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Windows 8.1 RTM wants a key on Surface Pro? Does this mean I always have to install 8 first if I'm reinstalling a Surface Pro?

    Question

  • So I downloaded Windows 8.1 RTM x64 English RTM to try out on my Surface Pro today. Upon mounting the ISO and running the setup.exe, it asks me for a product key and tells me I have an invalid key. I'm assuming the 'invalid key' it's referring to is the key that is embedded on the system board.

    So will Windows 8.0 keys never work for Windows 8.1, even though Microsoft is giving all Windows 8 users a free upgrade to 8.1? Doesn't this needlessly insert the step of installing Windows 8 whenever I want to reinstall a system with Windows 8.1 on it?

    How is upgrading via the Store 'different' than upgrading via physical media? Obviously the store won't require a key. Is a key assigned when you perform the upgrade from the store?

    -- Brandon

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013 2:33 PM

Answers

  • Windows 8.1 installation media requires a Windows 8.1 product key, therefore you cannot use a Windows 8 product key with Windows 8.1 media.  (remember back when Windows 98SE was released?  It could not be installed using a Windows 98 product key).

    Carey Frisch

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013 2:55 PM
  • So I downloaded Windows 8.1 RTM x64 English RTM to try out on my Surface Pro today. Upon mounting the ISO and running the setup.exe, it asks me for a product key and tells me I have an invalid key. I'm assuming the 'invalid key' it's referring to is the key that is embedded on the system board.

    So will Windows 8.0 keys never work for Windows 8.1, even though Microsoft is giving all Windows 8 users a free upgrade to 8.1? Doesn't this needlessly insert the step of installing Windows 8 whenever I want to reinstall a system with Windows 8.1 on it?

    How is upgrading via the Store 'different' than upgrading via physical media? Obviously the store won't require a key. Is a key assigned when you perform the upgrade from the store?

    -- Brandon

    Hi Brandon your post is contradicting the use of the product key. You intentions are clear but contradicting the fact that paragraph 2, you are binding an upgrade of windows 8.1 to a full install, yes an upgrade uses the same key as windows 8.1 since its an upgrade. The upgrade key will only be valid if you have windows 8 installed using the same machine you installed 8 on, and that license is transferable to any machine and a reactivation is needed.

    We will have to wait to see how Microsoft deals with the license of windows 8.1 as we only have a developers issue of the retail, this issue of windows 8.1 is not intend for license manipulation. It is intended for testing hardware and drivers before the release.

    Added,

    yes Brandon you can activate windows 8 key in a full install of windows 8.1, you cannot install windows 8.1 with an windows 8 key. You can upgrade your windows 8 without the windows 8.1 key and then activate your windows 8 key, You cannot install windows 8.1 with the windows 8 key 

     http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2013/09/17/pricing-and-packaging-for-windows-8-1.aspx
    For your question as to will I always have to install 8, YES, You can buy the windows 8.1 key. You will not need to install 8. BTW windows 8.1 backup works very good. I tested it with restart and recovery options.


    • Edited by colakid Sunday, September 22, 2013 3:39 PM
    • Marked as answer by Niki HanModerator Tuesday, October 15, 2013 2:38 AM
    Sunday, September 22, 2013 3:09 PM

All replies

  • The Windows 8.1 ISO's from MSDN/TechNet were not intended for upgrades.  Please be patient and wait for the Windows 8.1 Update from the Windows Store (available October 18, 2013).

    Carey Frisch

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013 2:43 PM
  • I will, but my question is that if I have a device with an embedded Windows 8 key, and media for 8.1, I can't install 8.1 directly. I have to install 8 and then upgrade to 8.1.
    Wednesday, September 18, 2013 2:50 PM
  • Windows 8.1 installation media requires a Windows 8.1 product key, therefore you cannot use a Windows 8 product key with Windows 8.1 media.  (remember back when Windows 98SE was released?  It could not be installed using a Windows 98 product key).

    Carey Frisch

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013 2:55 PM
  • It works, I did a clean install on my surface with the TechNet media. I also noticed that it didn't grab the product key embedded into the firmware. So I reinstalled Windows 8, and used Belarc Advisor to get my Product key. Installed 8.1 clean install again, and then activated using the product key that Belarc got for me. Worked like a charm

    Sunday, September 22, 2013 2:16 PM
  • So I downloaded Windows 8.1 RTM x64 English RTM to try out on my Surface Pro today. Upon mounting the ISO and running the setup.exe, it asks me for a product key and tells me I have an invalid key. I'm assuming the 'invalid key' it's referring to is the key that is embedded on the system board.

    So will Windows 8.0 keys never work for Windows 8.1, even though Microsoft is giving all Windows 8 users a free upgrade to 8.1? Doesn't this needlessly insert the step of installing Windows 8 whenever I want to reinstall a system with Windows 8.1 on it?

    How is upgrading via the Store 'different' than upgrading via physical media? Obviously the store won't require a key. Is a key assigned when you perform the upgrade from the store?

    -- Brandon

    Hi Brandon your post is contradicting the use of the product key. You intentions are clear but contradicting the fact that paragraph 2, you are binding an upgrade of windows 8.1 to a full install, yes an upgrade uses the same key as windows 8.1 since its an upgrade. The upgrade key will only be valid if you have windows 8 installed using the same machine you installed 8 on, and that license is transferable to any machine and a reactivation is needed.

    We will have to wait to see how Microsoft deals with the license of windows 8.1 as we only have a developers issue of the retail, this issue of windows 8.1 is not intend for license manipulation. It is intended for testing hardware and drivers before the release.

    Added,

    yes Brandon you can activate windows 8 key in a full install of windows 8.1, you cannot install windows 8.1 with an windows 8 key. You can upgrade your windows 8 without the windows 8.1 key and then activate your windows 8 key, You cannot install windows 8.1 with the windows 8 key 

     http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2013/09/17/pricing-and-packaging-for-windows-8-1.aspx
    For your question as to will I always have to install 8, YES, You can buy the windows 8.1 key. You will not need to install 8. BTW windows 8.1 backup works very good. I tested it with restart and recovery options.


    • Edited by colakid Sunday, September 22, 2013 3:39 PM
    • Marked as answer by Niki HanModerator Tuesday, October 15, 2013 2:38 AM
    Sunday, September 22, 2013 3:09 PM