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

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George P    3,588

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

Well that's one way to do it for sure. heh.

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Darrian    217

Just for ****s and giggles I installed Windows 8 in a VM using the Technet image I used to install months ago using the $15 key and it worked just fine. I didn't activate it, though, cos I didn't want to use up an activation. I think it was earlier in this thread that I already stated I was able to activate the copy I was already running (using the same ISO to install) with this key, too. I don't think there is any difference between the $15 key and the $40 key, aside from the price.

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Axel    95

Just for ****s and giggles I installed Windows 8 in a VM using the Technet image I used to install months ago using the $15 key and it worked just fine. I didn't activate it, though, cos I didn't want to use up an activation. I think it was earlier in this thread that I already stated I was able to activate the copy I was already running (using the same ISO to install) with this key, too. I don't think there is any difference between the $15 key and the $40 key, aside from the price.

Could you check the value of this registry key inside the VM please? :-

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\OOBE]
"MediaBootInstall"=dword:00000000

Is it 0 or 1?

I think the main question is whether it will activate though, not whether it will actually install. Activation appears to be the part where you can run into an error.

Go on, take an activation for the team ;)

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Darrian    217

Well, I don't think it'd make any difference because I already have activated 1 copy using the same installation source. The difference is that the VM had the new key entered from the beginning, and the copy on my SSD was installed with a different key and activated with the upgrade key. I've already deleted the VM, but if I have time later I will do it again and check that registry entry.

Update: Ok, the value of that registry key is "1"

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George P    3,588

The key you buy works even if you clean install or do a upgrade, the key is valid for 32bit and 64bit and so on. So just to save you the trouble, d/l one of the RTM ISOs online (none of the pre-cracked illegal stuff of course), then buy your key online for $40. Burn the ISO to DVD if you can, though I think there's a way to make a USB boot image off of it, so a search online. Then boot off of it, use the key you bought, since this is the full retail RTM copy it doesn't do the upgrade OS check so you can have a blank drive in there. They key works, the keys MS gives out through this deal aren't specific to upgrade or full or to 32bit or 64bit, they're just one OS license regardless.

Long story short, get the full RTM version, make a bootable DVD or USB with it, use the online assistant to buy a key for $40, boot with the full RTM version to do a clean install to your new drive, use the key and it'll activate.

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Javik    3,977

Ok, and are the 14.99 keys transferrable or not? That's the big question for me. I'm eligible for the 14.99 upgrade. but I'm not going to buy it if I cannot transfer it.

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Shane Nokes    739

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

Only in the case of having built the PC yourself, and only in the case of having purchased a System Builder license yourself. Not in the case of a PC you bought from an OEM.

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theyarecomingforyou    9,411

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

I was pretty sure this was the case, as otherwise the installer would require you to install over an existing copy rather than allowing you to install to a complete clean drive.

Personally I was very happy with the upgrade process and I'm glad that Microsoft has finally streamlined it.

Ok, and are the 14.99 keys transferrable or not? That's the big question for me. I'm eligible for the 14.99 upgrade. but I'm not going to buy it if I cannot transfer it.

Yes.

Only in the case of having built the PC yourself, and only in the case of having purchased a System Builder license yourself. Not in the case of a PC you bought from an OEM.

I haven't seen that stipulation. The only relevant section I have found is this:

"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."

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Shane Nokes    739

The key you buy works even if you clean install or do a upgrade, the key is valid for 32bit and 64bit and so on. So just to save you the trouble, d/l one of the RTM ISOs online (none of the pre-cracked illegal stuff of course), then buy your key online for $40. Burn the ISO to DVD if you can, though I think there's a way to make a USB boot image off of it, so a search online. Then boot off of it, use the key you bought, since this is the full retail RTM copy it doesn't do the upgrade OS check so you can have a blank drive in there. They key works, the keys MS gives out through this deal aren't specific to upgrade or full or to 32bit or 64bit, they're just one OS license regardless.

Long story short, get the full RTM version, make a bootable DVD or USB with it, use the online assistant to buy a key for $40, boot with the full RTM version to do a clean install to your new drive, use the key and it'll activate.

That still hasn't been proven yet. Every single person I've questioned regarding having used this method says it installs...which it will. That's not the point.

