Windows 8.1 fresh install with Windows 8 licence .
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- How-To Geek .
- Explaining Windows 10 activation on upgrade with product keys from Windows 8 or Windows 7 .
- The enterprise sideloading story on Windows 8? It's complicated .
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*i*m*g*I purchased Windows 8 online from Microsoft a while ago. Today Windows 8.1 was released as a free update to Windows 8 users over the Windows Store.I was planning to do a fresh install of Windows 8.1 to have a clean system again and UEFI support because I got new hardware since the Windows 8 installation.So my questions are:Where do I get the ISO installation medium for Windows 8.1 64-bit? I tried this microsoft site where I initially got my Windows 8 ISO from, but when entering my Windows 8 key in the Windows 8.1 installer, it says the key is wrong.Even if I get the ISO, will my old key work? I'm concerned because it didn't work in their installer (see previous point)Do they seriously want me to reinstall Windows 8 and after that upgrade to Windows 8.1 through their Store?!Here are the steps that lets you download the Windows 8.1 ISO using a legitimate retail Windows 8 product key:Download both the Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 setup installers from here.Once downloaded launch the Windows 8 installer and enter your product key when prompted to do so.Once the download begins, immediately pause your download at 1%. Do not quit the installer at the estimating time screen. Once you pause the download at 1%, quit the installer.Now, run the Windows 8.1 installer and you will notice that it will tell you download did not complete successfully and that there was an element not found error. This is normal. Close the installer.Now, re-launch the same Windows 8.1 installer. You will now be downloading the Windows 8.1 ISO. After the download is complete, you can save it as an ISO or create the USB media immediately.You can install Windows 8.1 using the ISO or even burn it to a DVD or make a bootable USB thumb drive with the media.There is also an accompanying youtube video to the aforementioned step by step instructions that can be found alongside the full article entitled How to download the Windows 8.1 ISO using your Windows 8 retail key here.If you don't have access to an MSDN or Technet subscription or you're not a volume licence customer, the only way to get your hands on an ISO is to download it from somewhere else. Microsoft's own server is IMHO far better than any torrent site. Contrary to what Microsoft wants you to believe, you can use the generic key provided in this thread, download the ISO and burn it to a blank DVD from their own site. Boot your system with the DVD you just burned, enter the same generic key to install and proceed on. Activate your Windows installation afterwards with your own Windows 8 key.Then why not just use the Store? Using the official method you end up with no install media, no product key and no way to use the built-in recovery later on ('missing files' error). Microsoft really messed this up by not providing an official way to do a fresh installation from an ISO for free upgrades.Microsoft installer and ISO downloadAddendum:The generic key, although accepted as 'working' in the installer, won't start downloading the ISO -- an error message citing We cannot connect now windows windows server. Please try again later. is displayed forever no matter how many times you try. I found a solution to this. Download both the Windows 8 installer (Windows8-Setup.exe) and the Windows 8.1 installer (WindowsSetupBox.exe) from Microsoft's site. Run the Win 8 installer and start downloading but cancel it by closing the program. Now, start the Win 8.1 installer and it will accept your Windows 8 key and start downloading the new 8.1 ISO.If you're an existing Windows 8 user, updating to 8.1 should be relatively easy, via Windows update. Microsoft also says that existing users with Windows 8 licence cannot clean install 8.1 using that key and will need to reinstall their Windows 8 before moving to 8.1. Otherway, they have to purchase a new key.I'm running the Win 8 Enterprise, and we were able to activate clean Win 8.1 installations with Win 8 key. So I suppose that new key requirement is valid only for OEM and Retail Windows [email protected] - You need a Windows 8.1 key to actually install it, but you can change the license key which is used, before you activate your installation. Windows 8 Enterprise only is offered as a VLK so the activation and installation process is modified slightly because of that. I just assumed the Windows Store was going to offer a way to make an .iso similar to the upgrade assistance tool , the lack of said tool makes sense considering Windows 8.0 users don't have a valid Windows 8.1 license.– Ramhound Oct 17 '13 at 16:06
How-To Geek .
The average Windows 8 user can only download apps that Microsoft has approved from the Windows Store. Windows 8 offers two ways to sideload unapproved apps, which are intended for developers and businesses with internal apps.These methods cannot be used by the average geek to install unapproved apps from the web. Windows 8’s new interface takes the Apple iOS approach of forbidding unapproved software, not the Android approach of allowing all users to enable sideloading.Note: This only applies to Modern apps in the new Windows 8 interface, not on the desktop. Windows desktop applications can be installed normally. However, you can’t install any desktop applications on devices running Windows RT.Get a Developer LicenseMicrosoft offers free developer licenses for Windows 8. These licenses allow developers to test and evaluate their apps before submitting them to the Windows Store.
Each developer license license will expire after some time, but you can repeat the process to acquire a new license in the future.Note that, according to Microsoft’s license agreement, these licenses may only be used for developing and testing your own applications. As Microsoft warns:“Microsoft can detect fraudulent use of a developer license on a registered machine. If Microsoft detects fraudulent use or another violation of the software license terms, we might revoke your developer license.”To acquire a developer license, first open Windows PowerShell as administrator. To do so, press Start, type PowerShell, right-click the PowerShell shortcut and select Run as administrator at the bottom of the screen.Type the following command into the PowerShell window, press Enter, and agree to the license:Show-WindowsDeveloperLicenseRegistrationYou’ll then have to provide Microsoft account details, which the developer license will be associated with.After acquiring a developer license, you can run the following command in a PowerShell window to sideload a Modern application:Add-AppxPackage C:example.appx On a DomainWindows 8 also offers a method for sideloading “line-of-business” apps. This allows businesses and other organizations to load apps onto their own computers without offering them publically through the Windows Store.There are four requirements to sideload a line-of-business app:You must be using Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows RT. If you’re using Windows 8 Pro or Windows RT, you’ll need to purchase a “sideloading product activation key” from Microsoft. Microsoft directs people interested in purchasing these keys to their Volume Licensing page.If you’ve acquired a sideloading product key, you must open a Command Prompt window with administrator access and add it with the following command, where ###is the 25-digit key:slmgr /ipk #####After adding the key, type the following command exactly to activate the sideloading key:slmgr /ato ec67814b-30e6-4a50-bf7b-d55daf729d1eYour computer must be joined to a domain to run the application. Even if you have Windows 8 Enterprise, you can’t install a line-of-business app unless your computer is on a domain.
If you installed the application while joined to a domain, it will refuse to run unless your computer is connected to the domain.You must enable sideloading in Group Policy. This setting can be enabled on your domain or on your local computer.For example, to enable this option on your local computer, press the Windows key, type gpedit.msc, and press Enter. Navigate to the Computer ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsApp Package Deployment folder in the Group Policy editor.Double-click the Allow all trusted apps to install option and set it to Enabled.The app must be signed with a key from a certificate authority that’s trusted on the local computer. For example, if you sign the app with a certificate from a trusted certificate authority such as Verisign, the app will install with no further configuration. If the app is signed with your own self-signed certificate, you’ll have to trust the self-signed certificate on the local computer.If you’ve satisfied all the requirements, you can sideload Modern apps by running the following cmdlet in a PowerShell window:Add-AppxPackage C:example.appxThere are a lot of myths about sideloading Modern apps on Windows 8 – for example, you can’t just enable a Group Policy setting.
