How to validate windows 8.1 with windows 8 oem key

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Jan 28, 2014
I just got my asus stuck un recovery loop so I took a clean install with a pendrive made by me but
-the windows version on the usb drive was 8
-mine version, OEM and the one which got stuck,was 8
now the problem is:
YOU CAN UPGRADE by store app WHILE W8 is running so having after the process a beatiful copy(VALIDATED) of W8.1. Oterwise, if you install 8.1 and theen you try to validate with the OEM key stored in UEFI you just got your ass kicked by microsoft,who won't accept the key.
is there a solution? Or have I to
-switch back again to W8
-validate it
-upgrade to 8.1
-enjoy the VALIDATED windows 8.1?
the main issue is to find an original copy of Windows 8(there are some problems while downloading from tool)


Jun 17, 2011
Call the 800 number provided by the validation tool in windows and they'll give you a activation code.

Although from experience I can tell you that an upgraded 8 to 8.1 vs a native 8.1 is different at least cosmetically in Metro. Hopefully MS won't have issue with whatever differences there are.

When a OEM installs windows 8 they pick a version, modify it and put a image of the OS on the drive, they now also put a encrypted key into BIOS
and tell microsoft the list of keys they used and for what products. When a person buys the machine and activated it ti completes the cycle of the license purchace and the OEM is charged.

Lots of things can go wrong, the OEM tells microsoft your machine has a BIOS key for window 8 (not windows 8 pro) and you wipe it and install windows 8.x PRO and it does not work. (as expected)

There are several solutions to this. override the BIOS key during the install and use your own key by modifing a file on the setup image.
(google on how to change ei.cfg to ignore attempts at getting the BIOS key from BIOS and prompt you to enter your key during setup.)
install the 8.x windows and upgrade to pro after the install.

note: use
cmd.exe as admin (windows key +x then A)
Licensingdiag.exe -report %userprofile%\desktop\report.txt -log %userprofile%\desktop\
then look athe report.txt on your desktop
in the licensindData section look at these tags to see license status :

you can also see the version that was installed windows 8 core or pro

if you have a windows 8 (core) key in BIOS you will get windows 8.x core installed unless you override the key in BIOS
window 8.x (core) and windows 8.x pro have the same binaries just differnet features enabled.
get your system updated to 8.x core, then worry about getting the pro features enabled via proper license, you would not have to reinstall.


Jan 28, 2014

1.According to this point the method you gave here should be: installing the OS. That seems to be a higly useful one, but I suppose a little bit tricky for those who (Me included) never attempted to do this.I'm intended to try it anyway
2. if I wouldn't like to reinstall, I should BUY another licence ,just to get pro,isn't it? Just to do everything in a law-safe way. Correct my mistakes please if I got a misundertstanding:
-using the "BIOS method" can be a solution
-keeping this situation unchanged, i should get a key to activate W8.1

Remember that,at this exact time, i got my machine(as you said W8{core} native) running a windows 8.1 copy caught from Microsoft tool. If I get a new key I'll surely waste the OEM one because its ONLY linked" till death" to a core build of microsoft 8.x, isn't it?

if you get window 8.1 running and still want to have windows 8.1 PRO normally you would add the feature and pay a upgrade fee rather than using a whole new windows 8.1 license. if you already have the windows 8 pro upgrade, I think the key is in stored in your microsoft account and you can re enter the key.



Jan 28, 2014
So I got the "solution".
What comes out from your clear,true and experience-justified answers is that you didn't got the main problem.
The OEM supposes, as soon as you turn on pc and start installation FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER BUYING PC,to make a recovery usb from the tool simply from W 8 you have(260 Kb circa). This is due to prevent from getting the situation that I noticed. And that's why:
OEM, as johnbl said in the first reply, has his own key, linked strictly to an W 8.x CORE version.
If you,just like me, get the famous "PC DIAGNOSTIC" loop you can easily solve this situation booting from usb (the one mentioned above) and you will get your clean W 8.x CORE back.
But, if you didn't managed,just like me, to crate one usb recovery drive,then you have the ONLY right to send PC to your manufacturer support. They'll solve the problem.
Why? That's because once you install, the product key lies on the Hard Drive and the OS alone can see it.
Now , I took a copy of W 8.1 ENTERPRISE from Microsoft Support and i made the update with that image on usb drive, CLEAN INSTALL procedure, and with the upgrade both Problems and Product Key mentioned above gone away.
Sending with Express Courier to ASUS assistance is the only right way to solve the problem, if i want my original W 8 CORE key.
Definitively i'm not supposed to do that, i don't care now beacause I'm going to keep with W 8.1 on.
The solutions in this case are everyone you listed.
Thanks for your collaboration guys
Windows 8.x enterprise doe not use the same key method as the OEM or retail version. it will have to be wiped when the evaluation period ends in 90 days. It can not be converted to a retail version because the trial key is actually encrypted in the software binaries. If you use a corporate windows 8.x enterprise version, that version will expect to contact a key server on the corporate network. If it fails it will be deactivate over some period of time.

As to OEM setup, they do their own thing. They replace files, they change keys from the standards, they put in there own programs, tweak the settings, they make money by putting various evaluation software on the system. When they are done the system is pretty custom and they support the product. All of them should give you the OS media for reinstall, some save money and just tell you to make a copy, some put a copy on another partition.

your machine will have a 8.x key encrypted into its BIOS this will work for 8.0 windows and 8.1 windows of the same base OS. That is if you have a window 8 (core) key you should be able to install 8.1 core and the setup will get the key from BIOS and it should work. What will not work is having a windows 8.x BIOS key and running 8.x pro setup.

As to the location of the product key on a OEM version it is not stored on the hard drive, it is stored in the electronics on the motherboard. In the retail version of windows it is stored in the software and it also is stored in account settings online when you setup a online account.

as to doing a clean install without using the OEM version you would want to get the retail version of the disks
and run the installer. You have the key, you don't have to type it in, it is in your BIOS the setup program should run and read it out of your BIOS for you and just install the software.
try this location
upgrade from window core to window pro does not require that you buy a window 8.x license
you just pay a fee to activate the new features


Akinorev Veronika

Feb 6, 2014
please, where I can to find validation tool? I have original licensed 8.0 (with features) and when I updated to 8.1, windows features lost and they want me to purchase them. I have only 8.0 product key
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