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Can you install Windows 8 upgrade on a totally empty (ie new) drive?

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Nathaniel Smith_329019    10

I just did a clean install of windows 7 ultimate x64 sp1 form a disk I own and did not activate it. Then on the 26th I bought Windows 8 with the tool and put the files on a usb drive. My Win 7 was on my 2TB drive. I then booted to usb and formatted my SSD and 2TB drive that had win 7 on it. I Chose to install win 8 on my SSD after the setup it was activated.

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gkl    11

Piracy talk not kosher here. Get a real prior OS license and then upgrade.

Obviously it isn't and I don't want to go that route. But are there standalone W8 versions available at all (that aren't OEM either) right now? I don't care about a box or anything, just a key that won't make the OS tied to my motherboard (made that mistake once, never again)?

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neo1911    795

1. If there is existing older version OS on the hard disk before formatting from inside Windows 8 Setup, the upgrade key will work.

2. But if you are installing Windows 8 on blank hard disk or with hard disk with prior Windows 8 installation, the upgrade key will not work. (Upgrade key will be accepted during setup but will not be installed once windows setup is complete)

In second scenario, you need to perform a 1 minute registry hack, rearm and finally reboot for Windows 8 to accept your upgrade key and proceed to activate online. (Google for it as the method was also valid for Windows 7)

MSDN iso or any other iso, it doesn't matter.

Hope this clears all doubts.

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George P    3,591

I just did a clean install of windows 7 ultimate x64 sp1 form a disk I own and did not activate it. Then on the 26th I bought Windows 8 with the tool and put the files on a usb drive. My Win 7 was on my 2TB drive. I then booted to usb and formatted my SSD and 2TB drive that had win 7 on it. I Chose to install win 8 on my SSD after the setup it was activated.

Did you have to format the 2TB drive with Win7 on it though? I want to also install Win8 on my new SSD and not the 500GB drive Win7 is on but I don't want to format the 500GB drive because it's got 200GB or so of data on it that I can't, at this point, move off and would rather it stayed there.

I'm thinking it was your choice to format the 2TB drive as well and you could've just installed it to the SSD and left the other drive alone.

Obviously it isn't and I don't want to go that route. But are there standalone W8 versions available at all (that aren't OEM either) right now? I don't care about a box or anything, just a key that won't make the OS tied to my motherboard (made that mistake once, never again)?

I'd say to install Win8 first and then change your hardware, you'll then have to call them up and activate it by phone if the hardware changes are enough to break activation, which I'm sure they will be. Either way, activation will be broken, you could upgrade your hardware, call them up and activate windows 7 again via phone and then install win8 which will work without issue.

Or spend more money and buy a System builder version, but we're talking $150 for 64bit pro iirc.

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syncore    45

Yes, it is possible, which makes the '$14.99-for-a-fully-clean-Win8-install' deal that is floating around on every site absolutely insane

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Shane Nokes    739

Obviously it isn't and I don't want to go that route. But are there standalone W8 versions available at all (that aren't OEM either) right now? I don't care about a box or anything, just a key that won't make the OS tied to my motherboard (made that mistake once, never again)?

I've already explained this. :)

The System Builder versions no longer tie the license to the motherboard in the case of personal use for building your own machine. They now have what they call a 'Personal Use License' for those SKU's that allow you to transfer it to another machine. The only restriction is that it can only be on one machine at a time. You can even transfer the license to someone else, provided that you actually transfer it to them and don't continue to also use it yourself. :)

You can buy this from any normal vendor that sells the 'OEM' licenses. :)

1. If there is existing older version OS on the hard disk before formatting from inside Windows 8 Setup, the upgrade key will work.

2. But if you are installing Windows 8 on blank hard disk or with hard disk with prior Windows 8 installation, the upgrade key will not work. (Upgrade key will be accepted during setup but will not be installed once windows setup is complete)

In second scenario, you need to perform a 1 minute registry hack, rearm and finally reboot for Windows 8 to accept your upgrade key and proceed to activate online. (Google for it as the method was also valid for Windows 7)

MSDN iso or any other iso, it doesn't matter.

Hope this clears all doubts.

That's what I kept saying and people kept arguing with me...so I already cleared all doubts multiple pages ago, but no one would listen. :p

I'd say to install Win8 first and then change your hardware, you'll then have to call them up and activate it by phone if the hardware changes are enough to break activation, which I'm sure they will be. Either way, activation will be broken, you could upgrade your hardware, call them up and activate windows 7 again via phone and then install win8 which will work without issue.

Or spend more money and buy a System builder version, but we're talking $150 for 64bit pro iirc.

The System Builder version is $139 at Newegg, and right now also includes a license for PowerDVD12 thrown in as well.

It's not a bad deal for having a key that will let you reinstall anytime you need to without an upgrade, allows you to snag the MCP for free right now, and has PowerDVD12 included.