While developer licenses may seem like a possible loophole, Microsoft’s license agreement forbids using them for anything but app development. These licenses are also monitored and access to your apps could be revoked if you use it to sideload unapproved apps on your computer.
Explaining Windows 10 activation on upgrade with product keys from Windows 8 or Windows 7 .
Windows 10 is here. But unlike any other Windows release ever before, the situation with licensing and upgrades is quite different – and rather unclear. Who is entitled to a free copy of Windows 10, can you activate with your existing product key, what happens when you want to perform a clean install, how does Windows 10 activation work, who is covered by the free Windows 10 upgrade license, and more are questions going through everyone’s head.Ever since Microsoft released Windows 10 last week, we’ve been receiving a flurry of emails pertaining to our free Product Key Tool for Windows, used to recover or retrieve the product key embedded in the BIOS/UEFI that can be used to activate a copy of whatever version of Windows your PC shipped with. And we’ve been replying to these emails on a case-by-case basis as our developers and testers have been putting Windows 10 (and by extension, its activation servers) through the works to try and figure out, all FUD aside, what really is the deal with activating Windows 10. Without further ado, here are our findings.Q: Who gets Windows 10 free?Any retail customers of Microsoft Windows, running an activated, up-to-date version of Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 are eligible to redeem a free upgrade to Windows 10, provided they do so before the end of July 2016.Q: What version of Windows 10 is the free offer for?The Windows 10 free upgrade applies to licensed owners/users of non-volume-licensed Windows 7 and Windows 8. Upon upgrading to Windows 10, you’ll receive a matching upgrade license. i.e. if you have Windows 8 Home, you get Windows 10 Home. If you have Windows 8 Pro, you get Windows 10 Pro.
The caveat: users running Windows 7 Ultimate will only get Windows 10 Pro, which is missing a few features you might be used to.1Q: What about enterprise users?Users running Windows 7 or Windows 8 Enterprise are governed by their own MAK and licensing terms, per their volume activation servers and licensing agreement. If you’re running Windows Enterprise, the free Windows 10 offer is not for you.Q: If I’m running Windows 10 tech preview (“threshold”), do I get a free Windows 10 license?No, not necessarily. If you qualify for a Windows 10 license because you were a genuinely licensed and activated Windows 7 or Windows 8 user, yes, you can upgrade to Windows 10 RTM and enjoy an activated copy at no extra charge. But if you performed a clean install of Windows 10 beta (Windows Threshold preview), upgrading to Windows 10 or reinstalling Windows 10 will not grant you a Windows 10 license in and of its own.Q: Can I activate Windows 10 with a Windows 7 product key?No, you cannot. Windows 10 does not recognize Windows 7 product keys and Windows 7 product keys cannot be used to install and activate Windows 10.
Read on for the good news, though.Q: Can I activate Windows 10 with a Windows 8 product key?No, you cannot. Windows 10 does not recognize Windows 8 product keys and Windows 8 product keys cannot be used to install or activate Windows 10. Read on for the good news, though.Q: How do I activate Windows 10 with my Windows 7 product key?To get a free Windows 10 license with a valid Windows 7 product key, you must have an activate copy of Windows 7 and then upgrade to Windows 10. If you are performing a clean install, you must first install Windows 7, activate it with your product key from the Certificate of Authority (aka product key sticker), and only then upgrade to Windows 10. If you do so before July 31, 2016, Windows 10 will activate automatically and you’ll get a lifetime license for Windows 10 for this device.Q: How do I activate Windows 10 with my Windows 8 product key?To get a free Windows 10 license with a valid Windows 8 product key, you must have an activate copy of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 and then upgrade to Windows 10. If you are performing a clean install, you must first install Windows 8, activate it with your product key from the Certificate of Authority (aka product key sticker) or with the product key embedded in your ACPI BIOS/UEFI firmware tables (retrieved for free with our Windows 10 Product Key Tool) and only then upgrade to Windows 10. If you do so before July 31, 2016, Windows 10 will activate automatically and you’ll get a lifetime license for Windows 10 for this device.Q: How do I activate Windows 10 after formatting and reinstalling?
How do I activate Windows 10 after a clean install?If you’ve already claimed your free Windows 10 upgrade license as described above by upgrading to Windows 10 from an activated copy of Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 and you then decide to (or need to) format and reinstall, you do not need to first install Windows 7 or Windows 8 and then upgrade to Windows 10 again.Installing and activating the version of Windows that came to your PC is only required the first time around. After installing and activating Windows 7 or Windows 8 and then upgrading to Windows 10, Microsoft’s activation servers will generate a new activation key for you that is stored online/with Microsoft. Thereafter, you are free to format and reinstall Windows 10 or Windows 10 Pro as you like future clean installs of Windows 10 will look up your existing Windows 10 license from Microsoft’s activation servers.Q: Do I need a product key to reinstall Windows 10?Windows 10 has basically done away with product keys, unless you’re buying a retail, standalone copy of Windows 10 to upgrade a PC not covered by the free upgrade, or a PC that does not currently have an activated/licensed copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8. Upon upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8, a “secret” product key is generated for your PC, unique to your device (based off of your motherboard’s serial number and your hardware configuration). Each time you install Windows 10 on this same machine, your machine’s unique signature will be used to activate it automatically with Microsoft – you will not need to enter a product key at all.Q: What license key to use during Windows 10 setup?!If you’re asked for a product key during setup, you can use one of the the following keys to get you through setup. They’re not used for activation and they won’t give you Windows 10 license, but they’ll get Windows 10 installed and then you can activate it using the normal activation dialog once your internet connection is established:Windows 10 Home: TX9XD-98N7V-6WMQ6-BX7FG-H8Q99WIndows 10 Pro: VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66TWindows 10 Home Single Language 7HNRX-D7KGG-3K4RQ-4WPJ4-YTDFHWindows 10 Enterprise: NPPR9-FWDCX-D2C8J-H872K-2YT43Q: My PC does not have a licensed copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8. How can I install and activate Windows 10?You will need to purchase a retail copy of Windows 10 or Windows 10 Pro and use the supplied product key to activate Windows 10.Q: How can I create a USB from the Windows 10 ISO image?You can use our Easy USB Creator to convert a Windows 10 ISO image to a USB to clean install Windows 10 on a PC that does not have a CD or DVD drive:We’re looking at you, NFS… [email protected]: Not quite. When you upgraded from Windows 8.1 Home to Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 automatically activates and communicates your unique hardware ID to Microsoft’s activation servers.
You then clean installed without activation, but your hardware ID was already present for Windows 10 Pro, just waiting on a call to the activation routine. Upgrading to Pro in the Windows Store triggered that and it matched your hardware ID to the existing activation profile from your initial upgrade, combined it with your Windows 10 Pro upgrade, and resulted in an activated Windows 10 Pro copy, so far as I can tell anyway.I have a dual boot PC desktop with two separate hard drive. I had original (say old) hard drive with vista on it and window 7 ( home) on the other. Both OSes used to show up when I restarted /rebooted the PC and I picked the one I wanted.I upgraded win 7 to win 10 without any problem using MS free upgrade.Naturally, the reboot/restart now showed vista and win 10 ( upgrade copy) and I picked and chose. Now I clean installed vista with win 10 (not upgraded).Case- when I am rebooting , it only shows one OS ( win 10( clean installed one).
