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Windows Clean Install - OEM License


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#1 donisonleague

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 08:23 AM

So, the title almost speaks for itself, however i will try to explain everything in a detailed way.

 

I currently have a Windows 8 (upgraded for free to Win 8.1) OEM License Key.

The License key isn't in any kind of sticker, and the OS was already built in.

 

I don't know if the license is binded to the motherboard as usual happens for OEM licenses or if it is binded to the HDD (someone said me that this could be possible aswell). I don't really know much about this, but maybe these informations may be usefull to determine if it is binded to the HDD or not: except for the main partition and the recovery image partition, my HDD currently has: 1) Windows RE tools partition; 2) SYSTEM partition; 3) "*" 128 MB partition (reserved) 4) 450 MB partition (recovery)

 

However, the problem is that i bought a new ssd (i can use it both as external or internal disk since i have an external box to adapt it to USB).

I would like to perform a clean install of Windows on this new disk, i have thought also about cloning my current HDD but at the moment i received an error, a sector of my HDD may be compromised since Todo EaseUS isn't able to read and clone it. This convinced me to just turn to the clean installation.

 

So, how can i do?

I know i have a lot of options that may be usefull, but i don't know exactly how they work since this is the first time i do a clean install of windows with an OEM license: i could use the mediacreation tool, i can create a recovery unit, i could clone just the system partitions on the new ssd and then launch the recovery tool.

At the moment i have two different license keys of my OEM windows i got with two different methods: one with a third-party software, the other from the registry. I don't know which is the right one but i guess i could try.

 

Here are the final questions:

1) How do the various method works? (Recovery unit, Mediacreationtool...) What are the differences and which is the best?

2) What about the license? Is it binded to the motherboard? Will windows ask me for it after the clean install? Do you think that i could use the one extracted from my current system?

 

EDIT: Additional question: is there a way to install windows on the new SSD using it as an EXTERNAL disk? 

 

Sorry for the long time it took to read my question and thank you in advance.


Edited by donisonleague, 03 December 2015 - 08:23 AM.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 08:53 AM

I would not install Windows to the SSD as an external disk. All OEM computers with Windows 8 and 8.1 have the key embedded in firmware. You can access the key with Produkey or FirmwareTablesView under the MSDM table. The key you want is the one you see in the MSDM table unless for some reason the OS was updated to a Pro version. Produkey and FirmwareTablesView should give you the same key.

 

FirmwareTablesView.png

 

I believe during the install its possible to not input the key, just click next. When connected to the internet Microsoft pulls the key from firmware and automatically activates. But, write down the key you pull using Produkey as a precaution.

 

You can download the Media Creator here. It would be a good idea to download your network adapter drivers and any other drivers you need from your OEM support site ahead of time onto a flash drive as the install disk you create will not have all your drivers. 

 

I am not sure what you mean by Recovery Unit. Are you talking about the Recovery Partition on the HDD? 



#3 dc3

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 09:11 AM

The product key is embedded in the UEFI - BIOS.

 

The license becomes tied to the motherboard when it is activated.  Specifically, it is tied to the chipset of the motherboard.


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#4 donisonleague

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 09:16 AM

Hi thank you for your quick and exhaustive reply. And thank you for your suggestion about the drivers, i will have absolutely to do that. I will try with Produkey and FirmwareTablesView (i think this second one is the one i've used in the past) and will check if they give me the same license. However i have already wrote down both the keys the various methods gave me so i should be able to do it.

 

About installing windows to the SSD as an external disk, i obviously do not mean to make it my main drive while using it as external, but to install windows whilst i keep using my old drive as main for the moment (in the current chassis i have only 1 slot, i'm waiting to buy a new one). However i really don't know anything about installing an OS on an external disk, so i was just generally asking. What are the reasons to not do so?

 

For recovery unit i mean the one you can create from windows. I have an option called "Create a recovery unit" which can be used to fix your windows installation if anything goes bad, you boot from that and you have some options to restore windows. I downloaded the Win 8.1 iso at the moment from media creator and burned into a dvd. With the ISO i should be able to simply boot from it and install windows on the new disk and then PROBABLY i won't be asked for the key, right?



#5 donisonleague

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 09:17 AM

The product key is embedded in the UEFI - BIOS.

 

The license becomes tied to the motherboard when it is activated.  Specifically, it is tied to the chipset of the motherboard.

Thank you!

So, since i have already activated my license a couple of years ago, it should be already tied to the chipset and no matter if i change the HDD, the license will still be valid and tied to the chipset, right?



#6 donisonleague

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 09:20 AM

Also, i originally had Windows 8, should i use the Windows 8 ISO or can i use the Windows 8.1 ISO?



#7 dc3

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 09:38 AM

That is a good question.  There are now two product keys for this computer.  The original key was for Windows 8, the upgrade to Windows 8.1 has another key.  Finding the original key is fairly straightforward, so I would suggest installing Windows 8 and then upgrade to 8.1.  You will need to install the same version that was originally installed.  Ex:  Windows 8.1 Pro (64-bit).

