Installing Windows 8 from a disc on bran name PC's

By gooderguy ยท 9 replies
Sep 1, 2014
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  1. I've experimented installing Windows 8 from an installation DVD on several bran name computers which makes a nice clean install without all the junk that comes with these computers. But it doesn't always work. Sometimes it will recognize the product key embedded on the motherboard and sometimes it won't then ask for one which you can't provide as it's hidden. And as far as I can tell, I can't use a Windows 8.1 installation DVD when the PC came pre-installed with Windows 8. What I would love to do is create an install disc with winreducer with all the updates (I hate Windows Updates beyond words) and be able to just make clean installs on new bran name PC's for customers willing to pay extra for a clean system. As far as I know this should be legal as it still uses the original product key provided with the system. Does anyone have any experience or comments on this subject?
  2. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Let me just make sure I understand you situation. Are you looking for a way to download a copy of Windows 8 so that you can install and then upgrade to Windows 8.1? That could possibly solve your issues if you can burn a copy of Windows 8 to a disk, install it, and then upgrade to 8.1. You can download the Windows ISOs here.

    You can probably contact MS telling them that you wanted to reinstall Windows but the product key embedded on the motherboard didn't work. They are usually lenient with that.
  3. gooderguy

    gooderguy TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 68

    I have both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 retail installation DVDs. For example, you have an HP laptop with a dead hard drive and replace it with a new one, you have to install Windows 8 from a DVD, and depending on the bran name, like Asus, Acer, Samsung, Lenovo, etc, it may or may not pick up the product key. And even when it does, as far as I've seen, you can't install Windows 8.1 with a DVD on a system that only came with Windows 8. It's been kind of a hit and miss so far. With Windows 7, and previous versions, you could take a new computer out of the box, delete all the partitions and just install Windows from a disc, I'm just trying to do the same with Windows 8 and finding that it won't always work.
  4. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +208

    gooderguy likes this.
  5. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Yeah the key is not a sticker like it was with Windows 7 and before. It is now embedded into the motherboard. It makes it more difficult. What you can do though is check out this article from MS on upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. You probably have to install Windows 8 and then manually upgrade to Windows 8.1.
    gooderguy likes this.
  6. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    Another way to find product key is to use Piriform's 'Speccy' info program.
    You can also save all the system info as a text file off the PC which can be useful for the future, (what did work before.)
    Another problem with new PC's (mostly to laptops) is that certain drivers pre-installed, are very hard to find again to download. e.g. webcam drivers and scratchpad drivers. If anyone buys a new PC it's a very good idea to save a copy of all the drivers to another external drive, if needed again for reinstall.
  7. gooderguy

    gooderguy TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 68

    Yes, I've noticed having to do that in every case when the system came with Windows 8, I have to use a Windows 8 DVD then update to Windows 8.1 afterwards, but not before doing tones of updates required for the update to install.
  8. gooderguy

    gooderguy TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 68

    I've actually found Windows 8 very good at finding most or all needed drivers on it's own, if not on install, then often when doing updates, which in one thing I like. Windows 7 was pretty good but very often found all drivers except LAN and wireless of all things, which are most needed to download updates and drivers.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,691

    I'd rather be responsible for my own drivers. Than have an OS bloated with resources designated for installing hardware, I'll never have in the system. But who am I to be asking for such non-sense. After all we as a society can't be bothered with installing our own peripherals. That is so 90's and we are now in an era where that is no longer necessary.
  10. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    It was the normal situation up to Win 7 to have the product key on a sticker on the case of PC's, but many users found that their sticker did not match with the 'actual' key. So that using 'magicaljellybean' or similar was the way to get your own key in case of reinstall. Fair to say that many PC users never needed to know the key, as the Windows system was never reinstalled, or at worst the recovery partition was used fo 'fix' a failing Windows installation.
    Very worth saving a copy of known working drivers off the pc, and also saving an image of a proven good working Windows setup in case of HD failure.

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