Windows 8.1 Not Reading BIOS Embedded Key

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by user59877, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. user59877

    user59877 MDL Novice

    Oct 30, 2018
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    Hello,

    I am trying to clean install Windows 8.1 on a Lenovo Yoga 2 11 which had a complete disk failure. I purchased and installed a new drive and downloaded the ISO from Microsoft.
    I downloaded the Multi-OEM/Retail Mk3 from this site, prepared my USB with Rufus and installed Windows. I was never asked for a product key at any time in the process however Windows is not activated.

    I had used the ei.cfg included with the kit above and I also tried without it. I tried installing 8.0 and 8.1, both Pro and normal. None of them will activate. When I tried setup without ei.cfg I was promped for a product key during install and could not continue.

    Due to the disk failure, I do not have access to the original recovery partition. I even installed it as a slave in a desktop running Windows 7 and at first it showed up as unformatted but then suddenly vanished from Disk Management completely. Now it won't even spin up so any OEM media retrieval is impossible at this point.

    Is there anything else I can try? Thanks!
     
  2. Carlos Detweiller

    Carlos Detweiller MDL Spinning Tortoise

    Dec 21, 2012
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  3. user59877

    user59877 MDL Novice

    Oct 30, 2018
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    #3 user59877, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
    (OP)
    Thanks for the tip, I will check that in a day or two. If it turns out I do have this "with Bing", is there a method to activate this "normally" or would I need to use the KMSpico method?

    Is it possible to mod the BIOS (I did this with Win 7 and SLIC) so I can swap the embedded key with one that will work with the retail ISO?
     
  4. Carlos Detweiller

    Carlos Detweiller MDL Spinning Tortoise

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  5. abbodi1406

    abbodi1406 MDL KB0000001

    Feb 19, 2011
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    core = normal windows 8.1
     
  6. user59877

    user59877 MDL Novice

    Oct 30, 2018
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    Well the QueryTool says it's Windows 10 and it wouldn't activate my 8.1 installation using the ISO from Microsoft. I just downloaded the Windows 10 ISO and will
    try that soon.

     
  7. Carlos Detweiller

    Carlos Detweiller MDL Spinning Tortoise

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    Windows 8 MSDM keys can activate Windows 10 (part of the free upgrade). But Win 10 keys can not activate Win 8.
     
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  8. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Addicted

    Oct 15, 2014
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    Hello @user59877 - Something sounds fishy here. AFAIK there is no such thing as Windows 10 Core. It would either be Home, Professional, Enterprise, etc. Windows 8 and 8.1 were the only versions of Windows to use "Core" instead of "Home" to describe the base edition. If that's what the Query Tool is reading, maybe Lenovo somehow screwed the pooch when they flashed the BIOS.

    In any case, if you run into a wall trying to get either Windows 8.1 or 10 to activate automatically using the embedded key, don't despair. You can always use KMS_VL_ALL to activate either Windows 8.1 Pro VL or Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB 2016 or LTSC 2019. Just remember to disable any AV/Malware before unzipping the file and running the program. After activation completes, just delete the unzipped file and hang onto the zipped file for future activations.
     
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  9. mkuba50

    mkuba50 MDL PHP Wizard

    Nov 9, 2012
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    Windows 10 edition naming is a complete mess that makes absolutely no sense.

    Windows 10 Home internally is named Windows 10 Core.
    Windows 10 Home Single Language = Windows 10 CoreSingleLanguage
    Windows 10 Home China = Windows 10 CoreCountrySpecific
    Windows 10 Pro = Windows 10 Professional
    Windows 10 Pro for Workstations = Windows 10 ProfessionalWorkstation
    Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB/LTSC = Windows 10 EnterpriseS
    Windows 10 Enterprise for Remote Sessions = Windows 10 ServerRdsh
     
  10. user59877

    user59877 MDL Novice

    Oct 30, 2018
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    Thanks everyone for your interest in my topic. I'm going to try a Win 10 (not pro) install, using the OEM information from the project on these forums,
    to see if it will activate. I'd much rather have Pro because I always use Pro editions but I also want to get this thing done ;)
     
  11. user59877

    user59877 MDL Novice

    Oct 30, 2018
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    Update:

    I finally got Windows 10 Home to install and activate... by using regular activation.

    As mentioned earlier, I installed Win 8.1 using the Multi-OEM project and it didn't activate. I then installed Win 10 Pro and it also didn't activate. I decided out of curiosity to go online and attempt to activate. Here's the strange part...

    Even though I booted into Windows 10, the activation wizard said "This machine has a valid Windows 10 Home product key which cannot be used to activate Windows 8". This led me to think that the install was corrupted so I started the whole process over. Using the console, I deleted and rebuilt the partitions. Afterward, I chose Windows 10 Home from the list, and when it installed, I went online to activate and it worked.

    Thanks everyone for your assistance, it helped me take a step back, slow down and ease the frustration. Not a big fan of the
    way they lock down the Home version but I'm glad to have this thing done.
     
  12. user59877

    user59877 MDL Novice

    Oct 30, 2018
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    Thanks for that, I have successfully replaced Home with Pro. Now I can use group policy to properly lock it down instead of a bunch of registry hacks.

    One question: I noticed the method used only activates for 180 days, then renews. Does this have the same limitation as the old slmgr /rearm where you could only use it 3 times?
     
  13. Carlos Detweiller

    Carlos Detweiller MDL Spinning Tortoise

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    KMS is 180 days by its very design. Contrary to the old Rearm on Windows 7 which officially stopped after 3 times (unofficially, it could be reset indefinitely), KMS is real activation and can be renewed at any time, as often as required.
     
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  14. user59877

    user59877 MDL Novice

    Oct 30, 2018
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    Thank you everyone for your help!