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Setup has failed to validate the Product key on Windows 8.1 Upgrade

Posted by Hemprasad Y. Badgujar on April 7, 2015


Setup has failed to validate the Product key on Windows 8.1 Upgrade

While installing or upgrading to Windows 8.1 from your local drive, “Something Happened; Setup has failed to validate the product key” error message may halt your installation. Here’s an easy solution to the problem.

Windows 8.1 Failed to validate product key

This type of problem mostly happens if you are installing Windows 8.1 from your hard drive which is extracted from an ISO file that is downloaded or installing from USB thumb drive without boot. Installing Windows 8.1 from local drive by clicking on setup.exe (without boot) should not make any problem to 8.1 unless you done any wrong.

How to Fix Setup has failed to validate the Product key Problem

Step 1: Download the modified EI.CFG file (1KB) from Both pro and enterprise edition files are included.

Step 2: Now locate the folder “sources” on USB-stick or the folder where you extracted the ISO image (windows ISO extracted files and folders should look like following).

Locate the Folder 'sources'

Step 3: Paste the newly downloaded ei.cfg file in “sources” folder. Replace the old file (you may take a backup of the old file).

Step 4: Done! Now you can install and upgrade to Windows 8.1 by clicking on that blue setup.exe without facing the product key validation error.

Tell us if it worked.

One Response to “Setup has failed to validate the Product key on Windows 8.1 Upgrade”

  1. I have some issues about 8.1.
    1) I recently bought a laptop, they say 8.1 genuine copy is installed in the laptop. How could I make it sure that the copy is not a pirated version?
    2) how can I get the key if it is necessary in the case of formatting the computer? or how to re install 8.1 in this case?
    3) There is something “emergency back up” what is that? and will it be deleted from hard drive if formatted?
    I am not a computer professional, may be these questions have some simple answers, but presently they are big issues for me.

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