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How to install Windows 8 without product key

If you have installed the final version of Windows 8 on a PC recently, you have noticed that you had to enter a valid product key at one time during setup to continue with it. That’s different from previous versions of the Windows operating system where you had the option to install the system without a product key. This was a way to try out the operating system for a specific amount of time before you either had to enter a product key or uninstall it (yes, even if you used the rearm command).

Windows Vally reports that there is still a way to install Windows 8 without entering a product key during setup. It requires a little bit of tweaking, but no modification of any files of the operating system. You basically add a file to the ISO image. What you need is a Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise ISO image, and a program like 7-Zip to extract the contents of the disk image to your local drive.






Once you have extracted the contents of the ISO, create the ei.cfg document in the Sources folder of the operating system. Add the following lines to the system:

[EditionID]
Core
[Channel]
Retail
[VL]
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You can replace Core with Pro or Enterprise, Retail with OEM, and VL with 1 (for true). Once that has been taken care of, you need to create a bootable Windows 8 ISO image again. The whole process is explained on this page.

For that, you need the Assessment and Deployment Kit for Windows 8, which you can download from Microsoft. You can alternative use a software like ImgBurn directly to create the bootable ISO image.

Once you have created and burned the ISO image, you can run the installation from it. When you get to the product key screen simply skip it when it appears.