none
Windows 8 Pro volume license version does not have "Add Features" therefore cannot install media center.

    General discussion

  • As the title describes, Windows 8 Pro installed from the Volume License ISO does not have the Add Features wizard, and as such it appears to be impossible to install the Windows Media Pack.

    I've consulted with Live Chat support who cannot provide an answer to this, they simply said it should be done through "Add Features" which does not exist.

    A similar thread was answered by saying install from a Retail disc and upgrade. However this is hardly a solution, paying for an additional Windows license when you already have a volume license.

    Can anyone, preferably MSFT, provide a proper answer on how Windows Media Center can be install on Windows 8 Pro which is volume licensed. If it can't be done can some reason or justification be given as to why it can't be done.

    Please see previous thread here: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w8itproinstall/thread/d63b46e5-c542-4dbe-be41-c46cda440723

    Tuesday, November 06, 2012 10:52 AM

All replies

  • Try to run this command:

    C:\Windows\System32\WindowsAnytimeUpgradeui.exe

    Does it allow you to enter the key and activate the Media Center?


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Tuesday, November 06, 2012 2:25 PM
  • Try to run this command:

    C:\Windows\System32\WindowsAnytimeUpgradeui.exe

    Does it allow you to enter the key and activate the Media Center?


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    That exe doesn't seem to be present. There is WindowsAnytimeUpgradeResults.exe but not WindowsAnytimeUpgradeui.exe.
    Tuesday, November 06, 2012 5:51 PM
  • Hello

    “Individuals who take advantage of the recently announced upgrade offer to Windows 8 Pro can add Windows Media Center for free through the add features option as described in this Windows Blog post. People can also add the Windows 8 Media Center Pack and Windows 8 Pro Pack to OEM and Retail licensed version of Windows 8. These feature packs are not available with volume licensing versions.”

    Thanks, Darrell Gorter [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. VAMT - Volume Activation Management Tool - Download link http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ec7156d2-2864-49ee-bfcb-777b898ad582&displaylang=en

    Tuesday, November 06, 2012 9:09 PM
  • Darrell,

    It seems rather strange to me that Microsoft would stop VL customers from having WMC in a new version of Windows then offer it as a Windows add-on, which VL customers cannot use with the Windows license they are already paying for. Essentially giving (presumably valued) VL customers an inferior version of Windows 8 compared to an equivalent retail edition.

    As far as I see it then, the only legitimate way for VL customer to get WMC is to purchase a retail copy of Windows at additional cost, and the acquire the the WMC upgrade.

    I admit WMC is hardly an essential Windows component, however it is a very useful and unique one. But this situation also present the additional concern, will Microsoft choose to make any other Windows features available via the Anytime Upgrade Wizard? Meaning there would be yet more features that cannot be installed on VL Windows products.

    Is there some official statement then, that Windows Media Center is unavailable to Volume License users?
    Or that VL products should now be in some way inferior to their retail counterparts (which has never previously been the case)?

    I have to say I've been unable to find one despite looking.

    Wednesday, November 07, 2012 9:07 AM
  • Can we copy over the relevant exe and dlls to repair this feature, if so this could be a simple hotfix really
    Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:17 AM
  • Can we copy over the relevant exe and dlls to repair this feature, if so this could be a simple hotfix really

    No you can't. Not sure if doing so would violate any licence but I can say that doing simply results in a message saying "You cannot upgrade this version of Windows"

    It seems it would be possible to activate a Windows 8 Pro retail installation with a VL key. Which would then allow the upgrade, but not sure if this is legitimate license wise, and even if it were the only legitimate way to acquire the retail installation media is to buy it which shouldn't be neccessary.

    Thursday, November 08, 2012 9:53 AM
  • Hello

    “Individuals who take advantage of the recently announced upgrade offer to Windows 8 Pro can add Windows Media Center for free through the add features option as described in this Windows Blog post. People can also add the Windows 8 Media Center Pack and Windows 8 Pro Pack to OEM and Retail licensed version of Windows 8. These feature packs are not available with volume licensing versions.”

    Thanks, Darrell Gorter [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. VAMT - Volume Activation Management Tool - Download link http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ec7156d2-2864-49ee-bfcb-777b898ad582&displaylang=en

    Darrell,

    In counter to what you what posted. The "Add Features" web page contains the text "If you purchase a new PC withWindows 8 preinstalled and you later upgrade that PC with Windows 8 Pro Pack, Windows 8 Media Center Pack, a volume license edition, or a retail edition, you will no longer be able to install apps that are provided exclusively from your PC manufacturer through the Windows Store. Get the full details on our special offers." Clearly implying the "Add Features option is applicable to volume license editions.

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows-8/feature-packs

    As I said before, please tell me where there is an official statement stating that these features cannot be added to volume license editions, and please provide some explanation as to why this is the case.

    Thursday, November 08, 2012 1:49 PM
  • I have unproposed this "answer" yet again, since it is not in fact an answer.

    The problem presented is how do volume licence customers acquire/install Windows Media Center. 

