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Here are a few issue I ran into when installing a retail version of windows 8 on my Y500 after installing my mSATA as the boot drive. I believe most of us know that Lenovo was kind enough to give us a BASIC version of windows 8 with the key stored in the BIOS. This cause a few problems with my install. They are not that bad, and are pretty easy workarounds to get a 12 second boot time. 1. I was not able to boot to my install Thumbdrive. I have a Windows 8 retail (purchased from Microsoft) version that I put on a USB 3.0 thumb-drive for installing windows. I highly recommend this for an install because of how fast the USB 3.0 transfer speeds are. All I had to do was go into the BIOS and switch to legacy boot, then put the thumb-drive to the top priority for the boot order. This booted to the install media. 2. I was stuck at the product key invalid windows. Windows will not let you past this point because the retail version is not anything close (to microsoft) to the basic version. Windows 8 will not allow you to manually put in the key because of the key stored in the bios for the basic version. You cannot use the basic version of windows because the version (should you use it) is a full retail copy. Anyway, The fix for this is as follows: Boot to windows or use a separate computer for this: Before you try to install your full version of windows from the USB drive, put the thumb-drive into a computer so you can look for a file called PID.txt . This file will take priority over the BIOS key and allow the install to continue from the product key entry point, which you will never see due to this file being on your install drive. The file will be in the directory x:\sources . The x is obviously your drive letter that was assigned to the thumb-drive. In the sources folder on the thumb-drive, look for the PID.txt file. If it is not there, make it using notepad or a text editor. The contents of the file should be like the picture.. Save the file and boot to the thumb-drive. Windows should install all the way from this point. 3. The issue I had next was due to my installing windows on a old computer before the Y500. My activation was not working, so I called the phone activation number and was able to manually activate windows. If you do have windows installed on another computer with the same key, you CANNOT install it on your new computer. It has to be uninstalled or formatted due to legal issues. The phone activation will ask you how may computers have windows 8 and the license I had was for 1. So review your windows license before installing. 4. The other issue I had was that windows would not allow me to activate or even get to the phone activation. For some reason, even though I bought the retail copy of windows 8, it said it was only an upgrade version. Not Cool at all!! So after verifying my purchase and license agreement I did have an actual full install copy (always read the license agreement to verify your version and installation numbers) I had to edit a reg key. --- from Microsoft support forums----- Run the registry editor. press WIN+R then type regedit. Navigate to the following Key entery: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\OOBE. Change the value for ‘MediaBootInstall‘ from 1 to 0. Open an elevated command prompt (administrator level command prompt) Run the command: slmgr -rearm. Reboot --- from Microsoft support forums----- @ Windows 8 Pro Upgrade Product Key can't be used to activate - Microsoft Community After this I installed all of the drivers and software I wanted. works like a champ!! Hopefully this helps anyone looking to do a fresh install of windows on their Y500