Have you purchased a new Windows 8 PC or have tried setting up a fresh installation of Windows 8 on one and then discovered there is no license key sticker on the case?
We have, and at first we thought the label was missing ... well, guess again!
Microsoft have changed the license key setup with Windows 8 and now with PC shipped with Windows 8 the key itself is buried within the BIOS. This means that if you try and set up a fresh installation of Windows 8 on the machine the activation process will fail as it will try to use the default key buried in the Windows installation.
To get the license key you will need to pull it directly from the BIOS itself. Now I hear you all cry "How on earth do we do that!?" and the answer is ... Simply : )
The link below will let you download a .Zip file which contains a clever little utility called 'Windows 8 product Key Viewer' (Credits go to: nononsence, CODYQX4, Daz, Jachra).
Run the utility and tick the checkbox labelled 'MSDM KEY' (by default it will show the key embedded in the Windows installation disc, the MSDM key is the one located in the BIOS and the one required for activation).
Disclaimer: We have scanned the file for viruses but please satisfy yourself before executing it, we accept no responsibility if it causes any harm to your computer, sex life or the universe in general!
The logic for embedding this licence key in the BIOS is sound, OEM licences live and die with the machine but if you don't want the manufacturer build with bloatware and don't have Volume Licence agreement, this is the only way to reinstall and reactivate Windows, it is not a tool for any other purpose than this.
If you now open a command prompt with administrator privileges and type: 'slui 3' (without quotes) then press [Enter] Windows will prompt you to enter the license key for activation. Simply input the key from the utility and click Next.
Windows 8 will now be fully activated once again.
We hope this has helped you save the pain that we had to go through : )