Can't figure out if buying a new hard drive and OS will fix my problem, and/or is my original Windows 8 OEM "Keyed" to my mobo


Jun 2, 2015
I need some serious guidance...I've had major issues with my Pro Tools 11 (DAW) working so I had went through a series of steps to try and fix it and/or alleviate the issue. I'm going to try and cliff note this so it's a bit easier to understand...
-PT 11 stopped working, discovered my OS was corrupt (Windows 8 OEM)
-Attempted Command Prompt "RestoreHealth etc..." FAILED
-Attempted to Clean install (after Restore was irrelevant) and I was "error"ed at every attempt
-Upgraded to Windows 10 (free version from friend :-| ) and I failed to realize that Pro Tools 11 wasn't compatible.
I was disheartened and gave up. A few months later I tried to fix my issues again with unrelenting dedication. Unfortunately, I was passed the allotted 30-day "downgrade to windows 8."
- From I downloaded the ISO image of Windows 8 onto a USB and tried a few different...keys. Though the new key worked, I learned that my hard-drive was "reserved for Windows 8 OEM." After much research, I was warned against deleting it UNLESS I was an "IT guy", which I am not.
Also, it's fair to add... I recently obtained adware of some sorts from a download. (About 5x through every hour, my command prompt pops up and my internet browser automatically routes me to one of many different sites like ",," and After using countless removal softwares (Malware Bytes, AdwCleaner and tool, Norton, Hitman Pro, AND BitDefender) I still have the same issue.
SO, I thought...Maybe I should just buy a new hard drive and key for Windows 8.1 (I have the ISO image on USB now) and that'll solve all my issues at once. Then I learned that my windows 8 OEM may be "Keyed" to my motherboard and that it may not work...?!
I'm at a loss for what to do at this point. What I know is...I need Windows 8 or 8.1 (NOT PRO) to run Pro Tools 11. I would also like to have my computer back in my full control (ADWARE or WHATEVER IT IS, GONE) and I don't have very much money to invest at this point.
Will buying a new hard drive and OS key work as a resolve or is there a better way? Also, what do I do about my "OEM Reserved" hard drive? Any and all suggesting or answers would be appreciated.
Thank you...



When you upgrade to win 10 it doesn't convert licence to a win 10 licence, it adds the ability to use that licence as win 10. You should be able to use the old key that came with PC to install win 8 again. you just can't run 8 & 10 at same time.

I don't know what it means by reserved for oem, its just a hdd. You should be able to wipe it and reinstall win 8 on it. You just need to know the key.

If you install a new copy of 8.1 onto PC and use a different key then what was there before shouldn't have any effect. You could buy a new hdd and new install and it will install perfectly fine, but I would try to use what you have now.

Win 8 oem are tied to motherboard, like every windows before it. Its only win 10 oem that can be moved, and win 10 upgrades as well. Its not tied to hdd though, you can change them without worrying about licence becoming inactive


Jul 26, 2017
Windwos 8 oem reserved means , you have a full copy of your windows with it's driver , just create the recovery disk or USB , and install using that recovery . Don't do silly things , as you are lucky you still have OEM partition .

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