The release of Windows 8 for general availability on 26 October 2012 signaled to the world that Microsoft was embracing and advancing new technologies. Recognizing the move towards faster systems, stronger security and touch screen technology, Windows 8 builds upon the groundwork laid by previous Windows operating systems to bring a faster, more secure and innovative computer experience while retaining the well-loved familiarity of their previous editions.
There are several editions of Windows 8 that are available to personal and business consumers: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise and Windows RT. Windows 8 Pro, the edition of Windows 8 which caters primarily to business users, expands on the basic edition with features such as Remote Desktop hosting, BitLocker & EFS, Virtual Hard Disk Booting, domains and group policy and more. Therefore, with the added features that were absent in previous Windows editions but increasingly becoming demanded (and expected) on the market, it is certainly a desirable operating system for any type of business user and company that has traditionally favored Windows operating systems and which backs up Microsoft’s legacy of being a strong competitor and leader in computer systems.
However, there have been a number of issues faced by users that are trying to upgrade their systems to Windows 8 Pro. Whether it be from upgrading from the basic edition of Windows 8 or from its predecessor Windows 7, many users are having a difficult time when it comes to inputting the Product Key (to recap, a Product Key is a series of numbers and letters which is specific to your purchase so that software manufacturers can verify that their software was legally purchased). Even if it was legally purchased (which, admittedly, a number are not), a product key may prove to be the obstacle in being able to enjoy the benefits of Windows 8 Pro by incorrectly stating that that the inputted combination of numbers and letters are incorrect or already in use. This is frustrating for users as the upgrade from Windows 7 and even from Windows 8 is certainly not cheap and the benefits to be had from Windows 8 Pro are immense.
What can one do if they face this problem? With this issue affecting a number of those keen to utilise the business edition of Windows 8, the citizens of the Internet have banded together to solve the problem of activating Windows 8 Pro when the Product Key is not accepted. Here are a few suggestions from some technology-savvy members of online web forums.
Option 1: Create a custom boot CD or USB device
This method shared by Steve Sinchak on Tweaks.com suggests the following:
1. Ensure that you have a Windows 8 32-bit or 64-bit ISO image, WinRAR or another mechanism which can extract the contents of an ISO image to a directory, and the Windows Assessment and Deployment kit for Windows 8 (free from the Microsoft website)
2. Use the content extraction mechanism that you have selected to extract the contents of the ISO file to a folder
3. Add a special EI.CFG file to the c:\Win8ISO\Sources directory by downloading a pre-modified file or creating a file called EI.CFG with the following contents:
4. Create a new folder called Win8 Temp at the root of C:\ to hold the new ISO file
5. Open the Start Screen and search for “Deployment and Imaging Tools” and run the special command prompt environment
6. Run oscdimg.exe -lCustomWin8 -m -u2 -bC:\Win8ISO\boot\etfsboot.com C:\Win8ISO C:\Win8Temp\win8.iso
7. Burn/mount the ISO file in a virtual machine
8. Install Windows 8
Option 2: Create a asei.cfg file
TecMan on My Digital Life forum recommends the following so that you can activate Windows 8 Pro without having to use a product key:
1. Create a file with Notepad using the following code structure and save it as asei.vfg in the Sources folder of Windows 8:
2. Install a Windows 8 clean installation
3. Install all of the drivers
4. Turn off the Internet
5. Restore the Activation using Advanced Tokens Manager and keep restoring until you are successful
6. Update all O.S. using Windows Update
Option 3: Use the Professional Product Key
On the same forum, TecMan again offers an alternative and albeit quicker way to get past the Product Key:
1. Install a Windows 8 clean installation with Professional Product Key XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-CRYQH
2. Install of the drivers
3. Turn off the Internet
4. Restore the Activation using Advanced Tokens Manager and keep restoring until you are successful
5. Update all O.S. using Windows Update
There you have it. Thanks to the suggestions put forth by tech-savvy individuals, you can now enjoy the features of Windows 8 Pro. Enjoy!
This is a guest post by Iryna Ostapets, a tech writer and blogger laying out for tech news via online exposures. She is the author of the site: iPhone spy where you can get valuable information about spy software program on your cell phone.