Windows 8 activation woes

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by moontan, Dec 14, 2012.

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  1. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i bought a SSD recently and been running Mint XFCE more than happily for the last couple of weeks.

    but i've decided to install Win 8 and create a disk image as i'm sure i'll have to go into Windows once in a rare while.

    so since this is an upgrade, i install the XP first in order to do the upgrade to W8.
    good thing my XP disk is a full version and not an upgrade to Win 95/98. :cautious:

    anyway, so i bought the Win 8 upgrade Download version in October with the backups DVD.
    but the serial number i was given only works on the download version and not on the backup DVDs i got?! :argh:
    good thing i had kept the disk i created with the download version otherwise i think i would've need to spend some quality time on the phone with a tech support to fix the whole bloody situation.

    i am just wondering here why i spent an extra 15$ for the backup DVDs...*puppy* lol

    i had chosen to get the backup DVDs because i want to upgrade this machine next year from a 32 bits to a 64 bits machine.

    given all the bloody headaches i got from the ordeal, i still might just get that 64 bits machine.
    but it's looks doubtful at the moment that it will be running Windows. :thumbd:
     
  2. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i just upgraded my 32 bits to 64 bits without a problem.

    i just booted Win 8 32 bits from the SSD, then rebooted with the 64 bits install disk.
    the install went fine but i had to reactivate it using their automated phone support.
    all in all, it was smooth sailing.

    i think it probably would have been a lot more complicated if i had not already a Windows OS on a drive.
     
  3. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    if you get the retail win 8 disc you can also install a fresh copy with the upgrade key without installing xp first next time. you just cant use the one from the download when you bought it.
     
  4. sm1

    sm1 Registered Member

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    I could not upgrade from a cd created from the downloaded iso. But I had no upgrade issues with the installation media in the USB drive which I created with the MS tool:)
     
  5. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    well,

    i'm experimenting with dual booting and this time around things did not go smooth, like I expected.

    I had formatted my drive so there was no previous Windows install this time around.

    I install Windows 8, enter my product key, and when I get to the desktop the thing is of course not activated, because I have a new mobo and CPU. And it is an upgrade key...
    so I go through the activation app only to be told that my key is an upgrade key and that i'm a low-life because i'm too lazy to install Windows XP, activate that via phone support because I forgot how to setup the network connection on than ancient OS, then Install Windows 8, then activate that too through phone support most likely...
    and there's no phone number provided either to call phone support, because it's an upgrade key! NICE !!! lol

    thankfully, I found the 'rearm' trick on Youtube.
    so I basically had to 'pirate' my own paid-for OS.
    which all have been paid for since Windows 95.

    I have none of these headaches with Linux Mint and it's free.
    I have to pay Microsoft for those extra aggravations? :blink:

    Hello?
    Hello in there??
    anybody home? o_O lol :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  6. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    It worked for you with a little bit of effort but not sure what is your complaint. If it is an upgrade key then that is what it is. Plus as you said not only are you experimenting but you are also using different hardware so you need to reactivate anyway.
     
  7. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    right.

    but I don't fell like installing two OSes when I have a 25 digits product key which is enough to differentiate trillions of licenses! :blink:

    oh, well, i'll do it 'by the book' when I have some spare times.

    it's only time, right?
    like it comes in an unlimited supply. :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  8. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    well,

    i tried to do everything 'by the book' this time.

    i tried installing Win XP first, as it is required to upgrade to Win 8.
    but i got BSOD'ed twice trying to install it.

    so in the end i had to use the rearm hack to activate my own copy of Windows 8.

    because there's no way to contact the Microsoft phone support to activate an upgrade copy if no previous Windows installation is detected during the install of Win 8 . lol

    good thing my Win XP is a full version and not an upgrade to Win 95.
    because i'd probably have to install that too first. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
  9. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    anyway,

    i am happy, my copy of W8 is 'validated': "Windows currently running on your PC is activated"
    for the moment.

    could i get into troubles in the future because i hacked my own paid copy of W8?

    if so, how can i resolve the situation if i can not contact Microsoft support? o_O
     
  10. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    Let's hope you will have no further issues experimenting.
     
  11. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    after some Googling i found a way to launch a 'hidden' activation application for support phone numbers of different countries: just run "slui 4" without the quotes.

    i just don't know if i should call though, seeing that my Windows is already activated.
    might be worth giving a phone call just to get some clarification on the whole thing.
    at the very least it should be interesting to see what comes up.
    hopefully i get somebody competent at the other end of the line...

    i'll report here when i do.
     
  12. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    hopefully,

    but i think the whole activation process is overly complicated.

    why not just pop my Windows XP CD into the tray to validate Win 8?
    or why not an online activation where you could use your a password and where Microsoft would actually be knowledgeable about your previous Microsoft purchase history?

    this is way more complicated than it should be...
     
