HOW TO: Install 8.1 WMC with just the WMC key

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Re: HOW TO: Install 8.1 WMC with just the WMC key

#21

Post by IT Troll » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:38 am

DavidinCT wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:54 pm
You do need your WMC upgrade key or Pro Pack with WMC key to add at the end of it.
There are two kinds of Media Center upgrade key:

1) Media Center Pack. This will add Media Center to either Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro. These were available free of charge for a short period after which they cost $9.99. I believe the free keys had to be activated within a certain time limit otherwise they expired. So the free version of these keys are unlikely to activate now.

2) Windows 8 Pro Pack. This upgrades Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro with Media Center; i.e. a 2-in-1 upgrade.

Are you saying this method should work with either key type? Others seem to be saying it will only work with the Pro Pack type (2).
Are you a Recorded TV HD user or want to give it a try? Check out the new community-made update; Recorded TV HD v2.1.1

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#22

Post by eskymosteez » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:14 pm

Thank you for the great instructions. I was able to install Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center successfully using the temp key and being offline. However, my Windows 8.1 Pro Pack key did NOT work when trying to activate Windows. Any suggestions?

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#23

Post by handheldgames » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:51 pm

DavidinCT wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:17 pm
V1de0Lovr wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:19 am
Damn, I assumed this would work with a Pro Pack key, but apparently not. But looking at the OP again, he seems to be saying that you can reuse your Windows 8 key for another machine if the first machine was upgraded to Pro Pack. My first machine was Acer OEM, so I don't think that key would work on a different machine. Windows 8.1 Pro keys are abundant on eBay, as well as Pro Pack, but the question is, does Pro Pack work with Pro key, or does it have to be non-Pro?
Just a quick look and I don't fully know if this is 100% legit but, It appears Windows 8.1 Pro pack with WMC keys for $35...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Microsoft-Wind ... SwZRZde-xv

It shows WMC on the label. I would do my install as said above, when your in 8.1 with WMC installed, I would try one of these keys, and if they activate, you have 8.1, if they do not, open a case with the seller, tell them it does not work, and even ebay will step in to give you a refund if the seller gives you crap
Thank you for the link. Purchased on Ebay, this genuine microsoft product key works with an existing Windows 8.1 Pro installation with the "Add Features to Windows" option. ** It cannot be used to install the copy of windows linked on the first page of this thread. **

Working with a one week old 8.1 installation that was fully updated with a hacked install of WMC that had DRM issues with CableCard tuners that could not be fixed, the Add features option resulted in an error requiring a "refresh windows" repair of the OS. Once this step was completed, the Add features option worked AND the purchased key was recognized and after some time, windows is identified as Window 8.1 Professional Media Center edition. Installing drivers for a AMD video card, HDHomerun prime, Digital Cable Adviser, EPG123 etc, I have a fully working install of WMC without any errors.

Many thanks and good luck to anyone who is looking to get a fully working install of Windows 8.1 Media Center with support for Cable Card.

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#24

Post by cleothyme » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:57 pm

handheldgames wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:51 pm
Thank you for the link. Purchased on Ebay, this genuine microsoft product key works with an existing Windows 8.1 Pro installation with the "Add Features to Windows" option.
Thanks for the info, I'm planning to buy the Pro Pack as well. Can you confirm that you used the eBay-purchased "Windows 8.1 Pro Pack" key on a non-activated install on Windows 8.1 Pro?

In other words, having a Pro Pack key will get me to an activated Window 8.1 Pro with Media Center without having ANY other keys. I just get the latest 8.1 Pro .iso from Microsoft, perform a clean install, and use the "Add Features to Windows" process with the Pro Pack key and and it will work?

I am under the impression that the "Add Features to Windows" stops working when you activate Windows 8.1 Pro (non media center), i.e. it is still an icon in the control panel but if you open it, it just says "You can't add features to this edition of Windows." Edit: I should note I am seeing this on an activated Win 8.1 Pro system that was activated using a KMS server (non permanent activation), so my impression may be wrong and the "Add Features to Windows" still works on activated 8.1 Pro if it was a permanent (retail or MAK) activation. Edit2: I found a system with permanently activated 8.1 Pro non MC, and the "Add Features to Windows" does still allow me to enter a key, so I think the "You can't add features to this edition of Windows" only applies to KMS activated Windows.

I have only a system with Windows 8.1 Pro, and do not have the ability to activate Windows 8.1 core, so I hope to confirm a "Pro Pack" key will get me what I want, which is one of the three following scenarios.