The point is whether it installs and activates. Darrian has already stated that they didn't attempt activation because they didn't want to burn up an activation usage for it. They stated they were able to use the key to activate a DIFFERENT install they were already running, but do not state that it was an install on a system that was completely bare with no prior install of any kind.

Everyone who has clearly stated that they have done an install on a completely bare, completely empty system have reported a failure to activate.

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theyarecomingforyou    9,411

That still hasn't been proven yet. Every single person I've questioned regarding having used this method says it installs...which it will. That's not the point.

The point is whether it installs and activates. Darrian has already stated that they didn't attempt activation because they didn't want to burn up an activation usage for it. They stated they were able to use the key to activate a DIFFERENT install they were already running, but do not state that it was an install on a system that was completely bare with no prior install of any kind.

Actually, simss posted that they had success with a completely clean install.

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Shane Nokes    739

Actually, simss posted that they had success with a completely clean install.

They didn't actually state that at all, but it was assumed that's what they meant.

They started the upgrade assistant from inside Windows 7, bought the license, and then said they swapped the HDD for an SSD.

Now does that mean they removed every single drive from the PC other than an entirely blank never before used SSD, or were there other drives still inside the machine?

If even a single drive was left in the machine that had seen a prior install and still had the right folders on it, it would find a valid target to allow an upgrade.

Every single person I've seen who has been successful has had either an old XP, Vista, 7, or earlier/current version of 8 that had been installed somewhere and still had files present...so it was able to find a target against which to upgrade.

Those who have put in brand new bare drives that have never had an OS on them before, and made sure 0 other drives were present? All have failed so far.

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Darrian    217

The point is whether it installs and activates. Darrian has already stated that they didn't attempt activation because they didn't want to burn up an activation usage for it. They stated they were able to use the key to activate a DIFFERENT install they were already running, but do not state that it was an install on a system that was completely bare with no prior install of any kind.

The install that I activated was a clean install of Windows 8, including a fresh partitioning and formatting of the SSD, with all my other drives disconnected until post-install (I do this because Windows 7 had a tendency to put the boot files on a different drive, so if that drive was disconnected my boot drive wouldn't actually boot because it wasn't actually bootable).

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Nathaniel Smith_329019    10

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.

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.

Yea I didn't have to format it. I was just going to use Windows 7 and then I was like "ill just give Win 8 a try. My win 7 was not activated yet cause I was debating on 7 or 8.

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Shane Nokes    739

The install that I activated was a clean install of Windows 8, including a fresh partitioning and formatting of the SSD.

That's not what I asked, but people keep confusing the point.

You could do that with prior upgrades as well.

Was there a hard drive in that system that had ANY prior install of XP, Vista, 7, or even a prior version of 8 BEFORE you put the disc in?

It doesn't matter if you wiped it out during the install...but it does matter if it was there while the disc was present during the boot up before install.

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Nathaniel Smith_329019    10

Well that's one way to do it for sure. heh.

That's what I did. But my Windows 7 had no key yet so how did it work?

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Javik    3,977

I presume it doesn't check for key validity, just whether you have a qualifying OS installed.

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Shane Nokes    739

I haven't seen that stipulation. The only relevant section I have found is this:

"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."

I'm the person who provided that link. That link pertains specifically to the System Builder kit WHEN it's used for Personal Use. It's not for upgrading existing OEM copies from a PC manufacturer. That is still bound by the standard OEM license terms.

The Personal Use license is specifically for users that have built their own PC using the System Builder kit. I clarified that earlier...but oftentimes people don't read things in context and then get confused, as is the case here.

I presume it doesn't check for key validity, just whether you have a qualifying OS installed.

This. It's looking for a qualifying OS. I don't think they've ever really enacted checking the activation status of the prior OS, even though the license terms state that you're supposed to own a license.

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Javik    3,977

Sorry to keep being a pain but I'm still confused, what I'm seeing so far is that both the 14,99 and full price upgrades *can* be transferred to another computer, but you cannot transfer your licence to a third party, is that right? If so that's all I need, I think I understand the issues regarding install media now.

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Shane Nokes    739

Sorry to keep being a pain but I'm still confused, what I'm seeing so far is that both the 14,99 and full price upgrades *can* be transferred to another computer, but you cannot transfer your licence to a third party, is that right? If so that's all I need, I think I understand the issues regarding install media now.