I was expecting two Oses of win 10 ( upgraded clean installed one.) I can see the entire file system of my old upgraded win 10 on the hard drive it is installed on but I can not reboot it . Is it possible to do that?I read in an article in a computer magazine that it can be done. If so how?Any body’s help will be appreciated.
The enterprise sideloading story on Windows 8? It's complicated .
One of the central ideas in a post-PC device is full trust. What this boils down to is making it as difficult as possible to install software without some form of top-down control. By restricting software that can be installed, platforms owners can gain some control over the general splurging of malware that's been the bane of users and IT managers for years.However, if you go out of your way to buy tablets for use within your organization - whether you buy 10 or ten-thousand, it's reasonable to expect that you can install apps that you build to support whatever it is that you want to do. Hence sideloading, the process that lets you install whatever you want on your own devices.(For what it's worth, for me, the more restrictive you can possibly be in terms of which software you can install on a device the better, especially on post-PC devices.)But on Windows 8 and Windows RT the sideloading story is quite difficult to get your head around, and it has the feeling of having been slapped together at the last minute. Let's look at what you need to do.
Android and iOSI'll frame the discussion by talking about how this works on Android and on iOS.Android is not designed in a security from the top down way. Apps are not validated as they go onto the Google Play store. Out-of-the-box, Android devices can only download apps from Google Play. You can go into the settings and switch on an option to allow you to install apps from any source that you like -- i.e. allow sideloading.The risk here is once you've opened that door, you can chuck anything you want onto an Android device. More to the paint, any entity can slap anything they want onto any Android device that you manage which is in that state. It opens a gaping security hole in the device.Apple has perhaps the most famously restrictive app store. When you sign up for a developer account you're allowed to push out builds of apps that you write to up to 100 devices. But you categorically cannot run production apps in this mode -- you can only allow testing.Apple offers a program called the iOS Developer Enterprise Program.
Membership of this costs $299 per year. Its through this that you can distribute private apps. There's no upper or lower limit to devices. The actual process of deploying apps is the same whether you're a developer pushing out test builds, or using the enterprise program to push out production builds.A key point about this process is that it skips the App Store validation entirely. You can just put stuff up there and -- whoosh -- users can install it. You will likely want to use a third-party mobile device management (MDM) tool to actually manage the deployment process. Not least because any device used for business should be properly managed within the IT systems process, including good things like encryption and remote wipe.Unlike the Android sideloading process where switching on sideloading opens the device right up, on Apple this process relies on users installing a provisioning profile on the device that pairs it with the owner's enterprise program membership.
Each device has a special profile for the Apple App Store, which you cannot change. Any app that gets installed is checked against a matching profile. No matching profile, no installation.All in all, although I've been harsh on the mechanics of doing it, Apple's sideloading story is just about perfect. It enables you to keep the devices secure while also enabling custom line-of-business apps to be deployed to users. Back to Windows…Strap in -- this is going to be a long ride.The first thing you have to know is that this process is different in Windows 8 to Windows RT. I'm going to explain it for Windows 8 first, as it's easier.By default when you build a Windows Store apps they are signed using a temporary key for local testing.
This requires developers to obtain a developer license from Microsoft, something which is free-of-charge and freely available to everyone (providing you register).Any machine that has a developer license installed is wide open - it's a global sideloading flag much like Android's. This is detailed in the MSDN article Get a developer license. They even say in that article: if you acquire and run Windows Store apps from sources other than the Windows Store, take the same precautions you normally do when acquiring desktop apps from the web.They also talk in that article about fraudulent use of a developer license. What they're actually saying here is don't use a developer license to sideload. They want you to use the proper sideloading approach.What Microsoft ideally wants here is a Windows 8 Enterprise client that's domain joined. If you do that, you're home and dry. All you have to do is turn on a group policy item called Allow all trusted applications to install and you're away. Although Trusted is the key-word in all that.
What this means is that you have to have an certificate on the device that matches the one use to sign the app.This roughly maps to Apple's idea of a provisioning profile. Within the organisation you would either create or obtain a code signing key that you deploy to all of the devices that had to run your app. In an enterprise setting creating the certificates and managing the trust chain is not unduly difficult and likely already done for other reasons. (However, by extension, if you have a nefarious certificate that matches a nefarious app, turning on sideloading will also allow that nefarious app to install. The worrying vector here would be spear phishing.) Similar to Apple, every Windows 8 and Windows RT device is able to validate apps that come from the Windows Store out-of-the-box.So what if you don't use Windows 8 Enterprise, or run Windows 8 Pro but don't want to join it to the domain? LicensingWhereas Apple's approach is buy the devices, buy the enterprise program, you're done, Microsoft's approach is more let's whack the sideloading stuff right in the middle of our licensing stuff! This adds a tremendous level of logistical complication. No one likes Microsoft's licensing, apart from the legal and accountancy elves over at Microsoft HQ.You can find a TechNet article on sideloading here.The general idea is that if you're not running a device with Windows 8 Pro, or a device with Windows 8 Enterprise that's not domain joined you need to buy an enterprise sideloading product key.
You apply that key to the device, redo Windows activation, and you should be good to go.(This product key is sold in packs of 100, and you can find it by Googling for its internal code J7S-00005. Cost to you? $3,000 per 100, so $30 per device. Unless you have 101 devices, in which case it'll cost $59 per device.)You should know that I'm not an expert on Microsoft licensing, and I don't give advice on it to anyone, especially people I don't know. Getting Microsoft licensing right is intensely difficult and you should always seek specialised advice. But I do need to say something…There are, broadly, two ways two buy Microsoft licenses. You can either buy them at retail (e.g. a boxed product form a shop, or an OEM version installed by a system vendor), or you can buy them on a volume license (VL) program from Microsoft. The idea of VL is that it makes it easier to license your whole organisation.
You also get some benefits in terms of extra rights and tools if you go down the VL route.Microsoft describes sideloading as a benefit of something they call Software Assurance (SA). SA is a way of buying Microsoft software on a quasi-subscription basis. The sideloading product keys that I described above only work with copies of Windows 8 that are SA-licensed copies, or that fit into other programs that make them more SA-like. (Windows RT is a little different, and I'll come onto that.)What appears to be the case is that if you go and buy 50 laptops from Dell, Lenovo, or whoever, those will come with retail copies of Windows 8 Pro. Because that's a retail license and not a SA license, either the sideloading product key won't work, or it will work and your license will be invalid.Clear? Well, it still get's more confusing. You can at this point re-license those new laptops under an SA license, either as Pro (where you still need the sideloading product key), or as Enterprise (where you need the sideloading product key if you're not putting them on the domain). Or, you can still enable sideloading using the sideloading product key if the device has an active Windows Intune subscription. (If you don't know what Intune is, Mary Jo Foley has a good explanation : Windows Intune is Microsoft's cloud-based PC management and security service.
Intune users get rights to current and future versions of Windows — similar to what they’d get if they signed up for Microsoft’s Software Assurance volume-licensing program.)Still want more? OK, if that device is covered under a VDA license, you can apply the sideloading product key. Don't know what VDA is? Well, in the three previous drafts of this article I tried to explain it less than a thousand words and failed - it's related to virtualization and VDI. Still more? OK -- if the device is covered by a Windows Companion Device License (CDL), you can apply the sideloading sideloading key. (CDL is related to Microsoft's VDA licensing.) You can find a good write-up that adds some color to this here, although you'll need to go through a free registration.Remember Windows RT? Well, with that the basic licensing is much simpler -- only one version of the Windows RT license exists, which is an OEM license. Moreover, you can't domain join them.The upshot of this is as follows:- Sideloading on Windows RT?