    Aside from saying the upgrade pack cannot be used, no answer has been supplied.

    I would post this to the TechNet priority support forums, except that there don't appear to be any for Windows 8.
    The rollout and support of this supposedly flagship operating system is farcical. 

    Can someone from Microsoft please supply answers to the questions asked in this thread.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:56 AM
  • Why have MS crippled the VL versions? It appears you can install a non-pro MSDN subscription version of Windows 8 and add the WMC pack but not the Pro version. This makes no sense so is presumably a bug/fault.

    Can MS provide a download/fix or plausible answer (rather than disclaimer) as to why they have done this to their fee paying subscriber community ?

    Friday, November 16, 2012 11:52 AM
  • You can try the retail ISO and use the KMS keys from here:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj612867.aspx

    and now try to install Media Center.


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Friday, November 16, 2012 10:07 PM
  • Nothing new, just adding my weight:

    I installed Windows 8 Pro Upgrade on my home PC and then obtained the free (until the end of the year) add-on of Windows Media Centre - that's just fine.
    However, my (not-for-profit) club is entitled to Microsoft software at very low prices through VLSC (aka Volume Licence Service Center), so for my club computer I purchased a Windows 8 Pro Upgrade. I then tried unsuccessfully to obtain MS Media Center. When I queried VLSC support I was told "Media Center is not available for Volume License, it is only available for Retail Customers ".
    ok, that's the MS rule, but it's unfortunate for Media Center would be useful for our club. Anyone know of a way around this or if it, what is a reasonable alternative to MS Media Center?
    Thanks,
    John Kennedy
    Broome Sailing Club

    Saturday, November 17, 2012 1:48 AM
  • You can try the retail ISO and use the KMS keys from here:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj612867.aspx

    and now try to install Media Center.


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    This isn't really helpful. Where do you suggest I, legally, get the retail ISO from.
    Monday, November 19, 2012 9:28 AM
  • This isn't really helpful.
    Sorry I only wanted to help.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Monday, November 19, 2012 9:30 PM
  • Hi,

    I suggest to contact our Customer Service for further help.

    www.microsoft.com/microsoftservices


    Leo Huang
    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, November 23, 2012 2:55 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    I suggest to contact our Customer Service for further help.

    www.microsoft.com/microsoftservices


    Leo Huang
    TechNet Community Support

    Geez, this thread is going around in circles: we all started with Customer Service (?) who simply reply that you can't have it with Volume Licence but will not say why or point to an official explanation.

    John Kennedy


    • Edited by jrk36 Friday, November 23, 2012 5:28 AM
    Friday, November 23, 2012 5:28 AM
  • Hi,

    I suggest to contact our Customer Service for further help.

    www.microsoft.com/microsoftservices


    Leo Huang
    TechNet Community Support

    Geez, this thread is going around in circles: we all started with Customer Service (?) who simply reply that you can't have it with Volume Licence but will not say why or point to an official explanation.

    John Kennedy


    I second this statement. I've already contacted customer services, and got nowhere.

    Could we please actually get an official answer from Microsoft on this, explaining how VL customers can Media Center. If the answer is that VL customers can not get Media Center then can we please have an official explanation as to why this is the case.

    Friday, November 23, 2012 11:15 PM
  • I would really like a response on this as well. I've upgraded my system from 7 pro vl to 8 pro vl and have since lost functionality. This should never be the case when you are "upgrading".
    Monday, November 26, 2012 3:12 AM
  • I fully agree with gjf8 - surely there is someone at MS who can offer an authoritive response.
    Monday, November 26, 2012 9:06 PM
  • Hi Philip,

    We have not yet published a offical KB to explain this. As noted in the Windows 8 editions blog (http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/04/16/announcing-the-windows-8-editions.aspx) post on the Building Windows 8 blog site, there are 3 different versions of Windows 8

    Windows 8
    Windows 8 Pro
    Windows RT

    Media Center extensions are not included in any version of Windows 8. Furthermore, Media Center cannot be installed on volume licensed media installations of Windows 8, or Windows RT.

    Users wanting Media Center extensions for Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro should acquire and install the Windows 8 Media Center Pack, or the Windows 8 Pro Pack.

    From October 26th until January 31, 2013, the Windows 8 Media Center Pack is available for free via the URL http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/feature-packs

    Windows 8 Edition support is further clarified in the Building Windows 8 blog post "Making Windows Media Center available in Windows 8" (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/05/03/making-windows-media-center-available-in-windows-8.aspx) which goes on to say.

    To workaround this, reinstall the windows with a Retail Media (or install a new fresh Retail Media); install the media center feature and then activate the Media Center using the media center key 

    Thanks. 



    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 2:00 PM
  • Geez, you do make life complicated!

    Anyhow, I have a VL Windows 8 Pro installation which on my reading should entitle me to Media Center - so why can't I get it?

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 2:41 PM
  • On Tue, 27 Nov 2012 14:41:00 +0000, jkr36 wrote:

    Geez, you do make life complicated!

