Microsoft surface pro 3 shipped with windows 10 downgrade to 8.1 product key

Hi so we bought Microsoft surface pro 3 with windows 10 on them and Microsoft told us during the purchase that we could downgrade as windows 10 has downgrade rights to 8.1 we were told we could call them and walk us through the process.  So far I've been on hold for 2 hours waiting for a tech to help get me a windows 8.1 product key.  Anyone know any way to downgrade from 10 to 8.1 without reinstalling 8.1 pro the disc I have asks for a key.  I tried using the windows 10 product key recovered using nirsoft prodkey software.  That doesn't work.  Any help greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Strider10Asked:
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Scott CSenior Systems EnginerCommented:
There isn't going to be any other want to downgrade except for a complete wipe and reinstall using the disk and a valid 8.1 key.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Correct - you must reinstall.

Now if Windows 8.1 would work, why not just stay with Windows 10. It is very close (other than the Start Menu). 99 % of software that comes for Windows 8.1 will work on Windows 10. All I had to do was update drivers plus a few odds and ends.

Why not just use Windows 10?
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rindiCommented:
Also I can't think of any sane reason why anyone would ever want to downgrade from Windows 10 to 8.x, unless when at gun point! Windows 10 is better than Windows 8.x in every way. There just is no reason to replace a good OS with such a terrible one.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I had Windows 8.1 working very well and after a week of fixes (mostly from Microsoft in the way of patches) Windows 10 is working very well. I would not roll back - just no need to.
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Strider10Author Commented:
We haven't validated it on the customers network and system.  I'm imagining some old software that worked in windows 8.1 and old printers are going to have drivers problems.  After spending 2 hours on the phone with worthless Microsoft surface tech support he said they can't give me downgrade rights to 8.1 and the product key has to be injected and there's no way to install it.  I told him we're a Microsoft silver partner and wished to have the call escalated to partner support.  The next person I talked to sent me to this link.
https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/support/warranty-service-and-recovery/downloadablerecoveryimage
It creates a usb recovery so I put in another surfaces pro 3's serial that shipped with windows 8.1 pro and am downloading the image file.  Not sure if this will work but the tech said it would MS partner support is always better at dealing with these issues then the direct product support people.  I'll update here when I find out.
Thanks for the comments I agree windows 10 is good but without confirmation and testing on this network I can't spend the hours deploying it and risk not having anything to bill to in the ticket if it fails and then have to reinstall everything they use with windows 8.1 pro.

Thanks again any other suggestions are welcome.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have NO software that worked on Windows 8.1 that does not work on Windows 10. What might you think will not work?

I work with various clients and Windows 10 works on all networks.

I suggest you take one and try it. I cannot imagine what would go wrong.
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Scott CSenior Systems EnginerCommented:
@Strider...I understand about validations.  When I worked in a government regulated industry we had to do things that didn't always make sense.

For example we had to use a specific printer because it was "qualified".  Even though another printer was better, it didn't matter.

I would do what I could to get Windows 10 qualified, but in the meantime good luck with the downgrade.  Let us know if we can be of further help.

@John....in some industries just connecting an unqualified piece of equipment can cause you to be in violation and can levy heavy fines.
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Strider10Author Commented:
John I like your idea but it's not really up to me.  My boss would be really pissed if I did that and it didn't work I doubt I'd get fired but better to wait till the testing department gets to certify windows 10 on there network and systems.  I've used windows 10 myself without any problems but old versions of filemaker and some weird active x tools they use I'm worried might not work.  Also some of the cisco vpn client software seems to break with every new windows release except for 8 to 8.1.  Also the fact that we would have to train the user on how to use windows 10 and they could use it as an excuse to not do work... I can just hear the line of excuses they could come up with.  Doesn't work, doesn't work like it used to, didn't get trained on it, couldn't figure it out I'm not in "IT".  Just not work the risk unfortunately I was hoping to have this started by now had to restart the download.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I am suggesting to try one. This is the first time Microsoft put out a truly compliant operating system that works with everything that worked on the last system. By contrast, Windows 8.1 was nearly the worst because numerous upgrades (some paid) were required to get from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You probably need to back to Microsoft, escalate and get Windows 8.1 product keys.

On a side note, I would expect Filemaker and Active X not to work on Windows 8.1 either, or they will likely work on Windows 10. That is just a point of view and suggest you escalate to get back to Windows 8.1
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rindiCommented:
It looks as if you are at the type of "gunpoint" situation I mentioned above... :).
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Strider10Author Commented:
Ya not really much of a choice here.  I get it windows 10 has worked for everyone worked for me too just not going mess around on this one and risk facing pissed off client and boss because something didn't work.  Not to mention going above the testing validation people and assuming everything the user might do will work.
  Anyone see any reason the above mentioned solution using the download link with different surfaces' serial number in it wouldn't work?  The MS partner tech said they haven't tried it yet but it should work.

Thanks guys!
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Scott CSenior Systems EnginerCommented:
No, don't see any reason why it won't work.  

You should be good to go.

And you definitely don't want a mad boss or customer.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
All I can suggest is to try the link. I have not done it, and I don't know anyone who has.
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Strider10Author Commented:
OK so after a very long night this is working.  You can downgrade from windows 10 to windows 8.1 without having a product key regardless of what the surface support people say.  I followed these instructions and download initially.
https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/support/warranty-service-and-recovery/downloadablerecoveryimage?productId=100411422
then got to a bitlocker encryption key problem I trying to boot and recover from the USB drive
https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/support/warranty-service-and-recovery/usbrecovery?os=windows-10
this link will get you your Microsoft bitlocker recovery key it looks like a onedrive login currently but is actually the bitlocker recovery keys once you login.
After the OS resets I choose repartition because I wanted windows 10 off the device.  You will be prompted with a bios message
"A configuration change was requested to clear this computers TPM
Warning clearing erases information stored on the TPM.  You will lose all created keys and access to data encrypted by these keys.
Press F12 to clear TPM esc to reject this change request and continue."
Press F12 and windows 8.1 finishes setup and starts the welcome config.

Thanks for all your help guys.
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