You'll need a sideloading product key. Buy it, apply it, and off you go.- Sideloading on Windows 8? Uh… seek specialist advice. ConclusionSideloading is absolutely essential to any organisation looking to deliver custom line-of-business to tablets, whether they're BYOD or ones that you own. To me, it's shocking that Microsoft have made what should be a simple thing tremendously difficult and, actually, quite expensive.Microsoft has managed to create a system that puts an undue amount of load on the IT department key generator for windows 8 enterprise. First off there's the certificates. Although many IT departments already manage PKI, I'm sure they're not going to thank Microsoft for increasing the burden.But the real problem here is the licensing.
No one likes dealing with Microsoft's tortuous licensing arrangements and you essentially can't do sideloading without having someone check your calculations before you push the button.And there's the cost. $30 a unit isn't a great deal of money, but for an Windows RT device (where you can't avoid it), that's 5% on top of a $600 unit price. Buy 10,000 units and -- OK you're likely to get a good discount -- that's an extra $300k on your order just for the privilege of running your own apps. Compare that to Apple, who will charge you $300 per year.Thanks very much to Wes Miller and to Richard Eatonfor their invaluable help with this article.What do you think? Post a comment, or talk to me on Twitter: @mbrit.
Sean Gallagher Windows 8 arrivesNo support? No problem! Installing Windows 8 on a Mac with Boot CampWindows 8 basics: Tips, tricks, and curesMicrosoft sold 4 million Windows 8 upgrades in three daysReview: Windows 8 core apps OK for tablets, disappointing on desktopsBetter on the inside: under the hood of Windows 8 View all…Windows 8 Enterprise is the reverse-mullet of operating systems: all party in front and business in the back. Up front, the new Start screen and touch-focused interface are more focused on users having a good time—one can not imagine many productivity applications for having access to content based on a gamertag, for example. Behind the tiles, the Desktop is where all the real work will happen.And even at the Desktop level, Windows 8 Enterprise does not wear its business credibility on its sleeves. The exclusive features in the volume-licensed version of Windows 8 packaged specifically for business users are for the most part under the covers and barely visible.
But they make it possible for users to work more securely, and take their work with them when they untether from the LAN—or, with one new feature, when they unplug their boot thumbdrive from the PC.There are six features exclusive to Windows 8 Enterprise that aim to make it friendlier for business use:Windows to Go capability, which allows users to boot a secured image of Windows from a USB driveBranchCache content staging and network storage caching featureAppLocker application access controlDirectAccess remote access technologyEnhanced VDI support for touch-based Windows devicesSide-loading of internal applications developed using the Metro interfaceNot all of these features are new in Windows 8. DirectAccess, AppLocker, and BranchCache were available in Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate, as was VDI support. The improvements in BranchCache, VDI support, and DirectAccess are also dependent on changes in Windows Server 2012. And other than Windows to Go and VDI, the features are largely hidden from the end-user and depend on Active Directory and Windows group policy settings—and in some cases Windows' PowerShell—to be configured.But are these features in and of themselves enough for businesses to justify upgrading—and dealing with the user retraining, software testing, and other hassles that come with a major operating system upgrade? For companies that have volume licensing already in place, for whom a step-up fee may not be that major a financial consideration, the other hard and soft costs of upgrading may outweigh any benefits from the internal improvements of Windows 8 itself. Much of the decision will rest on whether or not to embrace the new Windows 8 application development model, the adoption of x86-based tablets, and considerations beyond the technical soundness of the platform itself.The good news is that Windows 8 Enterprise is ready to go when businesses decide to be assimilated—and IT pros won't have to change much about how they currently support Windows desktops and notebooks to accommodate the change. Some of the new features of Windows 8 Enterprise may not be easy to deploy immediately because of a lack of supporting devices and applications, however. So it might be a while before many businesses feel ready to stop fearing the Start screen and love Windows 8 Enterprise.
Windows to Go and VDIFor organizations that have users without a fixed PC to go to, Windows 8 Enterprise offers two ways to connect to their own personal desktop: Windows to Go, which puts the whole Windows 8 environment onto a portable USB-based storage device, and through a virtual desktop infrastructure with Remote Desktop Connection.Windows to Go is a great idea: a secure, corporate-approved image of Windows 8 that can be booted from a USB-connected device on practically any recent PC without touching the local operating system. Combined with DirectAccess or a VPN, it gives people a safe way to reach back to the home office, check mail, and access documents from an untrusted PC. Users can do this at home, a client's office, or a public computer—all without fear of leaving a trail or exposing corporate systems to malware lurking on an under-protected system.I did a somewhat involved test of Windows to Go's concept after the Consumer Preview was released, using Windows 7 administrative tools to build out my bootable image on a 32-gigabyte USB stick. It worked well for beta, but it was too labor-intensive for your average user to self-configure. Now, Microsoft has completely automated the creation of Windows to Go volumes with a click-and-go utility on a desktop for self-provisioning.
There are also tools in System Center 2012 for provisioning Windows to Go images.Enlarge / Step 2: Insert your USB, and select it in the provisioning wizard as a target.There's really just one fly in the ointment—the self-provisioning tool only works with USB drives that are Windows to Go Certified. That's a short list at the moment. As of launch, there are only three devices certified for Windows to Go, and one of them—Western Digital's My Passport Enterprise—is a 500-gibabyte portable hard drive. This is not the sort of thing you carry around hanging from a lanyard (unless you're Flava Flav, and you glue a clock to it).Step 3: Scream in frustration when you find the 32GB USB you've been using to boot the beta from is no longer supported in the final release.The key attributes of being a certified Windows to Go device are USB 3.0 support and firmware to support two partitions: a 350-megabyte FAT32 system partition and another larger NTFS partition for Windows 8 itself.If you're an administrator building a custom Windows to Go workspace, as Microsoft refers to it, the process can be automated to some degree. You'll need to use PowerShell scripts, the Deployment Image Servicing, and Management command-line toolkit or the Windows 7 Automated Installation Kit (see the TechNet walkthrough for those details).One other limitation of Windows to Go that most companies won't care too much about is that the Windows Store is disabled and apps purchased from it won't run. That's because Windows Store licenses are linked to a specific computer.Remote Desktop connection, on the other hand, follows a more traditional route to desktop and app access for users not bound to a single PC. Microsoft put a lot of work into its support for virtual desktop infrastructure in Windows Server 2012, and that's reflected in Windows 8 Enterprise. It now offers better support for all sorts of users—including those with touch-based tablets.The biggest changes to VDI in Windows 8 Enterprise are related to how it connects to the remote session. Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 use RemoteFX to support virtual desktop sessions, instead of the vanilla Remote Desktop Protocol.
