I wanted to install a clean virtual instance of Windows 8 after purchasing the $40 upgrade from the Windows website, and encountered the dreaded “Windows 8 Pro Upgrade Product Key can’t be used to activate Windows after a clean install” when attempted to activate it. Doing a quick Google search, I stumbled upon a great write up at the Microsoft answers website here. Thanks to the expert tutelage of “BinaryInk” I was able to successfully work around the issue.
The instructions, are as follows:
- Run the registry editor (regedit)
- Find the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\
- Change the value for ‘MediaBootInstall’ from 1 to 0
- Open an elevated command prompt (run as admin)
- Run the following command: slmgr -rearm
Using the above instructions, Windows 8 was successfully activated after the reboot. Thanks BinaryInk!