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Install Windows Server 2012 on HP with Secure Boot and Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) in BIOS 8

Posted on 2013-06-28
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Last Modified: 2013-07-08
I purchased a new HP Desktop that has a Secure Boot capability in the BIOS (UEFI). The machine was built for Windows 8 and apparently has Windows 8 installation keys in the BIOS. I want to install Windows Server 2012 on the machine but whenever I try it I get a message "The product key entered does not match any of the Windows images available for installation. Enter a different product key." This happens before even being asked for a product key. I have tried this with and without Secure Boot (i.e., I also used the Legacy Boot option) and it fails in either case. I have tried to boot off of the MSDN DVD sent to me as well as a DVD I built by downloading the ISO image. Neither disk worked.
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Question by:steve_webber
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by:Zephyr ICT
ID: 39283930
If I'm not mistaking, the key of Windows 8 is probably in the BIOS, not allowing to install anything else but that version of Windows 8...

The only way people are getting around it is upgrading, but that works for upgrading from Windows 8 Home to Pro for example.

Maybe you could install a Windows Server version 2008 (R2) and upgrade that to Windows Server 2012... Some people report success installing Windows 7 without a key and upgrading to Windows 8 pro as well ...
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by:steve_webber
ID: 39283934
Do you think it might make sense to delete all of the keys in the BIOS? I think there is an option to do this.
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by:Zephyr ICT
ID: 39283940
Well ... I doubt it's possible, but if it is and you don't think you'll need the keys in the future you could go ahead and delete them ... But if you want to re-use this key in the future, you won't have access to it.
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steve_webber earned 0 total points
ID: 39298693
After talking with several HP agents I was told they would not support running any other operating system on the hardware other than what it was initially loaded with. One of the agents also stated that there was no way to run any other operating system. After speaking with a representative of Microsoft (using one of my MSDN free questions, sigh) he verified that the image and key I was using were correct and said there was one thing we could try. That was to put a file named PID.txt in the "Sources" folder of the installation image and that this might work. (The file contains a valid installation key.) In fact it worked fine and I was able to install Windows Server 2012 Standard on the PC that HP said would not run such an operating system. I'm sure someone in HP knew better than the people I talked to. I also believe there is some flaw in the BIOS of the HP PC that doesn't handle "Legacy Boot" correctly. My guess is that the HP BIOS in conjunction with the operating system trying to be installed must agree on the key and that the valid keys are in the BIOS. This is just my guess. The bottom line is that operating systems can be loaded on such machines.
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Author Closing Comment

by:steve_webber
ID: 39306624
I had to solve this problem myself and, since it was solved, I gave myself an excellent rating.
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