I purchased a large number of Windows 8 Update Keys, but I needed clean installs of Windows 8 on each machine.
Instead of something like "Enter your previous Windows Key" to install it, Microsoft decided to not let the install proceed without the previous version already existing. I needed a way to change the product key after a clean install with an image copy without installing a previous version of Windows again for every computer.
I found a lot of solutions that sometimes worked, sometimes not. The one that seemed to work every time for me I found at the Microsoft Community Forums.
The steps are:
- Run the registry editor (regedit.exe)
- Find the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\OOBE
- Change the value for the key MediaBootInstall from 1 to 0
- Open an elevated command prompt by Running as Administrator
- Run slmgr -rearm
- Reboot your computer
- Run slui 3
- Change your product key and activate Windows