    Anyhow, I have a VL Windows 8 Pro installation which on my reading should entitle me to Media Center - so why can't I get it?

    From Aaron's post:

    Furthermore, Media Center cannot be installed on volume licensed media
    installations
    of Windows 8, or Windows RT


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Real programs don't eat cache.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 2:46 PM
  • Hi Philip,

    We have not yet published a offical KB to explain this. As noted in the Windows 8 editions blog (http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/04/16/announcing-the-windows-8-editions.aspx) post on the Building Windows 8 blog site, there are 3 different versions of Windows 8

    Windows 8
    Windows 8 Pro
    Windows RT

    Media Center extensions are not included in any version of Windows 8. Furthermore, Media Center cannot be installed on volume licensed media installations of Windows 8, or Windows RT.

    Users wanting Media Center extensions for Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro should acquire and install the Windows 8 Media Center Pack, or the Windows 8 Pro Pack.

    From October 26th until January 31, 2013, the Windows 8 Media Center Pack is available for free via the URL http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/feature-packs

    Windows 8 Edition support is further clarified in the Building Windows 8 blog post "Making Windows Media Center available in Windows 8" (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/05/03/making-windows-media-center-available-in-windows-8.aspx) which goes on to say.

    To workaround this, reinstall the windows with a Retail Media (or install a new fresh Retail Media); install the media center feature and then activate the Media Center using the media center key 

    Thanks. 



    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Is there anyway to "Upgrade" Windows 8 Pro VL to Retail? I have a TON of stuff installed and running already and would hate to have to do a fresh install.
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 6:56 PM
  • You still don't get it!

    I don't have Windows 8 or Windows RT, I have Windows 8 Pro in VL edition and there is nothing to say that I shouldn't have access to Media Center.


    • Edited by jkr36 Tuesday, November 27, 2012 11:23 PM
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 11:22 PM
  • On Tue, 27 Nov 2012 23:22:47 +0000, jkr36 wrote:

    You still don't get it!

    I don't have Windows 8 or Windows RT, I have Windows 8 Pro in VL edition and there is nothing to say that i shouldn't have access to Media Center.

    I do get it. Aaron is stating that it cannot be install on VL installs.
    From his post it sounds like there will be a KB article coming to explain
    this.

    Bottom line is that while poorly communicated this is by design.

    What I'm kind of curious about is where everyone got their VL installs from
    in the first place. If they came from TechNet, the TechNet EULA
    specifically does not allow you to use software provided through a
    subscription on a daily use basis. You're only allowed to use it for
    testing and evaluation.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    The Geeks shall inherit the earth!

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 11:32 PM
  • (sorry if this double posts!)

    I'm a Microsoft Silver ISV partner and thus have software provided for internal use rights.  We get both retail and VL keys as part of that.  In the past I didn't fuss too much about which licence type was used as we only use a small handful of what we're allocated anyway.  However there's a bit of a crossroads here for me...

    The list of 3 editions of Windows 8 is incomplete - there's also the Enterprise SKU which has many features not available in Pro such as Direct Access (the one I want!) plus WindowsToGo, etc.

    There's no retail Ultimate SKU anymore and whilst I appreciate the simplification of the edition line-up, the fact that the Enterprise SKU is only available via VL means the following

    1. I have to pick between Media Centre (which I use to drive my Xbox) and Direct Access - that's an annoying choice

    2. If we have clients purchase Windows 8 laptops at retail, which is common, we can't get them upgraded to an Enterprise edition (or "Ultimate") and get them using Direct Access.  They won't want to know about Media Centre, but having them discard the OEM licence of Windows that came with their laptop to get a VL licence is hard to explain and just seems wrong on some level.

    The position Microsoft has on this has been clear for many months if you've been following the appropriate blogs.  The rationale however has never been explained :( 

    I'd love to see the restriction on Media Centre on VL editions removed too - then I can have my cake and eat it too :)


    Ian Yates Technical Manager Medical IT Pty Ltd PO Box 501, Carina QLD 4152 Australia Web: www.medicalit.com.au

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 1:50 AM
  • Q. "Is there anyway to "Upgrade" Windows 8 Pro VL to Retail?"

    A.  Unfortunately, no.

    Windows 8 Comparison Chart


    Carey Frisch


    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 4:00 AM
  • On Tue, 27 Nov 2012 23:22:47 +0000, jkr36 wrote:

    You still don't get it!

    I don't have Windows 8 or Windows RT, I have Windows 8 Pro in VL edition and there is nothing to say that i shouldn't have access to Media Center.

    I do get it. Aaron is stating that it cannot be install on VL installs.
    From his post it sounds like there will be a KB article coming to explain
    this.

    Bottom line is that while poorly communicated this is by design.

    What I'm kind of curious about is where everyone got their VL installs from
    in the first place. If they came from TechNet, the TechNet EULA
    specifically does not allow you to use software provided through a
    subscription on a daily use basis. You're only allowed to use it for
    testing and evaluation.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    The Geeks shall inherit the earth!


