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Windows 8.1 clean install using OEM key...


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#1 88antonis88

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 02:51 AM

Hello!
I've recently bought a Dell Inspirion notebook with Windows 8.1 Home Edition 64 bit OEM pre-installed on it. Now, what i want to do is to replace the HDD with SSD, so i did a little research and....well, I' am more confused now! But first thing first.
For those who want to tell me about cloning disk-migration and everything, I am not interested in this solution...
From my understanding (and correct me if I'm wrong), I have to:
1) Obtaine a Windows 8.1 ISO file from...somewhere . Does it have to be specifically Windows 8.1 Home Edition? Becase I can't find it anywhere on the web which is weird, so first help me on this one.
2) Next, I have to create a bootable DVD or USB using the ISO file and use a generic key (btw what is a generic key?) to install it.
3) The final step is to activate the Windows using the OEM key, which I can extract from BIOS using some kind of software (I already did thad clear.png)
Now, the above is my conclusion from what I have read from different forums. In some other, people say that since the key is embedded inside the BIOS or UEFI or whatever they call it this days, Windows will detect it automatically and hence no activation is needed...
Here are the questions:
1) Are the above steps right? If not, what I have to do?
2) Say I did a clean install of Windows 8.1. Will it have installed all the bloatware that it has now? See, this is the reason I don't prefer to clone the drive...
3) Say I want to install a different version or edition of Windows, can i do that? Because if key is embedded it will essensially recognize only a specific edition of Windows...or not? And what if I want to install Linux?
4) What is the difference between Windows and Windows OEM? And finally....
5) Why so many KKKEEEYYYSSSSS? Product key, generic key, OEM key.....
Thank you in advance!



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#2 rockysosua

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 07:34 AM

Yes, those are the steps you would take if you want to go that route, but there's a much easier way.

You'll need a 16 gig thumb drive, to create a recovery drive.

In essence, it makes a bootable USB drive with the contents of the restore partition.

The net result will be that you'll have the same clean installation as the day you bought the machine, only it will be on your SSD.

If that sounds interesting to you, pls advise and I'll give you the details/instructions.


All is well in Paradise.

#3 88antonis88

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 10:11 AM

ROCKYSOSUA thank you so much and yes I'm interested in this... I have a few questions for you though...When you say "clean installation" you mean without the bloatweare? Because this pre-installed apps are so worthless to me, but the most important fact is that they do consume RAM and they slow down my system at startup! And my last question is: Do you know anything about the question number (3) of my first post? If, for example, I want to buy and install windows 10 or whatever, can I do that? I'm not sure how this "embedded key" thing works! Thank you again!

#4 rockysosua

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 11:26 AM

To address question # 3, you can install almost any system on your machine, but if it's anything but the original version, you'll have to buy a new key.

The exception would be Linux, which is free.

 

As for the question about bloatware, it takes all of one minute to stop that stuff from booting up, not to mention that we don't get the mass amounts of bloatware like we used to.

For the most part, you uninstall whichever junk anti virus program it came with and enable the built in Windows AV program.

Then there are two places, the task manager and the Services page where you can stop unnecessary processes from booting up.

In yesteryear, when we had tiny hard drives, ever single byte of space was important, so everyone uninstalled bloatware.

Nowadays, most people don't bother. It's so tiny next to the large capacity we have on our hard drives.

Nevertheless, if you wanted to uninstall the few that you have, you'd need only take screenshots of all the installed programs and I/we could tell you which ones to uninstall.

The system that would be installed from the recovery USB drive, would be 100% identical to the one you got when you bought the computer, so it will have a few things in there that you'll want to stop.

On the other hand, it'll be perfectly set up with all its drivers and appropriate software, which is what you wouldn't get with a generic installation, so the recovery drive is way easier to deal with.

 

If you want to make one, you need a thumb drive that is at least 16 gigs in size.

You plug it in, go to the Control Panel, and go to Recovery.

The top option will be "Create a recovery drive".

Once you click on it, a window will open with the "Copy the recovery partition" option, already check marked, so you hit "Next".

then the rest is just following the prompts.

Before removing your present hard drive, you go to the systems recovery features and work your way into the bios, to make some changes there, like disabling Secure boot, activating Legacy, if that's an option, disabling Fast Boot, if that's an option, then choosing the USB drive as the primary boot device.

Then you hit F10 and enter, and shut down the machine.

You can now swap drives, boot up from the recovery drive and install the system on your new SSD.


All is well in Paradise.

#5 88antonis88

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 11:52 AM

Thank you so much about the instructions. About the BIOS part, something that came to my attention during the first setup of my notebook, is that I couldn't find the "boot priority" menu, instead there was an option about windows boot manager I think... or something like that, I don't remember to tell you the truth! I guess on my next start up I will look it up and I will tell you what exactly is there. Again, thank you for your time and patience...



#6 rockysosua

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 12:02 PM

You are correct.

They refer to booting to the C drive as the boot manager.

When your USB recovery drive is plugged in, it should appear in that same list, at which point you can make it the first boot device.


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#7 88antonis88

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 03:39 PM

Well, I guess I have to try it now...

I hope my next post will be from my upgrated notebook hehehe, I let you know! Thanks!



#8 rockysosua

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 05:50 PM

Best of luck to you.

Other than running into a glitch, it should work perfectly.


All is well in Paradise.

#9 88antonis88

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 12:26 AM

Hello again,

I' am glad to say that my new SSD is installed and the nootebook works perfectly fine!

I've had some problems during the installation thought. I followed what you have told me step by step but, when I reached the "boot from usb" part, things didn't go well! Problem was that there wasn't any option to install the OS on the new drive and almost  all options, in order to use them, it was necessary to have the "recovery partition" on the drive which is funny because...well the reason I'm doing this is because I installed a NEW drive...anyways. It was an option thought, but when I tried to use it, a messege popped up and I think, more or less, it implied that my new SSD drive doesn't have enough space to install the OS! By the way it's a SAMSUNG EVO 840 250 GIG SSD. After I realized that I had tried to use all the options and nothing would come out of it, I decided to use the migration utility that came with the SSD. In 5 minutes everything was done. I don't even know why I didn't want to use the migration option! One thing maybe I should have done is to format the SSD first*! Anyways, I posted all this because maybe there are some people having the same problem with me, and my advise is, don't be afraid to use the migration utillity, it gets the job done, simply and rapidly.

As for you rockysosua thank you, again, for your time and effort!

 

*I mean maybe this is the reason that installation didn't work...


Edited by 88antonis88, 08 October 2014 - 12:28 AM.





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