New laptop with OEM Windows 8. Can it be replaced with a copy of OEM Windows 8 Pro?

I purchased a new laptop that came with Windows 8 preinstalled. I purchased a new SSD and cloning the original HD to the SSD did not work. The laptop would not boot. I purchased an OEM copy of Windows 8 Pro that I wanted to try to install on the SSD after I did a Secure Erase. The Pro copy installed, but I was never asked for the new Product Key and I ended up, not with the Pro version, but the same Windows 8 that can preinstalled.

Can I install the OEM Windows 8 Pro version on my laptop? I will be very disappointed if I cannot. The OEM Pro version wasn't cheap. To me I installed a blank SSD and this is a new build for me.
 

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Last updated March 24, 2018 Views 4,508 Applies to:

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This is a unique problem I am coming across.

With Windows 8, Microsoft has changed from stickers that have the product key that the user has to type in when installing the operating system to new BIOS embedded product keys. The idea is that by eliminating the sticker, you eliminate one of the easier ways for nefarious users to get a legitimate product key. Eliminating the product key sticker also removes any worry that the sticker might get damaged while at the same time eliminating the long and irritating process of typing in various letters and numbers when installing the operating system.

If the user has to reinstall the operating system on a machine that came with Windows 8, the installation process automatically grabs the software product key from the motherboard BIOS with no input from the user. This means that those familiar Windows product key stickers will no longer appear on the Windows 8 computers.

 

So, no matter what you do, it will always reinstall Windows 8. The best option is to reinstall Windows 8 and do a upgrade to Windwos 8 Pro using Feature Pack;

Move up from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/feature-packs

Best,
Andre
Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT
twitter/adacosta
groovypost.com

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Not exactly what I wanted to hear. It's unfortunate that I paid $125 for an OEM Windows 8 Pro from Amazon. I didn't think that I was trying to cheat the system. Was I? What do I do with my purchase of OEM Windows 8 Pro? It's not likely I will be building a new PC. My other PCs are already running Windows 7 Pro and I can upgrade them for $39.

Should cloning my original HD to the SSD work? Or does the hardware change cause licensing problems?

Can I install Windows 7 on the new laptop and then use the $39 upgrade to Windows 8 Pro? That's more work, but less than paying $69 for the Pro Pack. I just hate to eat the $125 I paid for Windows 8 Pro.

I think this may be related to my using the Pro disc to install the OEM Windows 8 on the SSD. The original setup ran without issues. With my current installation from the Pro disk, Windows Explorer is buggy. It will work properly for a couple of hours and then start hanging anywhere from a minute or longer. Especially, right clicking and item causes it to hang. Sometimes I can go into Task Manager and restart Windows Explorer and it will work for a while. Eventually, I'll just have to reboot to get Windows Explorer working properly, then it will once again degrade over time.

I installed all the drivers that came with the laptop, so I don't know why I have this annoying problem. Everything else works fine.

Thanks

 

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I'm having the same exact problem msmcintosh2.  I recently bought a new Windows 8 Ultrabook, which had Windows 8 Standard OEM loaded, but I wanted to use my own copy of Windows 8 Pro and license key.  Most, if not all new Windows 8 machines from manufacturers use the new SLIC 3.0 protocol which has license keys integrated into the BIOS.  Windows 8 install media actually has every version included on the same disk/media (Standard, OEM, Pro, Enterprise, etc) and during new installation, will check if your BIOS is SLIC and will automatically pull the OEM license key issued to the manufacturer, which unfortunately prevents you from doing a simple, straightforward installation of Pro.  This method was done in part for simplicity, so users doing a reinstall don't have to type in keys, but also because the previous SLIC 2.1 version were so heavily abused by software pirates, that they decided to lock things down. 

This unfortunately is pushing me to a more clumsy solution of "Adding Features" and buying an upgrade license for an OEM key.  This absolutely isn't a suitable solution as the OEM key and any associated upgrades are forever tied to that hardware.  Further compounding the situation is UEFI/Secure Boot, found in all brand new Windows 8 Certified hardware, which I can't seem to disable in the BIOS-- it is not allowing me to boot from thumbdrives and DVDs to install alternative OSes or boot disk tools (ie:  Parted Magic, Ubuntu, etc).

