So I mistakenly reinstalled an OEM Window 8 Pro Dell computer with my MSDN VLK CD. I was under the impression that you could use any installation media and the setup would detect the embedded key in the BIOS.
When I went to activate windows I was presented with an error saying:
“The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect”
It quickly became apparent from googling that Windows was trying to activate against a KMS server rather than direct with Microsoft _and_ the key stored in the OS was a generic key.
Windows 8 machines mainly do not come with product keys on their COA stickers any more.
You can find and reinstall the correct product key and activate windows by following these instructions:
1) Download RW-Everything.
2) Run it.
3) Click ACPI button along the top
4) Click the MSDM tab
5) Note down your product key in the Data section!
6) Run command prompt as Administrator
7) Issue the command slmgr.vbs /ipk DTD96-RJXXX-XXXX-XXXXX-X2BRC Obviously replacing the product key with the one you found from the MSDM screen.
8) Press enter and wait.. it takes a few seconds. You should then get a box on the screen saying it has installed the product key.
9) The next time you visit the System Properties screen windows should be happily activated!