Windows 8 Pro Upgrade Product Key can't be used to activate Windows after a clean install

Hi guys,


I purchased a Windows 8 Pro Upgrade and received the Product Key that I have used to download and perform a clean install of my laptop using a USB Flash Drive (format my HD then install). But now in my brand new installed Windows 8, I can't use that Product Key to activate Windows as it says that the key is only for an Upgrade, not a clean install. I wasn't aware of this problem when I did the clean install. So how can I activate my Windows now?

It!s an UPGRADE, so you need to UPGRADE your existing system. Clean installation isn't supported. Sorry.

That is simply not true.


If you had a hardware problem and you need to re-install Windows 8, you can do so by using the installation media that the wizard prompted you to create (or installation media that you ordered, if you chose to order discs).


If you don't have installation media, you can re-install your old version of Windows and run the upgrade again.


Either way, you will need the product key that you received when you paid for Windows 8. If you choose to do a clean install of Windows 8 from the installation media, then you will also need to call Customer Service for help activating your copy of Windows.



Ben Herila

Program Manager | Windows Server

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Question Info

Last updated March 3, 2021 Views 223,711 Applies to: