For all the Windows 8 users, Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade, but under normal circumstances you cannot install Windows 8.1 simply using Windows 8 Product key. However in the world of tech, things like this are not a big deal at all, as if one can put restrictions on it, another one can remove it as well, its just like “If a Law Is Written, Certainly It Can Be Unwritten”. However, Microsoft only allows Windows 8.1 Media downloading through Windows 8.1 Key, but there are tricks to bypass even such an act. But what is the actual problem, allow me to explain it a little:
In general life, Keys are made for specific locks only, however, a universal key can be created, if the lock is created after the Key. Same is the case here, Windows 8.1 product key is different from Windows 8, you cannot just enter the Windows 8 Product key into Windows 8.1 installer this won’t work, but Windows 8.1 is not much different than Windows 8, only a couple of tricks can make the old key work like a Charm.
On the other hand, to save it from Piracy, only those who have purchased the Windows 8 from Microsoft store area are able to download Windows 8.1, but Windows 8.1 installer won’t accept the Windows 8 key. However, Windows 8.1 will accept the same key if you enter it on Desktop after installing the Windows, now we have no idea why it works, but it works, all it need is to modify the installation media a bit.
Download the Windows 8.1:
Another problem arises here is that Microsoft only allows Media Download if you use the Windows 8.1 Key, fortunately, there is a way to bypass that too. Visit the Upgrade Windows with only a product key page and click the Install Windows 8 button and start downloading the installation media, Run the download tool and enter the product key and after the download begins, close the tool.
Again visit the same page and click the Install Windows 8.1 and run the downloaded tool. The tool won’t prompt any Key entering message instead it will start the downloading of Windows 8.1. Select the Install by Creating Media option after it completes, either choose USB installation media or ISO file, as USB installation media is better and easy, let’s presume that you will do that.
Modify The Installation Media:
If you go on ahead and try to install the Windows without any modification, you will see an error, thus forcing you to abort the installation. Therefore, we must modify a little before starting the process, as I said above USB installation media is easy to modify, Open the USB drive and navigate to the Source folder inside it. Right click anywhere in the source folder and create a new Text file and name it ei.cfg, just make sure that the file is .cfg not .cfg.txt.
Open the ei.cfg file in any Text editor and copy the following text into it:
If you have the professional windows, just change the word Core with Professional, save the file and close the Folder
Install The Windows Like Normal and Enjoy
Now continue with the installation, you won’t be promoted for any installation key while in the process. After the installation is completed, you will see a window promoting to put the Product Key. Here you can enter the Windows 8 Product key and Windows 8.1 will accept it. You can use the same media to install Windows 8.1 on any PC, until the users has the CD key, do not put yours there.