How to install and active a windows 8 after change a hard drive?

Hi , im very confused about how do i have to do when i need to reinstall a windows 8 when i change a hard drive , i have the windows 8 pro 32 and 64 bit iso , but i dont have the windows 8 serial number , i have a hp laptop it doesnt have a hard drive and it has windows 8 sticker on. can someone please tell me how do i install it and active ? thanks
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  1. You have a Windows 8 laptop with no hard drive... how did you get this system?

    The only way to get Windows loaded on the machine with the serial that came with it is to contact HP and have them send you the corresponding recovery disks for that laptop model.
  2. Not to my place to judge the possibly stolen laptop.

    If you want Windows 8 installed on it and you have purchased a hard drive, you will need to go purchase a Windows 8 disc. The original installation would be on the hard drive that came with the PC, wherever that drive may be. You cannot simply reinstall by using the serial # on the bottom of the notebook.
  3. Please verify you have a LEGAL copy of Windows 8?

    If not, do not ask for help here as we can't provide it.

    I'd like to help but I need you to explain this again. Such as:

    1. Where did this Windows 8 disc come from?
    2. What model laptop are you installing Windows 8 to?

    From what I understand, you are installing a NEW hard drive to your laptop and wish to install Windows 8 at the same time?
  4. if your system came with windows 8, the key should be encrypted in your BIOS. just install your new drive and start the windows 8 installer. it will do a clean install using your embedded BIOS key.
  5. Thanks Johnbi for your help , what happened was , my hard drive had a problem , i needed to replace the hard drive , like i said i have a windows 8 pro 64bits and i can install it but , i dont know my laptops windows version and even if i know that , how do i active it without a serial number? let me know , thanks.
  6. Hi , a friend gave me the windows 8 pro 64 bits copy , but he didn't gave me the serial number , this computer its new , i bought it 2 month ago , i dropped the laptop on the flour and my hard drive stopped work , so now i bought a new hard drive but before i install it i need to know how do i active my windows 8 copy on microsoft because i dont see the serial number anywhere , so i need to know best way to install and active my copy , thanks.
  7. a new laptop that came with windows 8 should have the key in BIOS. if it came with windows 7 it will have the OEM's generic key for win 7 in BIOS. So, if that is the case you can get a low cost upgrade to windows 8 from microsoft. They do this by giving you a promo code that you enter when you attempt to buy a upgrade key. I would think you could get the promo code from your OEM or microsft. You can go to microsoft and apply for a promo code and they send the code to you via email. you just fill out a form and your promo code is sent to your email a few mins later. I don't even think they ask for your windows 7 key. (that might change)
  8. my its windows 8 , there is a windows 8 sticker on the computer , how do i get the key on the bios , this is what i don't understand .
  9. andrenj said:
    my its windows 8 , there is a windows 8 sticker on the computer , how do i get the key on the bios , this is what i don't understand .

    oh, you do't have to. the installer will look in the BIOS decrypts the key and uses it and should not even ask for you to type one in. after the install the key will be sent to a activation server and validated.

    you can google for a program to dump your product keys
    I even think you can run the systeminfo.exe command. not sure if it is the correct key though
  10. @johnbl,

    This only works if you use an OEM copy (i.e the recovery image provided on the hard drive that originally shipped in the machine) to do the install. OEM copies are not provided to the public to manually run installs from. They are only available to manufacturers like Asus, Dell, Toshiba, etc...

    So basically what you would have to do is create a recovery image from the hard drive that shipped in the machine from the factory (the OEM may provide tools for the user to do this in their factory image for the computer in question).

    If you go out and buy a copy of Windows 8 from a store, what you are getting is a System Builder copy/license. There is technically no "Retail" copy anymore, and OEM is now the wrong term for store bought copies of Windows 8.
  11. I suggest the image he has be run with the understanding that it will either decrypt his BIOS key or not. The person should also understand that if they use this method to install the generic OS version they will not get the "value add" software and registry changes that the OEM may or may not have made with a custom OEM version.
    The person may also have to go to the OEM to get custom drivers for special hardware in their machine.

    reading the key from BIOS will effectivly make the install a OEM disk install. (lacking the oem custom changes)
  12. I've attempted a fresh install from a System builder disk before on a system that originally had an OEM copy installed in a factory image (it was an Asus K55 series laptop). The OEM key was not automatically activated, and it was not accepted when I entered it manually (I ran a keyfinder app before wiping out the install to get the key that came with the machine). I had to revert it and put the OEM image back on the machine. The original intent was to remove the crapware in the factory image by blowing it away and installing a fresh copy, but that idea seemed to have failed miserably.
  13. I understand what you are saying. It is not the same thing I am saying.

    The person has a windows 8 key, it is stored in BIOS. Generally, you would not use a system builder image if your machine is already licensed. You would want to use a OEM image, problem is some OEM do not give you the image and you have to install a generic image.

    I would suggest this image:

    The person attempts to start the installer. One of the first things the installer will do is attempt to locate the key. If it finds a key it will install. If it does not find a key it will ask for one and refuse to install until one is provided.

    They should then proceed from that checkpoint.

    Note: this will not work with a windows 7 OEM key stored in BIOS
  14. Hey Man... I understand your confusion. There is a lot of it surrounding many of the changes in Windows 8. So here is some basic information that pertains directly to your situation:

    1) Most major OEM's (e.g. Dell, Toshiba, HP...) are not putting COA's on computers any more. This change started with Windows 8 (Not UEFI bios... just the no COA sticker). Now there will frequently be a sticker claiming the machine is running, or capable of running Windows 8. As I'm sure you are aware this is not even remotely the same as a COA (Certificate of Authenticity). Microsoft did this in conjunction with the major manufacturers primarily because of Laptops and the many real world situations where the key codes becomes unreadable. They could have all started placing them under the battery like the smarter vendors, but they came up with a different alternative. New PC's have the COA programmed into the bios. So you don't need to enter in the key code anymore. However, getting Windows 8 to install can still be tricky. Onward...

