Upgrade to Windows 8 or stay with Windows 7?

howtobeironic

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Jun 16, 2018
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In a nutshell:
-I have a second hand Lenovo M30-70 with Windows 7 Professional SP1 x64 (SLP-OEM)
-There's an UEFI in Legacy mode
-Computer suits all Windows 8 requirements
-Have a safe backup ready
-There's a legitimate Windows 8 Pro sticker at the computer, no codes on, embedded in UEFI
-After some mining I have the key
-GetWinKey tells that it's invalid (Confusing, since it's UEFI embedded by manufacturer)
-Recovery partition starts from Windows 8 WAIK, but has Windows 7 inside
-Support only tells me to get it to a service, high priced since computer is far away from warranty
-Obtained 8.1 ISO, impossible to get a 8 since Microsoft deleted them all including the installer
-There's a slight chance that I can obtain a Windows 8 disk from Lenovo but it would be hard

Questions:
-Should I take the move to upgrade to Wİndows 8(.1)? (4 GB Ram, Intel integrated graphics, a decent computer overall)
-If I should, is there a way that I can either obtain a legal Windows 8 ISO or trick Windows 8.1 into accepting mine?
-Should I consider the risk that the key is invalid as GetWinKey tells me? (I have a backup, that would only cost me 4 hours)
-Now that Windows 7 is installed in Legacy Mode, should I continue with it in Windows 8 or switch to UEFI mode, and if so, how?

Thanks for all the help.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
Honestly I'd contact Lenovo and tell them that the PC that you have has an invalid key. They will most likely give you one that matches their keys. If they won't your only other option would be to buy a key from Microsoft or one of their OEM partners.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
The programs to 'pull' keys rarely just "work" for embedded UEFI keys (in my experience, anyway).

I've never actually seen a product sticker with "embedded" on it.... even on W8 laptops, they typically have a key still, no?

As you know, W8 ISOs are no longer readily available - and acquiring one online can be dangerous.

Either obtain from Lenovo, or look for a retail copy of the disk on eBay (the disk shouldn't cost much, since you're not buying the license).


All that being said, if it shipped with W8.... there's a chance it was updated to W8.1
In which case, installing using the 8.1 ISO should reactivate itself automatically anyway.


OR, the previous owner utilized their downgrade rights, turning W8 back to W7 (and forfeiting the license for 8 IIRC)
 

howtobeironic

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g-unit1111:
I contacted them by e-mail and only thing they said was to get the computer to a service (since there are no warranties it would cost a good amount of money if there isn't even a problem), I'll try to phone them tomorrow.
Speaking of buying a new one, that would be hard in our country since dollar is expensive, I'd better off sticking to Windows 7.

Barty1884:
I have used a few programs to verify (GetWinKey, RWEverything's ACPI Table Reader, NeoSmart's OEMKey, Produkey[Strangely this did not find it]) that all yield the same key.

Embedded key sticker is similar to that:

Indicates an OEM version and tells that it will automatically read out from UEFI during installation, but since I cannot grab a 8 ISO and cannot trick 8.1 into using a 8 key it's no use.

I still can grab a 8.1 ISO via Microsoft, but seems like I cannot get a 8 without getting in shady stuff, which I would avoid in installing an OS.

I'll be calling Lenovo to try my luck on a 8 recovery disk, but I honestly don't think that it'll work. By the way, can you point me to some trustable retail copies? Never shopped on ebay to date.

Speaking of downgrade rights, I thought about it when I noticed recovery is also on windows 7. I checked out Lenovo's site, they provide you a recovery media for once if you downgraded to Windows 7 Pro from 8.1 Pro (Exact OS'es) and there's a leaflet in the boxing tells you that you can do so, but Lenovo says that this computer is not downgraded,by looking at the serial number. And I can bet that first owner lost the paper already.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
There's nothing beneath the battery in the compartment? That sticker looks like one typically mounted below the keyboard, not on the rear or in the battery compartment - which is where a code would (typically) be? Worth checking.

EBay has this:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-Windows-8-Pro-OS-64-Bit-Recovery-Disk-Drivers-DVDs-NEW/153069376429?hash=item23a3a553ad:g:WgwAAOSwkcFbKtJb

$16 seems steep.... but do appear to be legit media disks (and happen to be for Lenovo).


