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I need some help with a Windows 8 clean install

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a b * Windows 8
April 25, 2013 1:41:09 PM

Okay, so just a few days ago, I got a new laptop and it came pre-installed with Windows 8. I bought an mSATA ssd to go along with it and now I'm trying to do a clean install of windows 8, so that it boots from the SSD.

1. My main issue is: I don't know how to get an ISO of a clean Windows 8 installation from Microsoft without paying for it (I have the product keys).

2. If I get my hands on an ISO, could I simply boot my computer (through BIOS) from my USB and use the ISO to do a clean install of Windows 8?

3. When would I need to install the SSD, and how would I set up windows to boot from it?

I know that's a lot to answer, so if anyone can help me with even just a bit of it, it would be greatly appreciated.

If you need any extra info, just ask. As of right now, I have no concern for any files on the PC. It's a Lenovo u410 if that means anything and it has no Optical Drive.

Thanks,
DonQuixoteMC

More about : windows clean install

a c 381 * Windows 8
April 25, 2013 3:43:15 PM

DonQuixoteMC said:
Okay, so just a few days ago, I got a new laptop and it came pre-installed with Windows 8. I bought an mSATA ssd to go along with it and now I'm trying to do a clean install of windows 8, so that it boots from the SSD.

1. My main issue is: I don't know how to get an ISO of a clean Windows 8 installation from Microsoft without paying for it (I have the product keys).

2. If I get my hands on an ISO, could I simply boot my computer (through BIOS) from my USB and use the ISO to do a clean install of Windows 8?

3. When would I need to install the SSD, and how would I set up windows to boot from it?

I know that's a lot to answer, so if anyone can help me with even just a bit of it, it would be greatly appreciated.

If you need any extra info, just ask. As of right now, I have no concern for any files on the PC. It's a Lenovo u410 if that means anything and it has no Optical Drive.

Thanks,
DonQuixoteMC

This is the M'soft link for the upgrade version, it requires a product key to complete download. Use the ISO to create a bootable USB flash if it works...
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=262204
Let me know the result, curious to see if it's successful...
(Run the link from your new laptop)

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a b * Windows 8
April 25, 2013 4:01:23 PM

dodger46 said:
This is the M'soft link for the upgrade version, it requires a product key to complete download. Use the ISO to create a bootable USB flash if it works...
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=262204
Let me know the result, curious to see if it's successful...
(Run the link from your new laptop)



Okay, so I tried your link and when I entered the product key it said: "This product key cannot be used to install a retail version of Windows 8"

I'm not feeling very optimistic about this. If that didn't accept my key I'm doubtful it will work somewhere else.
Any thoughts?

DonQuixoteMC
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a c 381 * Windows 8
April 25, 2013 4:19:41 PM

DonQuixoteMC said:
dodger46 said:
This is the M'soft link for the upgrade version, it requires a product key to complete download. Use the ISO to create a bootable USB flash if it works...
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=262204
Let me know the result, curious to see if it's successful...
(Run the link from your new laptop)



Okay, so I tried your link and when I entered the product key it said: "This product key cannot be used to install a retail version of Windows 8"

I'm not feeling very optimistic about this. If that didn't accept my key I'm doubtful it will work somewhere else.
Any thoughts?

DonQuixoteMC

Probably need to get Installation Media from your Laptop Manufacturer. At least it tells me that the link will work with both Upgrade and Retail versions, thanks! Your version is OEM, and to date no official downloads available to my knowledge...
You could try copying the Recovery Partition to your SSD, it will contain all you need, see if it's visible in Disk Manager. In fact you should be able to clone your drive to the SSD, but would need to partition your HDD so that the total of the cloned space equals the size of your SSD. I've never done it, but I'm sure someone will help.

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a c 381 * Windows 8
April 25, 2013 4:31:23 PM

Last resort, if you're in the UK you can buy Win8 Pro Upgrade from Overclockers for £45 and clean install to your SSD, but you'd need to transfer the installation files to a USB device on another PC or borrow an Optical drive. ..
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a b * Windows 8
April 25, 2013 5:59:09 PM

Thanks for your help, dodger. I also wondered if because it was an OEM key, it wouldn't work with retail.

Before I give up and get actual Windows 8 discs, I think I'll try this: http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?D...

I don't know what you think. My only concern is that it wouldn't be a clean install, just my current system image put on the SSD and HDD, which would kinda' defeat the purpose.

