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#1 +warwagon

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 19:09

So yesterday I had my first chance to do a clean install of windows 8 on a machine that shipped with windows 8. Seeing how Windows 8 no longer gives you a product key and puts it in the bios instead, I was wondering how it was going to work. Well, it worked just how I hopped it would. I installed windows 8 using a full install cd. Once the computer booted for the first time, I checked and Windows 8 said it was already activated.

So I must admit, this method is REALLY nice. Gone are the days of rubbed off product keys and having to type in product keys. You run the setup and it just "Works"

For anyone looking for a definitive answer on what happens on a clean install, on a computer that comes preinstalled with windows 8, I can confirm it works great.


#2 @Leo

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:43

Now install StartIsBack for a perfect Windows experience. :laugh:

#3 Growled

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 03:53

Hey, that's neat. I'll have to remember this the next time I do a clean install of Windows 8 for someone.

#4 +BeerFan

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:49

How does this work? Is there a menu in the BIOS setup screens that allows you to input a key?

#5 Chrysaor

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:55

How does this work? Is there a menu in the BIOS setup screens that allows you to input a key?


Its already embedded in the BIOS/UEFI, with Windows 8 every OEM system includes a unique key, thats why it doesn't require any key and its automatically activated.

#6 +BeerFan

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:57

Ok, so will this ever be able to be modified by the consumer? I mean, for system builders, will there ever be a way to take advantage of this feature?

#7 +LogicalApex

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 05:24

Yea it is pretty nice, though I wonder how it will handle edition differences. I expect it to safely fall back to the key method in this case.

Ok, so will this ever be able to be modified by the consumer? I mean, for system builders, will there ever be a way to take advantage of this feature?


No, the BIOS version is required to obtain the key from MS during the manufacturing process so it wouldn't be an option for anyone outside of large OEMs. It wouldn't be an option for us with custom machines.

#8 grayscale

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 05:57

So how does clean install work? Will it skip the part that asks for the product key?

#9 BajiRav

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 15:08

Do the keyfinder softwares still work with Windows 8? Guess we will never know for sure. It's been useful for fixing some friends' PCs in the past. In most cases the stickers worn out and only way out was such utilities.

#10 majortom1981

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 15:16

Windows 7 does this also. As long as you use the oem install cd .There are whole forums dedicated to people editing the bios so they do not need a cdkey for installs.

#11 xWhiplash

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 16:27

I thought XP did this as well. You can use any Dell Windows XP disc on any Dell computer and it will activate without a key.

#12 Sadelwo

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 16:43

I thought XP did this as well. You can use any Dell Windows XP disc on any Dell computer and it will activate without a key.


Was the same for Vista and 7 on Dell Machines as well. I know for some systems covered by the Windows 7 upgrade offer when 7 was released, a few of those models got BIOS updates that added the Windows 7 key to the SLIC which permitted you to install it using the OEM Dell Disc.

#13 BannanaNinja

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:24

Do the keyfinder softwares still work with Windows 8? Guess we will never know for sure. It's been useful for fixing some friends' PCs in the past. In most cases the stickers worn out and only way out was such utilities.


Yes, as far as I can tell they still can still retrieve the key.

Also, this feature is rather annoying when trying to install a different version of Windows than the one purchased with the computer. Windows will attempt to use the key in the BIOS and will only tell you that it that key cannot be used and then bring you back to the beginning of the setup install (with no prompts to enter a key). To get past this, you can add a ei.cfg file and a pid.txt file under /sources in the ISO. ei.cfg should be:
[EditionID]
[Channel]
Retail
[VL]
0


and pid.txt should be:
[PID]
value=xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

where the x's are you key.

Hopefully this will save someone else the hours I wasted figuring it out!

#14 Xerxes

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:41

Dell and the likes have been doing this for years (as far back as WinXP), albeit it was same idea just executed differently. They include a product key file on the Windows disc (hence why they always said only use the disc(s) with the computer it came with) and Windows would detect it and automatically activate itself without user intervention, rather handy. Obviously, this new way is much better and means even if you can't find the original install media you can still reinstall and take advantage of this neat feature (Y)

#15 Jimmy422

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:57

It does indeed work great...if you have a Pro copy of Windows 8. If not, good luck finding an ISO of the core "Windows 8". It took me a good few hours of digging through not-so-legal sites to finally find an ISO to format my new Lenovo laptop.

But yes, once you have the correct image it's awesome how easy it is.



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