Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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 have a Sony Vaio Pro laptop that came preinstalled with Windows 8. I wiped the disk and now I don’t have the original system left any more. For my misfortune, the laptop didn’t have a Windows installation code with it. I didn’t even check that before removing Windows, because until now all the computers I’ve seen have had a code with them, either on a sticker on the bottom of the computer or in the manual.

I read that these computers have the code stored in their BIOS. I copied my Windows 8 installation disc contents to a USB. This disc is burnt from a ISO file that I got when I upgraded my Windows 7 to 8 via the Microsoft tool.

I changed the boot type from legacy to UEFI (Ubuntu didn’t like UEFI) and booted from the stick. It asked me the language and keyboard settings and then it asked to click the install button. Shortly it showed an alert message saying

The product key entered does not match any of the Windows images available for installation. Enter a different product key.

I tried searching with the error message and people suggested to override the key in BIOS by using a pid file, but that’s not possible in my case because I don’t have it.

How should I proceed?

share|improve this question
You have to use the same OEM version of Windows 8 Sony used in the factory, not an upgrade version. That way the embedded key matches the version in the supplied install image. Did you try contacting Sony? They will probably send/sell you a set of disks that work properly. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Feb 4 '14 at 15:28
@techie007 So you are saying there is no other way? Sony was unwilling to help with this. – MikkoP Feb 4 '14 at 15:32
Sony was unwilling to help? That's pretty unusual, since it's up to them to support their OEM install. What did they say when you asked them how to deal with this situation? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Feb 4 '14 at 16:03
@techie007 They told me to call Microsoft and Microsoft said that I should call Sony. – MikkoP Feb 4 '14 at 16:05
try a gvlk in your unattend.xml, also specify which version to install in the XML -- if that don't work, export the version you want into a new .wim file without the version that has the key in your bios. Export-WindowsImage cmdlet in powershell can help. – Knuckle-Dragger Feb 4 '14 at 16:18

There should be generic install keys on the iso that will let you install BUT NOT activate. I know windows 7 had such a generic key, can't imagine why windows 8 wouldn't have the same. Again, it should let you install, but it won't activate, They should be available in the product.ini on the disc.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for answering. Unfortunately my disc doesn't have a product.ini file. – MikkoP Feb 4 '14 at 16:28
Google around, they exist. Again, they'll let you install, but you CANNOT activate windows with them. – MDT Guy Feb 4 '14 at 16:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .