Move Win 8.1 from HP Desktop to rMBP - Possible?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by tigerintank, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. tigerintank macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    Not a big Windows user, but feel i'd get more benefit from dual booting my Mac than using my Windows licence on my Microserver, as I do currently.

    Way back had installed the Win 8 trial initially, then upgraded to full price Win 8 when it was launched. Iirc I did it via the MS download option ie I don't have a DVD version, tho am sure I must still have the download file somewhere.

    Recently upgraded to Win 8.1, again via download and so still no DVD!

    So my question is in 2 parts;

    1. Will MS 'allow me' to effectively move my copy of windows? I'm no Windows expert, but i think i remember that sometimes there are unexpected restrictions!

    2. If yes then how do i go about installing onto the rMBP - do i need to do a 3 stage install - Win 8 Trial, Win 8 proper on top and then finally Win 8.1? Or can I somehow just go straight for Win 8.1?
  2. saturnotaku, Oct 30, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013

    saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    If your HP has an OEM license, it is tied to that machine so you cannot move it to your Mac. Thus, you would need to buy a new copy of Windows. If you bought Windows 8 directly from MS, then it is a retail license and can be transferred, though you will need to remove the existing install from your other machine.

    When you install Windows on the Mac, one of the first things it will ask you for is the product key, so have that handy from the e-mail you received when you placed your order. You will have to download an ISO of the full Windows 8 installer and put it on an 8 GB or larger thumb drive or burn it to a DVD and use an external drive in order to install it on your Mac.
  3. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2012
    1. Run the command line (cmd.exe) "slmgr /dlv" (quote not included) to find out if you have a retail channel license. If you do, you can transfer the license to your Mac without problem.

    2. Use a Windows machine to download a copy of Windows 8.1 ISO following the steps explained in the first post of this thread. Once you burn the ISO to a DVD or USB depending on your Mac, you'll be able to install it under Boot Camp. However in order to clean install Win 8.1, you need to use a generic Win 8.1 product key as mentioned in post #53. Once Win 8.1 is installed successfully, you then use your retail Win 8 product key to activate. This is the least painful way to deal with Win 8.1 upgrade when you have a valid Win 8 product key.


    This doesn't look like an OEM license to me if you paid Microsoft directly for Windows 8.
  4. tigerintank thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    Thanks for quick response to my post both.

    Using the slmgr command shows i have a retail licence. It says quite a bit more including towards the bottom - Remaining Windows rearm count: 1000

    I'm assuming thats some kind of count, that stops me moving the licence lots of times - with a value of 1000 I assume i'm ok!

    Just realised that I'd forgotten something about the (attempted) upgrade to Win 8.1, which means my first post isn't quite accurate - sorry!

    I'd tried to do the Win 8.1 upgrade from the MS Application store and whilst it ran through almost to the end, it fails due to a missing NIC card driver for the HP and backs out to Win 8. So in short I don't have Windows 8.1

    However if I understand what i've read so far thats fine. I just need to use the Win 8 key that I already have and the process in the Eightforums link to get the Win 8.1 ISO and take it from there.

    Will report back on progress, tho it's likely to be next week before I can actually do the install itself. ISO downloading now.

    One more question;

    I have no plans to try to run 2 copies of Win 8 on the same licence, in fact will likely try Linux on the Microserver as Ive not used it before.

    But do i need to prevent 2 copies running for even a short time - ie do they detect each other immediately on my LAN and shut down or something worse?
  5. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2012
    Given that you have already activated Win 8 on the Microserver, if you try to activate Win 8.1 on your Mac with the same product key, it won't allow you to. My advice is to delay activating Win 8.1 install on the Mac until you have removed Win 8 from your Microserver.
  6. tigerintank thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    ok will do thanks. Is there anything specific I need to do to 'release' the licence?

    Will take a look at Linux variants and make a choice over next few days.

    Any recommendations for a good general use variant of Linux?

    Main usage would be pretty light;

    web browsing
    media consumption - music & video
    occasional document editing
    No real gaming to speak of
    If there was some way to use it as a time machine backup that'd be useful

    I'd anticipate doing any 'heavier' apps like photo/video editing on the rMBP.
  7. Hrhnick macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2013

    And then click here for a guide on installing and setting up a server component to run it as a Time Machine Server. The guide is for ubuntu, which elementary is based on so all the commands will function the same!
  8. tigerintank, Oct 30, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013

    tigerintank thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    Thanks for those 2 recommendations - will have a good read through.

    Do you have experience of Time Machine Server?

    Just had a quick scan - looks like it may potentially only be for up to ML? I say that because the last post was march this year.

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