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Windows 8.1 Product Key not accepted for download.

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#1 RogerB1948


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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:18 PM

When I purchased my Dell PC in 2013, it came installed with Windows 8.  Over the months I kept it up-to-date with fixes.  I then installed the Windows 8.1 upgrade when it was available.  Over the past month my OS has been damaged by some changes that I attempted on my own.


As of this time I am unable to access 'Change PC Settings' to effect any kind of recovery option.  If I restart with F8 to try and get to a recovery prompt, F8 is just ignored.  So, I have decided that my only choice is to perform a complete reinstall of Windows.  I realize that I need to backup my files which is not a problem.


I access the Microsoft page 'Create installation media for Windows 8.1'.  I then click on 'Windows 8.1 Setup'.


My problem is that the program will not accept my Product Key.  I have verified my product key using several methods available on the web.  I have also many times verified that I have entered the key correctly.  The value I enter is always declared invalid.


I do not want to have to purchase a new copy of 8.1.


What are my option?

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#2 Agouti


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Posted 22 August 2014 - 04:08 PM

Since Windows 8 came pre-installed it is an OEM version and its product key cannot be used to download the installation media.  Only a key from a retail version will be accepted.


Neither can you use the F8 key to get to Advanced Startup Options.  F8 is disabled by default in Windows 8/8.1.  You can used this trick to enable the F8 key.


If you have a Recovery Drive you can boot from it and Refresh or Repair Windows from it.  If you don't have a Recovery Drive you can try to borrow one from a friend.  If you do borrow one then make sure you get one that was made from a similar "bit" system to yours, i.e. 32 or 64-bit.  In other words, you cannot use a 32-bit Recovery Drive on a 64-bit system, and vice versa.


Also, this article list several methods you can try to get into the Advance Startup Options.  In particular, you can hold down the Shift key and press Restart or use the shutdown /r /o from a Run command.

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