Activate windows 7 or windows 8

I start with a brief introduction into Window licensing and have put together my recommended mechanisms for downloading Windows installation truyền thông and activating your sản phẩm depending on your license type.

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There are some more in depth notes which explain in more detail how khổng lồ determine your license type and explain how the activation mechanisms và if necessary workarounds work.

For all intents and purposes Windows 8.0 Service Paông xã 1 is Windows 8.1 so anything mentioned below that applies lớn Windows 8.1 also applies lớn Windows 8.0 unless specifically differentiated.

The older revision of this page got extremely popular due to lớn previous issues where I compiled a working convoluted phối of workarounds that are no longer necessary, Microsoft have simplified their Windows Deployment & hence made installation of Windows 8.1 far easier.


Brief Introduction – Windows Licensing

Microsoft Windows 8.1 is sold via many different channels & there are a number of different activation mechanisms for Windows 8.1 depending on the type of license you are utilising.

There are 5 different license types:

Major OEM License – Windows came licensed with your Dell, HP, …Retail License – You Bought a Full Windows 8.1 LicenseRetail “Upgrade Only” License – You Bought a Full Windows 8.0 Upgrade LicenseOEM System Builder License – You Bought a Windows OEM System Builders LicenseVolume License – You are using your organisations Volume Licensing & you should tương tác your IT department.

In Depth – Windows Licensing

Major OEM License

Major OEM License

The Windows 8.1 OEM license should be eligible for a không tính tiền tăng cấp to lớn Windows 10 for a promotional period of 1 year after its final release.

Because no installation truyền thông media is provided for Windows 8.1 RT (a crippled version of Windows 8.1 essentially equivalent in functionality to Windows Phone) và Windows 8.1 with Bing or Windows 8.1 SL with Bing. I bởi vì not recommkết thúc purchase of any of these devices.

The Microsoft Windows 8.1 OEM licenses uses OEM 3.0 system locked preinstallation keys for activation. OEM 3.0 SLPhường activation inputs a chất lượng 25 digit sản phẩm key inkhổng lồ the systems UEFI BIOS and hence has no need for a COA which have sầu been removed due lớn piracy issues and due lớn the multiple problems users had when they peeled off or faded.

This part mainly concerns OEM product keys as there are more Editions and the product key (SLP. key) resides in the UEFI BIOS. Many that will advise you on Windows installation on Microsoft Answers will say the choice is very easy và that there are only two "Editions" khổng lồ choose from in accordance khổng lồ your sticker and are wrong… there are actually 8 OEM editions users have made me aware of…

Unfortunately there is no way for the user lớn distinguish between some of these Editions và it should be stressed that are not interchangeable:

Windows 8.1 (Core/Home) ≠ Windows 8.1 N (Core/Home) ≠ Windows 8.1 SL (Core/Home) ≠ Windows 8.1 with Bing ≠ Windows 8.1 with Bing SL ≠ Windows 8.1 Professional ≠ Windows 8.1 Professional N

trang chủ Editions

If you have this sticker which says "Windows 8" you likely have sầu one of the following three editions:


Windows 8.1 with Bing Most CommonWindows 8.1 Single Language with Bing Common

Pro Editions 

If you have this sticker you likely have one of the following 2 editions:


A Windows RT device has hardware in particular a processor that is non-Intel/AMD using instead Arm processors. These devices were made to compete with Chrome Books as budget devices & prolonged battery life.

However in reality Arm processors bởi not scratch the potential of Intel/AMD processors because of the magnitude of third tiệc ngọt applications written using either the Hãng Intel x86 or AMD x64 architectures (Intel & AMD have an agreement – Intel use AMD x64 và AMD use Intel x86).

These means the overwhelming majority of third các buổi party applications will run fine on Windows 8 but not on Windows RT. This gives Windows RT essentially the capabilities of Windows Phone…

This Edition was terribly marketed và sold often by shops as Windows 8. As a consequence of being sold & marketed as a broken variant of Windows 8 with the end user seeing it as a device with Windows 8 but with nothing working, Windows RT was highly unpopular. In turn as it was unpopular, developers never felt the urge to lớn write programs which would run on Windows RT therefore making it redundant.

Windows RT is unfortunately unsupported by the Windows 8.1 Media Creation Tool & you have to lớn procure installation truyền thông media from Dell.

Determining Edition from System

If your system is working you can determine your Windows Edition and the easiest way of determining what edition your product key is for is by right clicking the start button (or pressing and ) & then selecting system:

Your Windows 8.1 Edition will be listed at the top.

Determining your UEFI OEM SLPhường Product Key

The hàng hóa key can be obtained using RWEverything but this is unecessary if the correct installation .iso is utilised from the Windows 8.1 Media Creation utility:

To find out the OEM BIOS Embedded System locked Product Key select ACPI Tables & the MSDM tab, copy down your product key.

Note RW-Everything is the preferred utility khổng lồ obtain your BIOS embedded sản phẩm key because it will give sầu you the product key regardless what version of Windows is installed. Other utilities can give sầu bogus keys from the Windows registry.