    I work for a school district and use Windows 8 Enterprise with SA.  We utilize AppLocker, so Enterprise is a must although it sounds like a VL of Pro wouldn't offer WMC either.
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 4:14 AM
  • (sorry if this double posts!)

    I'm a Microsoft Silver ISV partner and thus have software provided for internal use rights.  We get both retail and VL keys as part of that.  In the past I didn't fuss too much about which licence type was used as we only use a small handful of what we're allocated anyway.  However there's a bit of a crossroads here for me...

    The list of 3 editions of Windows 8 is incomplete - there's also the Enterprise SKU which has many features not available in Pro such as Direct Access (the one I want!) plus WindowsToGo, etc.

    There's no retail Ultimate SKU anymore and whilst I appreciate the simplification of the edition line-up, the fact that the Enterprise SKU is only available via VL means the following

    1. I have to pick between Media Centre (which I use to drive my Xbox) and Direct Access - that's an annoying choice

    2. If we have clients purchase Windows 8 laptops at retail, which is common, we can't get them upgraded to an Enterprise edition (or "Ultimate") and get them using Direct Access.  They won't want to know about Media Centre, but having them discard the OEM licence of Windows that came with their laptop to get a VL licence is hard to explain and just seems wrong on some level.

    The position Microsoft has on this has been clear for many months if you've been following the appropriate blogs.  The rationale however has never been explained :( 

    I'd love to see the restriction on Media Centre on VL editions removed too - then I can have my cake and eat it too :)


    Ian Yates Technical Manager Medical IT Pty Ltd PO Box 501, Carina QLD 4152 Australia Web: www.medicalit.com.au


    This is a better stated explanation of what I was attempting to get at with my previous post about AppLocker.  I am in a very similar situation.
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 4:18 AM
  • On Tue, 27 Nov 2012 23:22:47 +0000, jkr36 wrote:

    You still don't get it!

    I don't have Windows 8 or Windows RT, I have Windows 8 Pro in VL edition and there is nothing to say that i shouldn't have access to Media Center.

    I do get it. Aaron is stating that it cannot be install on VL installs.
    From his post it sounds like there will be a KB article coming to explain
    this.

    Bottom line is that while poorly communicated this is by design.

    What I'm kind of curious about is where everyone got their VL installs from
    in the first place. If they came from TechNet, the TechNet EULA
    specifically does not allow you to use software provided through a
    subscription on a daily use basis. You're only allowed to use it for
    testing and evaluation.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    The Geeks shall inherit the earth!

    That is not what Aaron said - he specifically said Windows 8 & Windows RT, NOT Windows 8 Pro!

    BTW: you're allowed to be curious where people got their VL from, but I'd suggest it comes from various legitimate sources and it's none of your business in any case! However, I've nothing to hide and in my case, in Australia Microsoft has a VL Donations program for not-for-profit groups for most if not all of their OS and software.


    John Kennedy


    • Edited by jrk36 Wednesday, November 28, 2012 5:21 AM
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 5:21 AM
  • The other kicker for me, which I had forgotten about as I won't be upgrading until sometime over Xmas, is that because I used Ultimate Retail on my PC, I can't upgrade to Win 8 Enterprise since that's VL only.

    An "Ultimate" retail edition would've been nice and, from MS' point of view, MS would've made a fair chunk of money from enthusiasts who would pay more just to have "all the features" even if most won't be used.

    Anyone know if I can change my 7 Ultimate to 7 Enterprise without a complete reinstall?


    Ian Yates Technical Manager Medical IT Pty Ltd PO Box 501, Carina QLD 4152 Australia Web: www.medicalit.com.au

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 5:28 AM
  • On Wed, 28 Nov 2012 05:28:14 +0000, IanYates [Med IT] wrote:

    Anyone know if I can change my 7 Ultimate to 7 Enterprise without a complete reinstall?

    Surprisingly enough this is possible. The broad strokes are:

    Step 1 Downgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional

    Step 2 Upgrade from Windows 7 Professional to Windows 8 Enterprise

    Step 3 Activating Windows 8 Enterprise

    Step 4 Cleanup Windows 8 Setup Files

    A good friend of mine documented the entire process on his blog recently:

    http://rollyperreaux.com/2012/10/how-to-upgrade-from-windows-7-ultimate-to-windows-8-enterprise-step-by-step/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-upgrade-from-windows-7-ultimate-to-windows-8-enterprise-step-by-step


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Multitasking = screwing up several things at once.


    • Edited by Paul AdareMVP Wednesday, November 28, 2012 8:48 AM Clean up formatting issues
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 8:42 AM
  • On Wed, 28 Nov 2012 05:21:21 +0000, jrk36 wrote:

    BTW: you're allowed to be curious where people got their VL from, but I'd suggest it comes from various legitimate sources and it's none of your business in any case! However, I've nothing to hide and in my case, in Australia Microsoft has a VL Donations program for not-for-profit groups for most if not all of their OS and software.

