"When Windows 8 machines started hitting shelves without the previously common license key label on the side, it removed the possibility of using those stickers to activate installations on the same computer after recovery or repair. If you’ve been handed a Windows 8 machine and you need to replace the hard drive and get Windows 8 installed and activated again, here’s a simple process to get the system back up and activated again.
There have been workarounds before Windows 8 if you lost your license sticker or can’t find where you stored your key. Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder has been able to extract keys from Windows 7 and previous operating system versions for some time now. However, the Windows 8 key is now tied to the original machine instead of having the ability to be installed on other machines if that machine bites the dust. So if you’ve been handed a Windows 8 machine for recovery, here’s how to get the key and get it activated again."