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How to remove Media Center from Windows 8

Microsoft were recently giving away FREE serial keys to add Media Center to Windows 8 Pro, but I missed the boat. A friend offered to give me one of the spare keys they'd gotten for free from MS, and so I decided to give it a shot. The "Upgrade Windows" screen said the key was valid, so I proceeded and Windows quickly installed Media Center to my copy of Windows 8 Pro.

Unfortunately, on reboot, it then decided that the key had been activated too many times (arg! so much for a "spare" key!), and now my copy of Windows 8 Pro is no longer activated... at all!

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I've tried re-entering my valid serial for Windows 8 Pro, but Windows had apparently decided I have a copy of Windows 8 Pro with Media Center, which is different than plain old Windows 8 Pro -- and so my old key wasn't valid.

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I've gone into Add/Remove Features of Windows 8 and uninstalled Media Center, but Windows still considers itself to be this new version of Windows 8, no longer covered by my valid Windows 8 Pro key. (Why can't I "downgrade" back to Windows 8 Pro, seeing how I never actually upgraded to Windows 8 Pro with Media Center...?)

I wouldn't mind buying an upgrade key from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 8 Pro with Media Center, but even that is proving difficult:

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What can I do to remedy this situation?

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marked as duplicate by Karan, Dennis, Dave M, KronoS, 8088 Feb 5 '13 at 16:55

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

1  
According to the email I got from Microsoft, they says the free keys are only valid till 2013-01-31. –  Alvin Wong Feb 5 '13 at 3:46
    
Did you try to reactivate the Media center key? –  pratnala Feb 5 '13 at 4:38
    
@Karan The link I found is not particularly great. For a start, it wipes a lot of your applications and settings. Also, the phone numbers you linked to are for product activation, not technical support, nor sales, so I'm not sure they're that useful :( –  Django Reinhardt Feb 5 '13 at 9:01
    
@PratyushNalam How would one go about doing that? –  Django Reinhardt Feb 5 '13 at 9:02
    
@JohnnyW I suppose Windows didn't automatically activate it. Just activate it again from the activation screen –  pratnala Feb 5 '13 at 13:19

1 Answer 1

I activated it successfully over the phone... Phew!

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That's cool :) Sometimes, web activation fails due to any number of reasons. The key is to do it again :) –  pratnala Feb 5 '13 at 13:19
    
And didn't I suggest the phone numbers for activation above? :) –  Karan Feb 5 '13 at 19:35
    
@Karan You did! you should have put it in an answer :) Why was this closed as a duplicate when it's clearly different, btw? –  Django Reinhardt Feb 6 '13 at 3:57
    
@Karan And why did you vote to close this question as an "exact duplicate" when it's clearly not? –  Django Reinhardt Feb 6 '13 at 19:08
    
When you asked what you could do to remedy the situation, the link showing how to remove Media Center is a valid answer (and clearly, others agreed with me). It was only later that you commented saying removal of (any?) apps/settings was not tolerable. If you disagree, you can always flag for it to be reopened. –  Karan Feb 6 '13 at 19:16

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