Fresh/clean install of 8.1

Discussion in 'Windows 8 Forum' started by W24TSN, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. W24TSN

    W24TSN New Member

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    Hi,

    Apologies if this has been asked before in another part of the forum (I was very surprised when I couldn't find it).
    Does anyone know if its possible to do a fresh install of Windows 8.1 on a Surface Pro?
    I performed an upgrade on the day of release but I just don't trust upgrades and have always preferred to do a clean install.
    That said, after the upgrade I found it a bit clunky, Internet Explorer especially; it kept closing and freezing.

    I would like to do a clean install but leave the factory image for 8.0 behind in case I decide its still as clunky after the install.
    I have a full 8.1 ISO from the Microsoft Licensing website so can just burn that to DVD.
    I've found one site with the drivers on but all I'll need initially is the network drivers and theoretically the rest should be picked up through Windows Update.

    Another question of mine is what serial number/license key would I use? I can't find one on the box of my Surface Pro but even if it did have one would it work to activate 8.1?
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Pepper

    Pepper Member

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    You need a tool like pkeyui to retrieve your existing product key from the firmware.

    Use any number of tools which will 'burn' an ISO to a bootable flash drive. The VL ISO will not ask for a product key, it installs as a KMS client. You can change it to your retrieved OEM key later.
     
  3. The White Falcon

    The White Falcon New Member

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    You can use the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool from Microsoft. Free, and it works with 8 and 8.1 just fine to make a bootable flash drive. Just be aware it'll format the flash drive in NTFS.
     
  4. W24TSN

    W24TSN New Member

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    Although the Volume License copy will not immediately ask for a key, even if I do retrieve my key from my Surface's firmware, will it activate 8.1?

    Thanks for your reply by the way :)
     
  5. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    If there is the "VL" in the name of the ISO you will need a KMS Server or MAC (Multiple Activation Key), If it has OEM in the name you could use your key or if it is retail you can use your key.
     
  6. W24TSN

    W24TSN New Member

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    Unfortunately it doesn't have either of those in the file name. It still has its original file name from when I downloaded it earlier today: SW_DVD5_Win_Pro_8.1_64BIT_English_MLF_X18-96634.
    Although I have over 1000 activations of 8.1 available in the way of MAK keys I would rather just use the key which came with my Surface if I can.

    I have an OEM version of 8 on my PC and was thinking of experimenting with that rather than my Surface but if you don't think this particular copy will activate then I'll not bother.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  7. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    I would attempt the install and use SLUI -3 an enter your key and see if it activates.
     
  8. Pepper

    Pepper Member

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    Does not matter what media you use: retail, OEM, leaked WZT or Volume. The key determines what it is.

    Immediately after install from VL media it will be looking for a KMS server. When you put in your OEM key, it will switch channels and activate just fine.
     
  9. demandarin

    demandarin Active Member

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    What's the benefit of a clean install? As my pro updated with no issue. I even used disk clean up to remove the window.old folder and older drivers which k don't use. That alone freed up about 6gb of internal space space for me. I have too much stuff installed on metro and desktop to have patience of doing a complete fresh install.

    Even on my android tablets I did dirty flashes over new versions or roms and they always worked just fine. Saved me the hassle of reinstalling the numerous apps I have.
     
  10. W24TSN

    W24TSN New Member

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    I prefer to do a fresh install of any operating system, i used to with my MacBook when new version of Mac OSX were released.

    I have done an upgrade of my Surface twice since 8.1 was released and find that Internet Explorer closes or freezes a few minutes after opening and i can tap things to open and there'll be no response for a few seconds then it'll all just spring in to life!

    There isnt much installed on my Surface so i dont mind doing a fresh install and there's even less now that I've reverted back to 8.0 after i got sick of the 8.1 problems.
    I'm hoping a fresh install will solve these little niggles.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
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  11. W24TSN

    W24TSN New Member

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    Well, I bit the bullet yesterday and performed the clean install!
    I ended up burning the VL version to DVD and installing it that way and surprisingly it activated with my OEM Windows 8 license key!

    One thing I am annoyed about is Internet Explorer 11 still closes unexpectedly. It done it when I upgraded to 8.1 from 8 on Thursday and I thought I might have been a problem with the upgrade. This was the reasoning behind the clean install.
    Not to worry though, its installed and working great (apart from IE).

    Thanks for your suggestions and information
     
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