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  1.    05 Nov 2015 #1
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 11
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    Clean install to downgrade, serial key question


    I've installed Windows 10 and after a few days I want to rollback to Windows 8.1

    Because I used a Media Creation Tool, apparently the files needed to do so have been wiped off my drive.

    I decided to do a clean install of Windows 8.1, but I'm wondering, how does a clean installation of Windows will handle the serial key? I got my laptop with Windows pre-installed, so I don't have an installation CD.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    05 Nov 2015 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,551
    Windows 10 Pro

    Just because you upgraded with the Media Creation Tool does not mean that you can't rollback. The upgrade function of Windows Media Creation Tool works just the same as upgrading from Windows Update.

    That being said -

    1. You can use showkey plus from this forum to make sure you have a Windows 8 product key stored in the bios:
    Showkey - Windows 10 Forums

    2. You can download Windows 8.1 with it's media creation tool:
    Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help


    3. Clean installing Windows 8.1 should read the product key in bios to activate, if you install the same version as the key stored in bios is for - which showkey will tell you what version that is.

    4. If it is "core connected" that means Windows with Bing and you might be out of luck.

    If you did a clean install of Windows 10 - then you are correct, you can't rollback to Windows 8, you have to re-install it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    05 Nov 2015 #3
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 11
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    Just because you upgraded with the Media Creation Tool does not mean that you can't rollback. The upgrade function of Windows Media Creation Tool works just the same as upgrading from Windows Update.

    That being said -

    1. You can use showkey plus from this forum to make sure you have a Windows 8 product key stored in the bios:
    Showkey - Windows 10 Forums

    2. You can download Windows 8.1 with it's media creation tool:
    Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help


    3. Clean installing Windows 8.1 should read the product key in bios to activate, if you install the same version as the key stored in bios is for - which showkey will tell you what version that is.

    4. If it is "core connected" that means Windows with Bing and you might be out of luck.

    If you did a clean install of Windows 10 - then you are correct, you can't rollback to Windows 8, you have to re-install it.

    I get this error when I try to update it, and I still have the old windows folder on my drive. I read somewhere about this bug that makes downgrading impossible if you used media creation tool.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for the show key link, very helpful!

    EDIT: By the way, what you mean by Windows with Bing and core connected on 4?
    Last edited by filipeteles; 05 Nov 2015 at 22:13.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    05 Nov 2015 #4
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,551
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by filipeteles View Post
    EDIT: By the way, what you mean by Windows with Bing and core connected on 4?
    If showkey plus shows that the bios product key is for core corrected, that means that the original OS was Windows 8.1 with Bing - which is extremely hard to find a free ISO to restore.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    05 Nov 2015 #5
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 11
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Ah okie. It's actually 8.1 RTM Pro.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    06 Nov 2015 #6
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 2,370
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1706 (CU build 15063.674)

    Well, I thought the Windows 8.1 ISO can install all versions depending on key. If this is the case, then by detecting a Bing key in BIOS or manually typing a Bing key it should install the appropriate version. Or the same key should also be used to install Windows 8.1 core without Bing and add Bing later. Is that possible?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    06 Nov 2015 #7
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 10,589
    Windows 10 IoT

    Quote Originally Posted by spapakons View Post
    Well, I thought the Windows 8.1 ISO can install all versions depending on key. If this is the case, then by detecting a Bing key in BIOS or manually typing a Bing key it should install the appropriate version. Or the same key should also be used to install Windows 8.1 core without Bing and add Bing later. Is that possible?
    No, to most of what you said. MSDN ISO's are multi edition Core and Pro and the key used determines what is installed. They do not contain the Single Language or With Bing editions though. The Media creation Tool can supply Core or Pro or Core Single Language, you pick which one. No With Bing edition though. Each different edition requires its own set of keys, Core, Core SL, Pro, With Bing. Core will not accept a With Bing key.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    06 Nov 2015 #8

    Quote Originally Posted by spapakons View Post
    Well, I thought the Windows 8.1 ISO can install all versions depending on key. If this is the case, then by detecting a Bing key in BIOS or manually typing a Bing key it should install the appropriate version. Or the same key should also be used to install Windows 8.1 core without Bing and add Bing later. Is that possible?
    Nope, Bing is an exclusive OEM edition in it's own right - needs specific image/key combination (for Win8*) - MSDN-based iso's with Core and Pro will detect the bios key and auto-select.

    *The new Win10 builds will detect a Bing key and install Home - or the Bing key can be used on those installs, as you described.

    Edit: Ninja'd by alpha.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    06 Nov 2015 #9
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 2,370
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1706 (CU build 15063.674)

    OK, didn't know that. I usually download ISOs for both Core and Pro to make sure I can service the most computers.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    06 Nov 2015 #10
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 10,589
    Windows 10 IoT

    Yeah, the With Bing edition is a real PITA. I can't even get that ISO on MSDN. Not an option on the MCT either. You have to go to the OEM that you bought the PC from, If you didn't create recovery media. And they charge a fee for it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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