    I am genuinely curious and did not mean to imply that the majority of folks
    posting in this thread were using VL installs in violation of a EULA.
    Perhaps in hindsight I should have made that clearer.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    HOST SYSTEM NOT RESPONDING, PROBABLY DOWN.  DO YOU WANT TO WAIT?  (Y/N)

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 8:46 AM
  • On Wed, 28 Nov 2012 05:21:21 +0000, jrk36 wrote:

    That is not what Aaron said - he specifically said Windows 8 & Windows RT, NOT Windows 8 Pro!

    He also didn't mention Windows 8 Enterprise specifically, however, Windows
    8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise are the only two editions that are available
    in VL versions. Pro is available in both VL and non-VL, Enterprise is only
    available in VL.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Compatible:  Gracefully accepts erroneous data from any source.

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 8:55 AM
  • On Wed, 28 Nov 2012 05:28:14 +0000, IanYates [Med IT] wrote:

    Anyone know if I can change my 7 Ultimate to 7 Enterprise without a complete reinstall?

    Surprisingly enough this is possible. The broad strokes are:

    Step 1 Downgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional

    Step 2 Upgrade from Windows 7 Professional to Windows 8 Enterprise

    Step 3 Activating Windows 8 Enterprise

    Step 4 Cleanup Windows 8 Setup Files

    A good friend of mine documented the entire process on his blog recently:

    http://rollyperreaux.com/2012/10/how-to-upgrade-from-windows-7-ultimate-to-windows-8-enterprise-step-by-step/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-upgrade-from-windows-7-ultimate-to-windows-8-enterprise-step-by-step


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Multitasking = screwing up several things at once.



    Paul, thanks very much for posting the link!  Everything I found in my procrastination time this afternoon was from people trying to leave Enterprise and move to Ultimate because they'd used leaked keys, etc.

    I'll be sure to give it a go in the near future.  Cheers! :)


    Ian Yates Technical Manager Medical IT Pty Ltd PO Box 501, Carina QLD 4152 Australia Web: www.medicalit.com.au

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 11:19 AM
  • On Wed, 28 Nov 2012 11:19:03 +0000, IanYates [Med IT] wrote:

    Paul, thanks very much for posting the link!? Everything I found in my procrastination time this afternoon

    Glad to help Ian. BTW - I'm going to borrow your procrastination time
    phrase. :-)


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Profanity is the one language all programmers know best.

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 11:24 AM

  • To workaround this, reinstall the windows with a Retail Media (or install a new fresh Retail Media); install the media center feature and then activate the Media Center using the media center key 

    Thank you very much for this as it is the most clear answer anyone from MSFT have yet provided.

    Hi Aaron,

    However I'm still a little unclear on something here.

    Are you saying that from a licensing point of view, is it legitimate to add Windows Media Center to Windows 8 Pro VL, but it can't be done due to software limitations and therefore we should work round it by installing from retail media?

    If this is the case that's a somewhat acceptable answer from a licensing point of view, and something that's practical to do except for the question of where do you suggest I get retail Windows 8 Pro media from without buying Windows 8 Pro at retail?

    I look forward to your response.


    Monday, December 03, 2012 2:22 PM
  • On Tue, 27 Nov 2012 23:22:47 +0000, jkr36 wrote:

    You still don't get it!

    I don't have Windows 8 or Windows RT, I have Windows 8 Pro in VL edition and there is nothing to say that i shouldn't have access to Media Center.

    I do get it. Aaron is stating that it cannot be install on VL installs.
    From his post it sounds like there will be a KB article coming to explain
    this.

    Bottom line is that while poorly communicated this is by design.

    What I'm kind of curious about is where everyone got their VL installs from
    in the first place. If they came from TechNet, the TechNet EULA
    specifically does not allow you to use software provided through a
    subscription on a daily use basis. You're only allowed to use it for
    testing and evaluation.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    The Geeks shall inherit the earth!

    VL comes from various subscriptions and services such as Campus and Select agreements. Campus agreements are specifically intended for production use as are others so there's plenty of legitimate ways to have Windows 8 Pro VL in production use.
    Monday, December 03, 2012 2:27 PM
  • Hi Philip_W,

    I am sorry to make you confused. Based on partner and customer's feedback, they have concerns over the costs associated with codec licensing for traditional media playback. Given the changing landscape, the cost of decoder licensing, and the importance of a straight forward edition plan, then make it in "Add features". This is no software limitation but licensing limitations. 

    Thanks. 


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Friday, December 07, 2012 10:52 AM
  • So why are there two editions of windows with the same name "Windows 8 Pro" that have different limitations on licensing?  STOP CONFUSING YOUR CUSTOMERS.  Call one Windows 8 Pro, then call the other Windows 8 Something-Else.  Don't leave two different versions with the same name - what a load of poo!

    So can I run an "upgrade" of a windows 8 pro retail copy over my VL edition?  Or will it not allow me to do that?  I don't want to unravel the time space continuum or anything - just get media center without having to reinstall my 87 apps.