Anyway, I was just wondering what you thought.
Thanks again

DonQuixoteMC

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a c 381 * Windows 8
April 25, 2013 9:00:52 PM

DonQuixoteMC said:
Thanks for your help, dodger. I also wondered if because it was an OEM key, it wouldn't work with retail.

Before I give up and get actual Windows 8 discs, I think I'll try this: http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?D...

I don't know what you think. My only concern is that it wouldn't be a clean install, just my current system image put on the SSD and HDD, which would kinda' defeat the purpose.

Anyway, I was just wondering what you thought.
Thanks again

DonQuixoteMC


Looks fine to me, it only asks for a 16gig USB device, so can't be too much 'bloatware' installed. Clean Install usually takes up about 13-14 Gb. Go for it. Once you've created the Installation Media, swap HDD for SSD and you're good to go.

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April 25, 2013 11:11:51 PM

That should work. Give it a try and let us know how you get on.

Please note, I've deleted multiple posts from this thread on grounds of piracy. We do not allow discussion of torrents here.
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a b * Windows 8
April 26, 2013 8:17:01 AM

Thanks, I've set everything up but I still need an M2x3 screw for my mSATA SSD. I should go through with it Saturday, we'll see what happens.

Thanks for the help so far!

DonQuixoteMC
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a b * Windows 8
April 29, 2013 2:58:01 PM

Okay, I hope none of you are waiting with baited breath.
This weekend was a no-go I couldn't find an m2x3 screw in my area so I'm now waiting for it in the mail. It'll get here sometime between May 2nd to the 7th (Approximately)

I am curious though, if I were to attempt a clean install just to see if it works, would it be harmful to do another clean install later? (Is it harmful to do many clean installs) Just curious, thanks.

DonQuixoteMC
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a c 381 * Windows 8
April 30, 2013 12:09:09 AM

M2 X 3? Cover screw? Could have sent you one! Clean install merely means the disk is formatted prior to installation, so if you do it in the future all data, programmes etc. will be lost. Only downside is you use up few extra read/write cycles on your SSD, might shorten it's useful life by an hour or two...
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a b * Windows 8
April 30, 2013 8:22:58 AM

Haha thanks for the offer :)  It should get here eventually so, no worries!

And awesome, that's what I wanted to know.
I went through with it anyway (Just on the HDD, the SSD isn't setup yet) to see what would happen, and the closest I could get to a clean install was a factory reset with all the Lenovo Bloatware.

Do you think if I uninstalled all of the stuff I didn't need manually, made a system image then put that on the SSD/HDD that I would have something close to a clean install?

And, if I were to save a system image, how would I put just the OS on the SSD and all of the other stuff on the HDD? I don't want to write anything more than I have to on the SSD
Thanks!

DonQuixoteMC
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a c 381 * Windows 8
April 30, 2013 9:39:06 AM

Yes, just uninstall all unwanted progs in Control Panel before you create your own recovery media, good idea. (Why didn't we think of that in 1st place?)
I simply re-direct all the 'User' stuff like Documents etc. to an SD card (32 Gb) by changing the Folder Location to the Card. It's more convenient than having an external HDD constantly strapped to a USB port. Open up your User folder, Rt click on the folder you want to move, choose Properties then Location, and Move to relocate to a new folder that you created earlier on your SD card/HDD. (You can leave it named as 'New Folder' and Windows will re-name it My Documents or whatever.
More useful tips to get the best out of your SSD
http://thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/optimization-guides/...
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a b * Windows 8
April 30, 2013 2:37:18 PM

dodger46 said:
Yes, just uninstall all unwanted progs in Control Panel before you create your own recovery media, good idea. (Why didn't we think of that in 1st place?)
I simply re-direct all the 'User' stuff like Documents etc. to an SD card (32 Gb) by changing the Folder Location to the Card. It's more convenient than having an external HDD constantly strapped to a USB port. Open up your User folder, Rt click on the folder you want to move, choose Properties then Location, and Move to relocate to a new folder that you created earlier on your SD card/HDD. (You can leave it named as 'New Folder' and Windows will re-name it My Documents or whatever.
More useful tips to get the best out of your SSD
http://thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/optimization-guides/...


Well, my thorough response got timed out so I'll just keep things simple haha

So what you're suggesting is I take my libraries off my computer, take a system image, then put that on a "Boot drive"(That I'll install onto the SSD with). So that the only program files that will be on the SSD are essentially what boot up with the computer, then I can just change the install directories according to use?

