then you are not doing an upgrade to the OS are you? If you buy an upgrade license you are upgrading over a Windows OS you have bought previously. That is the fact of the matter, everything Shane has said is correct, no need to try and knock him. If you want to violate the EULA then cool bro that's your decision. Otherwise install Windows 7 and just upgrade over the top of it and format the disk to clean install.

#265 jesseinsf

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:23

I have been digging through all the posts here and can't find a solid, 100% confirmation on the following:


OK, Here is the deal. When you buy the upgrade, you have to have a supported OS in order be able to purchase. After you buy the upgrade, you will be able to download it. You will have the options to "Install Now" or "Install Later". Choose later so you can have it make an ISO, DVD or USB flash Drive install. Now if you made a DVD or USB Flash Drive install you can then delete all partitions on the HDD and install Windows 8 as if it were not an upgrade as many times as you want. Just make sure that the hardware you installed it on is Identical at the time you purchased the upgrade. Now once you change any major hardware like "HDD, Video card, Motherboard, Ext. Then you have to re-activate with just one call. When you Activate via phone after a hardware change you then won't need to activate via phone again unless you change the hardware again. So, to answer you question.... you are changing your hardware, so yes you have to use the phone to re-activate your PCs (But just once). The good thing is, you don't need to activate via phone again on every reformat after. This applies to all retail versions of Windows (Upgrade or full Version). Just remember that once to change major hardware you will need to phone activate either after reformatting or right after you change your hardware. But only one time on every hardware change. :-) ...Re-Activating rebinds your new hardware to the serial key.

#266 KingCracker

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:41

I wondered this myself, I knew in past upgrades you had to have a previous windows OS. Just sucks if you have to install windows fresh. How much is the full version anyway?

#267 xWhiplash

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 13:55

I wondered this myself, I knew in past upgrades you had to have a previous windows OS. Just sucks if you have to install windows fresh. How much is the full version anyway?


That is the thing. Last I checked there are no more full versions (other than OEM ones, but that has other issues legally speaking). So what happens if your hard drive dies?

#268 HawkMan

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 14:31

In that case then the trick isn't needed. You boot, it picks up 7 on the disk, you wipe the disk and install 8.

Clean install that activates due to detection of prior valid OS.


The trick is however needed if I decide the replace the main HDD on my upgraded computer

#269 ViperAFK

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 19:10

I just did this the other day. I had been previously been running windows 8 properly upgraded from windows 7 on my old drive. I got a new samsung 250 gb ssd. Installed windows 8 pro upgrade on it. of course wouldn't activate, so I just used the old "mediabootinstall" registry tweak, ran slmgr -rearm, ran windows update and everything is activated fine.

#270 AJerman

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 19:51

So, in a somewhat related question, I signed up for the new PC offer to get Windows 8 for $15. I have no interest at the moment of using Windows 8, and I don't know if I ever will, but for $15 I'd like to redeem the offer just in case. Here's the thing, it asks me to run the upgrade assistant on the computer I want to upgrade, but it does print a key on screen after you have completed your order (saw a screenshot from someone else). They don't have any way of locking this down to that one specific system do they? Will that key be good for an upgrade down the line on any system I have? I ask because I'm at work, so I don't want to upgrade here, and at home, I don't know that I'd upgrade my only system, though it may be getting an upgrade itself soon, as well as me getting a laptop soon, and I may want to use it on any of these systems in the future, so I don't want it tied to specific hardware or else I'll just pass on the offer. If an when I do ever use the upgrade, I'd have no problem upgrading from a legal copy of Windows 7 to use my "upgrade key".

Any ideas?

Update: Found the answer to my own question here: http://www.windowsup...ry2Literal.Text

Do I have to install the Windows 8 upgrade on the eligible PC, or can I install it on another PC?
The upgrade offer is tied to a Windows 7 PC purchased from June 2nd, 2012 through January 31, 2013, but you can choose to redeem the offer and install the upgrade on any compatible Windows-based PC with a qualifying base operating system.


So I'm not sure how exactly it's "tied to a Windows 7 PC purchased from June 2 through January 31", but you can still install it on any computer eligible for an upgrade. :laugh: Regardless, it should work on any upgrade. I'll stash this key away in case I ever feel the need to use Windows 8.