    2) The key code may be in the bios, but it is only accessible in something called UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) mode. This mode can make it a problem to boot to other devices and by default may be on or off depending on brand, what you've done with the computer so far, and the price of tea in china. I'll get back to UEFI mode in a minute as it is the most important thing to you being able to re-install Windows 8 without a COA.

    3) BIOS's are getting harder to enter. Conspiracy theory's aside (as a way for OEM's to get more people to pay for tech support) many manufacturers are making it much harder to figure out how to get into the BIOS. Take a recent Toshiba I worked on, one from the P558 line. I wanted to test the hard drive with a boot-able CD... normally a very simple process. Well no longer, UEFI mode won't let that happen. You need to know to: Enter the bios, turn off secure mode, change UEFI mode to CSM mode, then access the boot menu. Finally. So.. how to you get into the bios? If it's not displayed hit Google. It's starting to get a bit crazy and may even vary from line to line at the same manufacturer. The laptop in this example... you have to hold down F12 while the laptop is OFF. Seriously, even if u hit F12 the second you hit power it will not work. It must be depressed, and held, before the power is turned on.

    4) So continuing with this Toshiba laptop... I did my testing, definitively proved the hard drive was bad (only a 6 mth old laptop I might add), replaced the hard drive, put the laptop back into UEFI mode, loaded off a Windows 8 CD, and now it's good to go. I'm sure this is where you are at.. bum drive, no recovery disks, can't use recovery image... what to do?

    -Get in the BIOS, make sure the PC is in UEFI mode. Usually found in the Advanced Menu or System Config sub-menu.

    -The laptop WILL boot off of a Windows 8 DVD. This has been designed to interact with UEFI mode. However, you frequently have to figure out how to change the boot order. I mean the on the fly boot order, not the permanent one in the bios. The problem is even if your optical drive is listed first in the boot order UEFI mode will often still default to the hard drive. A nice little quirk. So you need to hit whatever key lets you choose boot devices and select the optical.

    -Have some patience. When you first boot off a Windows 8 DVD you will usually get the prompt to "Hit any key" but after that the computer restarts and looks like it's sitting at the company logo. This is normal. It IS doing stuff, have faith.

    -Eventually a relatively normal Windows install process will load and you should be good to go from there. Some pointers:

    -Make sure you choose the proper Windows 8 disk in regards to 32 bit or 64 bit. Different versions of Windows 8 (eg. Home, Pro) are contained on the same DVD but not 32 versus 64. Your UEFI may or may not be programmed work with both versions. Usually they are interchangeable, but I have run into a couple odd situations where 32 worked but 64 wouldn't. I'm not sure what the deal with that is.. but whatever. Most PC's are 64 bit now anyway and if you have an OEM machine with over 3gb of memory it's ALMOST guaranteed to be 64-bit.

    -Done properly you will NOT need to enter in a key code, the UEFI bios will do that for you. Then the first time you get on the net the PC will automatically activate.

    -So... if the PC came with no disks, you didn't make a recovery image, and you don't own any other copies of Windows 8 what then? Well frequently Windows 8 installs from the same manufacturer will work. NOT system images... not unless it is the same brand AND exact same model. But if you have a buddy who still believes in physical media and they had the option to, and did, shell out the extra $10 to get media that will probably work. Generic install disks will also work. For example, when Windows 8 first came out Microsoft had a great introductory price and I bought a few copies. I shelled out the extra $10... yup I'm one of those... and I've successfully used those DVDs on every brand I've tried so far. If you don't have access to either one of those you can always order recovery media from the brand manufacturer. Just call em up, tell em the model, tell em you replaced the hard drive, provide credit card, and you're good to go.

    I'm sure this was posted a couple months too late to help the original poster, but maybe it will help someone else. Lol to all the wannabe tech trolls. My god.. who would ever need to replace a hard drive... and EVERY PC has a COA. Everyone knows that. *Grin*

    @Home PC Repair, Owner
    Gloucester, VA
  15. Excellent post Justin.
  16. Computers, which are built by large manufactures that come with Windows Pre-Installed, come with two (2) Product Keys:

    OEM SLP: This key comes pre-installed in Windows, when it comes from the Factory. This key is geared to work with the OEM Bios Flag found only on that Manufacturer's computer hardware. So when Windows was installed using the OEM SLP key (at the factory) Windows looks at the motherboard and sees the proper OEM Bios Flag (for that Manufacturer and that version of Windows) and Self-Activates. That's why you did not need to Activate your computer after you brought it home.

    COA SLP: This is the Product key that you see on the sticker on the side (or bottom or sometimes in a laptop's battery compartment) of your computer. It is a valid product key, but should only be used in limited situations (such as this case when the OEM SLP key stops self-activating for whatever reason). The key must be activated by Phone.
  17. johnbl said:
    if your system came with windows 8, the key should be encrypted in your BIOS. just install your new drive and start the windows 8 installer. it will do a clean install using your embedded BIOS key.

    So like if i replace the hard drive i just install windows 8 on it and use the same key from the first time?
  18. I have a genuine windows 8 Pro (Bought from Novatech) and have installed on my laptop and its activated but i now have installed same windows 8 on my pc as i use pc more than laptop and i get msg that says i have already use key to activate on another system so can i Deactivate the windows on laptop so i can activate windows on pc thanks :)
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