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Download Windows 8.1 Retail iso


Updated: 08/11/2014 Great news!!! Microsoft have finally fixed their Windows 8.1 downloader.

The revised downloader now does not ask for a product key, it allows the user to select their language, version and architecture. It should work on all Windows 8.0 and 8.1 retail licenses. I’ve not done vigorous testing on an OEM license yet but 1 user has and left some feedback which I have incorporated into the new guide, see here:

The old guide may be found below but is obsolete.

Contents

Opening Remarks

First as an opening remark for why I had to write this wiki with so many convoluted workarounds.

  • Microsoft made all Windows 8.1 media reject Windows 8.0 OEM/Retail product keys. → Workaround involves installation with generic product key and activating with Windows 8.0 product key.
  • Microsoft made the downloader for Windows 8.1 reject Windows 8.0 product keys despite Windows 8.1 being a free update or Service Pack for Windows 8.0. → Workaround involves launching the Windows 8.0 downloader entering the key and then cancelling as the download starts and then immediately launching the Windows 8.1 downloader. This bypasses the screen to enter the Windows 8.1 product key.
  • Microsoft made OEM BIOS Embedded product keys hidden → Fixed by obtaining the product key with RW-Everything.
  • Microsoft unnecessarily elevated system requirements for the 64 Bit version of the service pack users who don’t met the elevated system requirements much switch from 64 Bit to 32 Bit. Moreover the downloader only lets you download the same architecture as currently installed. You need to use a Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1 64 Bit computer to download the Windows 8.1 64 Bit retail .iso and a Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1 32 Bit computer to download a Windows 8.1 32 Bit .iso. → Fixed by clean installing with the 90 day Enterprise Evaluation Windows 8.1 .iso and then running the downloader.
  • Microsoft unfortunately made the retail downloader inaccessible for major OEM vendor and small system builder OEM Product Keys. → No current fix to use the downloader except to use a retail key if you have one or obtain a MSDN/Technet .iso from unofficial sources.
    • Note the download requires a retail product key (Windows 8.0 or 8.1) and will not work with OEM Product Keys from major vendors which are hidden and reside within the system BIOS or minor system builder OEM licenses with a 25 digit product code.
    • The .iso obtained via this method is locked to the Windows edition (Core or Professional) unlike a MSDN/Technet .iso. It is however possible to download a retail .iso and use it to clean install on an OEM system providing both license are Windows 8.0/8.1 (C0re) or both licenses are Windows 8.0/8.1 Professional.

I have no idea why Microsoft made these flaws with Windows 8.1’s media distribution and warned about them during the release of Windows 8.0. The fact is OEMs do not always install Windows properly and this combined with the forcing of such a critical update via the Microsoft store leads to a very negative migration to Windows 8.1 for many a user. I hope Microsoft will provide direct links to an updated Windows 8.1 .iso which will accept Windows 8.0 and Windows 8.1 product keys or access to one for users with a registered Microsoft Account and activated Windows 8.0/8.1 product.

How to download a Windows 8.1 .iso with a windows 8.0 Product Key

Player 1: YouTube

Player 2: WordPress

Note it appears Microsoft have released an updated Windows 8.1 setup file which does not work using the bypass product key entry when the Windows 8.0 product key is selected, however the direct link to the old installer should still work and has been listed below.

Download:

Note if you run WindowsSetupBox.exe directly it will reject your Windows 8 product key. I will use the UK setups as an example here. Run the Windows8-Setup

2abtest2

Enter your Windows 8 Product Key

3

4

6a

7a

Follow through the instructions and press next. When Windows 8 starts downloading cancel the setup. Now run WindowsSetupBox.exe

8.1c8.1

The Windows 8.1 installer will now start downloading directly because you have entered a valid product key with the Windows 8 installer and the checks have passed i.e. will skip the part where you are prompted to enter a product key.

9

10

11

12

13

Downloading a Windows 8.1 Retail .iso with a Windows 8.1 Retail Product Key

Note it appears Microsoft have released an updated Windows 8.1 setup file (OSGS14-WindowsSetupBox-32bitand64bit-English-4141408.exe) which does not work using the bypass product key entry when the Windows 8.0 product key is selected and can only be used for Windows 8.1 product keys. I have not tested this new installer as I don’t have a Windows 8.1 Product key but it appears it allows selection of architecture and possibly will include Windows 8.1 Update 1.

