Boot Camp with Windows 8 upgrade disk?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by skallal, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. skallal macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2012
    Okay I know upfront that this is officially a no go. Right now I have one Windows 8 Pro upgrade disk that I bought before the prices went up about a year ago. Boot Camp supposedly does not allow upgrade installations of Windows.

    One way around this, is to install Windows 7 and then upgrade. I have a Windows 7 install disk for my desktop, but the but the key is already being used. I don't know if I run the Windows 8 Pro upgrade on a Windows 7 installation that is not activated.

    And I also have a Windows 7 install disk for a Samsung Series 7 Slate tablet. The Slate is currently not using Windows 7, but Windows 8.1. And the install disk was designed for a specific piece of hardware, certainly not Boot Camp.

    Another possibility is to install an older version of Mac OS X, such as Snow Leopard, on a bootable hard drive. That could allow me to install Windows XP on Boot Camp, and then upgrade to 8. But I'm not sure if it would allow me to install boot camp on a drive that is currently not the boot drive. My main hard drive is an SSD currently running Mavericks. And I don't know if Snow Leopard will install on a mid 2012 MBP, even if an external drive.

    My other option is to convert a Windows 8.1 VM on Parallels Desktop 9 to Boot Camp. I found a few articles here and there that describe how to do it, but none of them are for the faint of heart.

    Of course the simple direct route would be to purchase the Windows 8.1 full version. But that is quite expensive than I already have the existing upgrade disk, just not the proper OS upgrade from.
  2. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2012
    I don't know about Windows 7 and before, but for Windows 8 retail products they are all upgrades and no full versions available. I have used the upgrade disc of Windows 8 Pro to install under Boot Camp without any problem; you just have to change the registry as summarized here to activate it after installation.

    If you are planning to use Windows 8.1, in my opinion the only usable version of Win 8 so far, then you can skip all the nonsense and download a Win 8.1 ISO following this thread with a Windows computer. Note that the Win 8.1 is now a full version so no more registry hack nonsense.

    In summary, if you have a PC running 64-bit Windows, you can download a copy of 64-bit Win 8.1 ISO from Microsoft and do a clean install under Boot Camp. No need to go through any meaningless upgrade process. It's up to you how you want to do it, but either way, start with Win 8 or 8.1.
  3. skallal thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2012
    I read another thread in this forum where someone stated that the upgrade disk might work anyway. So I went ahead an installed from the upgrade disk onto the Boot Camp partition. I just noticed that I can not activate because the product key I have is not valid for a clean install.

    So I'm back to Ground Zero!
  4. skallal thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2012
    Thanks xcodeSyn! I had my last post entered into Tapatalk for quite a while before I hit send and didn't see your reply. I did your workaround for activation and it does indeed work.

    Yes I'm planning to upgrade to 8.1, but I didn't realize that I could get around this I hope by the more direct method you mentioned. So I am about to do the 8.1 upgrade all over again on this machine. At least it is a very fresh install of 8.

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