[WIN8] Installing Windows 8 Upgrade on fresh, empty drive (reg key change)

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by ir0nw0lf, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. ir0nw0lf

    ir0nw0lf [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,143
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    Today, I have read around the internet about eleventy billion questions/answers about installing the Windows 8 Upgrade via various scenarios, the one that seems to be baffling people is this one:

    Can you install the Upgrade on a fresh, completely empty hard drive, one with no OS already on it and no other drives with an OS hooked up?

    This is *not* asking if you can do a "clean" install on a machine with an existing OS on it. This is asking basically, if I build a new box with new drive and no other OS on it, installing a larger replacement drive and/or SSD drive, etc.

    I asked this question over at Neowin forums and wow, the answers are literally all over the universe. From what I can gather, initially the answer is NO, you can't. Users have installed it but it won't activate, the error message is about installing the OS with no previous OS being seen.

    However, someone posted a registry key that needs to be changed before activation, very similar to the Windows 7 double-install method. The registry key is:

    Code:
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\OOBE]
    "MediaBootInstall"=dword:00000000
    According to the user who posted that, using the upgrade download (maybe even the upgrade boxed copy) with the upgrade key results in the above key being 1 not 0. It will not activate as such. Changing the key to 0 will allow for successful activation. Seems the TechNET/MSDN version when installed sets this key to 0 out of the box. Some have also said the TechNET/MSDN .ISO will activate fine with the upgrade keys.

    I have not personally tried this [yet] and can't vouch for the accuracy of this. Would love to know if anyone here tries this and it works/fixes their problem(s).

    EDIT: MODS, if this violates any rules, please do what you need to do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  2. The Cobra

    The Cobra 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,573
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    The box version of 8 is def worth the extra $20 bucks. It is a full retail version...not bad at all.
     
  3. dremic

    dremic [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,395
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
  4. ir0nw0lf

    ir0nw0lf [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,143
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
  5. lathode

    lathode [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,456
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
  6. GreenGoose

    GreenGoose [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,625
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
  7. dremic

    dremic [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,395
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    sooooo annoying.
     
  8. mtbush

    mtbush 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,805
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    I didn't find this thread until I tried activating with the dword set to the default value of 1. I then went back and changed to 0, still no joy.
    I'm assuming for this to work it has to be changed PRIOR to activation. I'll probably go back and format again, make sure that Win8 isn't set to automatically activate, change the value to 0 then manually activate.

    If anyone wants to test this out please report back.
     
  9. odditory

    odditory [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,715
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Here's the missing link:

    1. Open elevated command prompt (Right click -> Run As Administrator)
    2. Type slmgr -rearm <enter>
    3. Reboot

    Voila, should be activated after reboot. If not, re-enter key and should activate.
     
  10. mtbush

    mtbush 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,805
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009

    holy hell....5000 Internets to you my friend....IT WORKED
     
  11. ir0nw0lf

    ir0nw0lf [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,143
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    Bravo for that additional info!
     
  12. DizConnected

    DizConnected Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    135
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    I bought the $39.99 version. Had Windows 8 Beta on the SSD. Downloaded and made Windows 8 USB install stick. Booted with the USB stick, when it asked what drive I wanted to install on I delete everything on the SSD and selected it. During install it asked for my product key and I entered it. Once finished I went to system and it said it was already activated so I don't know if it noticed the Win 8 beta on the drive before I deleted the partitions but it never asked me for anything else.

    So I had no problems doing a clean install with the upgrade version.
     
  13. thelead

    thelead [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,994
    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    A million thank you's to you as well
     
  14. CoreStoffer

    CoreStoffer Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    212
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Awesome, man! Thanks a lot!
     
  15. lathorus

    lathorus [H]Lite

    Messages:
    104
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    I had no problems running the 39.99 version with a clean install (formated my ssd).
     
  16. CoreStoffer

    CoreStoffer Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    212
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
  17. gunfighterAK

    gunfighterAK n00bie

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Ths is interesting I'm about to download the upgrade for my home desktop and then do a clean install on a fresh ssd via the upgrade/clean install. Please post the issues anyone runs into :)
     
  18. chinesepiratefood

    chinesepiratefood 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,629
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    I thought you couldn't install Windows 8 without first activating it? I know in Windows 7 you could just skip the key and enter it later. So how do you set this registry key?

    My interpretation is: You do have to enter the W8 key during setup and it lets you continue but fails to activate...and then it boots into the OS but is unactivated and gives you the 5 or whatever days to activate? Is that close?
     
  19. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

    Messages:
    19,123
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    You can install without activating. Otherwise it would be impossible to install on offline PCs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  20. Chrisroman

    Chrisroman Gawd

    Messages:
    693
    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    I've installed upgrade on two PC's and activated without any issue. One was Vista base install off Win8 USB stick and other was barebones off USB Win8 stick. Both where technically upgrade keys/ Got lucky maybe?

