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  #1  
Old December 10th, 2015, 02:32 PM
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Jintan Jintan is offline
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8 reinstall

Person did the 10 upgrade on her laptop 3 weeks back. Then no boot. Fixed file system corruption. Booted, removed some adware, rebooted, all the personal files are gone, and no reset revert with Win 8 option. In fact, each boot, the system loads the user account as if it was just created.

Trying to reinstall 8. My 8 Pro dvd requires a product key, with no Skip option. . Followed steps to unpack an 8 iso, then alter EI.CFG, repack with Windows System Image manager, created boot drive usb and disc. But no luck so far. Tried to download the 8 iso from MS, but darned if that media creation tool only offers 10 now (a pox on MS). Found a legit iso download of a 32/64 iso, so tried it. USB, DVD, laptop doesn't read it for booting. Created an iso from my MS purchased 8 disc. For some reason no EI.CFG in Sources.

Used a software to locate the key - OEM key (doesn't work) and Win 10 key, so no luck.

Question - if I format the drive, will the key requirement go away> I could have sworn I had done the new install before without this key requirement. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old December 10th, 2015, 02:45 PM
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Jintan Jintan is offline
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Just as an aside, the $SysReset, $Windows.~BT and Windows.old folders exist, but of course no revert option. Even tried renaming them and rebooting, then renaming them back to the originals, but nada.
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  #3  
Old December 10th, 2015, 06:24 PM
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So it boots but to a new profile every time? Have you tried a Refresh?

1. If it boots then go to Start | Settings | Recovery refresh

2. If it doesn't load windows then:

(1) Press and hold the power button on your PC until it powers off.

(2) Press the power button on your PC to turn it on.


(3) Repeat steps 1 and 2 above until you see Please wait during boot should come up.Usually it may take repeating up to 3 times

(4) When displayed click on See advanced repair options
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  #4  
Old December 10th, 2015, 07:22 PM
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Jintan Jintan is offline
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If it works (doing it now), excellent, cause that led to an option to do a factory reinstall. What about my Win 8 problem Murf? I don't recall seeing this key requirement before, and don't want to be without an answer should I run into it again.
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  #5  
Old December 10th, 2015, 07:45 PM
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Windows 10 as a upgrade does not use a key, it uses the prior windows installation key in the background.

When you use the free upgrade to Windows 10 or pay for a digital retail version, you don’t get a product key. Instead, your computer uses what Microsoft calls a digital entitlement.

Clean install uses a product key

One sticking point with digital entitlements is that because it’s dependent on your hardware configuration, making a significant change can wipe out the entitlement. If you swap out your motherboard, for example, your digital entitlement will likely disappear and Windows 10 won’t activate. If that happens, you’ll have to make a call to Microsoft’s customer support line to re-activate your copy of Windows.

So if your reverting back, once back run Belarc to get the product key for Win 8.
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  #6  
Old December 10th, 2015, 09:28 PM
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Jintan Jintan is offline
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When I ran Produkey, it showed a Windows 8 OEM key, and a Windows 10 key. Check it again after factory recovery, assuming it works.

Again though Murf, what about this Win 8 Catch 22 with the key in the BIOS and the install from disc demanding a key? Got plenty of hits on the subject on goog, all suggesting modding the EI.CFG trick.

And from what I can tell, MS did kill the Digital River iso downloads, and like I said, that media creation tool only offers 10 now.
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  #7  
Old December 10th, 2015, 10:47 PM
SpywareDr SpywareDr is offline
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Here are Microsoft's various Windows ISO download pages:

Windows 7 - Download Windows 7 Disc Images (ISO Files)
https://www.microsoft.com/en-in/soft...nload/windows7

Windows 8/8.1 - Upgrade Windows with only a product key
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...oduct-key-only

Windows 10 - Download Windows 10
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/softw...load/windows10


Microsoft’s Software Download Frequently Asked Questions
https://www.microsoft.com/en-in/software-download/faq
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  #8  
Old December 11th, 2015, 12:40 AM
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Jintan Jintan is offline
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Righteous links Dr.

