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The Misadventures of Quinxy von Besiex truths, lies, and everything in between

2Dec/122

How to Activate a Clean Install of Windows 8 with an Upgrade Key

If you used your Windows 8 Upgrade media to install a clean copy of Windows you've probably discovered by now that Windows 8 won't activate, telling you that your key is for upgrade and not clean install. Don't fret, there is a simple solution which does not require you pointlessly installing an old copy of XP, Vista, or Windows 7!

The easy three-step solution is:

  1. Modify the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\OOBE and set the MediaBootInstall value to 0 (zero).
  2. Open an elevated command-prompt (run command as admin) and execute this command: "slmgr -rearm"
  3. Reboot!

Enjoy!

I'm not sharing this tip as a way to cheat Microsoft out of a dollar, I'm sharing it because anyone experienced enough to be installing a copy of Windows 8 on a clean hard drive has surely owned enough Microsoft computers over the years to legitimately qualify for the upgrade.  With Windows XP through Windows 7 qualifying I know in the last 12 years I've owned and still have legal rights to at least 10 - 15 installations (mostly from retired computers).

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