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
This will unbind the generic key you used.
- Type in
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.