    I'll be picking up a couple more keys for VM's as I'm really liking windows 8, much to my surprise.
     
  21. Void

    Void [H]ard to Tame

    Messages:
    2,403
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Thank you so much, worked perfect.
     
  22. shftup

    shftup Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    185
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Thanks for this, gona try it.
    But to clarify - you have go do both steps?
     
  23. odditory

    odditory [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,715
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    I've been meaning to do another install with the slmgr -rearm alone to see if the reg change is even required, but for now it will definitely work doing both steps, and the reg change alone didn't work for me, I had to do the slmgr -rearm in elevated cmdprompt to reset the activation and make it stick
     
  24. shftup

    shftup Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    185
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Thanks!
     
  25. huskerpat

    huskerpat Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    207
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Quite a timely thread. I just got my copy on Win 8 pro upgrade and new ssd in the mail today.
     
  26. BBA

    BBA [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,395
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    I got the boxed version from Office Depot for $39, went home, put a new drive in my laptop and did a full install on the fresh drive. Did the reg setting and no issues at all. Was very simple and very fast.

    Not sure why anyone else has issues.
     
  27. hypertek

    hypertek Gawd

    Messages:
    585
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    I bought the upgrade version during that promotion sale and had no problems installing it on my laptop with a fresh partition (no prior OS). No issues whatsoever, installed like a full version. I removed the partitions on my HP DV6 laptop so I could gain back the small space HP takes up for their software. Worked out great.
     
  28. hdawg06

    hdawg06 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,121
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Going to an MicroCenter tomorrow and I was wondering about if this still worked and how well. I am about to build a new computer, probably tuesday/wednesday whenever the final parts arrive and I saw MC had Win 8 Upgdrade for $39. Thought this would be a great price if I could get it to work on my new build with the SSD I purchased. Doing the steps mentioned previously should work fine right? Or has this been patched?
     
  29. ChronoDetector

    ChronoDetector 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Bought the license directly from Microsoft, downloaded it via the Upgrade Assistant tool, created a bootable USB, did a clean install and it worked fine, didn't have to do any registry edits or hacks, very pleased so far. This was also the upgrade version I bought as well.
     
  30. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

    Messages:
    19,123
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    That's not the same thing as installing on an empty drive...
     
  31. dukenuke88

    dukenuke88 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,757
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Windows 8 detected a previous OS before it "cleaned" everything out for the Win 8 to take over....thats why it works fine....however if you took that same key and bought a brand new Samsung 840 PRO SSD...and tried the same thing....Windows would give you an error after it's done installing

    Basically you need an MS operating system already on the drive in order for the upgrade Win8 to work properly....if you don't, then you will have to do the registry trick listed in the OP
     
  32. ChronoDetector

    ChronoDetector 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Really? Thanks for the input guys, didn't even notice that myself. I thought you needed to boot into an existing version of Windows and install it from there.
     
  33. dukenuke88

    dukenuke88 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,757
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    No worries...I was confused myself, until I saw it with my own eyes....but basically Win 8 "upgrade disc" won't freak out as long as you have some kind of previous windows already on your drive...once it sees some kind of windows on there, it will proceed to clean install, and won't give you trouble...but if the drive is completely clean and new, it will hassle you, AFTER the installation is over...I believe Win VISTA and 7 upgrade discs, it will stop you BEFORE the installation, if it doesn't detect a previous version of windows already on the drive
     
  34. hmz

    hmz 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,125
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Is this how it works in my case?

    1. Buy the Win8 Upgrade and install over the Win7 Pro
    2. Win8 gets messed up and need to do a fresh reinstall. Will the Win8 "upgrade" version work in this case?
     
  35. dukenuke88

    dukenuke88 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,757
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Yes, as long as it detects an MS OS previously installed, Win8 will fresh install no problem....even if your previous OS got corrupted
     
  36. OldMX

    OldMX 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,533
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    This way works like a charm, tested with a promotional $14.99 upgrade key on a clean install with a new computer, no need to re-enter key after the rearm, on reboot it was already activated.
     
  37. Wine

    Wine Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    487
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    This helped with installing win8 after a changing drives and it wouldn't authenticate a second time.
     
  38. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,888
    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    When I did my install (upgrade) I just chose the "Dont keep anything" option and it did the job.
     
  39. one swell foop

    one swell foop [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,084
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Thanks! This helped and saved me a bunch of time!
     
  40. Nnyan

    Nnyan n00bie

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Just to be clear do you need to change the registry key to "0" first (as in the first post and if so what is the sequence?) or just do the three steps Odditory listed? so far this is what I have:

    1. Change key from 1 to 0.
    2. Open elevated command prompt
    3. slmgr -rearm <enter>
    4. Reboot (re-enter key if needed).

    Is this correct?