Download:

8.1new28.1 new

From older version…

First download both WindowsSetupBox.exe (Windows 8.1) and save (do not run). For UK and US customers use the link below. For other customers change en-gb to your region.

Run WindowsSetupBox.exe directly

8.1c8.1

Enter your Windows 8.1 Product Key

34

Follow through the instructions and press next. When Windows 8 starts downloading cancel the setup. Windows 8.1 will then begin to download.

9

10

11

12

13

Creating the Bootable USB

You may use Rufus to create a bootable USB:

Rufus does not need to be installed and can be run directly by double clicking on the application

1

Use the drop down arrow to select your device.

2

Press the disc button and browse for the Windows 7 .iso and select open

3

The partition scheme and target system type set as MBR partition Scheme for BIOS or UEFI Computers by default and this can be used in most cases. In the rare case where you need to install on a 3 TB or larger drive with a SecureBoot/UEFI BIOS select GPT partition scheme for UEFI computer (I have not tested this). Select Start.

4

Select Ok

5

It will begin  creating the bootable USB.

6

The status will say done and the progress bar will be full when complete, you can now close down the program.

7

Swapping Architecture and bare Hard Drive Installation

Unfortunately Microsoft did not incorporate a means to select the architecture with the Windows 8.1 retail downloader. Microsoft also failed to provide a direct download to the the retail .iso. If you need to swap architecture or clean install on a bare hard drive and don’t have the .iso in advance then your best means of doing this is by using the Windows 8.1 90 Day Enterprise .iso and then running the retail downloader.

The “We can’t Connect at the Moment” error.

Unfortunately even the errors with the Windows 8.1 downloader are badly worded…


This is a badly worded error resulting in much wastage of time trying to diagnose connection errors. This error ironically shows after it says the key is recognised and stated to be okay. As mentioned before there are many flaws with the Windows 8.0/Windows 8.1 downloader and I am not a fan of it. Essentially the downloader is rejecting your key despite telling you its valid and you can try all fixes to connect it to the internet and time settings but its unlikely to help. This error is exclusively due to the downloader rejecting the key and not due to the fact that you are trying to download a Windows 8.1 .iso. The generic key is recognised for instance and then will always show this error. Both of my keys previously worked and now yield this error if I input them into the downloader; I assume some quota is put per download per key; in order to stop piracy. The error should be reworded something similar to:

“Your product key has been recognised as a Windows 8.0/8.1 Core/Professional Product Key however has been used to download Windows 8.0/8.1 Core/Professional too many times please contact the Microsoft Electronic Software Download Support for your region http://support.microsoft.com/gp/esd-support-phone-numbers

Note if you are getting this error when you are contacting Electronic Software mention you are just trying to download Windows 8.0 (as the error is occurring at this stage) as they will likely try to sell you a new product key if you mention you are trying to download Windows 8.1. Microsoft have some absurd policies in this area considering its meant to be a free update. I would assume Microsoft should be doing their best to make migration to Windows 8.1 as easy as possible but it seems like they have deliberately set up some serious roadblocks for their users.

Standalone Updates

Its recommended that you download Windows 8.1 Standalone Updates from here and apply them immediately after installation.

Product Key

If installing with a Windows 8.0 Retail or OEM Product Key; your product key is rejected during installation. To overcome this use the following product keys during installation:

  • Windows 8.1 Core/Home 334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT
  • Windows 8.1 Professional XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB

These will allow installation but not product activation. After installation to activate with your actual Windows 8 Product Key open up Windows explorer by pressing [Windows] and [e] and select computer > properties:

 

 

Select change product key and enter your actual Windows 8 product key, You should now be able to activate Windows and have a clean install of Windows 8.1 using official media. To find out the OEM BIOS Embedded System locked Product Key use RWEverything, select ACPI Tables and the MSDM tab, copy down your product key.

rweverything See here for more details and for product activation:

If you plan using this media on multiple Windows 8.0 installs you may want to add an EI.cfg and a PID.txt file which will save you inputting the generic key all the time.

Adding the correct EI.cfg and PID.txt will prevent the bootable USB asking for a Product Key During Installation

Note make sure it is saved as EI.cfg and not EI.cfg.txt. Save as type: All Files must be selected when saving.

For Windows 8.1 Professional

Professional

EI.cfg
[EditionID]
Professional
[Channel] Retail
[VL] 0

PID.txt
[PID]
Value=XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB For Windows 8.1 Core


Core
EI.cfg
[EditionID] Core
[Channel] Retail
[VL] 0 PID.txt
[PID] Value=334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT

The EI.cfg and PID.txt need to be saved into the sources folder of the USB flash drive.

