8 Krypton

Reverting XPS 13 to Windows 8.1 not going well

I'm trying to put my XPS 13 9343, which came with Windows 8.1 but has been running Windows 10 Enterprise on a company licence, back to Windows 8.1. However, having made a thumb drive with 8.1 (both normal and pro), I find the laptop is automatically installing Pro, and therefore that it is not authenticating. Can anyone tell me how to make it so that the machine automatically installs normal Windows 8.1, which I'm hoping will activate with a digital licence? Do I need to extract the key from the BIOS first?

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8 Replies
8 Krypton

Re: Reverting XPS 13 to Windows 8.1 not going well

This web page might help and yes you will need the 8.1 key. If it is in the BIOS you will need it.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-uninstall-windows-10/




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8 Krypton

Re: Reverting XPS 13 to Windows 8.1 not going well


@DickieDebbil wrote:

I'm trying to put my XPS 13 9343, which came with Windows 8.1 but has been running Windows 10 Enterprise on a company licence, back to Windows 8.1. However, having made a thumb drive with 8.1 (both normal and pro), I find the laptop is automatically installing Pro, and therefore that it is not authenticating. Can anyone tell me how to make it so that the machine automatically installs normal Windows 8.1, which I'm hoping will activate with a digital licence? Do I need to extract the key from the BIOS first?


If the system is installing Pro automatically, either the installer is detecting an 8.1 Pro key in your BIOS, or your install media only has Pro.  What happens if you run the following command against your installation media?  Replace the drive letter as necessary:

dism /get-wiminfo /wimfile:X:\sources\install.wim

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8 Krypton

Re: Reverting XPS 13 to Windows 8.1 not going well

In addition to my post above, as long as your WIM file does in fact have regular 8.1 in it, there are ways you can perform a manual Windows installation from inside Windows Setup by using Command Prompt (you can open it by pressing Shift+F10) rather than stepping through the Windows Setup wizard.  Let me know whether you've got that system in Legacy BIOS or UEFI mode (can't remember if the 9343 supports UEFI), and also post the output of that DISM command I posted above so I can see the index number of the regular 8.1 image, and then I can post the appropriate commands if you want to go that route.  It involves manually setting up your disk partitions and then using DISM to lay down the correct image, and finally setting up the Recovery partition and boot files.

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8 Krypton

Re: Reverting XPS 13 to Windows 8.1 not going well

Clean Install Windows 10 Version 1809 Instead. It will input your Windows 8.1 OEM Product Key automatically during installation and activate when online. (Windows 10 still works as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.x Keys).

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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8 Krypton

Re: Reverting XPS 13 to Windows 8.1 not going well


@Philip_Yip wrote:

Clean Install Windows 10 Version 1809 Instead. It will input your Windows 8.1 OEM Product Key automatically during installation and activate when online. (Windows 10 still works as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.x Keys).


I can't speak for every case, but this is certainly not a true statement for all cases anymore, so please stop saying this.  Since the free upgrade period officially ended years ago, I've performed clean Win10 installs on multiple systems that were originally licensed with both Win7 and Win8.x, some with embedded BIOS keys and some with just a COA sticker on the chassis, and Windows 10 does not activate on those keys anymore.  The error specifically says that the attempted key is only valid for an older version of Windows.  And yes, I made sure to install Home vs. Pro based on the edition of the downlevel Windows version that the system was licensed with.

If someone claimed their Win10 upgrade during the free upgrade period and then rolled back to the older OS, then yes they will always be able to activate Win10 using that key on their system, and maybe you've found that activations in some other circumstances have been allowed, but it is absolutely NOT the case that any Win7 and 8.1 OEM key will activate a clean Win10 install today.

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8 Krypton

Re: Reverting XPS 13 to Windows 8.1 not going well

Windows 10 activates with all Windows 7 OEM Keys and Windows 8.x OEM keys that I've tried. Including systems that have never had a Windows 10 Pro Upgrade. I have been testing this with multiple OptiPlex 790 systems, firstly installing Windows 10 Pro without a key and seeing that it was not activated and secondly installing Windows 10 pro with its key on the COA to see that it does activate.

Multiple others report the activation mechanisms continue to work also.

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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8 Krypton

Re: Reverting XPS 13 to Windows 8.1 not going well

Note the error message you bring up was only for about a week or two after the free upgrade ended... Essentially the Media Creation Tool downloaded some updates which accepted a Windows 10 only product key. It could be prevented by not checking for the updates.

Anyway a couple of weeks after that, Microsoft removed the update which accepted a Windows 10 only product key and all Windows 10 Versions from 1511 onwards accept Windows 7 and Windows 8.x OEM keys.

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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Midnightltng
1 Nickel

Re: Reverting XPS 13 to Windows 8.1 not going well

I don't know if this will still work but I downloaded a copy of Windows 10 from MS a few months ago and installed it on an old XP machine and it worked fine. I know the free upgrade was supposed to expire ages ago but it was still working this summer for me.

I cant remember what I did but found out how to do it easily enough online. 

Just a suggestion in case you would rather stick with W10 .

 

 

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