HOW TO: Install 8.1 WMC with just the WMC key

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HOW TO: Install 8.1 WMC with just the WMC key


Post by DavidinCT » Fri May 24, 2019 12:29 am

Hey all,

This topic comes up a lot I have noticed but, no one has done a DYI on it. A lot of people have said, you cant download WMC any more adding your key. OR you have just your WMC upgrade key and cant install 8.1 with it. This process requires a VALID Windows Media Center key for 8.1 (unless your going to some back door method.. I will not discuss this). Following this will get a CLEAN install of 8,1 with WMC with out trying to download it from Microsoft or needing the 8/8.1 key to install.

A little background. Installing WMC on 8.1 required 2 keys. Your basic 8/8.1 key and your Pro-WMC upgrade key. If you didn't know you could use your 8.1 key for another machine(if it was a retail key) if your WMC machine is already activated with your WMC key. The WMC key is a upgrade to 8.1 Professional with WMC.

To do this, you will need an ISO with 8.1 ProfessionalWMC. You can download this DIRECTLY from Microsoft but, will not come down as a ISO but, as an ESD (more on this later). This is the current version of 8.1 with WMC.

For English, US this is what you want... ... 41f6d6.esd

for other languages (just make sure your downloading a ProfessionalWMC image), go here and find your link and download your ESD.. (these links are from Mydigitallife)

SO you downloaded it... It's a ESD file.. what is that and how can I install it ?
It's a Microsoft Electronic Software Download You need a simple converter to convert this into a ISO file so you can burn to a DVD or create a bootable USB drive (the Windows 7 download tool should be able to do it).

So how do I convert a ESD to ISO ?

Download ESDtoISO ... D5563AD391

Extract it once downloaded, take your ESD and place it in the folder with it, then run the ESDtoISO.CMD(Right click and run as an admin) and create a ISO...

more info here (Max 3 URL limit, sorry): h t t p s :// www tenforums com/tutorials/2570-esd-iso-create-bootable-iso-windows-10-esd-file.html

Now that you have an ISO and you have found a way to burn it to a DVD or create a USB drive.... Start Installing your ISO of Windows 8.1 w/WMC.

The NEXT thing we need is an INSTALL key... This is a temp key just to install. This will NOT activate so don't even try. Install with this key RR3BN-3YY9P-9D7FC-7J4YF-QGJXW

Finish installing Windows 8.1... Once installed, look though the start menu and you will find Windows Media Center included in a FRESH installed Windows 8.1 install

After installed, Hit the start menu, in the upper right hand comer, click the search ICON and search for "Activate Windows" , Click Change KEY and put in your Windows Media Center key...and activate !

This is how you get a CLEAN install of Windows Media Center on 8.1 with only using your WMC upgrade key. I have confirmed this works, as I rebuilt my 8.1 Partition have used this before on others PCs..
Twitter @TheCoolDave

Windows Media Center certified and WMC MVP 2010 - 2012

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