Quoting benmanns, reply 10If you haven´t activated it on another machine then there is the small but consisting chance that your key was used or generated via a generator and use for piracy
If I understand correctly, said key was provided by Starkers.
I doubt Starkers would give away a key that was generated for piracy, and say he paid 40 bucks for it.
Just to clarify things here, I enabled kona to purchase Win 8 by forwarding him the funds via Paypal to download the $40 discounted version from Microsoft... hence his key would be legitimate and there should be no issue with contacting MS support to have it re-activated over the phone.
The reason I did it this way rather than purchase a copy here in Oz and send it to him was/is because of the regional differences, and that he may have had issues activating a product key that was assigned to a different region. Well that's what the lady at MS told me, so I opted for the 'download a copy in his own region' method to avoid any potential installation/activation hiccups.
As to why this key is not activating, I'm not sure, but it is not an OEM copy so that should not be an issue.
EDIT. I was a tad slow... kona pretty much explained it.
@kona A wireless adapter these days is relatively cheap... like under 10 bucks for one of those USB types, and that would allow you to run Win 8 with internet connectivity. Alternatively, there's the idea of running a LAN extension lead from the modem to your PC. Again, this would cost you under 10 bucks (I recently purchased a 25 metre LAN for $8.95) and you could tuck it away against the wall, etc, to save anyone tripping on it.
Where there's a will there's a way, kona, so up and at 'em... install Win 8; get connected to the net using one of the above options; ring MS support to get it activated over the phone. And there is nothing to fear when ringing MS, okay.... just follow the prompts and Win 8 should be activated if you've provided the right responses. If you are required to speak with a representative, just answer that it is for one machine/the same machine and that there have been some harware changes. You should then be given an activation code to type in and viola.