And for Installation, all I do is just disconnect all drives except for the SSD and the "Boot Drive," then load the system image onto the SSD. Reconnect my HDD and put the libraries/other things onto it?

As for the rest I'll follow the (AWESOME) Guide you linked, and that should have the rest (Like TRIM right?)

Thanks SO much for your help with this :) 

DonQuixoteMC

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a c 381 * Windows 8
April 30, 2013 10:39:59 PM

Sounds about right, my rig is a desktop, and I have an HDD with all the usual folders on it, My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, My Videos, Downloads. I also install my least used programmes there, so in addition there are Program Files, Program Files (x 86). That way I manage with a 60 Gb SSD, I still have 26 Gb free. So, assuming your SSD is larger, you should be able to load all your Programs on it provided you use a external drive/SD card for your Libraries/Downloads.
I think ideally you could take your System Image at that point, can't imagine it will exceed 20Gb unless you have plans for massive software installations... you could use a 32 Gb USB Flash to store it. Only slight drawback is Windows Blue due out at some point, presume it will be a stand alone install like a Service Pack.
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a c 381 * Windows 8
April 30, 2013 10:56:26 PM

You haven't mentioned how you are going to achieve the Backup, (I don't bother, I just re-install, got plenty of time!) this looks to be a thorough guide...
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/8956-system-image-...
Includes a tool to restore Windows using the System Image you create. (See no reason why you can't use an SD card for Image/tool?)
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a b * Windows 8
May 1, 2013 8:24:39 AM

The laptop comes with a 'OneKey recovery" tool, so I've got a system image now
I don't know what external drive I'll use though, the largest USB/SD card I have is only 16GB/8GB respectively. I do have a 1TB backup drive (external hardrive) that I think I'll end up using, although it's kind of overkill.

And now, I wait.

DonQuixoteMC
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a b * Windows 8
May 2, 2013 3:04:57 PM

The screws came!
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a b * Windows 8
May 2, 2013 5:15:06 PM

This would be so much simpler if this was a Desktop and I built it...

I don't know why the image I put on the USB isn't "there"

I'll try to make another or something...
Any suggestions?
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a b * Windows 8
May 2, 2013 7:09:11 PM

Okay... My problem now is, I can't figure out for the life of me how to put Windows 8 or anything onto the SSD. I'm kind of at a loss...
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a c 381 * Windows 8
May 2, 2013 11:08:13 PM

DonQuixoteMC said:
Okay... My problem now is, I can't figure out for the life of me how to put Windows 8 or anything onto the SSD. I'm kind of at a loss...

Perhaps the 'Onekey' Recovery not all it's cracked up to be?
I'll try to replicate what you're doing using the guide in the link. I'll create an image of a spare TX2000 laptop which has 8 on it, and try to transfer it to an SSD. I'll actually use another SSD to achieve the transfer with, using a USB adapter as I don't have an external drive free at the mo. What Time zone you in? 7am here at the mo. BST(British Summer Time, except it's 3 deg C and snowing on the hills!)

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a c 381 * Windows 8
May 2, 2013 11:10:18 PM

DonQuixoteMC said:
Okay... My problem now is, I can't figure out for the life of me how to put Windows 8 or anything onto the SSD. I'm kind of at a loss...


Should be able to boot from the USB external drive with the SSD in place? Assume you set up Boot drives in BIOS..
Looks like you need a System Repair Disk, or in your case a USB drive, to use your System Image
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2855-system-repair...
Edit
My attempt failed as it deemed my SSD too small to restore the System Image to.
Had to re-size the 'C' Partition using EaseUs Partition Manager
http://download.cnet.com/EaseUS-Partition-Master-Home-E...
Any probs I'll talk you through, reduce 'C' to less than the size of your SSD or your restoration will fail.
So, all you should need to do now is create Sys Image,
Plug in Ext USB Drive
On Start Screen type 'File Recovery'
From Settings choose Windows 7 File Recovery
Choose Create System Image (Top Left)
I created Recovery Disk separately

Exchange your HDD for an SSD, enable boot from USB device and with External Recovery Drive installed hit the Pwr Sw.
Choose your Keyboard, then Troubleshoot your PC
Advanced Options
System Image recovery
Plug in System Image drive when prompted
Should work! Remember to remove all USB drives before attempting to boot from your SSD. Even better, change your Boot drive priority...
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a c 381 * Windows 8
May 3, 2013 1:00:36 AM

