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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 09:46   #1
Chicken76
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How to find the key and activate a preinstalled Win8?

I have a friend who just bought a new laptop with Windows 8 preinstalled on it's mechanical hard drive. He just bought a SSD and would like to replace the HDD and reinstall Win8.
Unfortunately the manufacturer (ASUS) didn't provide a re-installation disk. Also, there's no MS genuine sticker on it with the key.
He contacted Asus and they said that there's no way to move the license to a different drive, and if the laptop is covered by warranty and the supplied drive fails, they'll replace the drive with a new one with Windows preinstalled. Other than that, there's no other option but to buy Win8 again. REALLY?! You lose the license together with the warranty?
Does the Win8 OEM license cover the manufacturer installation only these days? It used to be tied to the motherboard, but this factory-installation-only restriction is ... ***censored***.
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 09:47   #2
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Hang on... There's no Genuine sticker?

*Alarm bells begin ringing*
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 10:11   #3
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If you havent already, Check Under neath the battery Dell have move the sticker to there.If not can't you use belarc or simular to get the key, then you need to grab an OEM version of Windows 8?

Cloning the drive may be the next alternative.
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 10:24   #4
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There is no individual key for windows 8 OEM (so no sticker) it uses a generic key and a hardware hash stored in the bios To authenticate.

Oem install keys can be found on microsofts site (look for volume licence)

Nb. Not sure if asus use Volume licence?

Although changing the boot drive will probably break the hardware hash. Ie the system may have a different hash now.

The oem licence is for the system as supplied by the manufacturer (which is why they said they would reinstall/reactivate should a hardware error happen)

If you are building/changing/modding a pc you should buy the system builder edition of windows 8 as per the T&C's.

Nb. Apparently if you go to install windows 8 and your bios has the correct info in it you will have no need for a key and it should just install. And as long as your upgrade has not broken the hardware hash it should activate.



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Last edited by aramil; 23rd Jan 2013 at 10:33.
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 10:51   #5
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Thanks guys for the answers. I'm, hoping the hardware hash won't break by putting the SSD in.

Does Microsoft provide installation media images for Windows 8 to download?
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 10:56   #6
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Err no you will have to acquire one...

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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 12:59   #7
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try cloning the hd to the ssd

and as has been said, from now on, machines preloaded with windows(from 8) will not have a license sticker
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 15:55   #8
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Does The Magic Jellybean work on Windows 8?

Also just be careful, with Windows 8 my copy of it was installed once and then now I have to phone Microsoft if I want to activate it as it would, appear that they have limited it to 1 activation unless it's just my key that has messed up.
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 16:21   #9
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Just to let you know I have cloned a few new laptop's with windows 8 to SSD's using Acronis 2013 with no activation issues, but it takes ages though for some reason. Acronis 2012 does not support Windows 8 cloning as I found out the hard way. I cant vouch for other cloning software I'm afraid as I have only used Acronis.
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 21:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie View Post
Just to let you know I have cloned a few new laptop's with windows 8 to SSD's using Acronis 2013 with no activation issues, but it takes ages though for some reason. Acronis 2012 does not support Windows 8 cloning as I found out the hard way. I cant vouch for other cloning software I'm afraid as I have only used Acronis.
Really? We've just got 5 new Windows 8 machines from dell and have been testing the activation limits by flashing/reflashing different machines with Acronis and not come across any issues. The whole process of booting into Acronis, flashing the new instance (was around a 30gb image i think) and getting into windows 8 took 7 minutes.
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 21:37   #11
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Not sure why it takes so long! I could do with trying on a different machine or perhaps check if there is a newer build of the Acronis I'm using. If I clone a Windows 7 drive the speed isn't far off what you get.
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 23:31   #12
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Magic JellyBean Keyfinder?

oops, didnt read the whole thread...
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Old 26th Jan 2013, 19:41   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramil View Post
There is no individual key for windows 8 OEM (so no sticker) it uses a generic key and a hardware hash stored in the bios To authenticate.
Not really, OA3.0 doesn't use SLP generic keys like Vista or 7 anymore, instead your key is embedded inside the BIOS by the manufacturer, so every machine has an unique key, the only ways to restore a Windows 8 OEM copy (apart from cloning partitions) are:

1) using the restore partition on your machine or

2) use an OEM disc with a SKU matching the one preinstalled on your PC (a friend told me it doesn't even require typing the PK, it reads it directly from the BIOS, haven't tried by myself though)

3) avoid formatting and use the Windows 8 built-in refresh option.

Last edited by Snakko; 26th Jan 2013 at 19:46.
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