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How-to: installing Windows 8 without product key

Quick install guide for Windows 8 without product key

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Installation

Installing Windows 8 is a bit different than installing the previous version of Windows. Windows 7 you could install without entering a product key, but when you install Windows 8 you are required to fill in a key right-away.

For a normal installation that doesn't matter much. But if you only want to experiment with Windows 8 for testing purposes, or for any other reason only will have it installed on your computer for a brief period, then it's a different question. Of course you need to activate Windows with a product key if you plan to use the OS longer.

Hardware.Info has created a quick install guide to show you how you can install Windows 8 without entering a product key.

You need to put the file 'ei.cfg' inside the folder '\sources' on the installation DVD or installation USB stick. It's a text file with three headers:

[EditionID]
[Channel]
[VL]

The EditionID for Windows 8 can be: Core, Professional or Enterprise.
Channel can be either Retail or OEM
VL can have the value of 0 or 1

An example of how a valid file looks:

[EditionID]
Professional
[Channel]
Retail
[VL]
0

A slightly different version is this one, where we removed the EditionID verwijderd. Windows 8 will then ask during the installation process which version you'd like to install.

[EditionID]
[Channel]
Retail
[VL]
0


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