Issue activating Windows 8 Pro OEM System Builder

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by A30N, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. A30N

    A30N MDL Novice

    May 11, 2008
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    So, I installed Windows 8 Pro on a custom built PC for a customer. He forgot to buy Windows, I told him no sweat, I will install Windows with a generic key, and after he buys Windows, I can install the new key and activate for him.

    Problem is, I installed Windows 8 Pro with generic retail key ending in C9WKB, and what he bought was an OEM System builder License. So, I cannot activate Windows for him.

    Can I change the install channel from Retail to OEM, and install his key? I sent him to the store to get a Retail version in case not. Stores have a pretty strict policy against returning opened software, so I am trying to save him $200.

    From what I know, I can change the install channel on the install cd (ei.cfg), but that would mean I would have to do a clean installation, and the customer has already spend an entire day transferring his files and programs to the new computer.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Humphrey

    Humphrey MDL Expert

    Dec 13, 2011
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    Make up your mind.

    Install the OEM system builder key...

    You'd probably have to change out the license files but IDK if you can do that on already installed OS.
     
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  3. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
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    Nov 30, 2009
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    @A30N

    You can simply change the key & the OS should automatically change its channel. Do it via slmgr.vbs /ipk (CUI) or slui 3 (GUI).
     
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  4. A30N

    A30N MDL Novice

    May 11, 2008
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    Sorry, to clarify, he forgot to buy Windows when he gave me all the parts to build the PC. He bought the OEM copy of Windows after I installed and setup the Retail version.
     
  5. A30N

    A30N MDL Novice

    May 11, 2008
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    I tried slmgr.vbs /ipk in elevated cmd, and it said invalid key. I tried slmgr.vbs /upk first to remove the key (sucessful), but cannot install the OEM key printed on the DVD cover(error 0xc004f050). I can however, re-install the temp retail key, but cannot activate it. I will try slui 3 when he gets back from the store.
     
  6. Humphrey

    Humphrey MDL Expert

    Dec 13, 2011
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    @ Tito - Could he try updown8.

    Run updown8.
    Set it as Win 8 Core.
    Put in the OEM System Builder disk.
    "Upgrade"
    Use the OEM System Builder key
    ?
     
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  7. A30N

    A30N MDL Novice

    May 11, 2008
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    Great idea, I will try this too when he gets back. I told him not to open the Retail version just in case you MDL wizards wave your magic wands.
     
  8. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
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    #8 Tito, Dec 20, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
    Wait, the key is for Pro & you have installed Pro using generic key, right?? Oh!! That famous MediaBootinstall trick is needed.

    • Run CMD as administrator.
    • At the command prompt, type, regedit
    • Go to HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersionsetup/OOBE/mediabootinstall
    • changed its value to 0
    • Go back to the Command Prompt, type the following:
    • slmgr /rearm
    • Restart the pc and use the product key.


    A simpler solution is posted above.

    ;)
     
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  9. A30N

    A30N MDL Novice

    May 11, 2008
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    Sounds like pure genius! Will let you guys know in about 30 minutes how it went.
     
  10. Humphrey

    Humphrey MDL Expert

    Dec 13, 2011
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    I don't know. I have used it before when I was working with my Windows 8.0 upgrade disk/key I bought from M$- how does this translate between Retail/OEM?
     
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  11. chinobino

    chinobino MDL Member

    Jul 28, 2009
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    @ Tito, isn't that reg key only relevant for those that installed using a pro upgrade key?

    The "generic retail key ending in C9WKB" is not an upgrade key so therefore the reg key will already be set to 0.
     
  12. A30N

    A30N MDL Novice

    May 11, 2008
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    I will double check the value of this key when my customer comes back.
     
  13. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
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    Actually the factor is the Pro System Builder key.

    AFAIK, it requires a qualified version of previous edition of Windows (behaves same like an upgrade key).
     
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  14. A30N

    A30N MDL Novice

    May 11, 2008
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    #14 A30N, Dec 20, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
    (OP)
    Actually, I bought the same OEM System Builder version from the same store (where I work), and it clean installs without requiring any previous versions of Windows. I called Microsoft, but they don't provide activation support for OEM System Build keys. I'm ripping the disc now with ImgBurn, and going to extract the ei.cfg file so I can post the contents.

    Edit: The System Builder disk does not contain an ei.cfg file. However, the 8.1 disk I used to install on the customer's computer does. It has the following:

    [Channel]
    Retail


    And that's it.
     
  15. Humphrey

    Humphrey MDL Expert

    Dec 13, 2011
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    Well the purpose of System Builder to me is to build a new machine, it would be illogical to require an update.

    Honestly, if all else fails I would perform the updown8 task and call it a night/day.
     
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  16. A30N

    A30N MDL Novice

    May 11, 2008
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    Never knew this tool existed!

    My customer just activated with the new full Retail Windows 8.1 that he bought, however it's saying that it is installing Windows (10% so far). It asked him if he wanted to keep his apps and settings, and he selected yes. So, hopefully it doesn't delete all the system drivers I installed or his programs. I have no idea why it needs to reinstall a new retail over an existing retail.

    I learned a valuable lesson today: Always use the customer's actual Windows installation disk and included key. :doh:
     
  17. Humphrey

    Humphrey MDL Expert

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    WOW yeah I wouldn't have done that. So what happened is that he bought two Windows 8.1 disk/keys. Seems like a lot of when a simpler/cheaper solution was at hand.
     
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  18. chinobino

    chinobino MDL Member

    Jul 28, 2009
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    I can understand why you would want the issue resolved ASAP, from my personal experience lot of customers just want the problem fixed regardless of cost, and if the problem drags on they can be unpleasant to deal with.

    I think the retail disc was a good long term solution, customer has his own disk and can also call Microsoft support in the future if he has activation issues later on.

    I wonder what the deal is with the OEM System Builder keys - do they require a special pkeyconfig.xrm-ms to be accepted as valid?
     
  19. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
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