You are here:

Windows 8/windows 8 replacing on new hard drive


Hi,  I have a gateway computer that had windows 8 on it.  The hard drive crashed.  I put in a new hard drive but I have no disks and there is no license number on the computer.  I have a Windows 8 disk from another computer but how will it get through the license check?

Hi Dan!

The license key for systems that shipped with Windows 8.x is found in the BIOS. Windows 8 will "usually" pick this up during the install and activate, but there are several scenarios where it doesn't work properly.

If it doesn't activate automatically, try using RWEverything (ACPI, MSDM) to read the key from the BIOS to activate manually.

If it gives you a message after booting to the OS disk about the key not matching or being invalid, you need to add/alter the installation. See this article for help:

If you have any other questions, feel free to follow up.

Good luck!

Windows 8

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


PowerEdge Tech


I can answer nearly all questions about Windows 8 - installation, upgrade, virtualization (Hyper-V, etc.), configuration, how to get the most out of it, how to buy it, etc. I won't pretend to know it all - nobody can - if I don't know, I will try and find the answer. If I can't find it, I'll tell you.


I worked as an analyst in Dell server support for 2 years, and have since worked with many Dell PowerEdge servers. I am currently employed as IT Manager. I have been using Windows 8 since the early Developer Preview days and use it on all of my primary PC's for a number of activities.

I have a BS in Computer Science and have earned the following certifications: CompTIA Security+, A+, Project+; CIW Web Design, Database Specialist; Microsoft Windows 7; Dell DCSE Server. I am also an expert in Windows 7, Servers, and Hard Drives (I don't normally do XP - not because I don't know it inside and out, but because I have "retired" personal support for XP, and I want to see it die :)).

©2017 All rights reserved.