For example this can be important if you have downgraded to Windows 7 và wish lớn migrate lớn Windows 8.1.

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Legacy Issues with Installation Media

Important note, in the past Microsoft had a substandard deployment of both Windows 8.0 & 8.1 but listened to user feedback. Older installation media had the following problems and even if you have sầu procured them from Dell I recommend never using them:

Discrimination between Windows 8.0 & Windows 8.1 Product KeysWindows 8.1 truyền thông media rejected 8.0 keysWindows 8.0 media rejected 8.1 keysCould be bypassed by use of Generic Keys & Change Key after installation.Windows 8.0 involved a convoluted forced upgrade lớn Windows 8.1 via the Microsoft Store. This was problematic at best. The download is practically the same size as the full .iso.Windows 8.1 truyền thông with this fault did not contain update 1. The update khổng lồ update 1 was also problematic.

Use the Windows 8.1 Media Creation Utility lớn get Windows 8.1 with Update 1 Media.

Retail & Retail Upgrade

The Windows 8.1 Retail licenses should be eligible for a free tăng cấp to Windows 10 for a promotional period of 1 year after its final release. This is not applicable khổng lồ Vista or XP licenses.

If you purchased Windows separately from your computer:

Windows 8.0 is "Upgrade Only"Windows 8.1 is "Full"

However Windows 8.0 → Windows 8.1.

These licenses will come with a quality 25 digit sản phẩm key affixed khổng lồ the box with the installation media or were sent khổng lồ you via gmail. Its recommended to email yourself a copy of the 25 digit product key in case you misplace the boxed media.

The Full version of the license can be installed and transferred from one computer to the other without any problems provided that it is only installed on one computer at a time.

“Upgrade Only” installation truyền thông as the name suggests only lets you install on top of an old Windows version. There are two main problems with this:

This method of installation always leads to detrimental performanceMany users have lost their installation truyền thông media for their old license or didn’t get installation truyền thông for their old license if its OEM.The OEM will be unable to lớn ship installation media for the original Windows XP.. license as its reached End of Life.The cost of procuring truyền thông for an out of Windows Vista system is higher than a new license.

It is therefore recommended you toss any Windows 8.0 installation DVDs in the bin. You may tải về a Windows 8.1 .iso using the Windows 8.1 truyền thông media Creation Tool and this does not discriminate between Windows 8.0 và 8.1.

For the Retail Full licenses input đầu vào your sản phẩm key during installation và it should automatically activate online.

The Retail license is supported by Microsoft and not Dell. Dell may therefore not provide drivers for systems users have upgraded themselves but Windows 7 drivers will suffice in most cases. I have sầu some additional notes mentioned here regarding system drivers:

Windows 8.1 retail can be evaluated by use of generic product keys:

Core/Home=334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPTCore/Home N=6NPQ8-PK64X-W4WMM-MF84V-RGB89Core/Home Single Language=Y9NXP-XT8MV-PT9TG-97CT3-9D6TCProfessional=XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKBProfessional N=JRBBN-4Q997-H4RM2-H3B7W-Q68KCProfessional with Media Centre=GBFNG-2X3TC-8R27F-RMKYB-JK7QT

OEM System Builder License

This is easily the most understood license because Microsoft’s intended use of the license was different lớn the bulk number of cases where the license was used.

This license is designed for smaller system builders khổng lồ sell e.g. for local computer shops to purchase that build custom systems and sell them on khổng lồ the end user with preinstalled Windows & installation truyền thông media. Because such shops only sell a low volume of systems (compared khổng lồ Dell or HP) there is no custom BIOS khổng lồ include the markers for OEM SLPhường activation. The computer siêu thị are meant to be the ones khổng lồ support the license and since they can only tư vấn their own configuration there is the same OEM inability khổng lồ transfer the license; it is tied khổng lồ the original mainboard. The installation và activation for this license type is therefore more similar to a retail license. Phone activation may be required if Retail truyền thông is used for installation however.

In reality however it is seen by the end user as a cheap “Retail” license and users purchased it as it was significantly cheaper than the Retail Full or Retail “Upgrade Only” licenses. Experienced end users accepted that they got the license for cheaper & their only limitation was that they couldn’t transfer the license or get Microsoft support. Naturally less experienced users also followed this trover and didn’t understvà the limitations.

Volume Licensing

The Volume License is essentially a volume “Upgrade Only” License although it can be utilised for clean installation.

The point is organisations purchase maybe >25 or more systems with OEM licenses from Dell. IT departments will struggle deploying custom Windows installations on possibility 100’s or 1000’s of systems with OEM licenses.

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The Volume License gives them the flexibility khổng lồ deploy Windows throughout their entire organisation without having to waste time phoning Microsoft khổng lồ activate every system or separately clean install each system with a Dell Windows 7 OEM Reinstallation DVD.

If you are the over user, you likely have sầu a dedicated IT department handling this. If you are the dedicated IT department & want to lớn know more about it, then tương tác Microsoft who will give you a custom quote:

Chuyên mục: Công Nghệ 4.0