The hard disk in a Samsung NP355v5C laptop has died completely. I've replaced the hard disk, but when I run the OEM Windows 8.1 install DVD, it asks for the product key. This laptop has no product key - it is stored in the BIOS as far as I know.
I've turned off Secure Boot in the BIOS and selected CSM OS, but the installer still requests the product key. AM I using the wrong DVD? The WIndows 8.1 OEM is the only one I'm aware of for this kind of operation.
I called Samsung twice. The first guy said that the key was stored on the hard disk, and so I'd need to purchase Windows 8 again. The second person said that it was stored in the BIOS, but if I had any issues with it, I'd need to call Microsoft and purchase Windows again. Both answers seem suspect... and they both sounded like they were reading scripts).
Any advice on how to get Windows 8.1 installed? The customer has no backups apparently.