Does a Windows 8.1 backup retain the product key?

My client bought a Windows 8.1 (home) PC and is asking me to wipe it and install Windows 7 Pro on it (he has the product key for 7 Pro).

So that they have the option to reinstall Windows 8 at a later date, I wanted to back up the system before installing Win 7 Pro. I ran: recimg /createimage C:Custom_Image_Refresh and copied the 13GB result to a 32 GB memory stick.

Can I use this image on the same or another PC in the future to accomplish a full install of Windows 8? (This Windows 8 PC is brand new, no user info at all). This is a retail Acer desktop from a Best Buy or Futureshop store, no product key on the side.

Thanks.
Dave



I'm not familiar with recimg, but if it is indeed a full image, you have nothing to worry about. This image will work on ANY SAME HARDWARE (i.e. EXACT SAME Acer model/type/number), and will activate without any problems. That's because the important part, the key to identy to Windows, is embedded in the BIOS (that's why the sticker has no key).



I'm not familiar with recimg, but if it is indeed a full image, you have nothing to worry about. This image will work on ANY SAME HARDWARE (i.e. EXACT SAME Acer model/type/number), and will activate without any problems. That's because the important part, the key to identy to Windows, is embedded in the BIOS (that's why the sticker has no key).



You can use the image on the same PC and you will have an activated Windows 8 install. However, you can't use the image on a different PC; even if it loads up, there'd be an activation issue since the activation info in the image doesn't match the PC anymore.

With PC that come with Windows 8, the activation info for that specific PC is stored in the BIOS, so you can use standard Windows 8 install media and it should scan the BIOS and activate itself without needing a key.

Major OEMs also include their own recovery options. Acer provides an Acer Recovery Management application for creating a bootable USB drive with the factory restore image on it:http://acer.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/29934/



DaveWWW--
Having a Product Key is very important if future problems arise. Or the client wants to revert to Win 8.
I do not know if Belarc ( http://www.belarc.com/ ) works on Win 8, but if it does a scan with it will give you the existing Win 8 Product Key.
Then just write it down somewhere and keep in a safe place.



Actually, for Acer/Dell/HP etc etc, there are no activation issues if the PC is from the exact same series. Even if you put the image back on a different PC (but exactly same model), it will reactivate immediately! There's no need for any install media.



DaveWWW-
This Belarc home page says it does work on Win8
http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

Share this

Related Posts

There was an error in this gadget