RemoteFX can harness a graphics processor on the server to power multiple remote desktop sessions. Users can then access apps with 3D graphics and handle all the heavy lifting on the back-end, either through a full remote desktop experience or through a RemoteApp virtualized application session.Enlarge / A Remote Desktop Connection session with Windows 8. The client's own menu provides quick access to Metro apps' interfaces without having to deal with mouse-hover to be recognized over a WAN connection.The Remote Desktop Connection client in Windows 8 Enterprise also supports connecting local USB devices. Another addition is support for touch-based interaction with remote sessions of Windows 8—not just over a local network connection, but over a WAN connection as well. That may make Windows 8 Enterprise more attractive to organizations that want to put tighter security control on tablets, such as hospitals. BranchCacheIntroduced in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, BranchCache is a technology designed for optimizing the use of bandwidth over a wide-area network. It does so by caching files and webpages from the corporate network locally. Instead of reaching out across the network to hit a remote Web or file server, BranchCache-enabled Windows clients retrieve metadata about the content from the original host, then check local caches.
Those caches can reside either on a local Windows Server acting as cache server (in a hosted cache configuration) or from other PCs on the local subnet (using distributed cache mode).On the client side, BranchCache gets switched on through a Windows Group Policy Object when a user logs in through Active Directory. Through the Group Policy Editor, you can designate the maximum amount of disk space that can be used for BranchCache's hash store.Enlarge / Creating a BranchCache group policy object in Group Policy Management (using Windows 8's remote administration tools for Windows Server 2012).Unlike Windows' client-side caching of network shares—a feature that's been in Windows since Windows XP—BranchCache isn't intended to provide offline use of files windows media feature. While it can work alongside offline file caching, BranchCache can also be used with other sorts of network content, such as company-private webpages and Windows updates distributed internally through Windows Server Update Services. In essence, it's your organization's very own internal content delivery network.Rather than storing data in a file structure, BranchCache stores it as a series of hashes based on the location the data came from. Windows 8 Enterprise PCs in a distributed caching environment share that data over the same protocols it came in on (HTTP, HTTPS, or SMB) as BranchCache services running on PCs exchange messages within the subnet.Distributed cache mode works well for small offices where deploying a local server would be too expensive or difficult to support.
It is also a good solution for organizations that use a hosting company or cloud provider for their Windows server infrastructure.There's no user control surface to enable BranchCache, though you can turn the service on and off as administrator through Windows 8's services management console.Enlarge / All an end-user will ever see of BranchCache (other than faster intranet response) if they dig down into Windows 8's Services.While the general functionality of BranchCache hasn't changed much from Windows 7 to Windows 8, there have been a lot of tweaks to how it performs them. Configuration of BranchCache in Windows 8 Enterprise is automatic, and Microsoft has added data deduplication features to the client-based BranchCache to prevent multiple PCs from downloading the same content. Changes are also made in smaller chunks now, so that small changes to files don't require another full download across the WAN.
[SOLVED] Accidentally Installed Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation... .
*i*m*g*Hey everyone, I made a dumb mistake and I really need some help fixing it, if at all possible.I'm helping a friend with her computer, which came installed with Windows 8 Pro, but it's hard drive went bad. I got her a new hard drive, but when I installed it and grabbed a Windows 8 disk, I accidentally installed the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation instead...Now I know in Windows 8, the product key is now stored in the BIOS. Does this mean that her old product key was overwritten with the enterprise evaluation one now? I tried formatting the hard drive and using a Windows 8 Pro disk to reinstall, but when it was installed, at the bottom right of the desktop view it once more said that there were 90 days left on the enterprise evaluation version activation. Is there any possible way to go back to Windows 8 Pro, and have that original product key be detected?Thank you in advance!Well I have never heard of this - that said perhaps I am wrong and it is peculiar to the enterprise evaluation edition.What does System report as the OS that is installed - see screenshotIs the Windows 8 disk the same version as was installed eg. Windows 8 pro and the same bitHave both installs been made UEFI - by that I mean not in Legacy ModeWhen you say you are stuck with the Enterpise Evaluation - I still am at a loss to see how a clean install of an OS - can apparently install and irrespective of it recognising the key embedded in the firmware - can leave an activation notification for a previous system.It should be a clean install of the copy of win 8 there should be no issue doing that.Q: What happens after the evaluation period expires?A: If you wish to continue to use Windows 8.1 Enterprise after the evaluation period, you will be required to purchase and perform a clean installation of Windows 8.1, including drivers and applications. Please keep this in mind as Windows 8.1 Enterprise is not available through retail channels until October 26, 2012.As per here Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation FAQThe good news is, I figured it out!Unfortunately I'm still at a loss as to why it wasn't working before...
But after attempting to use the tool from Microsoft to create bootable media, I realized I couldn't with the OEM key I pulled from the hard drive. I then found another set of instructions online, about creating an ie.cfg file and adding it to the Windows 8 iso, to make it not ask for a key during installation, and tried that. After it installed, I clicked to activate with a different product key, typed in the key I had pulled from it earlier, and it worked!Here are the directions I followed:http://www.techmesto.com/install-win...t-product-key/Mainly for informationThis is my understanding of the situation regarding the key embedded in the firmwareMicrosoft issue to the OEM lets say Dell a block of licence keys for Windows 8Dell install windows 8 on a quantity of hard discs for a given model of a computerThey then when the hard disk is installed in the computer - authorise the licence with a product key - dedicated to that computer - that is the key embedded into the firmware.That key is NOT the key that any of the commonly advertised key finder programs will find.Those products to the best of my knowledge will only find the key from the registry.That key is the one that was created when the OS was installed - BUT it is NOT the key that will recognise an installation of Windows 8 as being the one to which the firmware key is tied.If you upgrade Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 on the Microsoft update then a separate key is installed in that process in registry and if that is the case - then the software will find that key.If of course your computer came with Windows 8 pre-installed and with a recovery partition, then as we all know the recovery is going back to 8 - not 8.1ANY Windows 8 installation disc of exactly the same version as was installed originally by the OEM will USUALLY install and activate automatically when it detects the key in the firmwareThe process is known as OEM activation procedure 3.0 or OA3 for shortOEM Activation 3.0 (OA3) takes place at the factory. A digital product key (DPK) is installed on the motherboard firmware during the manufacturing process. Windows 8 will activate automatically the first time the computer is connected to the Internet. With OA3-activated systems, most of the computer's hardware can be replaced without needing to reactivate the software through Microsoft.It is tied closely to the UEFI and GPT systemmanufacturers will be required to write a unique Windows product key -- which is associated with the hardware hash -- into the system's firmware and they digitally order a block of keys from MicrosoftThe new program enables OEMs to digitally order and receive product keys from, and report computer information to, Microsoft as well as enable activation of software on specific hardware.When the production run is ended for a given specification, they digitally return the unused keys from the block and are credited by Microsoft.However as I have mentioned - to complicate the issue further the UNIQUE key that is generated by the install and written to the firmware chip is NOT the key that any of the usual key finder products will find - AS FAR AS I AM AWARE.There is existing a Microsoft tool for finding that key, but it is NOT of any benefit to the home user - as I have stated before the key is NOT required EXCEPT with a change of motherboard or possibly processor and then the key will not work anyway - as a new installation on such changed hardware is not within the terms of the licence.Search this ThreadAdvanced SearchSimilar Threads Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post Help!Im unable to complete the gmer scan. It wont allow me to copy the results of the scan to submit to you guys. What do I do now?
