Updating from Windows 8.1 to 8.1 Pro

Today marked the General Availability of Windows 8.1. While I am a MSDN subscriber, the slow connection getting the bits made it through the GA of the OS. The road to updating from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 8.1 Pro wasn’t a smooth one – at the least on my current setup. Here are the issues that I passed through:

1) My Windows 8 Pro installation sits on a virtual hard drive. Given that, I cannot “upgrade” my image with 8.1 with an ISO. While I haven’t tried updating it via the Windows Store, I prefer having an ISO lunging around. What I did is to back-up the files in my Windows 8 Pro installation to another storage and followed the VHD installation again.

It went smoothly and as far as I can remember, the installation is faster as compared to Windows 8.

2) During the post-install process, I accidentally keyed-in a Windows 8.1 product key (other SKUs being 8.1 Pro and Enterprise but the image of the non-Pro and Pro is just the same). I didn’t realize it until I installed Visual Studio 2013 and an error was reported that I cannot add myself to the Hyper-V Administrator’s group. I launched the MMC snap-in and tried adding the Local Users and Groups section – it said though that the version of Windows 8.1 doesn’t allow me to do it. I checked the product key that I got hours earlier and indeed it is the base SKU product key that I keyed-in. I tried changing the product key clicking this area:

Unfortunately, despite best efforts to click on it – it doesn’t help. Then I scrolled around, looked for forum posts and never I did realize that the answer to my question is in the same screen as above.


That prompted me to a 2 step process of providing the pro product key. After 1 restart and voila,  I am updated to the pro version! Much more I like it and the fact that I can now boot directly to the desktop is a wow!

We sometimes overlook things, it happens. 🙂

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