This guide is mainly obsolete. It was frequently followed due to previous mistakes Microsoft made with Windows 8.1 "Edition" installation media in the fact that Windows 8.1 "Edition" media rejected Windows 8.0 "Edition" product keys. Adding a generic key as a PID or inputting it during installation allowed one to bypass the product key screen and install Windows 8.1 "Edition" saving the horrendous procedure of updating via the Windows Store. After installation the product key could be changed to the Windows 8 "Edition" key. If the key was OEM it could be extracted using RWEverything and then going to Acess → ACPI Tables.
The Media Creation Tool now allows for a Windows 8.1 "Edition" with Update 1 fixes most of the previous issues and is explained in great detail here:
If you are trying this with an OEM key; the Media Creation Tool creates a Windows 8.1 with Update 1 .iso that will automatically accept the UEFI BIOS Embedded SLP key when the correct Edition of .iso is used. It will accept both Windows 8.0 "Edition" OEM and Windows 8.1 "Edition" OEM product keys. The keys are seen as equivalent by the Media Creation Tool. Where "Edition":
Windows 8.1 = Windows 8
Windows 8.1 Single Language = Windows 8 Single Language
Windows 8.1N = Windows 8N
Windows 8.1 Professional = Windows 8 Professional
Windows 8.1 ProfessionalN = Windows 8 ProfessionalN
Do not follow the rest of this guide for an OEM product key as it is unecessary.
Each .iso automatically has an EI.cfg applied and is locked to a certain "Edition" and will not select a product key from another "Edition".
These .isos are recommended and the creation of a Bootable USB is recommended.
2. Adding the correct EI.cfg and PID.txt will prevent the bootable USB asking for a Product Key During Installation
I will illustrate this using a generic key. The generic keys allow for installation but not product activation. If you use a genuine retail product key it will be automatically input and product activation if eligible.
- Windows 8.1=334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT
- Windows 8.1N=6NPQ8-PK64X-W4WMM-MF84V-RGB89
- Windows 8.1 Single Language=Y9NXP-XT8MV-PT9TG-97CT3-9D6TC
- Windows 8.1 Professional=XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB
- Windows 8.1 Professional N=JRBBN-4Q997-H4RM2-H3B7W-Q68KC
- Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Centre=GBFNG-2X3TC-8R27F-RMKYB-JK7QT
Open up notepad and type in the following:
Where key is your retail key in the form xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx or the generic keys above. e.g.
Ignore the EI.cfg its not requires with the up to date .isos which are Edition locked. Inputting the PID actually Edition locks the older .iso anyway.
In the sources folder copy both the PID.txt: