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


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Shane Nokes

I bet ms would rather have people doing this than pirating windows

That I do agree with since a lot of times pirated copies are either loaded with or susceptible to issues.

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Noir Angel

Seems reasonable, a person paying something... anything for your software still beats them just pirating it even if they are technically violating the EULA. I'm sure there will still be people that will refuse to pay regardless of how cheap it is, but in my opinion Microsoft have done a lot towards encouraging people not to pirate Windows with their low pricing.

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Axel

They're probably banking on their new AppStore for the revenue stream these days - on the general consumer side at least!

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theyarecomingforyou

They're probably banking on their new AppStore for the revenue stream these days - on the general consumer side at least!

This. They're selling Windows 8 for a very low price and banking on users purchasing apps or using apps with advertising from the Windows Store, knowing that once users have invested in a platform they're less likely to leave for another. The problem comes when Microsoft makes so much money through the Windows Store that they decide to add restrictions to - or eliminate altogether - x86-64 applications to a future version of Windows, as they don't make any money on those sales.

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Chris123NT

The only thing that defines what keys windows can and cannot accept is pkeyconfig.xrm-ms. So do a clean install and plop in the file that would accept the upgrade key, slmgr -ipk and boom, you're good. Might be a violation in technical terms but screw it, it gets you around the inconvenience. OR just use MSDN media, because for some weird reason that works with upgrade keys on clean installs.

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Shane Nokes

The only thing that defines what keys windows can and cannot accept is pkeyconfig.xrm-ms. So do a clean install and plop in the file that would accept the upgrade key, slmgr -ipk and boom, you're good. Might be a violation in technical terms but screw it, it gets you around the inconvenience. OR just use MSDN media, because for some weird reason that works with upgrade keys on clean installs.

Multiple people have already tried the MSDN media with the upgrade keys, and unless you do some tweaking it fails activation.

People have also already posted a way to make it work regardless. My point was that straight upgrade keys on a plain ISO without any sort of workaround will not activate without a valid prior OS install...which is the case. :p

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no-sweat

Question: can you use the Windows 8 upgrade disc to format/reinstall a previous installation of the same upgrade disc? I like to do an annual formatting and am wondering if the upgrade disc will work.

ty

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Shane Nokes

Question: can you use the Windows 8 upgrade disc to format/reinstall a previous installation of the same upgrade disc? I like to do an annual formatting and am wondering if the upgrade disc will work.

ty

Yeah that is usually just fine...but why do that when you can just do a refresh? It accomplishes the same thing...and why do a yearly reinstall? It's more of a placebo than anything when you do that.

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scaramonga

Also, the License (EULA) which will be shown to you upon install also depends on the [Channel] config set in ei.cfg.

For Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, it is as follows:

Retail

[Channel]
_Default

[VL]
[/CODE]

OEM

[CODE][Channel]
OEM

[VL]
[/CODE]

Enterprise

[CODE][Channel]
Volume

[VL]
1[/CODE]

These EULA's are present in:

C:\Windows\System32\Licenses\neutral

[CODE]_Default = EULAID:Win_RM_2_PS_R_en-us (WINDOWS 8 PRO).

OEM = EULAID:Win_RM_3_PS_O_en-us (WINDOWS 8 PRO).

Volume = EULAID:Win_RM_1_PS_V_en-us [/CODE]

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fredoffsamee

Can confirm this works with puchased retail copy (both 32/64)

-Install new drive

-Use upgrade key to install

-Can use express setting during install

-Run regedit (from desktop right click lower left of screen-Run)

-Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/

-Change MediaBootInstall from 1 to 0

-Run command prompt as administrator (from desktop right click lower left of screen-Command Prompt Admin)

-Type slmgr -rearm (wait for box to confirm rearm)

-Move mouse to lower right of screen,(opens "charm bar") pick Settings,Power,Restart

-From desktop right click lower left of screen-Run slui.exe 3

-Enter your upgrade key,activate (will take a couple seconds)

-Restart your computer (this step needed to change themes ect)

Done.

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Chrysalis

microsoft have in my view always tolerated piracy, even one of their PR people or an exec (Cant remember which) has said in public its helped them get market share.

Technet eg. was abused a lot, people paying for 1 year, grabbing keys and then using them for life, microsoft tolerated this, what they didnt like tho was people selling technet keys on ebay hence the restrictions that got added to technet. Although I think microsoft have now decided they wont tolerate people paying for just 1 year anymore as they now I believe disable keys after a subscription ends.

These upgrade keys as I understand it the same rearm trick was used in windows 7, since the trick hasnt been closed I assume microsoft are ok tolerating it because at the end of the day a upgrade sale is better than no sale. Looking at how much a OEM windows 8 pro costs, I cant see many people buying it.

Here is what worries me.

Currently I have numerous windows 7 technet keys which are 10 activations each. One is used on this PC and one on my laptop, currently I have no immediate plans to upgrade to win8 but I suspect I will do at some point, where there is apps to use win7 aero themes etc.

I have no idea when doing an upgrade which key windows 8 uses as a upgrade eligibility key, does it use the key on the pc when running the upgrade assistant? does it use the key on the windows install during the install process? because it doesnt ask for one during installation.

