Windows 8 Developer Preview does not need a product key, but users are experiencing some problems where they are presented with the screen to enter a product key and they cannot skip. Finding out that you are having this problem can be a little bit frustrating, taking away some of the excitement of testing the new operating system, but don’t give up just yet, try this and see if it helps you out.
You are re-installing Windows 8 Developer Preview and you need to enter a product key. What key do you have to use?
This is a common problem in the developer preview, in the case you need to re-install Windows 8 or use the Reset functionality, there is a chance that you might be asked to enter a product key in which case you can use the following.
Windows 8 Developer Preview product key only
Windows 8 Server Developer Preview product key only
In the case that entering the product key doesn’t solve the problem you can also try re-download and re-burn — by using the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool – the ISO file image.
Also make sure that you ISO image file SHA-1 hash supplied by Microsoft number matches exactly with the one in the file. You can use Hash & CRC to do this, just download and install it — this is a file cryptographic hash value calculator that supports most of the popular hash function formats used to verify data integrity and authenticity –, then right-click the ISO image file, go to the Hash/CRC tab, select SHA-1 and click Compute.
Here is the list with all the Sha-1 hash supplied by Microsoft for each Windows 8 Developer Preview ISO image file:
- Windows 8 Developer Preview English, 64-bit (x64)
Sha 1 hash – 79DBF235FD49F5C1C8F8C04E24BDE6E1D04DA1E9
- Windows 8 Developer Preview English, 32-bit (x86)
Sha 1 hash – 4E0698BBABE01ED27582C9FC16AD21C4422913CC
- Windows 8 Developer Preview with developer tools English, 64-bit (x64)
Sha 1 hash – 6FE9352FB59F6D0789AF35D1001BD4E4E81E42AF
Now if you are trying to install Windows 8 on VMware Workstation and you get the error: Windows cannot read the setting from the unattend answer file. This is a different error of the one is described above, in here the problem is when setting up your virtual machine, to solve this follow the step-by-step How to install Windows 8 Developer Preview in a virtual machine [VMware]