1. Activated Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
2. Unactivated Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
3. Unactivated Windows 8.1 Core to Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

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#25

Post by jeepman » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:42 pm

so I think the "You can't add features to this edition of Windows" only applies to KMS activated Windows.
Is a "KMS" Server common? Seems to be related to a corporate environment?

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#26

Post by guho » Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:57 am

I wasted time downloading this esd, converting to iso and burning it only to find out none of my WMC 8.1 upgrade keys work. Fortunately the normal way of installing regular pro disc using pro key, followed by adding WMC feature using the WMC key still works as of today.

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#27

Post by IT Troll » Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:30 am

Yeah, it looks like this method only works with the Windows 8 Pro Pack. It doesn’t work with the Media Center Pack.
Are you a Recorded TV HD user or want to give it a try? Check out the new community-made update; Recorded TV HD v2.1.1

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#28

Post by DavidinCT » Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:52 pm

IT Troll wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:30 am
Yeah, it looks like this method only works with the Windows 8 Pro Pack. It doesn’t work with the Media Center Pack.
I have personally used it with the Free WMC that Microsoft gave you (back when 8 was released) and it should work with the Media pack.

Isn't the Media Pack a full install with WMC ?

As with Microsoft, you cant download WMC any more, so by using this method instead of upgrading in Windows 8, you can install this version, then use your upgrade KEY for it..
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#29

Post by guho » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:16 pm

DavidinCT wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:52 pm
As with Microsoft, you cant download WMC any more, so by using this method instead of upgrading in Windows 8, you can install this version, then use your upgrade KEY for it..
False. You can still install windows 8.1 pro first from a regular disc. Then do a feature change using your Media Center pack key, which then initiates a download of WMC from Microsoft. Didn't I just confirm that it is still possible a few posts back?

The OP disc image, which includes WMC, cannot be used if all you have (like me) is a Windows 8 pro key and a WMC Pack add-on key.

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#30

Post by DavidinCT » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:04 pm

guho wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:16 pm
DavidinCT wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:52 pm
As with Microsoft, you cant download WMC any more, so by using this method instead of upgrading in Windows 8, you can install this version, then use your upgrade KEY for it..
False. You can still install windows 8.1 pro first from a regular disc. Then do a feature change using your Media Center pack key, which then initiates a download of WMC from Microsoft. Didn't I just confirm that it is still possible a few posts back?

The OP disc image, which includes WMC, cannot be used if all you have (like me) is a Windows 8 pro key and a WMC Pack add-on key.
Its news to me, I was reading a while ago that people were not able to any more. It is an officially dead product as far as Microsoft sees..

Glad people could do this. The method I show here is to do a clean install of 8.1 w/WMC, and use the upgrade key to get it working..

I have not needed to re-install it in a while, so I have not really tested..
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#31

Post by tsh2000 » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:44 pm

This isn't working for me...I have the Windows 8.1 Pro Pack with Windows Media Center key. When I try to change the license key it tells me the key can only be used to upgrade Windows. What'd I miss? The system is definitely not on the Internet yet (it's in the lab in the basement so there's absolutely no way it can connect).

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#32

Post by DavidinCT » Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:14 pm

tsh2000 wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:44 pm
This isn't working for me...I have the Windows 8.1 Pro Pack with Windows Media Center key. When I try to change the license key it tells me the key can only be used to upgrade Windows. What'd I miss? The system is definitely not on the Internet yet (it's in the lab in the basement so there's absolutely no way it can connect).
You install the OS with NO internet connection, use the key I posted while off line (YOUR KEY WONT WORK HERE), It will install 8.1 with WMC, THEN AFTER your in Windows and it's installed, connect it to the internet and go into system and CHANGE key, this is where you need to enter your WMC key.

I tested this a few weeks ago in a VM because people were questioning it, it does work.. but, you NEED to be off line when you use the TEMP key I posted...

If you know this is a valid key, you might have to call in but, it's easy and takes like 10 min...
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#33

Post by unclebun » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:08 pm

Do you know if it works with the original Pro Pack keys that were for Windows 8.0?

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#34

Post by DavidinCT » Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:08 pm

unclebun wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:08 pm
Do you know if it works with the original Pro Pack keys that were for Windows 8.0?
Is this the pro-pack with WMC ? If it's just the pro pack... (Turning home to pro without WMC), it might not work.

This was written up mainly for people who got the Free WMC KEY after 8 came out, or someone who ordered WMC from Windows 8/8.1..

This allowed someone to install a CLEAN version of Windows 8.1 with WMC... using JUST the upgrade key...