  13. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    anyway,

    after searching the internet i found out that Windows XP does not like AHCI mode.
    so it has to be installed and run in IDE mode.

    so i finally was able to install XP in order to activate Win 8 proper.
    easy is not exactly the word i would use in my situation.
    i am gonna details the ordeal just for laughs and in hope that someone from Microsoft happens to read this...
    and maybe it can help someone else too.
    ----
    so first before i install XP i have to delete a partition for it because all of my 4 primaries are taken.
    then switch the SATA mode to IDE in the BIOS.

    then it's off to the install.
    once you are dropped to the desktop is just a matter of running the Activation app to activate XP.
    except that if you are like me and haven't used XP in ages you most likely have forgotten how to set up a network.
    but in that case you can always call the automated support.

    except that if you're like me, you don't have a phone, and have to use Skype as a phone.
    which means rebooting into an OS that has Skype installed.
    that's when the fun starts. lol :D

    * so you open the Win XP Activation app and take a screenshot that you will need later to activate with
    * reboot and save a disk image because you gotta go back to XP later.
    * reboot and switch back to AHCI mode
    * restore image of an OS that has Skype on it
    * open the screenshot you saved earlier and call the Activation center.
    * save the confirmation to a text file.
    * reboot and switch back to IDE mode
    * restore XP image
    * activate XP (using the phone support option) using the text file you saved earlier to enter the key
    * reboot and switch back to AHCI mode. lol :argh:
    * install Windows 8

    there!
    only a few easy steps to follow and a few days of Internet research to figure all that out. :p
    ----
    anyway mods, you can lock thread this thread and mark it as [SOLVED] if you want.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
  14. cruelsister

    cruelsister Registered Member

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    If memory serves formerly you could just plop in and old OS CD and go through a verification process without actually installing the older system. I also had to go through this process. I just built a new computer and had a Win8 upgrade package that I received at a MSFT dog and pony show and was dismayed that I had to install Win 7 (or XP) first. No biggy, though- as long as you to remember to run Disk Cleanup to get rid of the Windows.old files an other assorted riff-raff.
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    moontan,

    Were you doing an exercise with installing Win8 or did you want a shortcut? It is a 10 minute job and there is no need to install a previous OS. A simple way is to create an empty folder in a data partition and name it Windows.
     
  16. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    it was just an exercise because i had already successfully hacked Windows 8 with the rearm hack.

    i just wanted to see how difficult it would be for Joe/Jane Average do do everything 'by the book'.
    well, Joe and Jane would have phones, unlike me. but i digress. :D
    and i was somehow concern that the hack would be compromised sooner or later, although i highly doubt that it would, after reflection.

    i gather Joe and Jane would have given up long before me. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
  17. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    I installed the Windows 8 "upgrade" on a disk with no OS perfectly fine o_O
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    funkydude,

    Any special procedure to get it activated?
     
  19. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Hi Brian,

    Same old trick to rearm.

    Many methods are out there since Windows 7 and earlier. The best which works for me is:

    1. After booting up, ensure that no Windows Updates pending task which requires a system reboot to finish installing.

    2. Run Registry Editor (RegEdit).

    3. Navigate to the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\OOBE

    4. In the right pane, change the value data for MediaBootInstall from 1 to 0.

    5. Open an elevated command prompt as administrator.

    6. Run the command below to reset Windows 7 activation status:
    slmgr -rearm

    7. Reboot the computer.

    8. Run the Activate Windows utility (accessible from bottom section of Control Panel -> System and Security -> System, or type Activate Windows into Start Search), type in the upgrade product key and activate Windows.

    Best regards,
     
  20. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    aladdin,

    I was just interested to know if funkydude did this. It wasn't mentioned.

    zfactor posted the best instructions I've seen.
     
  21. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Thanks Brian,

    I haven't seen zfactor's instructions. Sometime ago, I copied from somewhere four of them, the above one has worked best for me.

    Would really like to know zfactor's instructions, so that I can add to my earlier four.

    Best regards,

    P.S. I just saw zfactor post #3, but it didn't work for me. I tried with retail version, but it didn't allow me to insert the upgrade key. After installation, it says it need the upgrade version and won't activate.
     
  22. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  23. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    does your iso have a ei.cfg file in it? if not you can add one. this usually fixes the issue of using a retail disc. i always use a msdn / technet disc with my upgrade keys and have no issues. this will allow you to install without any key then add it after the install is done.

    FOR RETAIL:

    [Channel]
    Retail

    [VL]
    0

    FOR OEM:

    [Channel]
    OEM

    [VL]
    0

    FOR ENTERPRISE:

    [Channel]
    Volume

    [VL]
    1

    it is located in C:\Windows\System32\Licenses\neutral

    _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

    edit brian beat me to it. i do this all the time and have had not one issue with it.
     
  24. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Hi zfactor,

    Thank you for such excellent instructions. I have used in the past to edit the cfg file to make it all flavor Windows, i.e. Home Premium, PRO, Enterprise and so forth. One Windows disc for all flavors of Windows 7.

    Best regards,
     
  25. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    if you need further help just let me know. this works every time for me.
     
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