I have purchased an Upgrade Copy of Win 8 through the MS Store and have had a couple of challenges in getting the system up. Currently, my challenge is registration, as my system is reading my Upgrade install key as an upgrade and not letting me activate/register as I have utilized it as a full install.
The primary problem is that my destination software is Win 8 x64, but the existing install is Win Vista x86. x86 being the major issue, as you cannot upgrade x86 to x64. Also, I am doing a Clean Install, as I just bought a new SSD to pair with Win8.
So, I feel like I have 2 options that are morally acceptable and legal, and one option that I do not find morally acceptable (which I will not discuss, but involves registry edit and does not require much search to find)
Option 1.) I have a Windows 7 x64 disk and key being used on another PC, I don't want to change anything with that PC- ie. key has to stay attached to that other machine. Question: Could I install Win 7 x64 to my new SSD using the disk, then use my Win 8 Upgrade x64 copy to properly "upgrade" (and most importantly, activate/register) this keyless version? I've read that Win 7 will allow a keyless 30 day install.
Option 2.) Due to the draconic nature of the MS Upgrade Tool- I found that my first Win 8 install, which was x86, and therefore highly disappointing- did not require an activation key. I believe this may have been because I had another HDD connected via SATA2 during that install. My other HDD has Vista x86 installed. During that install, was my Upgrade Install (to SSD1) aware that I had a valid Windows activation on HDD2, thus it went ahead and activated as a proper upgrade copy? FYI- I disconnected my HDD2 during my most recent x64 Win8 install that is giving me problems- I felt like the presence of another Drive was doing odd things with my partition volumes in Windows install- I didn't like how it was showing my SSD as having a nonaccessible partition that was larger than the SSD in it's entirity, so unplugged it.
Keep in mind, either option is just where *my* moral compass lies, I doubt that either is a truly preferred upgrade path by MS- but I've paid for the software, and that probably places me in fairly high company amongst PC users.
- call Microsoft support get refund on upgrade key, buy full version disk set
- reinstall windows 7 with valid key and get activated then upgrade
- install any of the 3 windows 8 pre releases, get validated and upgrade
generally a valid key is required to install, even if you don't have to enter it in.
(stored encrypted in BIOS) or handed out via key management programs on corporate network.
Activation is required after the product in installed.
For example you could unplug your net card, install 5 machines with the same valid key. When the computers get a internet connection only the first key will be activated and the rest will be blocked. I suppose if you were to do it enough they would ban your key.
end result you have to buy a key for each activation