REDLEG Resolved HJT Threads 49 12-15-2013 03:15 PM ESET threatsIn earlier message, and in continuation of another thread on another conmuter I started a thread stating that having tried ESET it had found a number of threats which i will mention at the end.meanwhile I ran DDS abnd will add the the logs. Gmer found rootkit activity but when I ran the scan on... qimqim Inactive Malware Help Topics 13 12-13-2013 08:22 PM Some kind of redirect on computer (Monster Marketplace)I don't know how this happened, but something has gotten into my computer that constantly redirects anything I click on. If I enter a search in the box, that does OK, but whenever I click on anything, there's a high likelihood that what I've clicked on won't come up - quite often, Monster... Calgirl Resolved HJT Threads 198 05-23-2011 07:01 AMPosting Rules
Windows Embedded 8 .
Windows Embedded 8 showing Hotel Systems panel, metro-style app Developer Microsoft Source model Shared source (full source code of kernel included) Kernel type Hybrid kernel License Commercial proprietary software Preceded by Windows Embedded 7 Official website www .microsoft .com /windowsembeddedWindows Embedded 8 is an operating system for embedded systems from Windows Embedded family of operating systems. It is a componentized version of Windows RT with additional technologies that adapt Windows for use in and on specialized devices.Contents1 Editions2 Devices3 References4 Further readingEditions [ edit ]Windows Embedded 8 Standard: This edition is intended to build ATMs and devices for the healthcare and manufacturing industries, creating industry-specific devices.Windows Embedded 8 Industry Pro (Retail): This edition provides specialized embedded functionality for retail devices like POS terminals, kiosks, scanners and more.Windows Embedded 8 Industry Enterprise: Available through volume licensing channel in July, the Enterprise edition provides embedded-specific features designed to integrate seamlessly with Windows 8 Enterprise.Windows Embedded 8 Handheld: WE8H is built on Windows Phone 8 and is suited for handheld devices as listed below.[1 ] Devices [ edit ]Built on Windows Phone 8, one consumer device has been released and one announced. Manufactured by Bluebird and Panasonic. Furthermore, Alaska Airlines uses Windows Embedded 8 industry in-flight entertainment devices.[2 ] Product Release Date CPU RAM Storage Display Camera(s) NFC MicroSD Back Front Bluebird BM180 (BP30) 000000002014-01-01-0000 January 2014 1.5 GHzDual-core 1 GB2 GB 8 GB16 GB 5”720 x 1280 px1080 x 1920 px 8 MP 1.3 MP Yes Yes Honeywell Dolphin 75e 000000002015-04-01-0000 April 2015 2.26 GHzDual-core 2 GB 16 GB 4.3”480 x 800 px 8 MP Yes Yes Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 000000002014-08-01-0000 August 2014 2.3 GHzQuad-core 2 GB 32 GB 5”720 x 1280 px 8 MP 1.3 MP Yes Yes References [ edit ]
Windows 8 .
*i*m*g*Download Windows 8 for free! Microsoft has launched a new version of the Windows operating system, Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition, a great chance to try out all the innovations included regarding previous versions.The people at Redmond have tried to reinvent the popular operating system with Windows Blue. The drive of the new mobile and tactile devices has had a direct impact on the development of this new OS. New Windows 8 Modern UI Interface and start screenThe new Windows 8 Modern UI tactile interface of Windows is a real revolution. Previously known as Metro, it has a clearly graphic aspect, following the line set forth by Windows Phone. Your contents and applications are organized and structured into blocks that you'll have the possibility to customize. Nevertheless, even though lightly based on the phone operating system, they have greatly improved how it is handled and it is a lot more efficient and effective.New applications launched in Windows 8 Modern UI occupy the full screen and they ' forget' about toolbars and similar elements. These applications are immersive.
What's more, they are no longer individual elements that attached to the operating system, they now become part of it and of one another, in such a way that the contents and the information from one application will automatically be available to use in another.We have reinvented Windows.The system's Start screen was one of the most criticized aspects by users. In this Windows Blue, the start screen has been redesigned regarding the first versions, although it maintains the innovating master lines of the beginning.The customization options of this environment have also been expanded. Apart from having a much more assorted palette of colors or offering the possibility to import your own images, you have four different sizes for icons. And the desktop?This new concept doesn't eliminate the traditional desktop that everyone is so used to. As if it were yet another application, Windows 8 has its own desktop, which is a copy of the one used in Windows 7. You will also use it with each application that isn't compatible with Modern UI.Nevertheless, the activity center will now be the welcome screen, where it will be possible to access all the components of Windows 8 be it using a tactile system or a conventional keyboard and mouse. Windows StoreJust like Apple and Google, Microsoft has the idea in mind of creating their own Windows 8 virtual shop where it will be possible to access all the applications at the same time. Christened as the Windows Store, it's a direct gesture towards developers in such a way that it will allow them to distribute their products in a more cost-effective manner.Thus, the users will be able to enjoy a service similar to the App Store by Apple in Windows 8. FeaturesCompatible with keyboards, mouse, stylus and even your fingers on a touchscreen.Can be used with a desktop PC, laptop, netbook, tablet...Compatible with Windows 7 programs.New Internet Explorer 10.New chip architecture. It boots up immediately.Intelligent battery use.Greater integration of OneDrive.Share screenshots from the Charms Bar.Compatible with any programming language.Multitask support, dividing the screen into two to offer space for your applications.Reformulated search system: searches on the OS and within applications.
What's new in Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTMNew home screen.Improvement of the management features.Increased security.Better integration with mobile devices.Skype integrated as instant messaging platform.Improved user experience.Start downloading Windows 8.1 Enterprise for free and try out all the updates and improvements included by Microsoft to turn the system into what it should always have been.This is a trial version that can be tried out for 90 days. To use this trial, you have to complete the activation before October 31st, 2014.Windows 8.1 Enterprise is offered as an ISO image. To use it you will have to transform it into a bootable product by storing it on a DVD or USB pendrive.For the 64-bit installations of Windows 8.1 Enterprise, the CPU must also be compatible with CMPXCHG16b, PrefetchW AND LAHF/SAHF.To use Windows 8.1 Enterprise you must logon to your computer with a Microsoft account.During the installation, Windows will ask you to activate it. This software doesn't require a product key. You can find more information here.After the trial period, you must replace the operating system of your system and reinstall all the programs and data.
The trial edition cannot be updated to a licensed version of Windows 8.1 Enterprise. You have to carry out a clean installation.Antony Peel at Google +
Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 KMS-activation .
*i*m*g*0xc004f015: The Software Licensing Service reported that the license is not installed.SL_E_PRODUCT_SKU_NOT_INSTALLEDThis error is absolutely normal because the legacy KMS server version knows nothing about new OS versions from Microsoft and doesn’t recognize the new KMS client keys.Microsoft company release special KB 2885698 update for full support of Windows 8.1 and Windows 2012 R2 on KMS servers which are working under control of previous Windows versions. It is available at this service 2885698 update is designed for the following OS with installed KMS activation server:Windows Vista SP 2Windows Server 2008 SP 2Windows 7 SP 1Windows Server 2008 R2 SP 1Windows 8Windows Server 2012 The order of KB2885698 installation and KMS server activationUsing the link above download and install KB2885698 update on KMS server and restart server.slmgr.vbs /dlvNow it’s VOLUME_KMS_2012-R2 channelAfter the update and the new key installation your KMS server will support client KMS activation for all Windows versions from Vista up to Win 8.1/ 2012 R2. KMS keys for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2The list of KMS keys which should be used for Window Server 2012 R2 и Windows 8 on KMS server. OS Edition KMS key Windows 8.1 Professional GCRJD-8NW9H-F2CDX-CCM8D-9D6T9 Windows 8.1 Professional N HMCNV-VVBFX-7HMBH-CTY9B-B4FXY Windows 8.1 Enterprise MHF9N-XY6XB-WVXMC-BTDCT-MKKG7 Windows 8.1 Enterprise N TT4HM-HN7YT-62K67-RGRQJ-JFFXW Windows Server 2012 R2 Server Standard D2N9P-3P6X9-2R39C-7RTCD-MDVJX Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter W3GGN-FT8W3-Y4M27-J84CP-Q3VJ9 Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials KNC87-3J2TX-XB4WP-VCPJV-M4FWMUsing these keys you can activate Windows as usual by these commands:
Download the Windows 8.1 ISO using a Windows 8 key and some simple trickery .