Optimally, I'd like to have control of my own hardware and the freedom to install my own copies of OS software on hardware of my choosing.  This is something Microsoft really needs to solve; I can already imagine an admin NIGHTMARE scenario where an office buys a few dozen prebuilt desktops that have Win 8 Standard OEM on the cheap, and they buy volume licenses for Pro separately...yet can't install it due to the BIOS SLIC 3.0 hardware restrictions.   Individually and manually "Adding Features" to each workstation is absolutely not a solution.

The only way I can think of being able to clean install my retail copy at this point is to hack the BIOS and strip it of its license key and authentication certificates...a risky proposition and definitely not something a common user can be expected to do.

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I'm having the same issue.  I'm wanting to do a clean install of Win8 Pro and it's not completing the process.  I'm beginning to believe it has something to do with the Standard Win8 product key embedded in the BIOS.  

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Reply In reply to deleted message

Sometimes one has to reset the Default Options in BIOS from 1st boot = HDD to 1st BOOT = DVD

I have one that will not 1st BOOT to USB (very annoying). Now burn the NEW version to DVD ...

then Boot to DVD and install that way. (not 100%) but should work for many....

New systems have the KEY embedded into the BIOS so it will FAIL - Key determines what Version is Installed.)

 

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"New systems have the KEY embedded into the BIOS so it will FAIL - Key determines what Version is Installed."

Yup, I wasted $125 on an OEM full version of Windows 8 Pro. Unlike laptops prior to Windows 8, I could not install the operating system I paid for on my blank SSD in my new Windows 8 laptop. After I performed a clean install, using the OEM Windows 8 Pro disc, I ended up with the same plain Windows 8 version that came with the laptop. In the end, I ended up forking out more money for the Pro Pack in order to have Windows 8 Pro installed on my laptop.

I don't know if I was supposed to know that I couldn't purchase the OEM full version of Windows 8 Pro and install it on my new Windows 8 laptop. This sort of thing worked in the past. I guess I got burned, because of all the people that chose to steal the previous versions of Windows. I'm disappointed that I now have a full version of Windows 8 Pro that I really have no use for. Another case where the dishonest people spoil it for the honest people.

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sorry I knew this but forgot... ok

easy to do... since you whave Windows 8 Std,

win key + Q Upgrading Windows 8 to Win 8 Pro or adding media center

This article only applies to: Windows 8
 

Use the following steps to to upgrade your Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro or to add Media Center to Windows 8 Pro.
1.Press the Windows (Image: icon_Windows8_key.png) key + Q.
2.Type add features in the search box, and select Settings.
3.Click Add features to Windows 8 ?If you need to purchase a product key, click I want to buy a product key online. You will be prompted to buy a product key and it will be entered for you.
?If you already have a product key, click I already have a product key.

same key as on your Retail Copy....

4.Enter your product key and click Next.
5.Read the license terms, select the check box to accept the license terms, and click Add features.

If you were running Windows 8, your PC will restart automatically and Windows 8 Pro will be on it.

taken from OEM Manufacture site....

For more information about additional Windows features and upgrades, please visit Microsoft's Windows 8 Add Features page.

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I had entered my retail Product Key in the Add features section and it would not work. As soon as I entered it, Windows began checking the key and came back with a message indicating the key was invalid or something like that. Only the key from the Pro Pack I purchased worked.

I purchased the Retail version from a well-known, reputable, online retailer. It came in a sealed cardboard envelope with a printed label from Microsoft Corporation. I'm more than sure that my Retail version is authentic.

I really wish the key from my Retail version would have worked. I would have been a lot happier.

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If the Retail Key has been used 1 time to Activate  and validated that means it has been used.... and is only GOOD on 1 COMPUTER...

You keep saying "I purchased the Retail version from a well-known, reputable, online retailer." well if he is that REPUTABLE then he should send you a GOOD KEY... that will work.... But I'd lay you $$$ to Donuts that your RETAIL KEY stated OVER THE LIMIT...  My Retail Keys are GOOD FOR 10 Activations then OVER the LIMIT.

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I purchased it from Newegg.

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