Shady ISOs are to be avoided, absolutely. I wonder how risky it could be in this instance though...
**I'm in no way suggesting this, just thinking out loud**

If you found any old W8 ISO to install W8 with, and upgraded that to 8.1 (and all activations were fine etc)..... you could then format/clean install with the legit 8.1 ISO available directly from MS.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
You've acquired a used Lenovo laptop?
Cut your losses and install Win 10. You can run it Unactivated, for free, until you decide to pay for a valid license.

If the current OS is valid and activated, a Win 10 install might even activate itself.
 

howtobeironic

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"PCs that come with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT have an encrypted product key embedded in their UEFI firmware. When you reinstall the same version of Windows 8 or 8.1 on a PC that came with it, the product key will be automatically applied and activated. You won’t see any product key prompt — it will all happen automatically."

This is what I generally get by asking Google where to find my key of Windows 8. The confusing thing is it states Windows 8 or 8.1, so the key should practically support both installations.

USAFRet:
I may think about this, but I'm concerned about whether it would be fine running that much of a new software. By the way, HowToGeek says that you can still get a Digital Entitlement license by entering your 7 or 8 key in the installation just like GWX (article date 20/01/2018)

By the way, how should I switch to UEFI? Before install or after install?
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
While yes, the key is embedded in the UEFI - there is usually a code on a sticker somewhere. Now that may have been in the original retail box and not attached to the laptop anywhere. I haven't seen too many W8 laptops, and definitely not a Lenovo..... but the few I have seen have had product stickers with a key..... not as obvious as older laptops, but in the battery compartment or under an easy to remove part (like the cover for RAM and HDDs in some laptops).


While the same rules and process applies for 8 and 8.1, 8 keys do not activate 8.1 installs (not sure if the reverse works). So, if the laptop wasn't previously updated to 8.1 (and downgrade rights weren't used), the "key" present is, in essence only for W8.... although W8 can be upgraded to W8.1

 

g-unit1111

Titan
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Embedded academic key? Sounds like you already got a fraudulent license. It is happening more and more with fake products being sold all over the place.
 

howtobeironic

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This is an example taken from Microsoft website. Mine has Windows 8 Pro written over and has all the features specified on the site.

I'll open up the PC a bit tomorrow. I'm not sure if I would try Windows 10 but it seems as a good option adn my system requirements match.

 

howtobeironic

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I guess I'll give it a shot. I have a full image to fall with and I just restored from out of the box image today. Let's see if that trick works. Hope I don't screw it up. By the way, I can keep the recovery partition, right?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator


You should be able to use that Recovery partition (if it came from the factory) to create your own DVD's or USB.
You should do this anyway.
 

howtobeironic

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No, it's burned right into a partition, but Macrium image also includes it. I guess I'll take the risk since the way I know requires a clean install I have to delete all the partitions.

 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator


Right.
If it is the original WIn 8 Factory Restore partition...maybe 10-12GB?
Then that is used to either restore the system back to factory direct from that...OR, create your own USB or DVD.

If it is much smaller...you don't need it. That was created during the Win 7 install or subsequent messing around.
 

howtobeironic

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It's exactly 12 GB, labeled PBR_DRV, and booted from System Recovery section of Novo Menu, which you get by pressing a small button on the side when PC is closed.

 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator


Then that should give you functionality to create a USB with which you could return the system to original factory spec.
Assuming that partition is not damaged.

The user manual should give you info on how to invoke and use.
 

howtobeironic

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Jun 16, 2018
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Some good news and some bad ones:
First, I checked what can I do to get a sticker with a code. There's only battery that can easily reachable and no, there isn't any code. Other parts(including memory) are secured with 5 Philips screws, which I don't have the screwdriver to open.

They closed the e-mail case, telling me to contact Microsoft. Very helpful, since it's an OEM they wouldn't help. Genius. I'm calling them half an hour later.

I checked the user manuals and OKR program itself to see if it has an option to burn the recovery to USB but Lenovo didn't think about that. The program has only two options: Back the system partition up to an image, and restore either from one or an initial. No options to copy, so I just did a workaround and took an image of it on Macrium Reflect.

Edit:Windows 10 setup didn't accept my embedded key first, but after doing the ei.cfg trick it did. By the way, I should boot on UEFI, format things, convert to gpt , and continue?
 

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