> On Sun, 29 Jun 2014 10:51:44 +0000, trinity wrote:
>> I have 8 brand new PCs (all the same model and spec) which came with
>> Windows 7 pre-installed but also the (recovery) discs to upgrade to
>> Windows 8 Professional.
>> I am setting up the first one but after W8 installed I have to go
>> through the long process of downloading 8.1 from the Store.
>> Question: when all is done on PC #1 will I be able to make a disc image
>> and apply to the other 7 PCs or do I have to got through the process
>> each time for each PC?
> Yes you can.
> HOWEVER: Because M$ products are proprietary software, they might not be
> able to run because the OS might be programmed to (somehow...) check the
> computer (MAC address, mabey?) and check if it's been registered.
> Basically, you'll end up either buying Windows 8 for each computer, or
> you won't... that's a good example of why I switched to linux (as a dev,
> it's easier), but I digress.
> Also, I wouldn't count of "recovery" discs, they don't work unless
> Windows is installed on your system already (which, in my opinion is a
> fundamentally flawed design), so an disk ISO is your best bet at a fool-
> proof recovery.
On OEM Windows computers:
1) You've already paid for an OS, like it or not.
2) On Windows 7 or earlier computers, the BIOS SLIC table information
supports automatic activation of Windows. If you have a Dell for example,
you could load a Dell Windows 7 DVD or a Dell WinXP CD, and there is a good
chance they will both activate. The only uncertainty with media not
intended for a machine (but Dell branded), is whether drivers will be
3) On Windows 8, an actual key (different on each machine) is
stored at BIOS level. This is different than the SLIC mechanism.
And allows a reinstall of Windows 8 to work right away. If the BIOS
has only that key, then there would be no mechanism for downgrading.
(Like, stuffing in a Dell Windows 7 OEM DVD and restoring.) I don't
know if any PCs have both Win8 key and SLIC at the same time.
Some downloads from Microsoft, *are* customized on a per customer basis.
But the customization does not appear to be for the purpose of exclusionary
behavior. When I bought Windows 8 Pro for $39.95 when it was initially
offered, the download DVD from the Microsoft store used install.esd, which
is an encrypted form of the more normal install.wim. Each time you download,
the install.esd is different. So no two downloads of that media, even when
I used my own account information and downloaded the *same* thing twice,
did the checksum remain the same. If I were to Torrent upload such a
file to the Internet, the install.esd used would presumably be traceable
to my credit card number. It's still not clear to me, after all this
time, as to why such a mechanism is necessary. It forces people to
get the MSDN subscription DVD (available as a Torrent), which uses
install.wim, and every downloaded copy of that has the same checksum
info. What being given an install.esd does, is prevent you from
performing any recipe that requires a copy of an install.wim to
make it work.
There's not a particular reason for the Windows Store download
to be handled in that way. But neither was there a good reason
to encrypt my download DVD. It's not possible for me to quote any
odds as to whether they're doing that or not. Delivery of software
from Microsoft, has become largely "whim of the day" in terms of
delivery. We can no longer rely on sane minds to just deliver
redistributable Service Packs (to make the IT job easier), or
have things uniformly delivered by Windows Update. Is the current
delivery mechanism a PITA ? Yes, absolutely. No excuses.
And yes, having to launch a Repair Install from the setup.exe on
the DVD, is silly as well. When with earlier OSes, you could
boot the installer media and do the Repair Install from there.
The current scheme is less convenient.
As for the files from the Windows Store, being blocked based on
MAC, that's silly. There is no precedent for that. Windows
Activation subsystem, takes care of all that bit. Everything else
relies on Windows Activation. As a test, I just fired up my
Windows 7 SP1 VM, the one downloaded from modern.ie, the one
with the activation grace period expired, and I can still
reach Windows Update and see 13 updates waiting for me. So the
Windows Update subsystem was not disabled. Similarly, you
can download security updates as individual packages, on another
computer, and bring them over to a machine. There's no tradition
of gate-keeping at that level. But my VM, it only runs for an
hour or so, before without announcement it shuts down in
mid-session. And that's enforcement of activation for that
particular OS. I can run it, "as long as I keep the session short".
If you could find the files from the Windows Store download,
and determine necessary registry settings so the OS on the
other machine, would recognize that the files were present,
I feel the odds are good they'd be re-usable. Just a matter
of tracking down a "recipe". In a quick search, I cannot
find such a recipe, but this is more a limitation of
search engines than anything. For example, if I
use "site:mydigitallife.info", I'm more likely to find
something topical on the subject. As you'd expect, stopping
the computer from rebooting into Windows, is the first
step to scavenging $Windows.~BT. So it's going to involve
something like that.
I had no incentive to test all of this, as I managed to
snag a Windows 8.1 DVD :-) (using the double download
method). I also have install-only keys, so if I need
to reinstall my OS to 8.1 level, I'm ready. Just as
ready as I was for Windows 7 SP1, to do the same thing.
If I was "an IT guy on a deserted island", I would
start with the MSDN subscription DVD for 8.1, edit
the ei.cfg if needed, and do my install that way.
For Home and Pro, install-only keys like this
Windows 8.1 Pro: XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB
Windows 8.1 Home: 334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT
( http://ingoboettcher.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/windows-8-1upgrade-via-iso-mit-windows-8-key/ )
Windows 8.0 Pro: XKY4K-2NRWR-8F6P2-448RF-CRYQH
Windows 8.0 Home: FB4WR-32NVD-4RW79-XQFWH-CYQG3
You can use "slui 3" to do a key change, after one of those
installs finishes, with the install-only key. Or you can
try installing with no key, and see if it gets past the
key step. That worked on Windows 7. And "slui 4" gets
you to a phone activation dialog, so you can at least
get an 800 number for the automated activation thing.
And Linux is no more trustworthy, than the people running
the show. If the NSA has taught us anything, it is
"trust no one". With Canonical, it was partnering with
Amazon, to collect your search information for commercial
purposes. Yeah, you can disable it... But did that help
build trust ? Nope. You'd be better off getting your
distro from a Communist country, because they'd never
put anything untoward in a distro :-) /s Still looking
for that Cuban Linux distro.