I went to Best Buy to buy Windows 8 and asked for the non-upgrade (clean installation) version of it. Got the software from a salesperson who said it can be for non-upgrades (and clearly has no "Upgrade" label on the box) and after installing, lo and behold Windows is complaining that my key is no good because I didn't have a previous installation of Windows ("this specific product key can only be used for upgrading, not clean installations").

Of course, I have already referred to this but like I said the item I purchased is supposed to be for clean installs! How can I get this resolved?

UPDATE: Microsoft did help me get this fixed, but I have discovered (after some new information coming to light) that this is was a MICROSOFT problem, not with Best Buy! Background: I didn't mention that I actually bought 2 identical copies of the exact same box and product number, both Windows 8 Pro not labeled as "Upgrade" versions. Well, I thought this was Best Buy's fault because it seemed like they must have handed us 2 upgrade versions. The kicker: The other copy was for my mom, and that copy activated without a hitch. This tells me that Microsoft really screwed up here in including an upgrade-only product key in one of their full-installation boxes!! Consumer beware!

  • Go back to Best Buy and ask them to give you the correct product. – Robert Harvey May 6 '13 at 3:19
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    But what if I already went through the installation? I don't think software is returnable at this point but it seems like they jipped me. – starmandeluxe May 6 '13 at 3:28
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    You won't need a refund, just a product replacement. Most stores support this, and Best Buy certainly will. Look at their return and exchange policy... They won't refund your money, but they will exchange it for the correct product, if you explain the situation. You may have to pay the difference in price. – Robert Harvey May 6 '13 at 3:30
  • Best Buy will most likely not do anything if the package is opened and the SKU is correct. – Keltari May 6 '13 at 3:41

You seem fairly positive that this is not an upgrade version. So, the best thing to do at this point is call Microsoft's activation team and talk to them at (888) 571-2048. They will be able to sort out your situation.

  • Or, y'now, you could just ask Best Buy for the correct product. – Robert Harvey May 6 '13 at 3:23
  • Best Buy will most likely not do anything if the package is opened and the SKU is correct. – Keltari May 6 '13 at 3:42
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    They damn well better if they sold him the wrong product. – Robert Harvey May 6 '13 at 3:43
  • Most box stores will not take an open software product back, especially an OS. This makes piracy to easy. They will also refer him to MS. Right or wrong, thats the way it is. – Keltari May 6 '13 at 4:01
  • Your answer helped me solve this, Keltari. Microsoft walked me through a kind of back-door activation process and it worked! The phone number I used, though, was different. I started from 888-352-7140 (although it was quite a journey from there). Thank you so much for saving me from a trip (probably a futile one at that) to Best Buy. – starmandeluxe May 6 '13 at 4:07

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