1

I upgraded my system from the OEM installed Windows 8.1 to 8.1 Pro using a FULL license (not the cheaper upgrade license).

I understand that with an upgrade the original key is replaced by the new one but in this case I didn't just use an upgrade key but a key okay to install on a separate machine. The "add features" option in the control panel let me upgrade using this key.

If the original key was stored in the BIOS/UEFI, has that been written over with the new key? Is my original key gone forever?

  • Because you've used a (I assume) retail "Pro" version then this is transferable to another machine. If you wish to re-install the original "OEM" version then this is locked to (and remains inside) the BIOS so is not transferable. – Kinnectus Apr 20 '15 at 14:40
  • @BigChris So I can take this Pro license to another machine, and the included recovery partition will still be able to use the original OEM license? – Shawn Apr 20 '15 at 14:41
  • If you use the "factory restore" functionality it'll put back the original non-Pro Windows 8.1 (just so long as the recovery partition hasn't been deleted). Just because you've in-place upgraded your version doesn't mean the recovery partition/original key will stop working. :) – Kinnectus Apr 20 '15 at 14:44
  • @BigChris Good to know. I was just afraid that the upgrade would replace that original key wherever it's stored. – Shawn Apr 20 '15 at 14:46
  • @BigChris post as an answer so I can mark it? – Shawn Apr 20 '15 at 14:47
3

I understand that with an upgrade the original key is replaced by the new one but in this case I didn't just use an upgrade key but a key okay to install on a separate machine

The original license cannot be transferred to another machine since it was an OEM license.

If the original key was stored in the BIOS/UEFI, has that been written over with the new key? Is my original key gone forever?

The hardware that contains the key cannot be changed once data is written to it. The key isn't gone it just is ineligible to be used on any machine except the original hardware.

So I can take this Pro license to another machine, and the included recovery partition will still be able to use the original OEM license?

Yes. However, there are reasonable limitations to the number of times the license you purchased can be activated.

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.