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defectiveXPS15
1 Copper

Windows Product Key

I have an XPS 15 that I purchased with windows 8 pre installed. I just installed the 8.1 update and am trying use the "add features to Windows 8.1" feature in the control panels but it requires a product key. I cannot find or access my old (win 😎 or new (win 8.1) product keys anywhere.

Where can I get these?

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4 Replies
8 Krypton

RE: Windows Product Key

Add features requires you to purchase a new product key for the upgrade version you want to install.  The OEM copy that came with the system is activated by a code embedded in the system board, so no product key is required.

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tdidier
1 Copper

RE: Windows Product Key

I am having similar problem except I could not upgrade my Inspiron 5737 to Windows 8.1 through the Microsoft Store because the download kept failing.  I purchased the disk from Microsoft for about $16 but now it is asking me for a product key that I don't have and apparently the upgrade from Microsoft does not know how to pull this out of the BIOS.  Any tips?  I feel like I just paid for a $16 coaster.

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8 Krypton

RE: Windows Product Key

On OEM installs, Windows 8.1 must be installed through the Windows Store.

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Philip_Yip
5 Iridium

RE: Windows Product Key

I am having similar problem except I could not upgrade my Inspiron 5737 to Windows 8.1 through the Microsoft Store because the download kept failing.  I purchased the disk from Microsoft for about $16 but now it is asking me for a product key that I don't have and apparently the upgrade from Microsoft does not know how to pull this out of the BIOS.  Any tips?  I feel like I just paid for a $16 coaster.

I'm surprised that Microsoft sold you an Installation DVD for a Dell Windows 8.0 OEM license. They would normally refer you to Dell who in turn wouldn't be able to sell you a Windows 8.1 Reinstallation DVD because of Microsoft....

Microsoft have things setup so that Windows 8.1 isn't available as a standalone update forcing all users via the buggy store. They also have things set up so the retail downloader for Windows 8.1 will reject Windows 8.0 keys and Windows 8.1 media will reject Windows 8.0 keys for installation. For activation both keys are accepted because they are the same product.

Its taken a while but we have found out some workarounds to allow Windows 8.1 installation and activation with a Windows 8.0 Retail/OEM license. The main hurdle is still getting the media and people generally get stuck between Microsoft and Dell on this one because of the way Microsoft have set things up. Alternatively they use media from a friends license or download it from unofficial sources (not recommended).

As you have somehow got the media from Microsoft. The first thing you need to do is obtain your BIOS embedded Windows 8.0 product key, the best utility for doing this is RW Everything:

http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/a-clean-install-of-windows/microsoft-product-activation/ob...

Take a note of the key (it doesn't matter if you do this before or after Windows 8.1 installation).

The next thing to do is to install Windows 8.1 using a Windows 8.1 generic product key see here for details and pick the key that matches your license:

http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/a-clean-install-of-windows/microsoft-product-activation/in...

These keys allow installation but not product activation.

Finally once Windows 8.1 is installed you can activate your product using the change key:

http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/a-clean-install-of-windows/microsoft-product-activation/pr...

For best results I of course recommend a complete clean install details to do so may be found in my Windows Reinstallation Guide/A Clean install of Windows:

http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/a-clean-install-of-windows/

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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