This sounds simpler, but I can't replicate it as I don't have a Laptop with a Recovery Partition.
Start Screen, Type 'Recovery'. From Settings, choose 'Create a Recovery Drive' and proceed with Recovery Creator, ensuring to check the box to include the Recovery Partition.
Choose your USB External and the Creator will do the rest. I assume that if you then boot from the USB drive with your SSD installed, the Recovery Partition will be utilised to restore your machine to Factory Settings...
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a b * Windows 8
May 3, 2013 4:49:20 AM

Haha 3°C and snowing, that's an awful start to summer. I'm on the east coast of the U.S. I think we have about 5 hours difference.

And yes, I'm inclined to agree that OneKeyRecovery isn't all that useful for our purposes. But, I think what you recommended is EXACTLY what I needed. The first link you gave me a couple posts ago explained it perfectly, I was creating a recovery drive which doesn't have an installation of Windows 8 on it. So of course I couldn't do anything with it.

I'm creating an Image file right now with the method you described, I forgot to re-size "C:\" so, I might have to create another in a bit... But I'll try it anyway haha

I think we have this beat, I was able to access everything except an actual System Image, and now I have one! I'll let you know what happens later :) 
Thanks so much!

DonQuixoteMC
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a c 381 * Windows 8
May 3, 2013 5:30:41 AM

If you have to re-size 'C'
Open EaseUS Main Page and click on 'C'
Choose Resize from Top Toolbar
Simply slide the ball on the right of the drive to reduce size to less than your SSD, choose 'Apply' and EaseUs will perform the operation on reboot as it can't be achieved with Windows running...
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a b * Windows 8
May 3, 2013 12:23:40 PM

I had some problems with the external drive, but it was just a password protected thing that I couldn't unlock during a restore, but I fixed that problem. In the meantime I made another copy of C:\, this time it's smaller than my SSD, just in case. I'm trying this as I type. Here goes nothing!!
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a b * Windows 8
May 3, 2013 1:21:17 PM

Okay, everything so far is working, except that it won't actually put the image on the SSD.
This is what it says:

"The system image restore failed.


Windows cannot restore a system image to a computer that has different firmware. This image was created on a computer using EFI and this computer is using BIOS."

That's all it says. Either this computer has a multiple personality disorder or, again, I'm doing something wrong. Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that I created the image with the "Windows 7 File Recovery" and that the Laptop is Windows 8? I might check the Bios settings, just to see if there's something obvious, like legacy mode or something.
Any thoughts?

DonQuixoteMC
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a c 381 * Windows 8
May 3, 2013 1:37:33 PM

Maybe change the setting to Legacy BIOS before you take the image and leave it thus till you restore...
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a b * Windows 8
May 3, 2013 1:43:34 PM

The other Error is gone, now I have a new one...

" Re-image Your Computer(same heading on last message too)
No disk that can be used for recovering the system disk can be found. Try the following: 1) A probable system disk may have been excluded by mistake. a. Review the list of disks you have excluded from the recovery for a likely disk. b. Type LIST DISK command in the DISKPART command interpreter. The probable system disk is usually the first disk listed in the results. c. If possible remove the disk from the exclusion list and then retry the recovery. 2) A USB disk may have been assigned as a system disk. a. Detach all USB disks from the computer. b. Reboot into windows recovery environment (WinRE), then reattach USB disks and retry the recovery. 3) An invalid disk may have been assigned as system disk. a. Physically detach the disk from your computer. Then boot into Win RE to retry the recovery. (0x80042412)"

I'm guessing that I needed to make a recovery disk when prompted by the Windows 7 File Recovery. I had skipped it because it said that it did not detect a CD/DVD Burner. Maybe I can get it to write onto a USB? I'm not going to try it yet, I've been using the HDD "plug" a lot, I don't want to wreck it.

IF you can makes heads or tails of this, I would love to hear your ideas.
Thanks!

[Edit]: I did change the settings, I guess it was set to Legacy Boot support, and when I switched it back to UEFI only, it fixed the problem.

