Can anyone help out?


New Member
So i recently just installed windows 8 into a new hard drive i got, as it started it up into the desktop screen it asked for my product key to activate windows. So i used the key i had and it didn't work then went it into a error "saying the software licensing service determined that this specified product key can only be used for upgrading, not for clean installations." i don't know why the key isnt working and i need help.


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Did your old computer used to be windows 7 perhaps?

An upgrade key needs to be installed over another working os like 7 or even vista... there are semi-legial work arounds but they tend to do more harm than good.

Did you get this key from a real shop


New Member
I got the key a long time ago and i used it for the same computer im using now. I got the key at a office depot or at a bestbuy


New Member
my computer used xp before then i switched it to windows 8 using the same key i used for this computer

You have to reinstall windows XP first then install windows 8 over top of XP using the upgrade key you got from the retail shop.

Product Keys:
OEM - windows OS is tied to that mobo/cpu and can't be transferred, can be used to clean install generally found on branded (HP, Dell, Acer and so on) retail PC's. You can also purchase an OEM key.

Upgrade - windows OS that allows you to upgrade over an existing install of windows, can't be used to clean install and this is usually cheaper than buying a full blown OEM or Retail key.

Retail - windows OS that comes with both 32/64 bit architecture, is transferable, can be clean installed and usually is the most expensive of the 3.

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