Dumb windows question #2:

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Dumb windows question #2:

Postposted on Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:13 am

I just in got an Acer Aspire One running win8 that has a bad HD.

I can get a USB stick from Acer for $45 with everything needed to put the machine back to factory default once a new HD is installed but I'd rather save some money and not have to put on all that preloaded crap.

Which leads me to the question: For win7 you can just install the os as a demo and then activate it afterwards because the activation keys are in the bios. Is win8 the same or do you have to have the certificate of authenticity code to activate the OS?

The idea is instead of paying to get the usb stick, I can just download win8.1 from MS and do a usb install. Sure it will take longer personal time wise, but it will have the benefit of being a clean install with just the drivers and things the laptop needs.

I've never install win8 except on a virtual machine and I have the activation code.
The machine does not have a COA sticker on the bottom.

Thanks for your help.
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Aranarth
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Re: Dumb windows question #2:

Postposted on Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:50 pm

In the end I bit the bullet and bought the USB stick. If only the original owner had taken the time to make the restore stick when she first got it I wouldn't have to get it instead.

I hate the idea of having all the preloaded crap on the machine but I still might be able to do a clean install once the machine is operational again and I upgrade to win8.1.
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Re: Dumb windows question #2:

Postposted on Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:26 pm

I say if you can cancel the order, do it.

Microsoft, in their neverending quest to keep things as complicated as possible for the end user, no longer has COA stickers on Windows-tax'd computers. The Windows 8 license key is now embedded in the mainboard's ACPI, the MSDM table.

Install Windows 7 without activating it. Download and run one of two applications you can use to read the MSDM table: RW-Everything or if that doesn't work (it would hang, become unresponsive, and start eating up RAM on my Thinkpad X1 Carbon running 8.1) the Windows 8 Product Key Viewer from the MyDigitalLife forums - I honestly consider the latter a worthwhile resource, but they remain "potentially seedy" so download and run at your own risk.

Once you have your product key, go ahead and create an 8/8.1 install USB stick or DVD and get yourself back up and running. I've read that technically the vanilla, straight from Microsoft, Windows 8/8.1 installers should pull the key right from the firmware automatically regardless of OEM - which is behavior new with Windows 8, as with Windows 7 that would only happen with OEM-provided media. In practice, this was not the case for me.
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Re: Dumb windows question #2:

Postposted on Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:54 pm

Aranarth wrote:In the end I bit the bullet and bought the USB stick. If only the original owner had taken the time to make the restore stick when she first got it I wouldn't have to get it instead.

I hate the idea of having all the preloaded crap on the machine but I still might be able to do a clean install once the machine is operational again and I upgrade to win8.1.

The plus with win8 in this situation is once you get the install on with preloaded crap you can run the new Reset OS function and clean it all off.
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Re: Dumb windows question #2:

Postposted on Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:57 pm

Savyg wrote:The plus with win8 in this situation is once you get the install on with preloaded crap you can run the new Reset OS function and clean it all off.


Yep that's my intent, get win8 installed, make the win 8.1 install from usb, do a completely fresh install from usb and I should be golden.

Yes it's a (sort of) wasted $50 but I can always use another usb stick and if it is nice big one (8gig or bigger) I can use it for an initial system image as well.

I got a good deal on a 120gig ssd, it was the same price as a 500gig HD since it had to be 7mm tall to fit. I can see my wife stealing it once she sees how fast the machine will boot.

Classic six of one, half dozen of the other situation which is normal with Microsoft.
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