DonQuixoteMC
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a c 381 * Windows 8
May 3, 2013 2:00:57 PM

Yes, create a Recovery Drive by typing Recovery Drive at your Start Screen and choose Create Recovery drive. Use one of your other USB Flash drives. Boot with just that drive in place, and connect the image drive when prompted, ie when it can't find it!
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a b * Windows 8
May 3, 2013 2:49:37 PM

dodger46 said:
Yes, create a Recovery Drive by typing Recovery Drive at your Start Screen and choose Create Recovery drive. Use one of your other USB Flash drives. Boot with just that drive in place, and connect the image drive when prompted, ie when it can't find it!


By rights, you should have given up on me a while ago, so thanks for helping this far :) 

Okay, well as for that suggestion, I already have a recovery drive. I went through the control panel and put a recovery drive onto the USB, which I need to "boot" into recovery mode. It has the bootmgr.efi file on it. Unless you mean something else. What I used was the "Create Recovery Drive" utility (It's the one that asks if you want to put the recovery partition on it as well)

I'll check again, but I think I do have a recovery drive.
It seemed that there was a difference at the time with the "Windows 7 File Recovery" thing, but maybe not. Like I said, I will check!

And, everything ELSE works. I set BIOS so that the computer boots from the USB, I go through the steps: Restore Image file, Select the drive (the SSD) and everything is going perfectly until... Error message: "The System Image restore has failed" and that I need a "recovery disk."

It's bizarre.

And seriously, you've helped me so much, I don't expect you to keep spending time on this. You can bail out if you want

Thanks again

DonQuixoteMC
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a c 381 * Windows 8
May 4, 2013 12:14:15 AM

With you till we reach a satisfactory conclusion! One difference, did you opt for inclusion of your Recovery Partition? Might be causing a problem...
What I see in File Explorer
Recovery Drive



System Image Drive

Which contains

(The name of the laptop ) Then

Hope this help!
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a b * Windows 8
May 4, 2013 5:31:33 AM

I think you may be right! It's the only thing I didn't do (Because I somehow messed up my OneKeyRecovery) But I think I can manually move it over from the partition. I'll just check to see if it has the right folders and stuff.

AND I was curious, if I manage to mess this up to, could I just manually move the files I needed onto the SSD? Like by booting up with the HDD then just copying and pasting things (Like the operating system) onto the SSD? I guess that's last case scenario, but I was wondering if it would work.
Thanks again!

DonQuixoteMC
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a c 381 * Windows 8
May 4, 2013 7:55:31 AM

Copy and paste, no! Disk copy, maybe, but I haven't had much success with that...
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a b * Windows 8
May 4, 2013 10:52:14 AM

dodger46 said:
Copy and paste, no! Disk copy, maybe, but I haven't had much success with that...


Hahaha :) 
Okay, good to know, thanks!

DonQuixoteMC
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a b * Windows 8
May 6, 2013 1:58:51 PM

Could you recommend any third-party software for a recovery partition? I'm unable to make one. I'll google search it as well, I just would like some direction.
Thanks!
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a c 381 * Windows 8
May 6, 2013 2:01:30 PM

DonQuixoteMC said:
Could you recommend any third-party software for a recovery partition? I'm unable to make one. I'll google search it as well, I just would like some direction.
Thanks!

http://download.cnet.com/EaseUS-Partition-Master-Home-E...
Easy to use and reliable...

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a b * Windows 8
May 7, 2013 12:32:47 PM

dodger46 said:
DonQuixoteMC said:
Could you recommend any third-party software for a recovery partition? I'm unable to make one. I'll google search it as well, I just would like some direction.
Thanks!

http://download.cnet.com/EaseUS-Partition-Master-Home-E...
Easy to use and reliable...



Hahaha Oh, I didn't know it did that :D 

Per your advice, I already downloaded it. Awesome thanks!! I'm still considering options, but soon I'll let you now about the final verdict.

DonQuixoteMC
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October 12, 2013 4:12:46 AM

You need a system builder Windows 8 iso. It costs $99 on amazon, or torrent. This is the only answer besides making a recovery disk using the recovery partition that your system is supposed to come with. I know, it sucks that's the way microsoft prevents you from loading your software on other computers. Good luck.
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October 16, 2013 1:14:44 PM

I download Windows 8 Core ISO from torrent site Piratebay
"Windows 8 NON-PRO OEM 64 Bit For System Builders - Judas"
or
"Windows 8.0 AIO x64 en-US WIM Baseline" uploaded by murphy78
I tested both on my Dell laptop which has pre-installed Windows 8 basic/core with sticker only, product key is embedded in BIOS/UEFI. No product key asked during installation. It activate automatically one Windows boot up with internet connection.
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