Two Tips When Doing a Fresh Install of Windows 8

I have two tips when you are doing a fresh install of Windows 8 on a new laptop with UEFI BIOS.  Sorry, I mean with UEFI firmware interface instead of BIOS firmware interface.  I think that is more correcter or the correstest way.  I just can’t stop saying “UEFI BIOS”.   “UEFI BIOS”.  See I just did it again.  Next I’ll be saying use “The Google”.

Let us get back to the two tips.  The first tip is booting your new laptop with UEFI and secure boot enabled from a USB stick with Windows 8 on it.  The problem is the USB stick needs to be formatted as FAT32 because UEFI does not recognize NTFS.  I wonder why this is.  I couldn’t find a reason on The Google.

I used the Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool to get the Windows 8 installer on the USB drive.  You can ignore the “Windows 7” part; it works for Windows 8 just fine.  The problem is the USB drive is formatted as NTFS by the tool.  To get around this problem take the following steps outlined below which I got from Thomas Dbasinskas’s blog:

  1. Run the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool and select the Window 8 iso.
  2. Copy all the files on your USB drive back to the harddrive on your computer.
  3. Format the USB drive as FAT32.
  4. Copy the Windows 8 files from your computer back to the USB drive.

The second tip is that the Windows 8 key is stored in the BIOS.  I mean the UEFI.  Maybe the UEFI BIOS.  Anyway, it’s stored in the firmware of the laptop.  This is not a problem if you want to reinstall the same version of Windows 8 but in my case I wanted to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro using my MSDN key.

I was confused because during the Windows 8 install I was never asked for a key.  I thought I would be asked after the install but never was.  After some confusion I figured out the key was stuffed in the firmware.  To upgrade my version of Windows I had to enter in the Windows 8 Pro key and then Windows auto-magically upgraded itself.

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