Reinstalling Windows 8.1 on a Dell PC with new hard drive, and recovering product key


Oct 20, 2016
First post, yay! I'm the new guy at my IT job, and I'm hitting a wall with this reinstall.

  • Dell PC, Windows 8.1 64bit
    The previous hard drive is failing, and dell backup & recovery failed, plus didn't give an option to restore to a new drive.
    Used belarc, but of course it's a volume license(I think that's the term), so that didn't work.
    The drive is in no condition to try cloning, and the original was 2TB, new one is 1TB.
    I heard you need a Win8 disc/USB to reinstall without having to enter a key, but we don't have one, all we have is 8.1. Should I just contact Dell for a key and/or iso?
    There's a factory image on the original drive(at least for now). How can I restore it to the new drive? If it doesn't fail that is.
Please help!


Dec 16, 2015
Options are: 1) factory image is still ok, you can attempt to clone it to your new disk. Some ppl recommended easyus utility ( but never used it. Also not 100% sure if that one is fit for the recovery partition...

2) factory image not ok (maybe entire disk gone south) - nothing that you can do with it... so probably a shorter route is to contact dell

good luck
Too late now but you should have created & saved an image of the entire hard drive whilst it was still healthy.
I wouldn't even dream of having a PC without a backup image. A lesson you need to remember in future I would say.

Dell might be able to supply you with recovery discs but even that should be no excuse for not keeping your system backed up.

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