Kinda cheesy MS requires a key first, but all you need I reckon is some system's existing key. Of course, back to my original quandary if the 8 key is in the bios, so no 8 key to get the download if an OEM install.
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  #9  
Old December 11th, 2015, 12:59 AM
SpywareDr SpywareDr is offline
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Yeppirs, Microsoft had to stop forcing vendors to stick the Windows Product Key where everyone could see them. People were simply taking pics of them, or writing them down and then using them/stealing them right out from under the rightful owners. (Duh).
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  #10  
Old December 11th, 2015, 02:24 AM
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If the factory recovery works (and it should) then you can find the key with Belarc. The actual key is not stored in BIOS, but is coded into the installation software within a file. When you use software to locate a windows 10 key you end up with a generic one like: VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T.

The basic process is that when you perform an upgrade to Windows 10 (over a genuine Windows 7 or 8.1 system), an anonymous and unique hardware hash is generated that is based on your systems hardware configuration. Since it is anonymous, you do not have to use a Microsoft Account. This hardware hash is generated even if you choose to install Windows 10 with a Local Account.

That same hardware hash is sent to Microsoft servers and a corresponding certificate is created to validate your systems activation status. From this point forward any future installs, including one where you delete all partitions and install Windows 10 from scratch, will be activated because of that unique hardware hash and the corresponding certificate. Since it is all stored on Microsoft’s servers there is no reason for us to keep a backup either.
Once it reverts back to Factory restore it should automatically activate.
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  #11  
Old December 12th, 2015, 10:20 PM
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Jintan Jintan is offline
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Factory restore worked like a charm, but darned if I forgot to check with Belarc (and Produkey, to check the diff) before returning it to the customer. Seriously curious too. May ask her to drop back by so I can run the check while she waits (she's real local). She and I both take care of Alzheimers parents, both single, and since I am a bristling hunk of brawn and brains, don't see how she can resist.

SpywareDr, most I have read (and let's try not to let this become like those old Norton bashing 50 post threads like in the old days), is that the BIOS key trick is mainly intended to tie the install to the computer, so no transferring the key if the pc dies. Even though Darth Vader tossed the Emperor down into that energy chamber, MS still rules the Dark Side of the Force.
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  #12  
Old December 12th, 2015, 10:43 PM
SpywareDr SpywareDr is offline
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Quote:
The free Windows 10 license works very differently from previous Windows licensing systems. These all required a product key. Even modern Windows 8 and 8.1 PCs — and new PCs that come with Windows 10 — have a Windows product key embedded in their UEFI firmware. If you buy a new copy of Windows 10 — for example, to install it on a PC you’re building yourself — you’ll also have a product key.

In this case, the product key would always serve to activate Windows. But Microsoft hasn’t been handing out Windows 10 product keys to upgraders. There’s no way to find your Windows 10 product key if you’ve upgraded for free — you just don’t have one.

The free Windows 10 license Microsoft is providing to upgraders works differently. Microsoft won’t issue you a Windows 10 product key. Instead, when you perform an upgrade from within Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.1, the upgrade process registers a unique ID associated with your PC’s hardware on Microsoft’s Windows activation servers.

In the future, whenever you install Windows 10 on that same PC, it will automatically report to Microsoft’s activation servers. Microsoft will confirm that the PC with that specific hardware configuration is allowed to use Windows 10, and it’ll automatically be activated.

This isn’t actually made clear in the installation process itself. To clean-install Windows 10 on a machine activated in this way, you have to continually skip all the product key prompts while installing it.

This automatic process only works if your PC has the same hardware it had when you upgraded to Windows 10.

...continues...
Source: http://www.howtogeek.com/226510/how-...%99s-hardware/
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