Windows 8 Product Key, When Resetting, Reinstalling 


The installation of the Windows 8 operating system should not pose problems to the majority of users. Installation is pretty straightforward and users do not need to enter a product key during installation. It may however come as a shock to some users that they have to enter the Windows 8 product key when they try to reinstall or reset the operating system.

We have already talked about resetting the operating system. This basically resets the operating system to the state right after installation. All personal files and applications are removed from the computer, and settings are returned to their defaults. The option to reset the PC is available in the Control Panel of the operating system.

Reinstallation on the other hand simply refers to installing the operating system a second time on a computer.

You might be asked to enter the Windows product key in both situations. On a side note: I reinstalled Windows 8 and was not asked to enter a product key.

The problem here is that Microsoft is not supplying the product key with the operating system. You won’t find it in a text document that is part of the installation files nor on the official website.

You find the answer in a forum thread (!) over at the Microsoft Developer Network forum. A user asked the following question on the forum:

I’m reinstalling Windows Developer Preview and need to enter a product key. What key do I use?

A Microsoft employee replied with this answer:

If you need to reinstall Windows Developer Preview or use the Reset functionality, you might be asked to enter this product key:


If you’re running a server version of Windows Developer Preview, you can use this product key:


Note: These product keys are only for use with the Windows Developer Preview version of Windows 8.

There you have it. If you need to reinstall Windows 8, you need to use the product key 6RH4V-HNTWC-JQKG8-RFR3R-36498.

If you need to reinstall the server version of Windows 8, you use the product key 4Y8N3-H7MMW-C76VJ-YD3XV-MBDKV instead.

The keys are only compatible with the developer preview of Windows 8. It is likely that they wont work in the beta or release candidate, and 100% certain that they won’t work in a final version of the operating system.