My laptop (Lenovo Y510p) came with Windows 8.1 normal edition. I have a desktop installed with a copy of 8.1 pro that I bought. I accidentally messed up some partitions while installing Linux and wish to reinstall Windows 8 on my laptop.

I have the license key for my Windows 8 normal edition, and I still have the USB drive that I used to install 8.1 Pro on my desktop. With that said, can I install 8.1 pro on my laptop and then use the Win 8 normal key to activate it?

  • A windows 8.0 license can be used to activate a 8.1 installation see my answer on this exact topic. I personally would just use the generic key update to 8.1 the change the key before activation otherwise you might run into problems – Ramhound Jun 21 '14 at 4:22

In most cases Win 8 users are eligible for free upgrade to Win 8.1, not sure how it works with OEM versions though. Check with Lenovo customer service to find out about your eligibility. Good luck!

P.S: I though would assume; even if you are eligible, you will first be required to install the OEM's Win 8 version (most probably through Recovery Discs) and then upgrade to Win 8.1

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  • I tried inputting my OEM license key while installing 8.1 pro, and it does not work Apparently, OEM licenses are separate from and incompatible with retail versions of Windows. Even installing from a license key does not work for OEM. – Jin Jun 22 '14 at 4:43
  • @Jin re-read the P.S. you must install 8 then upgrade to 8.1 to have any chance of having it work. – Scott Chamberlain Jun 22 '14 at 4:45
  • My OEM copy of Windows is 8.1 normal edition. Sorry if it wasn't clear. – Jin Jun 22 '14 at 4:47
  • If you already have Windows 8.1, why do you want to upgrade to Win 8.1 Pro. Is there any specific reason to it? Which feature from Win 8.1 Pro do u miss in Win 8.1! Also, upgrade from Win 8.1 to Win 8.1 Pro will still cost you money, and it is not worth it if you don't really need the features exclusive to the PRO edition. Moreover, since you already own a Win 8.1 PRO license, why not use it for installing the OS on to your laptop rather than trying to use the OEM's Win 8 key! – jjk_charles Jun 22 '14 at 6:38
  • My Desktop has a retail 8.1 Pro already installed, and I use it everyday. My laptop once had 8.1 OEM installed on it, but it has been accidentally wiped. Since I want to keep using both, I want to reinstall 8.1 OEM on my laptop because that's what it came with. However, I don't have a recovery disk of any kind, and thought I could use my copy of 8.1 Pro to install Windows on my laptop while using my OEM license key. Long story short, OEM and retail copies of Windows 8.1 are not compatible – Jin Jun 29 '14 at 0:08

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