Windows 8 clean install with an upgrade license

I really needed a clean Windows installation, so after moving a lot of files I reinstalled it, and all went well so far. But then Windows 8 told me it wasn't activated. I tried entering my key again, but it then told me:
The Software Licensing Service determined that this specified product key can only be used for upgrading, not for clean installs.
 Luckily, I wasn't the only one with this issue. This post in the Microsoft forums describes the solution quite well. Here's a step-by-step tutorial for you.

  • Press [WIN] to open the start menu, type in regedit and press [ENTER].
  • Then, navigate to this folder: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/" and set the registry key "MediaBootInstall" from "1" to "0". Close the registry editor.
  • Press [WIN] to open the start menu, type in cmd, right click the "Command Prompt" entry and choose "Run as administrator". Confirm with "Yes".

In the command prompt, type:
slmgr /rearm
Restart your computer and your copy of Windows 8 will run on a clean install with an upgrade license.

1 comment:

  1. That reminds me of an issue I had with Microsoft. We purchased this student package (which contained word, power point, ect) some years ago for my laptop, my brother's and the home computer. And at some point we had some issues with the home computer we were using (Windows Vista at the time). It was about maybe 3 years old when we tried installing the new package when a dialogue box opened and said 'this version of Windows Vista is no longer valid.' The problem prevented us from accessing the installations, the mailbox, and often went blue screen when we tried opening Google Chrome or Internet Explorer (which made sense, but it was really annoying). We also had many of these problems prior to this issue. We called tech-support which was a bust, because he wasn't able to solve it either. I don't think we ever really got to the bottom of it, but if we want to fix it, we'd probably have to clear it's memory and start on a new slate.