Reinstall 8 on Dell laptop

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Simmonz, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Simmonz

    Simmonz 2[H]4U

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    There's a dell laptop with a dead hard drive. I put a new hard drive in it but can't get the product key activated. If I install using Legacy instead of UEFI then it won't activate the BIOS key. if I use UEFI then it doesn't see the hard drive or optical drive to get the install started. Ideas ?
     
  2. PinchedNerve

    PinchedNerve Limp Gawd

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    Call MS automated activation. I haven't had to do it in a while but it should ask you for your Product ID, you give it, then MS asks if you have any PC's using this key, you say no obviously and MS should issue you a new product ID.
     
  3. Landy

    Landy n00b

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    Download PKeyui. You can find it here: http://www.chip.de/downloads/Windows-8-Product-Key-Viewer_58663752.html

    Once you have it downloaded, select MDM Info and that is your windows product key pulled from the firmware of your laptop.

    If you can't get into the OS as it requires a product key, you can create a ei.cfg file and place it in the sources folder of your windows installation medium to skip entering the product key durring the installation process. You can find instructions on how to do it here:
    http://us.hardware.info/reviews/349...-windows-8-without-product-key-creating-eicfg

    You can PM me if you need further help!
     
  4. Simmonz

    Simmonz 2[H]4U

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    There is no option to call MS. I know what you're saying but in order to do that I have to be able to click a button to activate by phone which I don't have.

    The program reads the key but the key that come sup initially doesn't activate the OS and neither does the MDM key. I am going to call Dell and see if they can help. That program will be handy in the future though.

    Well Dell Tech Support was useless. I don't know why I figured they would be anything but. I am downloading an untouched ISO of Windows 8 for Dell computers so we'll see if that does a better job of activating the key.

    Even the Dell ISO wouldn't activate it. Says the key didn't match any available ones. Wonder if the fact this was purchased in China would effect this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
  5. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    From what I understand you need to use the right Windows 8 version (language/country) and the installation will pull the edition to install, the key and and pre-activate it from the BIOS. It's something new with 8. With previous versions you had to get a key or use OEM certs to pre-activate. All that is gone now.
     
  6. Simmonz

    Simmonz 2[H]4U

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    It would be nice if China was one of the available options. The only Asian options are all in characters so I have no idea what they say.
     
  7. BOTA:49

    BOTA:49 Limp Gawd

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    There's still a way around this (as Landy pointed out). What I do is just put the PID.txt with the key in the \sources directory with the install media. No need to enter the key any time I install doing it this way, and using a USB drive makes it even easier to change it on an install to install basis.

    This article explains it better than I could.
    http://www.blogsolute.com/windows-8-clean-installation-product-key-do-not-match/25990/

    Unfortunately I think this only works if changing the key, as it overrides the one in UEFI during install.

    Are you trying to install with a new key or the OEM key? I'm guessing the OEM key.
     
  8. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    When one of my friend's laptop died (some virus deleted the partition tables), I installed 8.1 using a generic key that's floating around the internet. Then I used some tool (probably the one above) to pull the key from the bios, and then changed the key while inside Windows. That activated it just fine.
     
  9. Landy

    Landy n00b

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    If you are trying to install windows 8.1 but your laptop shipped with windows 8 the product key will not activate during the installation, but it will activate successfully inside of the OS.

    To get around this install windows 8.1 with the ei.cfg which allows you to skip the activation durring the installation, then pull the MDM key out of Pkeyui and activate inside of the OS.
     
  10. noobtech

    noobtech 2[H]4U

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    @ Simmonz, I am in the same boat with my Asus G75VX laptop... I pulled the key from the bios, but when I enter it to download windows 8 Microsoft iso on Microsoft website, it says the key is invalid. I think i'll just purchase a copy of windows 8 64 oem... Thanks Microsoft!