Warning: Windows 8 with Media Center Upgrade = Invalid Key

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by Bootz-Pgh, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Bootz-Pgh

    Bootz-Pgh Bit Poster

    So, I just went through installing Parallels Desktop 8 Switch to Mac edition. The installation went smoothly using the USB transfer cable, unfortunately now my Windows 8 key is showing as invalid. I did some research and it appears the Media Center upgrade is the culprit. By the way, here is my original upgrade path over the years:

    1. Purchased Lenovo T400 with Windows Vista
    2. Upgraded to Windows 7 using the Windows 7 Family Pack (Retail version)
    3. Upgraded to Windows 8 Pro (purchased download version with key from Microsoft Store)
    4. Added Media Center (free upgrade from Microsoft Store)
    5. Transferred from T400 to Macbook Pro using Parallels 8 Switch to Mac Edition.

    Whenever I run Windows 8 via Parallels, I get the activation error code 0xC004C4AA. As far as the research goes, it seems the Media Center key replaces the Windows 8 key, which is the root of the problem. There was also some loophole that allowed pirated copies of Windows 8 to be validated after the Media Center upgrade. That hole was plugged, and I'm wondering if that "fix" is what is causing problems for honest purchasers like myself.

    Unfortunately, it seems like the only solution is to run the "PC Refresh" option, which will wipe out all installed programs. There has to be another solution. Has anyone else dealt with this issue?

    By the way, here is a link to the problem Windows 8 + WMC is causing honest buyers:

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  2. Andrew@Parallels

    Andrew@Parallels Parallels Team


    Is there any way you can get a Windows 8 CD or most possibly its ISO image?
    That would help to proceed with advanced troubleshooting part from http://kb.parallels.com/114987

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