If you do have Pro-pack with WMC (full version), then this SHOULD work but, you could just take the image/iso in the first post and use your key, and it should work fine.
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#35

Post by tsh2000 » Fri May 01, 2020 6:50 pm

I know you said that it should work with unactivated keys as well, but maybe this method only works with previously activated keys?

The key I'd tried to use was a Windows 8.1 Pro Pack with WMC key. I had kept the system offline and used the generic key as you instructed. When I tried to apply the un-activated key it refused saying that it could only be used for upgrading Windows and not for activating Windows. I didn't think to call so perhaps that would work as an alternative.
DavidinCT wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:08 pm
unclebun wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:08 pm
Do you know if it works with the original Pro Pack keys that were for Windows 8.0?
Is this the pro-pack with WMC ? If it's just the pro pack... (Turning home to pro without WMC), it might not work.

This was written up mainly for people who got the Free WMC KEY after 8 came out, or someone who ordered WMC from Windows 8/8.1..

This allowed someone to install a CLEAN version of Windows 8.1 with WMC... using JUST the upgrade key...

If you do have Pro-pack with WMC (full version), then this SHOULD work but, you could just take the image/iso in the first post and use your key, and it should work fine.

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#36

Post by DavidinCT » Sun May 03, 2020 1:41 pm

tsh2000 wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 6:50 pm
I know you said that it should work with unactivated keys as well, but maybe this method only works with previously activated keys?

The key I'd tried to use was a Windows 8.1 Pro Pack with WMC key. I had kept the system offline and used the generic key as you instructed. When I tried to apply the un-activated key it refused saying that it could only be used for upgrading Windows and not for activating Windows. I didn't think to call so perhaps that would work as an alternative.
If it's already been activated, then you would need to call in. It's normally not a big deal, it's all automated and takes like 10 min.
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#37

Post by 12noon » Tue May 05, 2020 6:32 pm

FYI, I can confirm that a "Windows 8.1 Pro Pack (Move up from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center)" does not work with this install.

I purchased this key on eBay (which is the same as the one linked to earlier, but cheaper):

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Microsoft-Wind ... 3353256112

I installed Windows 8.1 WMC using the ESD/ISO process detailed in this thread. I definitely DISABLED Internet during the installation and enabled it only after the install. I went to the Activate Windows page, where it said the install key I used was blocked. (This is probably expected.) However, when I entered my Windows 8.1 Pro Pack key, it said it wasn't valid. I don't think the seller is defrauding me (since they refunded the $54 shipping and e-mailed me a picture of the key). I think the W8PP keys just don't work for this edition of Windows. Can Microsoft make their SKUs any more confusing?

I guess I'll try installing Windows 8.1 and "upgrading" to Windows 8.1 Pro Pack then add the Media Center feature.

Update: I downloaded the Windows 8.1 ISO from Microsoft (x64) and installed it as a bare-metal install. I entered a Windows 8.1 key during the installation. After Windows finished installing, I went to "Add features to Windows 8.1" and entered my "Windows 8.1 Pro Pack key. Success. I don't think it needed to download anything--it just "unlocked" the features that were already on the drive.
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#38

Post by 6athome » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:10 am

I've been going nuts with cable card adviser and playready. My Win 8.1 WMC is activated,but it will not show fox channels,which have gone DRM on Fios. I'm peeved that I spent the money on this build only to have playready screw me.My Win 7 show Fox channels,so the screw has to be Win 8.1 WMC.

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#39

Post by 12noon » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:27 am

This might not be appropriate for this thread, but I recommend SiliconDust's network tuners. The HomeRun Prime 6 includes six tuners and uses one CableCARD. It basically "broadcasts" the tuners on your network. After you install the SiliconDust drivers on your WMC machine, WMC will see the tuners. You won't need DCA, and you'll get the DRM channels just fine. I realize it's adding more hardware and expense to your build, but IMO, in the long run, it makes things much easier.

Update: Changed "PlayReady" to "DCA." You will almost certainly need PlayReady.
Last edited by 12noon on Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#40

Post by 6athome » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:33 am

12noon wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:27 am
This might not be appropriate for this thread, but I recommend SiliconDust's network tuners. The HomeRun Prime 6 includes six tuners and uses one CableCARD. It basically "broadcasts" the tuners on your network. After you install the SiliconDust drivers on your WMC machine, WMC will see the tuners. You won't need PlayReady, and you'll get the DRM channels just fine. I realize it's adding more hardware and expense to your build, but IMO, in the long run, it makes things much easier.
I have HD Homerun prime with 3 turners, I didn't know they finally came out with the 6 turner!

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