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Solved Having issues installing Windows 8.1 product on new HD

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by CptCookie, Sep 29, 2018.

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  1. CptCookie

    CptCookie Thread Starter

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    Hello friends! Been here before, a few months ago I had posted regarding a hard drive failure. Got busy over the last few months after posting, but am working on it again.

    Here is a link to the original thread to help bring viewers up to speed:

    https://forums.techguy.org/threads/...e-replaced-or-is-it-repairable.1212202/page-3

    I would just re-type it all, but I didn't want to come out like spam. I also would of simply posted on the original thread, however it seems it has been locked, likely due to my long absence.

    Anyway, here is where I am now and the new problem I am experiencing..
    My new hard drive came in just today and I had no problems installing it.
    I inserted the downloaded Win8.1 ISO file (which I downloaded from the Microsoft website and burned to disc using CDBurnerXP) and it booted up perfectly.
    The new problem is I cannot get past the product key screen.
    I tried the Windows Product key I had written down previously, but it did not work. So next I called up the laptop manufacturer, ASUS, to see if they could help. Basically he told me that since I bought the laptop from Wal-mart already pre-installed with Win8.1 that even if I had the Win8.1 product key, it would not work with a downloaded Win8.1 ISO file on a new hard drive.
    I just wanted to verify here if that was true and if there are any ways around this or what are my options?
    I'm kinda trying to avoid having to buy Win8.1 since it was pre-installed on the laptop previously before the old hard drive failure.

    I googled Windows Generic Keys, but was reluctant to try that yet as I wasn't sure if it was safe or not. I realize you are not supposed to register those keys.
    So just wanted to be safe and check back here to explore my options or is my only choice having to buy Win8.1?

    Thanks!
     
  2. CptCookie

    CptCookie Thread Starter

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    Hold the phone on this actually..
    I called ASUS and talked to a different representative and they told me it should work (I'm thinking the last person I spoke with misunderstood or I confused them). I also had them go ahead and e-mail the original Win8.1 Product Key that came pre-installed on the laptop. I should receive that e-mail by Monday. I'm starting to think I might have written down a wrong letter or number in the product key since it's not working, so went ahead and gave them the serial number of the laptop so they could look-up the original Win8.1 Product key and e-mail it to me.
    Once I receive the e-mail, I will try the Windows install again with that product key.

    I'll update on Monday, Oct 1st 2018.
     
  3. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    On a new computer with Windows 8.1 installed (Edit: meant to say pre-installed) the Windows Product Key should be embedded in a chip on the motherboard. You shouldn't need to enter anything manually.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  4. texasbullet

    texasbullet

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    Is there an option to skip the product key while installing your OS.
    I think it may say "I don't have a product key".
    You can enter the key after you finish installing the OS if not done yet automatically.
     
  5. CptCookie

    CptCookie Thread Starter

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    I was told previously to try that, skipping the entering of the Win Product Key. I'm gonna double-check again, but I did not see an option to skip.. I tried just putting "x's" as well as "0's." Tried leaving it blank but then it wouldn't let me click the "next" button until I entered something.

    This is the same laptop, not a new one. It's just a brand-new hard drive which I bought from Newegg because the original hard drive that came with the laptop died.

    It's interesting you bring up that the Key should already be in the BIOS TerryNet, I thought it would be automatically detected, even with a new hard drive install.

    If nothing works, I'll try it again tomorrow after I get the Product Key thru e-mail from ASUS.

    Note: I am installing Win8.1 on this new hard drive thru a downloaded copy of Win8.1 from the Microsoft website and made into an ISO file on disc. Not sure if that would be the reason I am having issues or not, like if there was a difference between downloading/burning as opposed to purchasing a physical copy from the store.
     
  6. CptCookie

    CptCookie Thread Starter

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    Alright well I checked again and no, it provided me no option to skip entering the product key.
    From research, it seems this is not an available option with Win8.1, unless you manually edit a .cfg file into the installation media.
    But yeah, when I start it up only options I have is "repair computer" and "Install." I select "install" and it takes me to the page asking me to enter product key and on that page the only other thing I could click on is "privacy statement." The "next" button remains un-clickable until I enter something into the product key field. I tried exiting out, but it just takes me back to the main menu.

    Anyway, I should receive the product key from ASUS in e-mail by tomorrow. I have a feeling I just wrote it down incorrectly, so gonna wait and see and try that out. Hopefully it works.

