How to retrieve original Windows 8 license key from upgraded 8.1

Discussion in 'Windows 8 Installation' started by wojzal, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. wojzal

    wojzal New Member

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    Hello,

    Few years ago I purchased the Windows 8 OS on DVD that came with the original license key. When the Windows 8.1 came out, Windows 8 has been upgraded via App Store. At that time a new license key was issued. Currently, I am in a need to reinstall windows 8.1, but I don't have the original Windows 8 DVD anymore, thus I don't have the original license key. Unfortunately, the new 8.1 license cannot be used for a fresh install of Windows 8.1. Is there a way to retrieve the Windows 8 key from current version 8.1?
     
  2. ussnorway

    ussnorway Windows Forum Team
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    Why not... did you sell it to someone else?

    No... if it came with windows 8 pre-installed you would have a special storage chip on the motherboard and there are programes around that can recover that but as you appear to have used a retail copy (suggesting no pre-install) then thats not an option.
     
  3. wojzal

    wojzal New Member

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    My windows 8 DVD got lost during house renovations.It was an OEM version purchased at Newegg.
     
  4. ussnorway

    ussnorway Windows Forum Team
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    Newegg should still have a record of this purchase and {assuming no one else installed the w8 dvd onto another system after you lost it} you can contact Microsoft to (maybe) reactivate your system... I am unaware that Microsoft ever allowed any retail OEM licences but thats between them and Newegg.

    OEM (Original equipment manufacturer) keys that come from the manufacturer only will be stored in the bios of the motherboard.
     
  5. wojzal

    wojzal New Member

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    My PC is a self-built machine. I am not sure if anything got saved on the motherboard, probably not. I'll contact Newegg and ask if they have any info about that DVD.
     
  6. Josephur

    Josephur Windows Forum Admin
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    Do you have any backups that include the registry files from your original Windows 8 installation? If so you can extract your Windows 8 key from there (you could possibly even recover it from a Restore Point from the original Windows 8 if there's one still around).
     
  7. wojzal

    wojzal New Member

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    Unfortunately, I don't have any registry backups. Guess, the backups should be done once a while.
     
  8. Josephur

    Josephur Windows Forum Admin
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    So no Windows.old folder laying around either?
     
  9. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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    You can get the currently used key from a powershell prompt with the following command.

    $(Get-Wmiobject -query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService').OA3xOriginalProductKey
     
  10. ussnorway

    ussnorway Windows Forum Team
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    When you have some spare time... could you demo this with screenshot or vid showing what results please mate?
     
  11. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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    It just prints out your product key.
     
  12. Ebm9000

    Ebm9000 Well-Known Member

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    It's kind of complicated, and involves loading a LIVE Ubuntu Session, but it CAN be done. ***WARNING: THIS MAY INVOLVE CHANGING BIOS SETTINGS*** However, Windows should automatically activate if you fresh install the same version that came with it. In the event that it does not:

    1. Download any version of Ubuntu on an ISO, and use a program like Unetbootin or Rufus to copy it to an empty USB of at least 4 GB in size (<-will format)

    2. Boot your computer off of it*
    Shut down your computer and turn it back on, IMMEDIATELY pressing the key to get into the boot menu (may be f2, f12, esc, or others. Search online by manufacturer)
    *hold SHIFT and click Restart by clicking your name on the start screen (I haven't ran 8.1 in a while so I may be stale) and find UEFI Firmware settings. Once in the setup, disable secure boot (and/or enable Legacy/CSM boot; windows should still boot in either mode). Do this only if the USB fails to boot.


    3. Once in Ubuntu, choose Try Ubuntu, and open a terminal (Windows key and type "terminal").
    4. Run the command:

    sudo cat /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM

    Jackpot.
     

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