It’s great that Microsoft has made Windows 8.1 entirely free to owners of Windows 8, but unfortunately you’re limited to installing the update through the Windows Store -- unless you’re an MSDN subscriber there’s no ISO you can grab to install the operating system how and when you like.But as enterprising Reddit user redditorfor0seconds has discovered, there is a way of getting your hands on the ISO that only requires you to have a Windows 8 retail or MSDN key (but not an OEM key, apparently). It’s incredibly straightforward too, just follow these simple instructions:UPDATE: This guide is slightly out of the date now. The process for grabbing an ISO file has changed -- it's even easier product key generator windows 8 enterprise. Follow the instructions here.You’ll need to download both the Windows 8 and 8.1 installers from Microsoft. They’re 5.2Mb and 4.7MB respectively.Launch the Windows 8 installer (Windows8-Setup.exe).Enter your key when prompted and start the download process.Pause (don’t quit) the download when it hits exactly 1 percent.Exit that installer and launch the Windows 8.1 installer (WindowsSetupBox.exe). This will generate an error saying The download task did not complete. Element not found.Close the setup window and re-run WindowsSetupBox.exe.
The download will begin.When it’s finished, you'll be asked what you want to do -- Install now, Install by creating media or Install later from your desktop. Select the option to create media.You can choose to use a USB flash drive, or create an ISO file. If you select the second option, you'll be asked where you want the file saved to.You'll then be prompted to burn the ISO file to a DVD, with your Windows 8 key shown. You can skip this step if you don't want to make a DVD.The method worked perfectly for me, but your mileage may vary. If you try it let me know how you get on in the comments below.Image Credit: ValentinT/ Shutterstock
How to Create Bootable Windows 8 USB Drive from ISO Image .
We saw yesterday how you can install and test the latest Windows 8 build on your system as a virtual operating system using Oracle VirtualBox. For those who haven’t heard, the consumer preview of Windows 8 is now available for everyone to test. It’s like what Microsoft did during Windows 7 launch. They first released a preview build for free to get feedback from the users before shipping the final version of the product. And the big news that the Windows 8 consumer preview has already crossed 1 million downloads.UPDATE: You would be happy to know that we recently compared the Top 5 Tools to Create Bootable ISO in Windows. Do check that out to know more about better tools to get this job done.After few hours of testing I was convinced that the build is stable enough, and I can take it to next level by installing it parallel to Windows 7 via dual boot. If you too are looking forward to install Windows 8 on your computer, I would prefer you create a bootable USB drive instead of a bootable DVD.Note: This is a consumer preview of Windows 8 and not the final stable version. So keep in mind that you are always on your own if you mess up your computer while installing or using this Windows 8 build.A USB drive is always faster than DVDs and the chances of failed or corrupt installation are very low as compared to optical media.
So lets see how you can create the bootable USB of Windows 8 in the easiest way possible. Necessary PrerequisitesDownload the ISO file of Windows 8 on your system.A minimum of 4 GB removable drive for 32-bit Windows and 8 GB for 64-bit Windows 8 operating system.Backup all the data (if any) from your removable drive. Better, backup important data on your PC too. Creating the Windows 8 Bootable USB DriveStep 1: Download and extract WinUSB Maker on your computer. WinUSB maker is a portable application and thus does not require installation of any kind. You only need to run the .exe file.Step 2: Run the WinUSB Maker tool with administrative privileges to start creating your bootable USB drive. (right-click on the file, and click Run as Administrator)Step 3: In the tool, select the option ISO image bootable disk under the Functions section. Select Normal Detection Mode and browse for the Windows 8 bootable ISO (Image file) you have already downloaded on your system.Step 4: Finally, select the USB drive and drive MBR system (if you have a single one plugged in, it will be selected by default, if you have more than one, click on the dropdown menu and make a selection from the list) and click on the button Make it Bootable .That’s all, the tool will now format the USB drive and copy all the Windows installation files to it and make it bootable.You can now plug in the device into your system and select removable drive as your first boot selection preference in your BIOS and install Windows 8. My VerdictAlthough there’s an official Microsoft tool to create bootable USB drive from an ISO image, WinUSB maker’s portable nature and ease of use drew my attention.
Furthermore, WinUSB gives a bit of an extra control to the user than the official tool for the same.
Appendix A: KMS Client Setup Keys .
Computers that are running volume licensing editions of Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008 are, by default, KMS clients with no additional configuration needed.To use the keys listed here (which are GVLKs), you must first have a KMS host running in your deployment. If you haven’t already configured a KMS host, see Deploy KMS Activation for steps to set one up.If you are converting a computer from a KMS host, MAK, or retail edition of Windows to a KMS client, install the applicable setup key (GVLK) from the following tables. To install a client setup key, open an administrative command prompt on the client, type slmgr /ipk and then press Enter.If you want to……use these resourcesActivate Windows outside of a volume-activation scenario (that is, you’re trying to activate a retail version of Windows), these keys will not work.Use these links for retail versions of Windows:Install, upgrade, activate (use the menu to the right to select the Windows version you are interested in)Get a new Windows product keyGenuine Windows Help How-toMicrosoft Community forum on installation and activationFix this error that you get when you try to activate a Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 system: “Error: 0xC004F050 The Software Licensing Service reported that the product key is invalid”…Install this update on the KMS host if it is running Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, or Windows Server 2012.If you are running Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7, be on the lookout for an update to support using those as KMS hosts for Windows 10 clients.
Missing Media Tools in Windows 8? Easily Burn Audio and View DVDs .
