Ever wanted to reload a new laptop with Windows 8? Chances are very good that you will receive the error “The Product Key entered does not match any of the Windows Images available for installation”.
Let me explain why you are getting this error message and how to get passed this problem and completing your Windows 8 installation.
Why would you want to reload a new out-of-the-box laptop?
There are many reasons for this, but in my case, I had Microsoft Volume Licenses available to install. So I basically bought a new laptop with pre-installed Windows 8.1 Single Language. The reason for this is simple – to save money! I will then take Windows 8.1 Professional that I have under my Microsoft Volume License Agreement and reload the Operating System. Other reasons could be to install a pre-configured company Image, or maybe just reloading your new laptop to get rid of all the junk that the laptop manufacturers install together with the Operating System.
What has changed in Windows 8 that makes this difficult?
With the previous versions of Windows when you buy a new laptop, there would be a Microsoft Product Key Sticker underneath the laptop. That is your license for your Operating System. With Windows 8, Microsoft has change this so that the Product Key is stored in the UEFI or previously known as the BIOS. This is basically to prevent piracy so when you reload your laptop with the Operating System that it shipped with, it never asks you to enter a Product Key, but automatically fetches the Product Key from the UEFI and activate your copy of Windows. This means that if you want to change your Operating System from Windows 8.1 Single Language to Windows 8.1 Professional you will receive the error “The Product Key entered does not match any of the Windows Images available for installation”, because the license for Windows 8.1 Single Language does not work for Windows 8.1 Professional.
In my case I’ve booted from the Windows 8.1 Professional disk on the new laptop. The installation will ask you for location and language.
When you click next you will receive the error “The Product Key entered does not match any of the Windows Images available for installation”.
How to bypass the UEFI Product Key.
To bypass the UEFI Product Key, you will have to create a Windows Installation Disk and manually place a Product ID file (PID.txt) on the disk to override the UEFI Product Key.
I used PowerISO to create the ISO file for my Windows Installation Disk. (Make sure you have a registered copy. The free copy has limitations)
1. Insert your Original Windows 8.1 Professional disk in your DVD driver and use PowerISO to create an ISO file of the disk on your hard drive. Is you have a Microsoft Volume License Agreement, download the Windows 8.1 Professional ISO file from your Download Centre.
2. Open notepad and create a PID.txt file as shown below. Replace the “X”s with your Product Key from your Windows 8.1 package or your Volume License Agreement.
3. Edit the ISO file that you created with PowerISO and insert the PID.txt file into the /sources folder and save the ISO file.
4. Burn the ISO file that contains the PID.txt file to DVD.
5. Use the DVD to boot on your new laptop. Windows 8 will then bypass the UEFI Product key and use the Product Key that you have placed in the PID.txt file.
Hope this will help you preventing the error “The Product Key entered does not match any of the Windows Images available for installation” as it took me almost a full day to get passed this issue.