I bought a notebook that came with windows 7, so I used the $15 offer to upgrade to windows 8. I didn't save the product key I got.

Then I did the free upgrade to Media Center pack, which got me a new product key. This one was also sent to my email.

A month later I bought and installed another windows 8, for my desktop, using the same email address. This time I saved the key in a file. Later I upgraded this machine to Media Center too, because it was still a free upgrade.

When the upgrade was finished, my Windows was no longer activated. This happened because I got the same product key than my other WMC instalation. I got the same one because I used the same email address, even though they were different windows installations. I researched and it seems that the WMC key was also tied to my email address.

The only solution is to reinstall windows 8 pro on top of the WMC install. This is a PITA, but something I can do.

The thing is, now I have two WMC installations with the same product key. I have one W8 pro key from my second buy, because I saved it on a file. I need the W8 pro key from my first buy. I want it because I paid for it, and I have no idea where to get it.

So where can I get it?

  • 1
    I have had nasty experience with key recovery tools, many come loaded with malware. I would suggest you call up Microsoft customer care and get them to activate your machines. – Shekhar Feb 6 '13 at 1:57
  • 1
    Check your email.. your first key should be there... – Apple II Feb 6 '13 at 2:58
  • Since this topic is not on topic I won't post an answer. I will leave you with the tool I used to determine the product key when I was in a similar situation. It should be pointed out when you installed WMC the product installation key was changed. Just do a Google search for Belarc Advisor does everything and more some of those "paid" solutions does (those paid solutions actually gave me an incorrect product key if you must know). Both product keys were sent to your email, if you didn't save the email, then you can call Microsoft I suppose. I should point out you only have a single license. – Ramhound Feb 6 '13 at 3:27
  • As @SachinShekhar said, don't you have access to your order email any more? If not, perhaps you at least remember your order number? If so, this will help. – Karan Feb 6 '13 at 20:25

It is embedded with your BIOS once you activate it. Here is some info privided by dell support when we asked at work for a key.

"Factory-installed Windows 8 computers differ from previous versions of Windows. Previously, the Product Key for Windows was attached as a label on the computer so that, in the event that the computer required reinstallation, the key could be referenced for activation.For Windows 8, the Product Key is "injected" onto the computer motherboard at the factory, and the installation and activation processes refer to the BIOS of the computer to verify authenticity and activate Windows. No Windows Product Key is otherwise provided or needed by the customer"

Your best bet is to contact Microsoft support with your valid account and have them walk you through until is activated like Shakehar suggested.

| improve this answer | |
  • You need to read the question again. The laptop came with Windows 7 not Windows 8 so your entire answer doesn't apply to the author. You really should pay more attention to the details of the question. Windows 7 product keys are NOT stored in the BIOS. If you are going to quote something please provide the source, because we both know, you grab that information you "quoted" from somebody. – Ramhound Feb 6 '13 at 3:29
  • The quote I got it from an email, there is not much source I can provide besides what I mentioned already. We saw users attempting to load win8 installs from one machine to another PC by clonning hdd. Using uefi BIOS enabled. It is possible to move it install from pc to pc but the activation on server has the machine id of the first pc it was activated with. You must contact microsoft to resolve activation or buy a new key. The scenario is similar in a way that there is no key to activate. – Juan Carlos Feb 6 '13 at 5:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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