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Windows 8 Pro, New hard drive, no product key displayed.

I have a laptop with windows 8 pro, the hard drive 100% died.
New, blank hard drive.
Insert windows 8 installation media, and I get a "Please enter your product key".

But since windows hates making things easy for everyone, all I have is a nice little square sticker that so proudly states "Windows 8 Pro", with no 25 digit product key.

None of the documentation I have has this.
It is a HP portfolio 9470, as if it matters.

Please tell me there's a way around this. I'm aware that windows 8 puts the product key in the BIOS, but the installation media doesn't seem to care.

TL;DR
Windows 8 laptop.
New hard drive.
No product key sticker, because windows 8 hates efficiency.
Installation media wants product key.
Yes it's the correct media for the version of the product key.
14 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about windows pro hard drive product key displayed
  1. the product key is embedded into the bios now, To use it you need to use the recovery disk that you made when you first turned the pc on.
    If you failed to create these then contact the manufacturer of the laptop for s set of disks. These wont be free though.
  2. No you don't. Use a generic install key finish installation. Then get a key finder program that will dig the key out of the bios. I think magic jellybean will and there are a few others. Once you have the bios key, go to the control panel and change the key from the generic install key to the bios key. It should activate automatically.
  3. hmmm...I recently did a full reinstall, from a clean 8.1 disk...not the Restore set from Toshiba, on a friends Toshiba laptop. Win 8.1. There was no license key needed, it picked it up from the BIOS.
    And I checked the key before and after. It was the same.
  4. Best answer
    Generic install keys can be found in this article. Let us know how it goes.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/windows/comments/2kt22o/windows_81_update_1_iso_repository_and_how_to/
  5. Might depend on the disk. Mine wouldn't auto detect it, but it did work with manual entry.
  6. This happened to a Samsung laptop and the BIOS forgot the key, no method worked as the table holding the key was gone. The hard drive and recovery was fine, but the product key was lost.

    Try using a default install key and using this link to extract the product key: https://neosmart.net/blog/2014/windows-10-embedded-product-key-tool/

    Doing the following in powershell might also work and try it before the link above: "(Get-WmiObject -query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService').OA3xOriginalProductKey"

    Link to video showing what happened to the poor Samsung after system restore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSBUtlFU1Oc
  7. FALC0N said:
    Generic install keys can be found in this article. Let us know how it goes.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/windows/comments/2kt22o/windows_81_update_1_iso_repository_and_how_to/





    It took some hair pulling, but I put on windows 8.1 using the fake key, got it working, then used the tool to get the windows 8 pro key, wiped the hard drive, installed 8 pro.

    Good god. Way too many steps.
    1 hour with a sticker that has a product key.
    a week to essentially hack the BIOS.
  8. Yep, it sure is. I spend countless hours sorting through that mess before I figured out the solution. And thanks for picking me for best answer!
  9. William Sparks said:
    FALC0N said:
    Generic install keys can be found in this article. Let us know how it goes.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/windows/comments/2kt22o/windows_81_update_1_iso_repository_and_how_to/





    It took some hair pulling, but I put on windows 8.1 using the fake key, got it working, then used the tool to get the windows 8 pro key, wiped the hard drive, installed 8 pro.

    Good god. Way too many steps.
    1 hour with a sticker that has a product key.
    a week to essentially hack the BIOS.



    I know the feeling, Microsoft made it a real pain in the butt.

    Glad it worked for you, I wasn't so lucky as the BIOS had lost the key for good. Very rare I guess and there are signs the BIOS has faulted. (The PC still works though and boots into what is now invalid Windows.)
  10. How do you know the bios lost the key ?
  11. FALC0N said:
    How do you know the bios lost the key ?


    The MSDM table is missing and that table in the BIOS holds the product key. I have run about 10+ different methods to ensure this was the case. If the key is still there, no public tool or method can get to it so I for now count it as lost. Microsoft tier 3 support seemed to agree with me, but upper management would not allow him to make good on it.

    I have run commands though both CMD and power shell, I have used 3rd party software, I have reinstalled Windows from the recovery 5+ times, I have even used an OEM ISO after that to install both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to see if that would allow the key to be recovered. All that failed on top of other stuff to get the key.
  12. Try the OEM. Who built it?
  13. I KNOW THIS THREAD IS SOLVED AND OLD BUT THOUGHT ID LIST AN EASIER QUICKER WAY THAT I FOUND OUT HOW TO DO THIS A MUCH EASIER WAY, FIRST YOU NEED A LINUX ISO LIVE USB/CD
    THEN OPEN THE TERMINAL AND TYPE THIS LINE OF COMMAND.

    ls /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM

    Which gave me the MSDM table I was looking for.
    I have found my license key! :D

    To get it, you need to read the contents of the /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM file.

    Here's an example:

    Mint@mint:~$ sudo xxd /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM
    0000000: 4d53 444d 5500 0000 0313 4850 514f 454d MSDMU.....HPQOEM
    0000010: 534c 4943 2d4d 5043 0100 0000 4850 2020 SLIC-MPC....HP
    0000020: 0000 0400 0100 0000 0000 0000 0100 0000 ................
    0000030: 0000 0000 1d00 0000 4639 XXXX XXXX XXXX ........F98**-**
    0000040: XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX ***-*****-*****-
    0000050: XXXX XXXX XX ****T

    The *** are the contents of the license key, in ASCII text.
  14. BigBrian509 said:
    I KNOW THIS THREAD IS SOLVED AND OLD BUT THOUGHT ID LIST AN EASIER QUICKER WAY THAT I FOUND OUT HOW TO DO THIS A MUCH EASIER WAY, FIRST YOU NEED A LINUX ISO LIVE USB/CD
    THEN OPEN THE TERMINAL AND TYPE THIS LINE OF COMMAND.

    ls /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM

    Which gave me the MSDM table I was looking for.
    I have found my license key! :D

    To get it, you need to read the contents of the /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM file.

    Here's an example:

    Mint@mint:~$ sudo xxd /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM
    0000000: 4d53 444d 5500 0000 0313 4850 514f 454d MSDMU.....HPQOEM
    0000010: 534c 4943 2d4d 5043 0100 0000 4850 2020 SLIC-MPC....HP
    0000020: 0000 0400 0100 0000 0000 0000 0100 0000 ................
    0000030: 0000 0000 1d00 0000 4639 XXXX XXXX XXXX ........F98**-**
    0000040: XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX ***-*****-*****-
    0000050: XXXX XXXX XX ****T

    The *** are the contents of the license key, in ASCII text.



    I have the same problem with my Dell since upgrading to W10, it was not activated automatically. So I wanted to reinstall W8 again (I have the CD obtained by Dell with the notebook) but the system wanted me to enter the license key.

    I have installed Linux and used the commands ls /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM as well as sudo cat /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM . They did not work.

    Do you know if there is another option where I can find it?
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