    Thursday, December 13, 2012 7:18 AM
  • Q.  "So can I run an "upgrade" of a windows 8 pro retail copy over my VL edition?"

    A.  No.


    Carey Frisch

    Thursday, December 13, 2012 10:57 PM
  • Q.  "So can I run an "upgrade" of a windows 8 pro retail copy over my VL edition?"

    A.  No.


    Carey Frisch

    I'd like to clarify something - the technet version of windows 8 (NOT the VL edition) has the add features option.

    I upgraded my VL edition to the technet edition and installed mediacenter - YAY!

    For those who will attempt this next - you will need to use the "slmgr.vbs /ipk <technet product key>" operation first and walk through the activation using your technet key.  If you don't do this, it will fail at 30% of the upgrade process.  After the technet key is activated, restart, then once you are back in windows, put in the technet dvd and choose upgrade - keep all settings, apps, etc...  (It took my PC about 50 minutes - no idea why, as windows installs itself in about 15 minutes on the same machine.)  After you choose your settings and log back in, all your programs and such will still be there... AND the ADD FEATURES option is there!  YAY!

    I put in my WMC key - installed, rebooted, still activated, Pro w/ media center show in the title and I'm a happy camper.

    Tip: if you're planning on doing all of this remotely - make sure you have a third party tool for remote access that starts as a service installed first.  I had to use VNC to finish the upgrade process (stuck at the screen asking you to pick your colors and login).  After that, I was able to use standard RDP for the rest of it all.

    Now all I need is for MS to work out a resolution for the Hyper-V and HDCP conflict.  I want to watch blurays/cablecard TV and still run my VMs!!  argh.

    Friday, December 14, 2012 7:25 AM
  • Aaron, this makes no sense.

    Our company pays tens of thousands of dollars each and every year for Software assurance benefits including upgrade rights. With Windows 7 enterprise, we had media center edition. Now we cannot install media center on our VL editions of Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise, which is a completely legitimate use?

    As a test, I purchased a retail edition of 8 Pro and was not able to activate it using our VL product key.

    This is absolutely ridiculous and makes no sense.

    I have been to our Software Assurance downloads site thinking that the Media Center package may be available for SA customers as a seperate VL download...no luck. The only way I see that the Media Center add on can be added is through the Add features option, which is not available in the VL edition of 8 Pro or Enterprise. 

    So even if I am purchasing new machines with Pro on them, we usually wipe and reinstall them as enterprise...which means that we lose the ability to add media center. 

    What is the deal? This needs to be fixed.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 5:29 PM
  • Aaron, this makes no sense.

    Our company pays tens of thousands of dollars each and every year for Software assurance benefits including upgrade rights. With Windows 7 enterprise, we had media center edition. Now we cannot install media center on our VL editions of Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise, which is a completely legitimate use?

    As a test, I purchased a retail edition of 8 Pro and was not able to activate it using our VL product key.

    This is absolutely ridiculous and makes no sense.

    I have been to our Software Assurance downloads site thinking that the Media Center package may be available for SA customers as a seperate VL download...no luck. The only way I see that the Media Center add on can be added is through the Add features option, which is not available in the VL edition of 8 Pro or Enterprise. 

    So even if I am purchasing new machines with Pro on them, we usually wipe and reinstall them as enterprise...which means that we lose the ability to add media center. 

    What is the deal? This needs to be fixed.


    I do not understand any of this, it is like Microsoft does not want people to upgrade.
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 3:16 AM
  • I'M DONE WITH MICROSOFT!!
    Thursday, December 20, 2012 5:02 AM
  • This make it a very easy decision not upgrade to Windows 8. This is a ridiculous move by Microsoft to save 2 dollars per license.
    Monday, December 31, 2012 4:37 PM
  • I'm attempting to work through this situation with a tech support guy. We've spent ~2 hours so far and while he says that he sees documentation saying "VL installs are incompatible w/ MCE", he's not giving up! :-)

    Seems main problems are:

    1) Some stupid incompatibility issue, as we're all aware
    2) Microsoft support personnel for VL customers are on the enterprise side of things and MCE is a consumer product, so these support personnel are not properly trained in issues with this product. The guy I'm working with said this is his first issue concerning MCE.
    3) VL product keys come from the enterprise side of things while MCE product keys come from the consumer side of things. This means my support guy needs to interface with a different department/division to get new keys generated to test with. This means instead of it being a 30-second process, it's a 10-15 minute process.

    So far, he's had me try ~5 different keys with no luck. He's very confused why we can't get this working. But like I said, he's not giving up.

    ---

    Background for my situation:

    I'm installing Windows 8 Pro from an MSDN Premium subscription (where MSDN was purchased via a VL). My ISO/Keys are for what appear to be the same as a Retail MSDN subsciption. This means I do get the "Add Features" part of Windows 8.

    I need MCE installed and working for test environments to reproduce and debug issues for our custom-developed software when running on Window 8 with MCE installed. This is a real issue that needs a real solution.

