- 10-26-2012, 11:51 PM #1
Okay, so, I went out and bought the Windows 8 physical DVD, 'cause I'm a sucker for discs and pretty artwork. I wiped my drive and installed Windows 8 Pro from scratch.
Now it's telling me it can't activate.
My new copy. That I just bought. That I installed.
When I try to activate, it tells me I haven't input a key (even though I did during installation). When I put in my key again, it tells me that the code is for an upgrade only; not a clean install. I searched all over the packaging and cards that came with my disc, but it does not say that ANYWHERE. Even if it did, I own legitimate copies of Windows XP, Vista AND 7. Does this mean I have to re-wipe my drive, install one of the older OSes, and then upgrade to 8 from that? Worse, does this mean I have to follow those steps every time I want to reformat? That is absolute and utter bullpoop.
Maybe this is just a bug in the system because it's a brand new launch, but it sure puts a damper on things when I was all stoked to be trying out the latest and greatest OS from Microsoft.
Secondly (and this may be related to the failed activation), I can't change my theme. I can't change my wallpaper, "Aero" color, or screensaver. As soon as I click one, it reverts to the default.
So, can anyone help me? I'm exhausted and frustrated and disappointed, and these are not the feelings I wanted to experience after plunking down my hard-earned cash for an operating system.
10-27-2012, 12:17 AM #2
- 38 Posts
I purchased a dvd through Amazon and completed my install this afternoon. There was definitely little on the packaging that denoted this as an upgrade version. I knew this was the case b/c online descriptions are much more clear about it. The OEM version is different and more expensive.
Your only option is indeed to reinstall one of the older OS's. You are correct that the packaging isn't very clear that it's for upgrade only, but I can't speak to whether or not this is common for Microsoft to do.
You're just going to have to reinstall Windows7 and go at it like that. There were some updating requirements that I remember reading (can't find it now...), but you might have to install SP1 for W7 to continue. The hassle with be worth it, promise!
- 10-27-2012, 12:34 AM #3
It might be worth a shot to call up Microsoft (in the USA, it's 800-642-7676) and see if they'll adjust the activation code to allow the clean install but I had a similar issue where I needed to re-install Win Vista before installing Win 8. Since you wiped your drive, you don't definitely won't need to install anything more than the base Win XP/Vista/7 version, activate it, install Win 8 and select move nothing over.
- 10-27-2012, 12:43 AM #4
That's absolute horse-poo that I can't do a clean install with a disc that I just purchased, which said the words "upgrade version" exactly zero times. A few people have posted some workarounds online, one of which I am about to attempt.
I'll report back momentarily, assuming my PC doesn't blow up.
And it fixed the theme problems, too. I consider myself to be a huge Microsoft fanboy, but this... I can't defend this...
Last edited by Yamishi; 10-27-2012 at 12:59 AM.
- 10-27-2012, 02:09 PM #6
That said, it's not a huge problem for me -- I own legitimate copies of XP/Vista/7. I just feel unhappy for anyone who finally makes the plunge to Windows from Linux or OSX and can't use the OS they just paid money for. Doesn't cast MS in a positive light.
- 10-29-2012, 12:37 AM #8
1. My physical copy of Windows 8 Pro does NOT say "upgrade version" anywhere on it, but that's what it is nonetheless. I feel the packaging is misleading.
2. My "upgrade version" of Windows 7 allowed me to do clean installs, even on brand new hard drives without issue.
3. Windows 8 does not activate because I formatted my drive BEFORE installing it.
I got the problems solved, but I had to jump through hoops because Microsoft's packaging on Windows 8 was misleading. VERY frustrating.
Thank you for your reply, though. :)
- 10-29-2012, 12:41 AM #9
The full retail version will be at least $99.
*EDIT* I was right;
- 10-29-2012, 02:10 AM #10
And although I may the only person YOU have seen who didn't realize these retail copies were upgrade-only, I have been frequenting forums (even Microsoft Answers) where there are dozens of people coming from a clean hard drive or Linux or OSX who thought they could go buy Win8 at the store and install it, only to be told that they can't activate because it's the Upgrade Edition.
Obviously, if we had all done some research beforehand, we wouldn't have this issue, but I feel like if the software is upgrade-only, it should say so on the packaging or the retail display or... anywhere between where you pick it up and when you pay for it -- particularly because you can't return opened software to most places.
And, as I mentioned before, I bought the Upgrade Edition of Windows 7, but I was able to do a clean install to a new hard drive with that, so I don't see why I have to reformat, install that OS from scratch, activate it, and reinstall Windows 8 over top of it. Some software companies (for example, Adobe, as much as I dislike them) make it so that if you're doing an "upgrade" and have previous software, you can just give the "upgrade version" your old product key and it will recognize that you are a previous customer. You would not have to uninstall your new (upgrade edition) product, reinstall your old product, then install the new product over top of it in order to use it.
I called Microsoft tech support to see if they could just kindly activate it for me, seeing as I already have Win7 activated with them, but the gentleman on the phone explained to me that reformat > Win7 > Win8 was the only way to do it. I told him that was frustrating, and he mentioned it was frustrating for him, too, because he kept getting calls from people who didn't understand why they couldn't just install Windows 8 and run with it.
ALL of this could have been avoided for me and the many like me, had they just put "Upgrade Edition" on the box, like they did with Windows 7, and presumably Windows Vista, though I had the OEM version of that one, OR if they had made it flexible like Adobe's software installation (there's a phrase I never thought I'd say).
Anyway, I got around the issue with a little registry tweak, but yes, I do own legitimate copies of Windows XP, Vista, 7 and now 8, and I am glad to say that Windows 8 is actually fantastic. The differences between the RC and final version alone were worth the $69.99.
Last edited by Yamishi; 10-29-2012 at 02:18 AM.
11-03-2012, 01:17 PM #13
- 1,268 Posts
Apparently there is a trick to do a clean install with the Pro Upgrade disc. Basically you install Windows 8 on to your clean hard drive. When it installs and you get to the desktop it will say that your windows is not activated.
Then you pop in the Windows 8 disc again and select upgrade (so basically upgrading your Windows 8 installation). After that it should be activated.
I have not tried this myself but I have read about it in various places recently.
The thing is I installed my Windows 8 on a new SSD but somehow it was activated after a clean install. I wonder if it recognized my Windows 7 on my secondary drive somehow.
Also, I'm not too fussed about having to do the upgrade route. I mean I got a legit copy of a new OS for only $40 which is a bargain.