*i*m*g*Ads by GoogleWindows 8 makes it hard to burn audio and watch video DVDs thanks to hidden apps and missing licences. This is all part of the move away from optical media – fortunately, we can show you how to work around this.Times are changing, and not all Windows 8 computers ship with a DVD drive. But even if you have an external optical drive or have upgraded an old PC, burning an audio disc or watching a video DVD can be tough (data DVDs can be read regardless).Finding the software you need to perform these tasks is relatively simple, however in fact, you might find that it is easier to watch video DVDs on Windows 8 than it ever was with any of the previous versions of the operating system! No More Optical Drives?The lack of DVD video support on Windows 8 is largely due to the perception that such discs aren’t being used as much as they were – instead, flash drives, portable hard drives and downloading are proving more popular and viable alternatives.As such, standard versions of Windows 8 don’t ship with DVD playback licences. Although you might buy a computer with a DVD drive, any included DVD playback software will have been provided by the computer manufacturer or the store. If you bought Windows 8 off the shelf to upgrade an old PC or you bought a tablet (which of course doesn’t include an optical drive), but have an external DVD drive then you’re in need of a DVD playback solution.Similarly, the tools for burning audio have been pushed to the back, largely because people are more likely to sync audio to smartphones, tablets or MP3 players.Ads by Google How to Burn Audio CDs in Windows 8Although it might seem a bit tricky initially, burning audio files to a CD with Windows 8 is actually remarkably simple, and can be done just as easily in previous versions – if you know where to begin.With the Start screen open, type media. Windows will display all relevant apps, so use the mouse to select Windows Media Player (you can also tap with your finger on a touch-friendly device, or use the arrow keys and Enter).Now that Windows Media Player is open, begin by opening Organise Options… Burn, where you will find the necessary settings for adjusting the burn speed and volume levelling, among others.When you’re ready to burn your audio files, click the Burn tab on the right-hand column, choose the directory or album you want to burn from and drag the tracks into the burn list.All you need to do now is ensure a blank disc is inserted into your optical drive, and click Start Burn.
The disc will then be burned with the audio data in CDFS format for you to playback on any CD player. Enjoy Video DVDs with VLC, The Ultimate Media Player AppIf your Windows 8 computer shipped with Windows Media Center or you had the opportunity to get the free upgrade (it expired in January 2013) then you won’t have any problems playing back video DVDs. The same goes if your computer manufacturer or retailer has pre-installed DVD video software for playback.There is a strong likelihood that neither of these cases apply to you – so what do you do? What is the best way to view DVD videos in Windows 8 without paying for Windows Media Center?Probably the best solution is to install VLC Media Player from www.videolan.org. We’ve featured this superb app on numerous occasions in the past, which is well-known for its flexibility and ability to playback almost any media file. It ships with all of the video drivers you could need and makes DVD playback in Windows 8 effortless. The Second Way: Windows 8 Media Center PackSo what’s the deal with Windows Media Center for Windows 8?Unlike Windows 7, Windows Media Center doesn’t ship with Windows 8. A strange decision, one that Microsoft rationalised in part due to the DVD player licencing.
On the whole, however, it seems shortsighted (or cynical) to omit a popular component and make it available as a premium upgrade.This upgrade, however, is only available to Windows 8 Professional users, which means those of you with the standard Windows 8 will need to upgrade ( there are three versions of Windows 8 – Enterprise users are also excluded from Windows Media Center).You can get started with this by typing Upgrade on the Start screen and selecting I want to buy a product key online before selecting the Windows 8 Pro Pack (be warned, it isn’t cheap). With this installed, repeat the procedure to install Windows Media Center. You’ll be looking at a total cost of over $100…Of course, other media centers are available, but VLC Media Player seems a much better alternative for DVD playback, doesn’t it? Don’t Let Missing Features Stop You!Let’s be realistic: optical media is on the way out. Blu-ray might be able to offer a massive storage increase over DVD, but on the whole it is never going to be as widely used as its predecessor. There are many valid complaints against Windows 8, but the lack of video DVD support isn’t one of them. Data discs can still be read and if you really need the video playback you can use a third party app like VLC or upgrade your Windows version.Meanwhile, burning an audio disc isn’t all that difficult once you’ve unearthed Windows Media Player.What do you think? Should Windows 8 offer DVD video support across all versions or is Microsoft right to drop this feature?I’ve just spent about 72 hours putting a video together of my great nephew’s birthday party.
I was going to give them DVD as present. Yet I get to burn the DVD to discover Windoze 8 has no DVD maker any more (despite using Windows Movie Maker to put video together – no option to publish to DVD).My family have phones, they don’t have computers, all they have to play the video is a DVD player, but I can’t make a DVD despite having a DVD burner in my laptop. I can’t send a 1GB HD video file by email. Optical disks may be on the way out but some of us still have a use for them. Maybe the plan is like vinyl, kill it off then turn into a retro item and then sell more DVD players again?I have now spent about 3 hours trying to find a solution to burn a video to a DVD that will play on a DVD player, and apart from Spyware infested “greats softwares” I can’t find a way.
Fabulous when the corporations tell us what we can and can’t do with the machines we pay hard earned money for. In future I am going to buy reconditioned laptops with old software versions becasue every new version of x y or z loses some core functionality for me.
Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10: N, K and KN Special Editions .
Many MSDN customers may notice Windows editions (Starter, Professional, Ultimate, etc) that have N, K, or KN designations. I’ve wondered what these were and if I should avoid using them. After some research, this is what I’ve found:Windows N: Has multimedia support removed from the OS install. This is the version sold to the European market and is missing Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, and Windows DVD Maker. This was due to sanctions by the European Union (EU) against Microsoft for violating anti-trust laws.Windows K: This edition is sold to South Korean markets and comes pre-installed with links to other competing instant messaging and media player software.Windows KN: Is a combination of K and N. It has links to other competing IM/MP software, but also does not include Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, or Windows DVD Maker.Installing the Media Feature Pack for Windows will make the N and KN editions identical to the normal Windows edition (with the addition of those extra links for K editions). I have listed the download links for the different Media Feature Packs below: Windows 10 Media Feature Pack (for N and KN editions)Download the Windows 10 Media Feature Pack from:www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=48231More information: Microsoft Support: Windows 10 N and KN Editions Windows 8.1 Media Feature Pack (for N and KN editions)Download the Windows 8.1 Media Feature Pack from:www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40744More information: Microsoft Support: Windows 8.1 N and KN Editions Windows 8 Media Feature Pack (for N and KN editions)Download the Windows 8 Media Feature Pack from:www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30685More information:Microsoft Support: Windows 8 – N and KN EditionsWikipedia: Windows 8 Editions Windows 7 Media Feature Pack (for N and KN editions)Download the Windows 7 Media Feature Pack from:www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=16546More information:Microsoft Support: Windows 7 – N and KN EditionsWikipedia: Windows 7 Editions Windows Vista Media Player (for N and KN editions)There doesn’t seem to be a stand-alone “Media Feature Pack” for Vista, however Microsoft recommends installing the Windows Media Player 11 for XP ( according to this page)Download WMP from: www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/windows-media-player-details.aspx Windows XP: adding media features (for N and KN editions)Download and install Windows Media Player 11 from:www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/windows-media-player-details.aspxOnce WMP11 has been installed, you should be able to install Windows Movie Maker and the media packs from Windows UpdateMore information:Microsoft Support: Windows N EditionsMicrosoft Support: Windows K EditionsMicrosoft: Implementation of EU DecisionWikipedia: Windows XP EditionsUpdate (11.21.2013): Added links for the Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Media Feature Packs.Update (8.6.2015): Added links for the Windows 10 Media Feature Packs.Update (9.25.2015): Added details on VistaSearch for: Search Recent PostsKinect support for Raspberry Pi using libfreenectOffice 2016 and licensing error 0x8004FC12Waiting (or “sleeping”) in a batch fileDebugging Windows Service Projects (C#)Launching RDP from KeePass 2.x with auto-login Recent Commentsadam on How to unprotect a password protected .XLSX fileAl Delgado on How to unprotect a password protected .XLSX fileAdam on How to unprotect a password protected .XLSX fileSage on How to unprotect a password protected .XLSX filedaniel on Launching RDP from KeePass 2.x with auto-login MetaLog inEntries RSSComments RSSWordPress.org
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