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Windows 8 Notebook without key

Posted on 2013-01-19
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I have just purchased a win8 Asus notebook. I have a SSD drive to put in but the Acronis fails to image the HDD. Asus refuse to give up the key, is there anyway I can find it?
Also, has anyone had success in imagining a Win8 (on a Asus), if so can I ask what product?

Thanks for any help in advance.
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Question by:mac30
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Expert Comment

by:smgoncalves
ID: 38797533
Make an image works fine with ACRONIS.

Verify on BIOS to change the HDD settings, like EFI.

-smgoncalves
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Author Comment

by:mac30
ID: 38797539
smgoncalves,
 
Does the Bios automatically pick up any changes?
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Expert Comment

by:smgoncalves
ID: 38797551
No, you need to change the settings on BIOS. Problably the HDD setting is not correct to use with ACRONIS to make backups.

What's the error on ACRONIS?

-smgoncalves
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Author Comment

by:mac30
ID: 38797564
Acronis hasnt given an error. The system just hangs on bootup.
Do you know if there is anyway I can find the Win8Key?
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Expert Comment

by:smgoncalves
ID: 38797571
I don't understand... Why do you need Win8 key to boot? Do you have a screenshot?

-smgoncalves
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Author Comment

by:mac30
ID: 38797589
Not to boot, to reload win8 from scratch, can I get the key?
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Expert Comment

by:smgoncalves
ID: 38797591
Probably you have it on botton of your computer.

-smgoncalves
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Author Comment

by:mac30
ID: 38797597
Spoke to Asus, apparently dont ship with stickers with the key on the bottom of Laptops any more.
Do you know anyway to extract a Win8 key.
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Expert Comment

by:smgoncalves
ID: 38797600
But windows boot to desktop? I don't understand what is the problem. Can you explain more detailed?

-smgoncalves
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Assisted Solution

by:smgoncalves
smgoncalves earned 250 total points
ID: 38797607
Here are four utilities, all of which will may display your product keys if they are still there:
Belarc Advisor: http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html
(It does a good job of providing a wealth of information.)
Also: http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder.shtml
and: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html
and RockXP: http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4138.html which has additional features

-smgoncalves
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Author Comment

by:mac30
ID: 38797613
Windows does boot with 7200 SATA drive it was shipped with.
I want to run the laptop with a SSD drive.
Windows will not boot on the SSD (After cloning it).

Asus wont tell me my product key (infuriating to say the least).
So I am wondering:
     a) The best cloning tool for Win8?
     b) Has anyone extracted a Win8 key from a new Asus notebook?

I hope this clarifies
Cheers.
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Expert Comment

by:smgoncalves
ID: 38797615
Try this:

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/networking/how-to-use-image-backup-for-windows-8/5985

Paragon Software’s Image Backup for Windows 8 (free tool)
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Expert Comment

by:172pilotSteve
ID: 38797991
I would call Microsoft - If ASUS provided a Microsoft key with this device, it should have a COA (Certificate of Authority) sticker on it and the serial number sticker cant be too far...

That being said, I used to use a program called "Magical Jellybean Keyfinder" which was a GREAT little free utility to find keys for tons of different software.  Up to XP, I think the free version would work, but I think they now charge for it, but it is one that I would trust, or at least try first, given my past experience with it  (YMMV - Like I said, I've never used w/ Win8)
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 38797996
For imaging, this works with 8, too: http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/down.htm
A free trial does the job.

However, when changing the hard drive, you will often need to reactivate. Maybe this tool could retrieve your key, heard so: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ekeyfinder/
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Expert Comment

by:172pilotSteve
ID: 38798009
I just went and re-checked on the MagicalJellybean, and my memory is correct - It works up to XP, but you'll need their program called "KeyFinder" to do Win8..  (http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/)

At least in this genre of utilities, this would give you a lead on one that I would trust not to be full of spyware - The MagicalJellyBean program has never let me down, and I'd trust their keyfinder...

good luck!
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Expert Comment

by:lachtech
ID: 38798317
Did you try cloning the drive using the Acronis cloning tool? I have successfully cloned a drive(s) using it, to an SSD and traditional drives. You will need to remove the Asus drive and replace it with the new one in the system when finished. The computer has secure boot, and as such, the key for your Windows 8 is embedded in the firmware of the system.

If you should have access to a copy of Windows 8, OEM or pro, you could also install the new drive, and boot from the Win 8 disc and you are on your way. This will install a "clean" activated copy of Windows, so you may have to go to the Asus site, download and install the features of your particular computer.
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Author Comment

by:mac30
ID: 38799076
lachtech,

Have you cloned a win 8?
Unfortunately I don't have win8 media.
Any way to extract the key that's embedded in firmware?
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Accepted Solution

by:
lachtech earned 250 total points
ID: 38799670
Yes I have.

First remove the source drive from your machine, place in some sort of caddy. I use an Aluratek. Then put the target drive into another caddy. Load Acronis on another system, once loaded, go to tools and utilities and choose the add a new disk tool. Format the target drive as a GPT drive. When done, use the cloning tool to clone the target drive. When finished put the "cloned" new drive in your machine and boot. It should go right into windows 8.

When you made your image using acorns, I am assuming you turned off secure boot in UEFI, and booted from the Acronis bootable recovery media. Made your image and restored it to the SSD. YOu have to be sure and reenable secure boot in UEFI. If you do not windows won't load as you have found because windows now needs a "signed" boot loader.

Turning off secure boot (which enables the legacy BIOS options we are all familiar with) is easy in some OEM systems and cannot be done in others due to the fact that there is not a standard implementation of UEFI meaning that each OEM can apply it as they see fit.

Do wish you lick
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Author Comment

by:mac30
ID: 38818229
I ended up using Storage Craft to backup and restore the drive. I turned off the secure boot.
Was a bit of a drama to get the optical drive to boot. Asus technical phone support are as good as useless! Storage craft gave me the incorrect support, I ended up playing around till it worked.

I used Belarc Advisor to get the Win Key. Asus didnt put key sticker on the back of the notebook.

Thank everyone for your help :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:mac30
ID: 38818236
Cheers for the great advice
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Expert Comment

by:lachtech
ID: 38820772
mac30:

Glad your issue is straightened out!! great news. I do not think you will find a "key" or "certificate of authenticity" on any Win 8 OEM system. They "keys" are embedded in the firmware of the system.

Enjoy your Asus system.

lachtech
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 38822194
Mac30, one last question, did you try my advice? If yes, I would like to know if the ekeyfinder was able to extract the key.
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