    But I am curious as to the point TerryNet made. Why is it asking me to enter anything manually if it is already embedded in a chip on the motherboard? Everything is the same, the only thing I have had to change over the years was the Laptop Battery, Power Adapter, and now the Hard Drive. That's i
     
  7. CptCookie

    CptCookie Thread Starter

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    Disregard the question about why it is asking me for a product key. From further discussion with ASUS, it seems the reason for that is indeed because it is a new hard drive.
     
  8. texasbullet

    texasbullet

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    Have you tried by inserting the disc, restart your computer and pressing the F12 button.
    Follow on screen instructions.
     
  9. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    If it was a legitimate new Windows 8.1 pre-installed computer the motherboard should have the newer UEFI firmware, not the old familiar BIOS.

    Was the old hard drive GPT (not MBR)? Is the new one GPT?

    From where did you get the Windows Product Key that you wrote down? Normally it's kinda difficult to figure out what it is for a pre-installed Windows 8.1.
     
  10. CptCookie

    CptCookie Thread Starter

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    Terry, I believe it is BIOS, I bought the ASUS x551ma either 2013 or 2014. However on the Win installation disc, there is an option to mess with the UEFI Firmware settings if you click on "repair computer" as opposed to "install" when running the Windows installation disc, but I didn't want to blindly mess with it too much. Is there a way to switch from BIOS to UEFI? I also noticed that "Launch CSM" was disabled, wasn't sure if I should have that enabled or not.

    Well I hope it was all new, bought it straight from Wal-mart and it didn't say anything about it being used or refurbished.

    As far as the hard drive, I realize that can be dependent on whether it is BIOS or EFI. But I'm not sure how to check the hard drives to see if they are GPT or MBR since I don't have an OS installed on the new drive yet and the old one is inaccessible. Is there another way to see?

    I'm thinking it's possible that what I wrote down is either a product key for another windows version or possible Microsoft Office since it is titled kinda vague, "Microsoft Product Key" and since it didn't work initially. Usually you can download programs though that can pull the product key for you, I just don't remember well if I did that or not several years back.

    I'm still waiting to verify the product key by e-mail.
     
  11. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    I do not know. I doubt that anyone makes the effort (if it is possible) to develop UEFI for a motherboard that already has BIOS.


    You are right. It's retrieving the Product Key from the embedded chip that is more difficult. Sorry.
     
  12. CptCookie

    CptCookie Thread Starter

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    Well..

    Good News:
    -I got the product key from ASUS thru e-mail today. It was in fact different than the product key I had written down originally, so I'm convinced the other one is probably for Microsoft Word which I got from college.

    Bad News:
    -It didn't work. I got a new message this time when entering the product key provided by ASUS stating: "The product key entered does not match any of the Windows images available for installation. Enter a different product key."
    This also may be helpful information as it was attached to the e-mail from ASUS. It states: "You have reported that Windows is not activated. Please find your original product key below. The product key provided will only work on the original factory (OEM) image that came with your product."

    So..is there any way around this anyone knows that could help?
    Otherwise, I feel like my only option is having to go out and buy another copy of Windows OS.. ugh. Either that or try to work something out with ASUS or Microsoft over the phone, but from what I gathered from ASUS, Microsoft designed it this way on purpose.
    What about the generic product keys I googled, should I try them or not safe?

    Also, thanks for the tip TexasBullet. I tried what you said, but I still got the exact same results.
    So many helpful and tech-savvy cats on this thread, lol.
     
  13. texasbullet

    texasbullet

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    If you get an error on the activation key select try another method (can't remember) and you need to call an 800 or 866 number by phone (depends on the country you reside in), enter the numbers you have on your computer screen. Follow instructions provided by the phone call.
    I have done it a few times to activate my OS.
     
  14. DaveA

    DaveA Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Sounds like you are getting a Windows product key and NOT an MS Office Key Code.
     
  15. CptCookie

    CptCookie Thread Starter

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    DaveA:
    What I was saying was what I believe I had written down originally was a MS Office Key Code. But what I needed was the Win8.1 Product Key that came pre-installed from the factory, so I could try to install the downloaded ISO copy of Win8.1 I made on disc. I received the correct and original Win8.1 Product Key Code thru e-mail from ASUS, but it's not working on my new hard drive and I'm guessing that's because it's a new drive without the original factory image. As I quoted before from what the e-mail said: "The product key provided will only work on the original factory (OEM) image that came with your product."

    From what I have read though, it appears the product key provided from ASUS was a generic key from Microsoft used for mass production. So if I understand right, I need to somehow get this new hard drive to the original factory image. Sadly, I did not copy the old drive correctly so I suppose that option is gone. Is there another way?




    I'll give it a shot TexasBullet.
     
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