    I was able to install Windows 8 Pro and activate. Additionally, I was able to install MCE with a product key and it works perfectly (even with a TV Tuner!). The only problem is that the "next" reboot after everything being "happy", I began getting activation issues (Error code 0xC004C4AA).

    At this point, while my support guy investigates further, he's had me do a slmgr /rearm to keep the nag screens away for 30 days. His goals are to initially get this single environment working properly and then to provide a set of instructions to allow us to repeat in the future.

    Monday, December 31, 2012 9:16 PM
  • Error code 0xC004C4AA means adding MC to a non Retail Windows Pro. This is the new code that was added to stop hackers to use Win8 Media Center for free with a faked KMS activation.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Tuesday, January 01, 2013 6:32 AM
  • Hello,

    2793650 "Add features" option is unavailable in volume license versions of Windows 8
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2793650/EN-US

    Thanks, Darrell Gorter [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. VAMT - Volume Activation Management Tool - Download link http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ec7156d2-2864-49ee-bfcb-777b898ad582&displaylang=en

    Thursday, January 03, 2013 11:22 PM
  • So Microsofts solution is to recommend that everyone install XBMC or something similar rather than Windows Media Centre. Seems odd that they do not even promote their own product for use with their own OS. 
    Friday, January 04, 2013 1:20 AM
  • I'm not sure if a solution has been posted above, but I think I figured it out...

    I was having the same problem with Windows Pro where I couldn't find the "add features" and there was no option to add features under "System" or "Control Panel" either.

    So I search for "Windows Media Center", opened it, put in a DVD and my DVD play in Windows Media Player...I don't think we need to input a code to use the full Media Center. Hope it works for you all!

    Thursday, January 10, 2013 6:35 PM
  • I think you're confused - Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center are totally different - as you've said "put in a DVD and my DVD play in Windows Media Player" - no one is questioning that, but Windows Media Center (in VL editions), ah that's another thing!

    John Kennedy


    • Edited by jrk36 Friday, January 11, 2013 1:05 AM
    Friday, January 11, 2013 1:05 AM
  • However, if I recall the "Building Windows 8" blog post about Media Center correctly, the DVD codecs are also not a part of Windows 8 anymore.  They now come with the Media Center add-on.


    Ian Yates Technical Manager Medical IT Pty Ltd PO Box 501, Carina QLD 4152 Australia Web: www.medicalit.com.au

    Friday, January 11, 2013 1:22 AM
  • I work for a college and we just paid big bucks for our volume licensing again.  We were scheduled to start planning for summer desktop upgrades/deployments this week.  After looking at the media options, upgrading our campus to Windows 8 is not a viable option.  After getting feedback from several other colleges, I am not alone in making this decision.  Our classrooms and some business departments use media as a core extension for education.  In fact, many colleges and businesses seem to be analyzing the viability of maintaining Microsoft as a desktop solution because we fear what will be removed or changed next.  The fact is that Microsoft has a Media Center available but not for Volume License Customers.  Bad timing for us to find out the option is not available even though there is a purchase option for all other customers.  Because of the Metro UI addition, most colleges and businesses are required to train staff on the new interface and Microsoft has abandoned their volume licensing customers with no options.   So why should we not abandon Microsoft and turn to a different desktop environment?  If there is no media center for our campus, we will consider converting to a different stable desktop environment for all of our classroom and student computing needs.

    Saturday, January 12, 2013 6:50 PM
  • same here, let us know if you find any solution

    Srinivas Pyla

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 5:55 PM
  • Here is what i dont understand: why would microsoft make features that are available to retail users unavailable to EA customers, who provide the majority of the money that Microsoft makes, in this case the ability to playback DVD and Blu ray, and why would they prevent the ability to use an extremely useful business tool like Direct Access from the Pro version, when the kernels for these versions is exactly the same, and costs them nothing, since they throw Enterprise edition in for free to EA customers?
    Tuesday, April 09, 2013 3:42 AM
  • Just insane me that in a market (world) that is ever-increasingly video/media driven, MS would remove access to the media pack for Volume Licensing customers. Perhaps it's security, productivity related (VL being mostly business customers), but even so, it's remarkably short-sighted. 
    Monday, August 19, 2013 5:43 PM
  • Just spent the last 3 hours trying to follow instructions on getting MC installed on an 8.1 Pro install with volume licensing.

    Utterly nothing to suggest that the version I'm running is crippled and actually contains a stripped out functionality from the retail version. I'm just hoping the client I work for doesn't require part of this functionality at any point as they're going to need to run the VLK version to enable things like AppLocker etc.

    This has been one of the most frustrating and ultimately pathetic experiences I've had with a Microsoft product. I'm going straight back to Windows 7 and hopefully by the time 8/8.1 becomes forced on us through 7 going end of life - I'll have found a new line of work.

