Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I may be too early with this question but here goes - I would like to do a clean install of Windows 8.1, and I have a product key for Windows 8 Pro (the boxed "upgrade" they sell retail).

The RTM bits released on MSDN and Technet and such are designed to be installed standalone but they require a key that is specific to the 8.1 bits. You can't plug in a Windows 8 key and have it work.

The RTM bits released on MSDN and Technet also refuse to allow you to install without a key so the idea of trying to plug in the Windows 8 key after the fact isn't possible, and the ei.cfg things that would work with Windows 7 don't seem to apply anymore.

It could be that a really obvious way to do this will become apparent in October but if I wanted to do a clean install of Windows 8.1 with a Windows 8 Pro key, is that possible?

share|improve this question

Insert the generic key which is available in the Product.ini on the DVD (sources folder) during setup.

In Windows, follow the old hack and use slmgr.vbs -ipk <YOURKEY> to install your key, change the MediaBootInstall from "1" to "0", run the rearm command and now try to activate Windows 8.1

share|improve this answer
There's no Product.ini in the Sources folder on the Windows 8.1 Professional media. Any thoughts? – Trevor Sullivan Oct 9 '13 at 13:57
Just found the appropriate generic key here: – Trevor Sullivan Oct 9 '13 at 14:18

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.