was was running windows 8.1 for a long time on my laptop. Then a couple of weeks ago i installed windows 10 insider preview and used the product key that was provided by Microsoft to use with windows 10. Now i want to install windows 8.1 again in order to do the update to windows 10 and then activate windows 10.

I downloaded the windows 8.1 setup tool from Microsoft and entered my product key but for some reason the setup tools says that i should check my key and try it again.

Does anyone know hot to solve this issue so that i can install windows 8.1?

  • Your title is misleading. Are we talking about Windows 8 or 8.1? – td512 Aug 5 '15 at 20:49
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    I know did not you use a Windows 8.1 product key to installed Windows 10, you used the Insider Preview product key, which was deactivated more then 2 weeks ago. The 8.1 installer should automatically detect your key, if it is, and it isn't accepting the key then that is a Windows 8 product key. This answer explains that your Windows 8 key can activate a 8.1 installation it just can't be used to install it. – Ramhound Aug 5 '15 at 20:56
  • This answer explains everything else. – Ramhound Aug 5 '15 at 20:56
  • Not an answer, just noticed something similar but very different with my 8.1 key. This occurred with my CD key provided by a premium Microsoft software account through school.. I tried to use my 8.1 pro key on a windows 10 pro fresh install (created with windows media creation tool). I needed to go get a key for windows 10. This is odd because Microsoft says a 8.1 key can be used by windows 10. – chrstphrmllr Aug 5 '15 at 21:48

If Windows 8.1 was on your laptop when you bought it, you must use your laptop's dedicated recovery media to reinstall Windows or ask the laptop vendor for help with the product key.

However, I suspect we are not talking about an OEM copy. In your title, you've said "Windows 8" while in your message body, you exclusively said "Windows 8.1". These two require different product keys. If you've upgraded your Windows 8 via Windows Store, you should do it again, i.e. install Windows 8 and upgrade it via Store or Automatic Update (recently available). I've heard rumors that it is possible to install a Windows 8.1 without supplying a product key (hence, in trial mode) and after installation, use DISM to set the product key to Windows 8's. The rumor goes that doing so allows you to activate Windows 8.1 successfully. The Wikipedia article on Windows 8.1 has a lot of leads on this. (Actually, it is a descent article too.)

Whatever happens, if and when you resolved the issue, consider creating a recovery image; a full image of the installed Windows. From that point forward, instead of a clean install, you do a clean recovery. Windows itself provides abundance of help in this matter.

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