Cheapest [Legal] way of getting a Windows 8 Product Key?

Discussion in 'Windows OS and Software' started by yensed, Feb 3, 2014.

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  1. yensed

    yensed Notebook Geek

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    Long story short - I want to give Windows 8 another try. A nice fresh installation and a fair shot at impressing me on my main notebook. Big thing is I don't want to spend a bunch of money on something which is more or less an Experiment. I know I can download the ISO from Microsoft. I'm just curious what the cheapest, Legal way is of obtaining a Product Key? Can I buy a new HP, Dell, Lenovo etc "Restore" disc and extract a Product Key somehow without actually using the disc for installation? Any other ideas?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. ThatOldGuy

    ThatOldGuy Notebook Deity

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    You can upgrade Win 7 for ~$40, at least thats what I paid for Win 8 x64 "upgrade." So... you can instal a Win 7 "trial" (just any restore CD without a product code) than Upgrade to Windows 8, cheaper than buying it as a full version. I did this with windows Vista to Windows 7.
     
  3. KLF

    KLF NBR Super Modernator Super Moderator

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    That won't work, because the unique key is burned in bios now. Discs do not have keys anymore. Guess why it was changed ;)
     
  4. Indrek

    Indrek Notebook Virtuoso

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    Why not just download the Windows 8.1 evaluation version?
    Download Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation
    It doesn't require a product key, and you can use it for 90 days. Should be enough to figure out whether or not you like Windows 8.
     
  5. yensed

    yensed Notebook Geek

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    Interesting. I've seen lots of the Windows 8 authentication/key stickers on the side of PC's. I figured the bios embedded key was just a Windows RT thing.

    I didn't know it was 90 days. Let's say I get a W8 or W8 Pro Key. Will I be able to enter it and continue using beyond 90 days or will a reinstallation be required?
     
  6. Indrek

    Indrek Notebook Virtuoso

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    Since the evaluation version is Windows 8.1 Enterprise, regular Windows 8.1 or 8.1 Pro keys will not work.

    Also, even if you got a Windows 8.1 Enterprise product key, you'd still have to reinstall. From the same link I gave you:
     
  7. KLF

    KLF NBR Super Modernator Super Moderator

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    Those are probably regular OEM copies.
    https://www.modsticker.com/product_images/w/892/windows-8-COA-sticker__93708_zoom.jpg
    Usually it looks like that, under laptop or on a side of a desktop.

    Stickers with keys are probably OEM sold separately like Windows 7 had.
    Several different activation schemes available.
     
  8. Qing Dao

    Qing Dao LORD OF THE UNDERWORLD

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    I guess they figured it was way too easy for anybody to simply "borrow" a key from the bottom of a friend's laptop.
     
  9. yensed

    yensed Notebook Geek

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    My buddy has a desktop he got during Black Friday a year or two ago he no longer wants. It was running Windows 8 before the HDD crashed. Could I Replace the HDD, Install Windows(Probably W7) and use one of the many programs I've seen to extract the W8 product key from the BIOS? Could the key be used on a different PC for activation? Little convoluted but he only wants $25 for it and its a decent spec PC. I could use up one of my extra W7 product keys and give it to someone who could use it.
     
  10. Qing Dao

    Qing Dao LORD OF THE UNDERWORLD

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    I think finding someone with a .edu email address and purchasing Windows 8.1 Pro for $69.99 would be a lot easier.
     
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