Clean Install of Windows 8 with an Upgrade Disc

windows activation

I lost my hard drive and was trying to install Windows 8 from a Windows USB boot disk. When came time to activate I was greeted with “Code: 0xC004F061 your key can only be used for an upgrade”.  I bought the upgrade license during the launch sale but din’t know about this restriction.

Microsoft’s solution was to first install Windows 7 and then run the Upgrade assistant again to upgrade to Windows 8.  That would take too long!

Some Googling later and a solution was found. A simple registry hack. Here’s how,

  1. “Windows + r ” and type “regedit” to bring up the registry.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/
  3. Double click on “MediabootInstall”
  4. Change the value from “1” to “0”. Exit the registry.
  5. Hit the “Windows” key and search for “cmd” . Right click and select “Run as Administrator”.
  6. Type slmgr /rearm and hit press enter. Wait for confirmation.
  7. Reboot.
  8. Try to active again. Should work now.

Picture Guide below.

windows activation run regedit

windows activation regedit

windows activation regedit media boot install

windows activation cmd

windows activation cmd done