 

The easiest way to do this installation would be to contact the manufacturer and procure their installation media.  If the computer is still under warranty they may give you the installation disc.  If you have to pay for it I would think that it wouldn't be as expensive as buying a new copy of Windows.  Another consideration here is the fact that if you acquire their media they should also provide you with a second disc with all of the drivers you will need.


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#8 technonymous

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 09:40 AM

Typically on a laptop there would be a 8G partition that stores the factory image and there should be a folder under start named the same brand of laptop IE: Dell, Toshiba, Asus etc. Expanding that there should be a utility in there to create a 2x dvd set of that factory image. So you can place the image back onto your new HD once it's installed. You can also use the disk to reset back to factory once the image is back onto the new HD. I suggest try looking for that utility before you do anything.



#9 donisonleague

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 10:00 AM

Typically on a laptop there would be a 8G partition that stores the factory image and there should be a folder under start named the same brand of laptop IE: Dell, Toshiba, Asus etc. Expanding that there should be a utility in there to create a 2x dvd set of that factory image. So you can place the image back onto your new HD once it's installed. You can also use the disk to reset back to factory once the image is back onto the new HD. I suggest try looking for that utility before you do anything.

I have that on my lenovo Laptop, but not on my Desktop PC for what i remember. I will check. However, if i would use that i would reinstall also the programs that came originally with the PC, right?

 

That is a good question.  There are now two product keys for this computer.  The original key was for Windows 8, the upgrade to Windows 8.1 has another key.  Finding the original key is fairly straightforward, so I would suggest installing Windows 8 and then upgrade to 8.1.  You will need to install the same version that was originally installed.  Ex:  Windows 8.1 Pro (64-bit).

 

The easiest way to do this installation would be to contact the manufacturer and procure their installation media.  If the computer is still under warranty they may give you the installation disc.  If you have to pay for it I would think that it wouldn't be as expensive as buying a new copy of Windows.  Another consideration here is the fact that if you acquire their media they should also provide you with a second disc with all of the drivers you will need.

Understood, that is probably the reason why i got two different keys by using the two different methods, probably one is my old W8 Key, the other is the new W8.1 Key. So i will have to use the mediacreationtool for w8, download the iso, burn on a dvd and install w8, then i should be able to free update to w8.1, right? The drivers are however all stored on HP website, and there is a specifical page for each product, so they are kinda easy to acquire.

The computer isn't anymore under warranty, but i could try to contact the hp support service. 



#10 technonymous

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 10:19 AM

If there is a factory backup image, then yes, it would restore everything like the day you bought it with all the default programs. However, you should always check for drivers updates.



#11 dc3

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 10:20 AM

I'm going to complicate this a little.  With the original installation of Windows 8 there were two product keys.  The Windows key (the alphanumerical 25 character key) and the SLP key (System Locked Pre-installation key).  You cannot use the SLP key to activate Windows 8.

 

The two are very different when you look at them.  One is the Product Key, the other is the Product ID.  Below is a fake example of the two.

 

22QYD-YQFQG-4P9GY-DRVR3-RCFDV                         XXXXX-OEM-7332141-00147

 

And then you have the product key applied when Windows 8 was upgraded to 8.1.


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#12 donisonleague

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 10:24 AM

If there is a factory backup image, then yes, it would restore everything like the day you bought it with all the default programs. However, you should always check for drivers updates.

But it wouldn't be like a windows clean install, right? However i have updated drivers here with me at the moment, just downloaded, so there is no problem for that

 

EDIT: Confirmed, i have the Recovery Image partition on my Desktop, but no utility to create dvds with it.

 

I'm going to complicate this a little.  With the original installation of Windows 8 there were two product keys.  The Windows key (the alphanumerical 25 character key) and the SLP key (System Locked Pre-installation key).  You cannot use the SLP key to activate Windows 8.

 

The two are very different when you look at them.  One is the Product Key, the other is the Product ID.  Below is a fake example of the two.

 

22QYD-YQFQG-4P9GY-DRVR3-RCFDV                         XXXXX-OEM-7332141-00147

 

And then you have the product key applied when Windows 8 was upgraded to 8.1.

Yeah, i have two keys of the product keys kind: AAAAA-BBBBB-CCCCC-DDDDD-EEEEE both of them + the SLP that can be seen from the "System" Window


Edited by donisonleague, 03 December 2015 - 10:59 AM.


#13 dc3

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 01:04 PM

In Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 come with Disk burner installed on it.  You can use this application to burn the image to a disc.


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#14 donisonleague

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 03:09 PM

At the moment i managed to clone the original disk, although i've yet to try the new one. However, i don't understand what you mean for "disk burner already on it", but i can use a common application like nero or roxio or imgburn to burn the windows image. Hp assistance told me that i will be asked for the license and that the oem one i currently have won't result valid. However they didn't seem very professional so i am not considering this very much.

#15 dc3

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 03:30 PM

http://www.digitalcitizen.life/how-burn-files-and-folders-disc-windows-explorer


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