Installation Instructions

For installation instructions see: A Clean Install of Windows.

Unofficial Download Sources

While I of course don’t recommend downloading Windows 8.1 from unofficial sources, I don’t recommend Microsoft’s current deployment methods of Windows 8.0, 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update 1 either. Should you be forced to use an unofficial source because of Microsoft’s inefficient distribution of Windows 8.1 for English use the links here. I have tested the Windows 8.1 with Update multiple editions x64 and Windows 8.1 with Update multiple editions x86 in a Virtual Machine.

Buying Windows 8.1

The upgrade assistant and not the downloader will examine your computer and assess your system to see if its valid to run Windows 8.1:

If will examine compatibility and will give you the option to buy Windows 8.1 as a digital download. Note this assistant might not work on Windows XP installations even though the machine is capable of running Windows 8.1. In such cases install the Windows 8.1 90 day Enterprise Trial of the desired architecture and then run the upgrade assistant.

upgrade assistant

upgrade assistant2

upgrade assistant3

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  1. Claseman007

    Will this be able to be used as a recovery disc for those of us that already have 8?

    • For retail installs yes.
      For OEM installs (preinstalled by the computer manufacturer) its more difficult because the product key is hidden and it doesn’t work with the downloader therefore you can’t obtain media.
      If you manage to get the media you can probably use it with an OEM install.

      • Chris Claseman

        Thank you! I will be downloading this when I get home. This is gonna be great! I hate it when Microsoft does this stuff!!! First they release buggy Operating Systems, then they spend the next three to six months to get it to work properly… I have already left plenty of bad PR on there blogs. No wonder they were not going to answer my question in regards to this issue… I just want this disc for the recovery software that is built into the Windows discs. You are a godsend!!!!

        Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

  2. Awesome effort. A timely saviour.

  3. Nice tutorial but can you provide sha-1 and MD5 hash codes of windows 8.1 en-us 8.1 32 bit(x86) …If you provide hashes then it there will be still more easy way ,as ISO’s are uploaded in many sites………………………………..

    • I only have En-GB ones and if I upload them they would be removed.

      Regarding the SHA-1 and MD5 look here: http://forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/47732-The-Windows-8-1-(-amp-related)-Repository They list the sha-1 and MD5 codes of many languages obtained from MSDN or Technet.

      The ones downloaded by the method above are unique per download. This is because a .iso file isn’t downloaded directly but the files to create the .iso are downloader from Microsoft and the setup creates a .iso file when prompted. Thus all the .isos are created on different machines and have unique SHA-1:MD5 codes,

      For my Windows 8.1 English UK 32 Bit .iso
      SHA-1: c3297c22b2ccba2409d10d44886bd9caa092869f
      MD5: 5903638a2e26667c8aae7354c3fd8fb8

      For my Windows 8.1 English UK 64 Bit .iso
      SHA-1: 5f5acd673c8df247ccb9c438aa66d35a316d727e
      MD5: b3aa337e3a7b2beeff941081eadd1156

      If you google these numbers you find nothing except maybe this comment.

  4. can you share the untouched ISO of win8.1 pro 32bit EnUS please? i have a valid win8 product key…coz of my unstable net connectivity am not able to fully download the 8.1 pro through this method.. thanks in advance

  5. After removing the key. Will I be able to activate Windows 8.1 pro with windows 8 pro key??

    • For an OEM install I have not tested this as I don’t have a system with an OEM license so I don’t know; if you test this tell me whether it works or not.
      For a retail install yes it will work.

      • But entering my Retail windows 8 pro key in installation of Windows 8.1 doesn’t work? Why…

      • Simply put Microsoft messed up the installer.

        Follow the workaround to download the Windows 8.1 .iso and install with the generic product key.

        Once Windows 8.1 is installed you may go to system properties and change product key. Input your actual Windows 8.0 product key and it will activate.

  6. Thanks for this but I am getting a message that I am not connected to the internet, even though I clearly am as I JUST downloaded the program, AND got the key verified. Any ideas?

    • I had the same problem and had to try 3 or 4 times: press the back and next buttons (3 or 4 times).

  7. Thanks a lot for this *invaluable* info.
    Could you please, tell me if the DVD media built through this process can be used to install the 8.1 OS in other computers, i.e. I mean different CPU, video cards, etc…

  8. Hi, one more question. I noticed the installer window says -*installing Windows 8.1*- and my system is Windows 8.1 Preview Pro.
    Does it mean my system will be (after installation) *Windows 8.1* and not *Windows 8.1 Pro* ?

