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If I’m performing a an upgrade to Windows 8, do I have to have the previous version installed, or is just having the key enough?

I have an old laptop with windows xp installed on it. It has a broken battery and I don't use it anymore. I have a new build coming up, and I'd like to have windows 8 on it. I have no idea where the original windows xp disk is that came with the laptop.

My question is: What is required to use that xp license for the windows 8 upgrade? Is there any way to upgrade to windows 8 pro, using the software upgrader or the more expensive dvd upgrade, that just allows you to plug in a valid windows xp key and upgrade? Or do those require you to run the upgrade on the existing install?

marked as duplicate by Moab, ChrisF, Tog, TFM, Hennes Nov 12 '12 at 0:17

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  • 1
    I think you can run the upgrade only on an existing install. – VenkatH Nov 11 '12 at 18:29

As long as the key is not an OEM key then yes you can use it to upgrade from.

You'll have to actually install XP first - so you'll need to find that disk - and then install the Windows 8 upgrade.

  • Well it's a toshiba laptop. Would the winxp install be considered OEM? I did not buy it separately, it came with the laptop. – ryeguy Nov 11 '12 at 18:32
  • @ryeguy - it will be an OEM key. You cannot use it on anything other than the original hardware. – ChrisF Nov 11 '12 at 18:33

Yes definitely you can upgrade

Microsoft says minimum version for xp users is windows xp sp3 or higher ...

you will have to supply required details for your upgrade offer and support :

You should expect to provide information such as:


Contact details

Email address

Phone number

PC purchase details

PC make / model

Purchase date

Retailer / PC manufacturer

For upgrade you can find upgrade assistant here :

Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant

For complete FAQ about upgrade offer :

Windows 8 Upgrade Offer complete FAQ

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