Windows 8 – An expensive itch

After the Windows 8 Developer Camp and testing on VM’s for a while, driven by the enthusiasm, I decided to upgrade my home PC and go on with Windows 8 Pro. Right now, I regret it. Before sending my dear friend Windows 7 in a premature retirement, I also upgraded the disk section of my PC, as 128 GB given by one Crucial M4 SSD was not enough, I decided to add an extra SSD always an M4 of the same size. The idea was to create an RAID-0 and enjoy the fast disk subsystem. Initially every thing seemed going for the best, I got the F6 drivers, I created a bootable USB with Windows 8, moved all of important files and settings on my NAS and proceeded with installation. More or less everything went well.

A couple of days later, after shutting down the PC I was not able anymore to start it. RAID controller reported a misalignment. I tested both of SSD’s and I didn’t found any problem. I tried couple of other things but I was not able to achieve a stable RAID-0 configuration. I presume that there are some problems with Intel’s controller so it loses the alignment due to wear leveling functionality on SSD. This kind of things are not in my area of ​​expertise so I decided that for now I will continue with a JBOD disk setup.

After I troubled with updates that made me loose a lot’s of time, by refusing to install, suddenly I got an alert that I was not expecting. I was not able to activate my system! Well it is not something that you will expect after purchasing a valid licence directly from Microsoft. I contacted Microsoft support which after a long chat and remote assistance was unable to solve the problem. It seems that if you perform a clean install of Windows 8 and you purchased an Upgrade version, you will not be able to activate your copy of Windows! What? So I should first install Windows 7 than upgrade? Insane! The error I was receiving was 0xC004F061.

Luckily I manage to find help Google-ing and to solve this unpleasant situation on my own. If you are in the same situation, this may help you.

  1. Open the registry editor and position yourself on the following key:
  2. Now search the dword value called “MediaBootInstall” and set it to 0 (zero)
  3. Open the Command Prompt as administrator and give the following command:
    slmgr /rearm
  4. Now you will need to restart your PC and follow the standard activation procedure.

This couple of steps solved my activation problems. I hope I didn’t broke the EULA in any way, however, it is not plausible to follow the indications imposed by Microsoft.

In summary, passing on Windows 8 was the most difficult one since… …well Windows ME! I lost a weekend and instead of finishing my next technical blog post, I ended fighting with my PC. It seems that I will never learn…

Write you soon!