How do I Change the product key in Windows 8?

Official mascot of Windows 8

I’ll just get it out of the way right up front: I hate the Windows 8 UI.

It might make sense on a consumer device, but not for an enterprise. There is no way I’m deploying this to my users. It’ll be two months of help desk tickets that look like this: I can’t find my email. I can find the internet. What’s a Metro?

Not happening. Why Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to throw away 20 years of training their users how to use their flagship product, I’ll never know. I just hope whoever is responsible is dealt with appropriately. By ‘appropriately’ I mean taken out back and shot.

When someone who has been administering Windows machines since Windows 98 is sitting there asking how to actually install Windows Updates, your UI has gone terribly awry.

In order to actually install updates, you have to activate the OS. Apparently to really do anything you have to activate the OS. Ok, I can see that. We use Windows 7 Enterprise here, and I was kinda hoping that Microsoft had realized by now that it is a terrible idea to force the Windows 8 UI on enterprise customers, and had disabled it in Windows 8 Enterprise. No such luck.

Also, they expect enterprise customers will be using KMS servers to activate. We do not. Why? Well I can’t get it working correctly. Microsoft says that it is working. It says that it is working. Clients cannot activate using it. I have a ticket open with Microsoft.

In the meantime, I will just use MAK keys. Except I can’t find a way to get the damn MAK key into Windows 8 Enterprise. Just because I’m not forcing it on giving it to users doesn’t mean I’m not evaluating it.

Apparently they expect you to use KMS to activate MAK keys by opening an elevated command prompt, and typing this command:

slmgr.vbs -ipk “Enter Key Here”

Well that’s all well and good, but I don’t need more KMS “servers” that don’t serve keys.

The easy way is to use a Run Command:

slui 3

That was added to Windows 7 at some point, and works as well there as it does on Windows 8.

I hope that saves someone the time it took me to figure it out.


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