How do i do a fresh install of windows 8.1 without disc?

  Bailey08787 21:29 03 Mar 14


I have a laptop on order and on it will come a pre-installed version of Windows 8.1, but no disc

I want to take out the HDD and put in a new SSD

How can I install a fresh copy of windows 8.1 on the SSD?


  Number six 23:12 03 Mar 14

I suspect most if not all SSD manufacturers supply free cloning software with their products. Should be simple operation to clone old HDD to new SSD.

  onthelimit1 08:57 04 Mar 14

You'll need an external caddy to put the new drive in. If no free cloning software supplied, try Macrium Reflect which is free. Cloning is better than a clean install as all drivers are copied across. The other option may be to burn some system recovery disks using W8 built-in program.

  Bailey08787 13:16 04 Mar 14

thanks MechKB, that's the kind of solution I was looking for

  rdave13 19:36 04 Mar 14

As it's a laptop you won't get the key on a label and I wouldn't trust any keyfinder programs. So that means the iso would be no good. Whatever you decide to do you will need to boot up the laptop and log in with a Microsoft account. Find how to burn your restore to factory media ( DVDs or Usb flash drive) and burn them. They will automatically verify that they're ok. Once you've done that you can start playing around, either cloning the disk via an usb caddy or change the drive and boot up via the restore to factory media you previously created.

  Woolwell 22:22 04 Mar 14

I'm slightly puzzled why you are not buying a laptop with an SSD already.

radve13's advice is good.

  Bailey08787 15:40 10 Mar 14

thanks for the replies

surely when I get the laptop the version of windows 8.1 already installed will be accompanied by a product key somewhere no? e.g. on a piece of paper or accessible via the system somehow?

i don't want to have to buy a usb caddy to start swapping drives over really.

I was thinking i'd be able to download the iso, save to usb.

Then pop in the new ssd, boot from usb, install 8.1, enter windows key, start downloading necessary drivers

sound like a plan?

  rdave13 15:49 10 Mar 14

You won't find a Windows key on your laptop. Burn the restore to factory settings media, change the drives, boot from the restore media. A plus for this is that you'll have all your required drivers installed. You'll have to remove all the unnecessary accompanying software as usual.

  Bailey08787 15:57 10 Mar 14

Really? The news that a laptop with windows 8.1 installed comes without a license key for the purchaser comes as a surprise to me.

  rdave13 16:03 10 Mar 14

click here . As I replied earlier I wouldn't trust any 'key-finder' program to try installing from an iso.

  Bailey08787 16:40 10 Mar 14


so what is it you don't trust about key finders?

This one seems legit enough:

click here

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