Reinstalling Windows 8 with an OEM key posted on 29 November 2013

I spent an afternoon last week end to install Windows 8 and here are the issues I ran into:

  • There is no easy way to retrieve your Windows 8 key when it comes pre-installed on your computer (no sticker and no official application - only third party program like Belarc Advisor).
  • People with an OEM key cannot directly download an ISO of Windows. They will get this error: “This product key cannot be used to install a retail version of windows 8”. I had to spend more than one hour on the phone to get mine converted to a retail key so I could download the ISO.
  • You cannot download Windows 8.1 with a Windows 8 key. You will have to do the update later (which consists in downloading another 4GB ISO).

So the good news is: if you have an OEM key, you can download an official Windows 8 ISO. You will just have to go through pain and blood :)

Overall, from what I have seen so far, the new interface of Windows 8.1 for phones and tablets is really great, even better than Android’s and iOS’ ones. On desktops, the experience doesn’t seem to be as smooth as on tablets. I ran into a few annoying things, but I will have to spend a little more time using it to make up my mind.