Friday, October 18, 2013

Update on: Recovering the OEM Windows product key from the BIOS

This is an update on an older blog post that I wrote when I installed the Windows 8.1 Preview version:

Now that 8.1 is finally released I tried upgrading to it using the product key that I manged to dig out of my BIOS.

After reading all about the process I concluded that the only viable method is to "get" an installation media (dvd this time) and install 8.1 with the internet unplugged using a different product key than mine. After installing I changed the product key to my original and plugged the internet back in. While trying to follow the second part of this article windows activated my product key in the background, so I didn't have to dial the UK in skype after all.

Now windows says that my copy is activated, windows update and everything else works fine.

Some caveats:

  • I misread a Q as 0 the first time I run RWE and I'm pretty sure it didn't work properly before the upgrade.
  • I had no idea which version of win8 came with my laptop and didn't find any info on the internet either. I choose Core, not Pro and thank god I hit the mark.
  • The upgrade restarted my computer 4 or 5 times and took almost 2 hours on a very powerful laptop (no SSD).
  • The upgrade deleted all my software except for Total Commander. Some other like Fraps didn't work and needed a resinstall. Thank god my personal documents were spared, so my save games will work :-)
  • Suprisingly, the upgrade didn't kill GRUB...