Change Product Key to activate Windows 8 or Server 2012

Microsoft Activation has caused many to become perplexed on changing product keys for Server 2012 and Windows 8 operating systems. I ran into this issue while trying to upgrade my new Asus Taichi to Windows 8 Pro from the bundled home version with a MAK key. The following steps should be taken to change the product key in order to activate the upgrade.

To change the product key without first activating Windows, use one of the following methods:

Method 1

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
  2. In the search box, type Slui.exe 0x3.
  3. Tap or click the Slui.exe 0x3 icon.
  4. Type your product key in the Windows Activation window, and then click Activate.

Method 2

Run the following command at an elevated command prompt:

Cscript.exe %windir%\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk <Your product key>

Note You can also use the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) 3.0 to change the product key remotely, or if you want to change the product key on multiple computers.


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