    Monday, December 23, 2013 3:05 PM
  • I would like to pile on here and say "ditto" to all of the above. you have a licensed product and they don't even support the MSFT version of a DVD player. Nah, no one EVER has to play a older technology in corporate America due to training or presentation (A funny clip of a movie before a ppt)? Nah.

    But, I'd like to add a warning to MSFT senior management.  I know you want to force everyone to use YOUR cloud just like apple did to theirs.  Wont' work.  Some of us refuse to sign onto a web site and let you track all of our moves... some distrust the cloud (Target anyone?) etc etc.  All good points, now for the out of the park.  The Harvard Business Review some years ago did a study on long term profitability of a company (you have to have a profit to stay in business).  The most highly correlated factor: Customer Sat.  Sorry, but I don't see customer sat in all of these entries. 

    IF you made your product easier to use and NOT have to have a IT support person to move from a small workgroup to a server configuration (and PS, what in the heck to you get from a workgroup?  File Replication, Remote access to outlook files as one does via exchange?  Really, every computer is in a workgoup any more, so there is ZERO value add in a workgroup on a MSFDT platform, however there is great value, even with a couple of users, in an Exchange/Windows Server Platform -- so why so you make it so damned hard to implement one... Difficult for one to implement in an SMB environment (so lets just kill SBS) but growth from small business is where your growth is... just like IBM did before you, MSFT only appears to be listening to Fortune 500 it execs, but I really digressed)  This is just one more pain in the butt to use MSFT in the small environment.  So what is the rational business decision?  Yes one can pick MSFT but with Zero value add in the workgroup, why not them other guys (who may be apple, or android or even some Linux platforms)

    SO you want to continue to mil the cash cow, listen to your forums.

    One more note on the STORE.  Lets say you do pick a competitive product in the windows store.  Have them been verified they don't contain malware like MSFT products?  I believe the answer here is "NO"  So this adds another layer of complexity and security risk on the corporate problem of "How do I play a DVD on my laptop"  I am sure none of you has ever played a movie on your laptop flying for business?

    So, MSFT management, let me paraphrase the posts above:  "WHY don't you support our business needs" 

    And remember, people buy to have their needs met.....  (IBM Planned Sales Call)

    If you don't meet small business needs, someone will... and that too is fraught with risk.

    (For example of how to make computers easy to use in SMB I reference SBS, the Systems Management Interface tool in IBM Unix, or best of all, the AS/400.... something even Ellison couldn't kill, though he tried.

    Saturday, December 28, 2013 11:27 PM
  • Can anyone from MS experts, let's back to square one:

    Because:
    the real question is : the "add features" is missing in VL installation.

    Then therefore:
    Users are not allowed to add features for existing computers installed the windows 8.1 VL, by anyway provided this / or some where else threats discussed. for example, media center is one of it.

    However, whatever MS claims on the license/terms, let's put media center aside.
    the argument here is : how can we "add features" by using the Windows 8.1 Pro VL?

    the question simple is that.

    thanks, and please don't go anywhere, stick to it would be much appreciated.


    Sunday, December 29, 2013 7:30 AM
  • Media Center extensions are not included in any version of Windows 8. Furthermore, Media Center cannot be installed on volume licensed media installations of Windows 8, or Windows RT.

    This doesn't explain why Microsoft decided that VL users are not allowed to use WMC which in my opinion is really short sighted.

    I'm really annoyed this is not possible and I would like to understand what is the thinking about it. From where I'm standing it looks like MS decided that business users do not need WMC and therefore shouldn't get the option to install it. I would like to be able to take that decision myself thank you very much! We have a VL agreement and it seems really stupid to me that we would have to buy a retail version for any user in our organization that requires or wants WMC. This is a bizarre workaround.

    Thursday, April 10, 2014 3:18 PM
  • My biggest complaint in tall of this and agrees with a lot of the folks here is that Microsoft should have named Windows 8 Pro VL SOMETHING else and alerted users that add features was not possible.  This little fact is hidden for the most part.  I wasted a LOT of time learning this little bit of information.  We are a software production site and use this feature for various support efforts.  We won't be using Windows 8 because of this and we will be telling our customers to stay on Windows 7.  Completely don't understand how we spend thousands of dollars each year for these licenses only have facts like this hidden from us.
    Thursday, June 05, 2014 3:26 PM
  • It would be interesting to see if this situation has ever been explained fully by Microsoft. I think from the posts above we all understand that Media Centre (and add features) has been disabled from Volume License versions of Windows 8 but none of us really understand why.

    Microsoft, could we please have an official explanation as to why this is the case?
    Thursday, July 17, 2014 8:44 PM
  • Why do you need an explanation?  Just move on.
    Sunday, August 31, 2014 5:55 AM
  • What I don't understand is that the WMC is a $10 purchase, so MS is essentially shooting themselves in the foot by not giving VL users the option to buy the feature pack. My guess is there is some kind of back room deal with OEM manufacturers, Just saying. Here is the real kicker, MS Solution, Buy a 3rd party Media Center solution that works with Windows 8 :) too funny.
    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 6:08 AM