Solved windows 8 coa and clean install

Custom / CUSTOM
April 19, 2014 at 06:45:39
Specs: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate, 960Tx4 / 8GB
Firstly please read the question as i have seen 100,s of the same question answered on other sites with use recovery discs, recovery partition etc

Have a windows 8 laptop (Toshiba satellite ) for repair and it does not have a coa (believe this is now embedded in the bios)

hard drive totally dead and thrown out (to save replies of have you tried this or that)

need to reinstall operating system in this VL laptop on new hard drive WITHOUT paying £30 for new recovery media from toshiba (this is not practical for every make of computer and not cost effective for any customer either)

I know how to get the serial number from the bios but can i install any windows 8 (same version of course) then use this number
Or has it to be Toshiba specific operating system

Going to try a few things later but just wanted a general opinion on embedded serial numbers and what they work/wont work with etc

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✔ Best Answer
April 19, 2014 at 22:53:42
£30--isn't that close to $50 in real money? That seems kind of steep for recovery disks. Are you sure that's what they're going for on the Toshiba support page?

This COA-embedded-in-the-bios thing is interesting. I assume a standard bios upgrade won't affect that. But how soon will it be before an entrepreneur figures out how to hack into the bios level that hold that information thus allowing it to be changed?

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#1
April 19, 2014 at 09:30:30
It doesn't have to be a Toshiba-specific version, just the same Windows 8 edition that was pre-installed at the factory since the Product Key (there's no such thing as a serial number for Windows) is valid only for that edition.

It's not in the BIOS either. The BIOS knows nothing about the Windows version or the Windows Product Key or the COA. Both are printed on a sticker on the underside of the laptop.

I don't think £30 is too much to ask for a set of recovery discs either compared to the cost of a Microsoft Windows DVD from Microsoft. Small price to pay if the owner didn't have the wisdom to create a set of recovery discs when the laptop was working okay (As a Toshiba owner, I know for a fact that they provide a utility for that purpose)..

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#2
April 19, 2014 at 09:48:16
On the newer OEM laptops they are no longer printed on the underside or under the battery Windows 8 OEM PCs now embed their product keys in the BIOS

http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/windows...

Maybe £30 is is a small price for you to pay but for a lot of people its not and it adds a lot of time and money to any repair where there is no other option and the owner has not made recovery discs etc

by serial number i meant product key my mistake

Also as you know it does not matter how many times you tell people to make the recovery discs it goes in one ear and out the other
either that or they say they did make them but do not know where they are

New sticker without product key
http://s24.postimg.org/v3qw01w91/WI...

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#3
April 19, 2014 at 16:18:11
Center column at the top: http://www.gegeek.com/documents/3DC...

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#4
April 19, 2014 at 16:37:08
Thanks for the link riider excellent page there but it does not really answer the original question

before you could look at the sticker and see what version of windows was installed and get the product number
now with the product number embedded in the bios you cant especially if the hard drive is being replaced

I presume it would take the same version of windows and match it to the product key in the bios if i knew what that version was (customer just says its windows 8)

Also i hear that some have bought laptops with bog standard windows 8 and bought windows 8 pro for an upgrade only for it not to install as it does not match the bios embedded product number which was for windows 8

This is all a bit new to me as i have been out the loop for a good few months so i am looking for some info or if anyone has reinstalled windows 8 how did they go about it (with a new hard drive and no recovery discs)


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#5
April 19, 2014 at 18:12:16
Sorry, I don't run Win8 & won't even consider trying it until they get the bugs worked out. Looks like that won't be til Win9, lol. Are you saying you don't know which version of Win8 you had? No paperwork stating it was 32-bit or 64-bit, base or Pro, 8.0 or 8.1? Download the appropriate ISO, burn a disk & give it a shot; you have nothing to lose.

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#6
April 19, 2014 at 22:53:42
✔ Best Answer
£30--isn't that close to $50 in real money? That seems kind of steep for recovery disks. Are you sure that's what they're going for on the Toshiba support page?

This COA-embedded-in-the-bios thing is interesting. I assume a standard bios upgrade won't affect that. But how soon will it be before an entrepreneur figures out how to hack into the bios level that hold that information thus allowing it to be changed?

message edited by DAVEINCAPS


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#7
April 20, 2014 at 06:33:28
@ riider its a customers computer and the first one i have had that had windows 8 and needed a new hard drive without having any backup discs or being able to restore (hard drive dead on arrival)

as it is not my computer (laptop) i dont really know which version of windows 8 it contains apart from going on toshiba support and going through the driver download drop downs till i get to operating systems and see there is only the version windows 8 RTM 64bit in the dropdown for this model (but this is not always going to be the case)

this all makes it an extra hassle for people trying to repair them because as well as going on a wild goose chase for the operating version its an extra cost and time if you have to get restore discs for the customer

I will try a few downloaded ones and see how they work with the embedded bios
also as you know most customers do not keep paperwork or have made recovery discs

@DAVEINCAPS
I have a program (RW everything not tried yet) which can read the product key from the bios but my problem is the hard drive is dead not that it would help as the bios puts the key in auto anyway but will tell me the version of windows i think?

and the price for the recovery media is correct@£30.90 uk pound

The other problem with the embeded product key is if you want to install windows 8 pro instead of the standard windows8 this happens
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...

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#8
April 21, 2014 at 14:20:15
ok just to test installed 3 different operating systems (windows 7 and windows 8 and windows 8.1)

windows 7 went in fine as did windows 8 but 8.1 prompted for a key at start of install and would not let me go any further

presumably the windows 8 was correct version and it installed the product key from the bios without any problem
windows 8.1 was not so it did not (but its a free upgrade anyway)
and windows 7 well it was not original

the good thing about this is that you do not have to mess with keys or the sticker coming off the back of the laptop but with it being embeded in the bios if the hard drive has gone you have to second guess what version of windows 8 was in the machine (as it has no sticker etc)

would love to try a bios update to see what this does?

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#9
April 21, 2014 at 19:22:12
I doubt if a bios upgrade would affect it. That would be too easy. But it won't be too long before someone figures out how to get inside the bios and change the key.

Also, I assume the key-in-the-bios is only possible on those machines that come with 8 originally. An older bios wouldn't be designed to accept the key being written to it so if you have a windows 7 machine and upgrade to 8 I doubt if it could be stored there.


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#10
April 24, 2014 at 13:33:44
not as bad as i first thought as i have just had another in with the same
it had a sticker saying what windows it had.

And i believe you could disable it by changing the BIOS from UEFI or deleting a file but have not really tested the latter yet..

If you know what windows it is its actually a lot better for me anyway

But i have been out the loop for a few months as my son has taken over due to my work commitments and his desire for cash lol

only got chucked back in at the deep end as he is away on holiday for a few weeks

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