You're not being a pain. :)

A lot of people have issues keeping the licensing terms straight. They are fairly straight-forward but people tend to overthink them and then get themselves confused.

If you are upgrading an OEM install bought from one of the big-box makers, then no you cannot transfer it to another machine. It's bound to that machine as you upgraded via the OEM license terms.

If you are upgrading from an install that you have done on a machine you have built & used a prior normal full version (not upgrade) boxed copy, then yes you can transfer to another machine, or to another third party as long as they receive copies of the OS, the license, and you do not use it yourself after you've transferred those to the new owner.

If you are upgrading from a machine that you have built yourself & used a prior System Builder kit on then you are eligible for the newer Personal Use license, which allows you to move it to another machine, or transfer it to a third-party, once again as long as you do not keep a copy for yourself for use.

Likewise if you bought a big-box machine, but later installed a full version boxed copy (not upgrade) then you have all the normal rights of being able to transfer to another machine or person. :)

Now this is all per the license terms...not what can physically take place, but how you are supposed to do things.

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Javik    3,977

Ahh good, well currently I have an FPP licence so I should be able to transfer which is good.

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Shane Nokes    739

Ahh good, well currently I have an FPP licence so I should be able to transfer which is good.

Yup with that you are always good to go. :D

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George P    3,588

I'm going to do this tomorrow so I'll let you guys know for sure but I'm betting it'll work. I just d/led the Win8Pro 64bit ISO (torrent, RTM ISO, none of that pre-cracked stuff). I'm going to either burn it to a DVD or use my 16GB USB drive to install it on temporarily, i'll keep the ISO around as is for future use if need be. I'll run the download assistant from my current Win7 install to buy my key then cancel it before the d/l part since I have the ISO already.

I'm going to install my new SSD, disconnect the other drives and boot off of the USB or DVD image and install Win8pro to the ssd with the key I'll buy. Windows 8 will activate the second it goes online so I'll know for sure shortly after. If it works then I'll reconnect my hdds if not I can then just fall back to my current Win7 install without issue. I think that should put this all to rest, or at least most of it.

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Shane Nokes    739

I'm going to do this tomorrow so I'll let you guys know for sure but I'm betting it'll work. I just d/led the Win8Pro 64bit ISO (torrent, RTM ISO, none of that pre-cracked stuff). I'm going to either burn it to a DVD or use my 16GB USB drive to install it on temporarily, i'll keep the ISO around as is for future use if need be. I'll run the download assistant from my current Win7 install to buy my key then cancel it before the d/l part since I have the ISO already.

I'm going to install my new SSD, disconnect the other drives and boot off of the USB or DVD image and install Win8pro to the ssd with the key I'll buy. Windows 8 will activate the second it goes online so I'll know for sure shortly after. If it works then I'll reconnect my hdds if not I can then just fall back to my current Win7 install without issue. I think that should put this all to rest, or at least most of it.

Indeed, but just to let you know...I've talked to multiple people who have done this, and none of them have had a successful install.

Remember...remove every single drive from that machine...except the optical drives...this includes any SD, xD, etc cards you may have, or any USB thumb drives that remain plugged in at all times.

Then do a complete full install, then boot up and see if its activated. It should report that it is not, and then when you try it should fail. If I had the spare $40 at the moment I would just do it myself as I have a ton of blank drives here...just not the money to burn.

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adam.mt    20

As mentioned on another thread, some further clarification (seems the $40 Upgrade can be clean installed no issues)...

http://www.winsupersite.com/article/windows8/clean-install-windows-8-upgrade-media-144648

http://www.winsupersite.com/article/windows8/windows-8-upgrade-32bit-64bit-144649

Apart from the Upgrade Assistant only providing either 32 or 64-bit (and not both) it appears all good.

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Shane Nokes    739

As mentioned on another thread, some further clarification (seems the $40 Upgrade can be clean installed no issues)...

http://www.winsupers...de-media-144648

http://www.winsupers...it-64bit-144649

Apart from the Upgrade Assistant only providing either 32 or 64-bit (and not both) it appears all good.

Again, the question isn't clean install. Upgrades of course can be clean installed.

The question is FULL install. There is a difference.

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