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 Post subject: "Factory Resetting" a Windows 8 OEM machine
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:39 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5543
Dispensing some knowledge and regurgitating what I saw since I had to do this and it fixed my problem.

If anyone's purchased an OEM Windows 8 machine, they might've noticed that the computer doesn't have a Certificate of Authenticity sticker anywhere, which usually contains the OEM key. Instead, it's embedded in BIOS. And of course, factory resetting is getting trickier if you migrate to an SSD or whatnot because of the recovery partition that may not play nice if you have to move to a smaller drive. Or if you just happen to blow it away without properly backing it up. So here's what to do (and you can do this on a computer that's hosed, more or less).

  • Obtain a Windows 8 install disk.
  • Install Windows like you normally would, but use a generic key as a temporary measure. NOTE: You cannot use a generic key to activate Windows.
  • Download and install RWEverything. Click on the ACPI button and then the MSMD button. This will retrieve the CD key from BIOS. Copy this CD key somewhere.
  • Open up command prompt as an administrator and type in
    Code:
    slmgr /upk

    This will unbind the generic key you used.
  • Type in
    Code:
    slui 3
    and this will bring up a CD key entry prompt. Use the key you got from RWEverything.

After that, you should see that Windows has been activated with the OEM key that came with the machine. Now you have a "factory reset" machine, complete without the bloatware. Just get the drivers from the OEM's website and install what you need. The only caveat I've found is you need the install disk (or whatever you used) to perform the Refresh or Restore feature. Though you could probably do a system image and save it somewhere else.


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 Post subject: Re: "Factory Resetting" a Windows 8 OEM machine
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:27 pm 
Thunderbird
Thunderbird
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Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:17 pm
Posts: 949
Location: Phoenix, AZ
U da man!


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 Post subject: Re: "Factory Resetting" a Windows 8 OEM machine
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:10 pm 
Team Member Top 250
Team Member Top 250

Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 9:05 am
Posts: 552
Location: Sittin' downtown at the railway station, one toke over the line.
Holy crap that RWEverything is cool. I wanna break something.


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 Post subject: Re: "Factory Resetting" a Windows 8 OEM machine
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:35 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:20 pm
Posts: 2
hi I have an acer laptop with windows 8.1 installed. Long story short I dropped the laptop and the hard drive stopped working, so I replaced it with the exact same WD 500 gb blue model. Unfortunately, I had not created a restore via usb. I used another backup from another acer computer to load windows 8 onto the new hard drive and used your suggestion to use rw everything and followed your instructions to the T. However when I input the activation code I got from rw everything windows activation tells me that theres an error and to try a different activation key....help I have tried several times but keep getting the same result


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 Post subject: Re: "Factory Resetting" a Windows 8 OEM machine
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:17 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:20 pm
Posts: 2
doesn't work, windows activation will not accept the product activation key reported by rweverything


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 Post subject: Re: "Factory Resetting" a Windows 8 OEM machine
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:37 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5543
The method I posted works only for clean installs using a generic license key as far as I know. You're not supposed to use an OEM backup from another system.


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