The keys I wanted to use is the vista oem key for my laptop and a win7 retail key for a unused boxed copy I have here in my my bedroom.

It would seem assuming the key isnt grabbed when the upgrade assistant is run that if this registry workaround is used then no eligibility is checked and as such no old keys get deactivated?

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kevpan815

No you can't! NOT unless it's OEM! Otherwise Windows 8 will NOT activate.

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Circaflex

yes you can, just like vista and 7 you can do a clean install on a fresh drive, either call in the key or install windows 8, let it fail activation, rerun the setup from within the os and the upgrade will work.

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ScorpioRGc1

yes you can, just like vista and 7 you can do a clean install on a fresh drive, either call in the key or install windows 8, let it fail activation, rerun the setup from within the os and the upgrade will work.

Or simply do the one registry tweak after installing Win8 on a blank drive and re-arm then reboot; the method was listed earlier in this thread. Windows will then activate without a hitch. :) The way you listed works too; I've done it both ways since Win8 was released. But the registry/rearm method is a bit quicker since you won't have to install twice.

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sathenzar

That's what I was referring to when I said that it used to be the disc that determined the install type. There used to actually be upgrade/full install discs...and as long as you knew what you were doing you could use an install key to do a full install.

This is no longer the case since the key itself determines what happens. :)

This is my last time stating this, and it is fact not supposition. So please do not keep posting your doubts over and over again.

The KEY determines the install type, not the media.

The difference is who still has a base OS install that is eligible for upgrade vs those who do not. NOTHING prevents a clean install using those keys as long as there is still a base OS installed. You can reboot and do a completely clean install with the upgrade discs...as long as there is a base OS still present on the HD...you can even wipe the HD once it verifies an eligible license is present.

You know I've often wondered about the last part of what you said. I have always wondered how the disc knew if you had an eligible OS upgrade after you wiped it / rebooted then re-installed windows. Isn't the hard drive empty at that point? Or does it store a tiny bit of info after it formats the drive? Just the programmers curiosity coming out on that one :)

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Shane Nokes

You know I've often wondered about the last part of what you said. I have always wondered how the disc knew if you had an eligible OS upgrade after you wiped it / rebooted then re-installed windows. Isn't the hard drive empty at that point? Or does it store a tiny bit of info after it formats the drive? Just the programmers curiosity coming out on that one :)

It stores that data in RAM if I remember correctly.

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sathenzar

so technically if you wiped the drive and turned off the computer it wouldn't remember the information. Lets hope we don't get a power outage while upgrading with a clean install :) But thanks for the heads up. That question has been quietly nagging at me for years I've just been too lazy to look it up.

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Shane Nokes

so technically if you wiped the drive and turned off the computer it wouldn't remember the information. Lets hope we don't get a power outage while upgrading with a clean install :) But thanks for the heads up. That question has been quietly nagging at me for years I've just been too lazy to look it up.

Exactly. That's how it is supposed to work. I've never tested that scenario. However I do believe if you've wiped the drive, but started the install process that's one of the first piece of info that gets committed to the drive. So it should still allow you to complete the install as long as it had started.

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kevpan815

I just tried out what Shane has been saying here and turns out he was correct after all. My apologies.

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Shane Nokes

No problem Kevin. I do get things wrong sometimes. This was just a case where I have very close working knowledge of how things work.

Sometimes that's not the case, so thank you for conceding that graciously. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
carmatic

okay so... i am not elligible for the upgrade if i use a new hard disk drive and i have to purchase the OEM copy ...?

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stockwiz

from personal experience the upgrade product keys will work on anything, they don't check if you already have anything installed or not, and they let you clean install. It might not be morally right for some to not pay full price, but charging 40 bucks is the only way you'll get some people to pay for windows at all, so it's an effective strategy in it's own right. Just buy the upgrade and be happy. If you want to be really evil, you can tell them you bought a netbook after June 2012 and get it for 15 bucks. I did that with one of the three product keys I purchased. I had a netbook with product key ready though when I found out I didn't need a product key.. I was just going to lie on the date I purchased said netbook.

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Slasheight

Ive not read this whole topic(Don't have time its huge) but I have now for the third time activated windows 8 pro with a upgrade key by installing it in a hard drive with a NONE activated copy of windows on it. I formatted the drive in the setup and windows was activated immediately after installation.

Easy.

I am eligible for the upgrade anyway so don't see a problem.

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Shane Nokes

Ive not read this whole topic(Don't have time its huge) but I have now for the third time activated windows 8 pro with a upgrade key by installing it in a hard drive with a NONE activated copy of windows on it. I formatted the drive in the setup and windows was activated immediately after installation.

Easy.

I am eligible for the upgrade anyway so don't see a problem.

Too bad you didn't read the thread. You would have found multiple posts where I pointed out that what you did is normal and has pretty much always worked.

;)

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Slasheight

Sorry just thought Id help anyone out if it hadn't been noted. I did however on one install get a message saying this key is not for clean installations. Had to format and install again. Think it was because I didn't enter the correct key in the setup but rather I used one I got off the internet so I could verify windows 8 ran ok on the said computer first. Loving windows 8 now Ive got used to it.

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