HOW TO: Install 8.1 WMC with just the WMC key

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DavidinCT

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HOW TO: Install 8.1 WMC with just the WMC key

#1

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...
http://vg.dl.ws.microsoft.com/dl/conten ... 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)

https://pastebin.com/raw/Cd74x2Mg

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
https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21A ... 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..
-Dave
Twitter @TheCoolDave

Windows Media Center certified and WMC MVP 2010 - 2012

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12noon

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#2

Post by 12noon » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:12 am

I'm going to try to get a Windows 8.1 Pro WMC machine up and running soon. To that end, I converted the ESD to ISO, and it seemed to work fine but it did display this error:

Code: Select all

============================================================
Integrating Generic WMC Tokens
============================================================

The system cannot find the file specified.
It seems to be from this line in the script:

Code: Select all

bin\wimlib-imagex.exe update ISOFOLDER\sources\install.wim 1 <bin\wim-update.txt 1>nul 2>nul
Is this expected? Is it a problem? Is there any way to fix it? Thank you very much for your post and assistance.
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DavidinCT

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#3

Post by DavidinCT » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:51 am

First of all, copy all the files to a folder in the root of the drive that your doing this on.

For example

c:\temp

If your going deep like c:\users\my name\Downloads it might have an issue.

Make sure you running it as an administrator (You need to right click and run as an admin).

Did it give you an ISO ?

Let me know if this still does not work, I'll re-download them tomorrow and try it again... It's been a while but, being a systems admin, I don't see a reason why it would not work.

Another TIP for installing. Disconnect from the internet when installing. It could try to validate the key over the internet and fail on you. It can sometimes do that.
-Dave
Twitter @TheCoolDave

Windows Media Center certified and WMC MVP 2010 - 2012

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#4

Post by 12noon » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:30 am

Yes, it did give me an ISO. I ran cmd.exe as administrator. I unzipped the ESDtoISO ZIP into F:\ESDtoISO and put the ESD file in the drive's root. I entered a relative path when the script prompted me for it. After seeing your reply, I tried again but put the ESD in the same folder as the CMD script. This time, of course, it didn't prompt me for a path to the ESD, but I got the same error (and an ISO). Here's the full output. Everything looks fine except for those generic WMC tokens.

Code: Select all

============================================================
Creating Setup Media Layout...
============================================================

Applying image 1 ("Windows Setup Media") from "F:\ESDtoISO\9600.17053.winblue_refresh.141120-0031_x64fre_client_professionalwmc_en-us-ir5_cpwmca.esd" to directory "ISOFOLDER\"
Creating files: 2962 of 2962 (100%) done
Extracting file data: 426 MiB of 426 MiB (100%) done
Applying metadata to files: 2962 of 2962 (100%) done
Done applying WIM image.

============================================================
Creating boot.wim file...
============================================================

Writing LZX-compressed data using 16 threads
618 MiB of 618 MiB (uncompressed) written (100% done)

Writing LZX-compressed data using 16 threads
131 MiB of 131 MiB (uncompressed) written (100% done)

============================================================
Creating install.esd file...
============================================================

Writing LZMS-compressed data using 1 thread
7145 MiB of 7145 MiB (uncompressed) written (100% done)

============================================================
Integrating Generic WMC Tokens
============================================================

The system cannot find the file specified.

============================================================
Creating ISO file...
============================================================

CDIMAGE 2.53m CD-ROM and DVD-ROM Premastering Utility
Copyright (C) Microsoft, 1993-2007. All rights reserved.
For Microsoft internal use only.


Scanning source tree (2000 files in 802 directories)
Scanning source tree complete (2096 files in 867 directories)

Computing directory information complete

Image file is 3464921088 bytes (before optimization)

Writing 2096 files in 867 directories to en_windows_8.1_pro_WMC_ir5_x64_dvd.iso

100% complete

Storage optimization saved 456 files, 92153856 bytes (3% of image)

After optimization, image file is 3379759104 bytes
Space saved because of embedding, sparseness or optimization = 92153856

Done.

Press any key to exit.
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#5

Post by DavidinCT » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:20 pm

Ah, I tried it this morning and got the same error. so I created a VM, I disconnected from the internet and Installed with the KEY I had above.

After install, I had a un-activated (as expected) version of Windows 8.1 and yes Windows Media Center was installed and ran fine.

After looking into this, it appears it was a back door method to install with out a key that was added to this. It should have no affect here as you are installing with a WMC install key.

No worries, the ISO is correct and will work as i said.
-Dave
Twitter @TheCoolDave

Windows Media Center certified and WMC MVP 2010 - 2012

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#6

Post by 12noon » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:22 pm

Thank you very much for taking the time to look into this for me. I really appreciate it!
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#7

Post by DavidinCT » Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:01 pm

12noon wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:22 pm
Thank you very much for taking the time to look into this for me. I really appreciate it!
No problem. I also wanted to make sure it still worked for people looking to do this. I can 100% confirm that the process I listed above still works perfectly.

The ONLY thing is DISCONNECT the internet while installing. This is a big one, once installed, then connect internet.
-Dave
Twitter @TheCoolDave

Windows Media Center certified and WMC MVP 2010 - 2012

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