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George P    3,591

The System Builder version is $139 at Newegg, and right now also includes a license for PowerDVD12 thrown in as well.

It's not a bad deal for having a key that will let you reinstall anytime you need to without an upgrade, allows you to snag the MCP for free right now, and has PowerDVD12 included.

I should've said 150Euros, It costs more here because of VAT than in the US. :p

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Shane Nokes    739

I should've said 150Euros, It costs more here because of VAT than in the US. :p

We also have sales tax in the US depending on the state you live in, and if the company has a physical presence in that state. For instance if I bought it here in Washington from somewhere like Amazon and they were charging $139 for it I'd end up actually paying $152.21 due to state, county, & city sales taxes.

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HawkMan    5,197

Since this is becoming rather confusing, could you guys help me out a bit? My current PC has legit Windows 7 OEM. I will change my motherboard and CPU (thus my W7 license will go down the drain) and want to switch to Windows 8. How should I go on about this? Install fresh, cracked W7 and then upgrade to W8 as mentioned in the article or is there a better, more legit way?

You have an OEM license

Alternative 1, install win7 again and do the call ms thing to activate it before installing 8( you might not need to, it might just install to)

Alternative 2, change the hardware, install 8 and then call MS for the activation, give them your win.7 OEM license number and they'll let you activate.

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Axel    95

What are the terms of the ?14.99 upgrade offer. Can that windows license still be transferred to another PC in the future?

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HawkMan    5,197

If it applies to an OEM license, no, to a full license yes, as it's an upgrade to your existing license.

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Javik    3,977

does this really work? where did you get this from?

It allows you to do a keyless install, but I think you'll only be able to do a clean install if you have the full priced upgrade not the cheaper 14.99 one.

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reaper1576    2

Well like I posted before I didn't a clean install from an upgrade copy of win 8 pro on my SSD works perfect had to do the win7 trick with activating everything works perfect.

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Axel    95

It allows you to do a keyless install, but I think you'll only be able to do a clean install if you have the full priced upgrade not the cheaper 14.99 one.

Has the MSDN RTM image changed at all since the ones released in August?

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syncore    45

You can clean-install using the KMS Client Setup key on Microsoft's TechNet site and then edit one value in the registry and activate with your $15 key

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Axel    95

I guess the real question here is whether or not ALL issued product keys are infact FPP keys?

If all that is required is a simple registry tweak (dependant on which disc you use) in order to activate as full then I would suggest that is indeed the case.

I suppose we just need someone to definitively test all methods :/

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syncore    45

The registry tweak works, as it did in Windows 7 - I originally installed RTM 3+ weeks ago with the TechNet public key and activated using the $14.99 key. Not sure what other methods there could be ?

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HawkMan    5,197

The difference is that while something works, you can still and in these cases many are, breaking be breaking the license.

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Axel    95

The difference is that while something works, you can still and in these cases many are, breaking be breaking the license.

True, but most are not really concerned with breaking the terms of license so long as MS can't detect the method. Besides that, I'm not attempting to get anything for free or screw Microsoft over in any way. I'm just trying to make things easier for myself in the future come the time I want to purchase new hardware or transfer the license to another PC. I really don't want to have to install Windows twice, I just like things to be streamlined and painless.

It would be so much easier if Microsoft just invalidated your old product key and issued a new one for Win8. That's my definition of an upgrade. Not arsing about with hooky install methods to make it do what you want.

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HawkMan    5,197

True, but most are not really concerned with breaking the terms of license so long as MS can't detect the method. Besides that, I'm not attempting to get anything for free or screw Microsoft over in any way. I'm just trying to make things easier for myself in the future come the time I want to purchase new hardware or transfer the license to another PC. I really don't want to have to install Windows twice, I just like things to be streamlined and painless.

If it's an OEM license you upgraded, those two stataments are quite incomptaible.

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theyarecomingforyou    9,421

If it's an OEM license you upgraded, those two stataments are quite incomptaible.

Actually, Microsoft relaxed the restrictions on transferring an OEM licence from one computer to another.

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Axel    95

If it's an OEM license you upgraded, those two stataments are quite incomptaible.

True assuming I was upgrading from an OEM license. But I'm not ;)

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simss    0

My experience:

  • Ran Upgrade Assistant on Win 7
  • Bought upgrade license for ? 29.99
  • Swapped HDD for new SSD
  • Installed Win 8 Pro 64bit from RTM iso (torrents)
  • Entered serial
  • Done

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Axel    95

My experience:

  • Ran Upgrade Assistant on Win 7
  • Bought upgrade license for ? 29.99
  • Swapped HDD for new SSD
  • Installed Win 8 Pro 64bit from RTM iso (torrents)
  • Entered serial
  • Done

Your concise summary is very much appreciated! Would be great to know if anyone's managed this with the ?/$/14.99 upgrade too.

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