windows 8 - How to extract Win 8 OEM key embedded in the BIOS?

  • user22105

    I did a fresh install of Win 8 on my PC, I was told the OEM product key will automatically supplied in the installtion. However, it did not happen in my case... this is the method i used to install Windows 8. Now im stuck with an unregistered Win 8. I'm wondering, now, if there's a way to extract the Product Key from my BIOS?

    Edit: my pc came with OEM Windows 8 installed

  • Answers
  • olee22

    See this tutorial for more help:

    Windows 8 clean install from iso using the machines own Windows 8 OEM licence

    The BIOS does store the OEM key. If you make a clean install on an unparticioned HDD with an MSDN installer, it can detect the key. However, the windows edition of the key must match the edition of the installer (Pro, with or without Media Center Pack, Enterprise, etc.). If the two don't match, the installer will prompt to enter the key and activate Windows.

    Here's another interesting tutorial, to install a different version of Windows 8:

    Installing Windows 8 Pro over Standard OEM in your new Win8 Certified notebook

  • mootinator

    Download RW-EVERYTHING. Run it. Click on the ACPI Table button at the top. After that click on the MSDM tab. Your BIOS's product key is at the bottom.

    RW-EVERYTHING Screenshot

    You're Welcome!

  • user22105

    From my experience, the OEM product key in the BIOS was never supplied at installation. I recommend those who wish to do a fresh install of Windows 8 on an OEM machine obtain the OEM Product Key first by using this tool (This step is important, because if you perform a fresh install without having obtained your OEM key, it would be extremely difficult to extract the product key from your BIOS). After formatting and a fresh install, enter your OEM product key manually. Immediately after the entry, your Windows 8 will automatically be activated (it does not require online activation). Good luck!

  • David Schwartz

    There is no product key in your BIOS. As you correctly said, the key is automatically supplied in the installation. Since you didn't install using the OEM's installer, the key was not supplied during the installation. You need to install with the OEM's Windows 8 installation media or with the OEM's recovery method.

  • Related Question

    Will a clean install of Windows 8 recognize an OEM license/product key?
  • Peter Jaric

    As I understand it, OEM computers that come with Windows 8 preinstalled has the license/product key stored in the BIOS/on the motherboard somewhere.

    If you do a clean install (*) of Windows 8 (for example with an ISO from MSDN) on an computer which came preinstalled with Windows 8, will it recognize that it already has a license? Or will it require you to purchase a new Windows 8 license to activate it?

    (And excuse me if I have the terms confused, hopefully the meaning comes across.)

    (*) Wiping the drive, perhaps because it has been corrupted in some way and ordinary recovery/repair is impossible.

  • Related Answers
  • Jesse

    Rather than discuss something I don't know or understand like many of the poster's above (who seem to be leveraging former experiences with prior OSes) I will state my experience and you can accept it for it is.

    I purchased an ACER M5 with a pre-loaded OEM version of windows 8, similarly there was no affixed sticker stating the product key. I removed the original hard drive and upgraded to a new SSD. No efforts towards imaging or maintaining of the original HHD were performed. I purchased a system builders DVD for windows 8 pro to install onto the new, entirely blank SSD. During the installation, I was never asked to input a product key. My final istallation was a copy of windows 8 (non pro). Futhermore, a check on the last 5 digits of the product key applied on my installation reflected a different product key than the one shipped with the system builder DVD.

    Speculation: the OEM product key was stored elsewhere on the machine, detected, and employed rather than asking the user to supply a product key. I've read elsewhere that the key is maintained in the BIOS for new OEMs from major PC manufactures to simplify reporting to Microsoft.

    Personal: I build a new box every two years so the fact that my product key was never requested doesn't impact me; my purchased personal use license for W8 pro will be used eventually.

  • Don't Forget to Upvote

    Windows 8 implements OEM Activation 3.0 and will automatically detect the license and activate during the setup if you are using a legit OEM PC.

    Check this link:,16636.html

  • Gww

    If the OEM machine has a UEFI which is an interface between your OS and the BIOS then your OS will use Activation 3.0 whether Windows 7 or 8. You will not get a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) period. The COA is in the BIOS, all you will have is a small square Windows 8 logo decal. I'm receiving Lenovo desktops now preloaded with Win7x64 and included Win8 upgrade media at our depot now. Many clients cannot use x64 for there specialized software. If I image a Win7x86 on it, keeping all hardware exactly as it was, the embedded COA is useless even if I manually entered the key which I extracted from the registry earlier. The key will have an OEM block on it and will not activate and Lenovo has said to me "not our problem purchase a retail license". Microsoft will hide under the veil of "Piracy" but really they are just looking for another revenue stream. In many instances now our clients are paying twice for an OS. Good job Microsoft.

  • olee22

    The Win 8 installer can recognize the key stored in the UEFI bios. However, you have to make sure that the Windows 8 version matches that of the key stored.

    See this post: Windows 8 clean install from iso using the machines own Windows 8 OEM licence

  • kobaltz

    The only way that it will recognize the license is if it has Restore Media or a Restore Partition in which case it will re-image your machine. However, it will not take you through the normal installation process.

    If you are using downloaded/purchased media to install Windows 8 to the same version that you have, check the side of the computer or the bottom of it for the Product Code. Depending on the manufacture, you may be able to reinstall using the product code with an copy of Windows 8.

    However, these OEM licenses often have the manufacture fields filled out and will validate on this when reinstalling which means that the same version/nonmanufacture media may not work.