  9. just bring back windows 7 for everyone that wants windows 7. Windows 8 is to complicated.

  10. Thank you so much, you have provided more information that Microsoft has!
    Now at least I have Windows 8.1 Media!
    Now if I can just get that damn spooler working again!

  11. Doesn’t work. After I filled in the windows 8 key, the setup program tries to connect (first for a couple of seconds, after that it immediately fails), displaying the error:

    “We can’t connect right now”.

    Tried this for a couple of days now, on different machines from different locations.. My guess is it’s not any site which is down, but MS has changed the upgrade procedure?

    Anyone with a good tip or idea? I have a Dutch Windows 8 Pro installed (cannot download the 8.1 upgrade in the Store because of KMS activation)

    • This happens with one of my product keys now but not the other one. Its a stupid unhelpful error message.
      It simply means that is a valid Windows 8 product key but we aren’t letting you download Windows 8.
      For me if I click back and change to my other product it works.
      I haven’t found a way around this error.
      I’m not sure if its related to the amount you have downloaded the media or activated it as both keys used to work for me.

      I would try calling the Microsoft Electronic Software Download Support Phone Number:

      http://support.microsoft.com/gp/esd-support-phone-numbers

      Don’t mention anything about trying to obtain Windows 8.1 media via the workaround, have them fix it so the Windows 8.0 downloader accepts your Windows 8.0 key and then you can cancel and start the Windows 8.1 installer.

      • Both the keys you provide in the article above do not work: when entering the keys I get an error “Key is not valid”.
        I do, however, have a key which comes through the validation, but, after some time I get the error “We can’t connect right now”, Keep getting this error for days already, I am sure I am connected to the Internet.

        My Windows 8 is KMS activated, could be that that is causing the problem?

        I don’t like calling MS so thanks for the tip but no thanks.
        Any other idea?

    • Use your own product key and input it in the Windows 8.0 downloader. The generic keys I listed do not work in the downloader but are necessary later to install Windows 8.1 from the .iso.

      • That is exactly what I am doing (using own product key). And it is accepted in the validation, however, after that, after a couple of moments, I get the error “We can’t connect”… Any tip for some other key I might use? I have a Dutch Windows 8 Pro activated with KMS

      • Sorry unfortunately not, I have looked around for the We can’t Connect Right Now error. It is quite common with the Windows 8.0 downloader; I have never been a fan of the buggy downloader.
        The only solution I seen was to phone Microsoft (not a great solution I know).

        Initially both of my keys worked now only one does. I have looked around at fixes (others mention changing the systems clock) but it doesn’t work for me on that second key.

      • Ok, thanks anyway. But please inform me when you know of a fix or a workaround for this problem, ok?

  12. Martyn McOnie

    im fairly capable of working my way around a windows computer, however i cant for the life of me figure out how to get this to work. i have tired using this method to download the iso, yet when i try to connect it comes up with an error just after i enter my windows 8 key at the first step.
    any help fixing this problem will make me entirely greatful

  13. I have my my windows 8 oem key with me (not in bios) which i purchased separately. Will I be able to use it? Is it possible to use the method for retail keys? (just entering product key in pc info). Thank you..

    • Yes this workaround is for retail keys (only at the very bottom is a test to try with OEM product keys). I haven’t got a system to test out OEM product keys so thats why theres no further details for them.

  14. Thanks a lot for this *invaluable* info.
    Could you please, tell me if the DVD media built through this process can be used to install the 8.1 OS in other computers, i.e. I mean different CPU, video cards, etc…

    • Yes I downloaded the media using this method and installed it on a virtual machine using the generic product key.
      It won’t activate unless you have 2 unique product keys.

  15. will anyone let me borrow their 8 key just to download the 8.1 iso.

  16. the process is so not simple. I reinstall often and have more than one computer. been a loyal customer, brought a new laptop. Now faced with doing tricks! no guarantees they will work. Already put in complaints about invisible product key……….. If this is all to make sure people don’t cheat them how we stop them cheating us? and the downloads and “workarounds” are available everywhere else before Microsoft makes them available! So having got that off my chest thanks for the useful advice. Crossing my fingers and I will let you know if the OEM kicks in or if I have stuffed the brand new machine.

  17. Hey there,
    I have updated to Windows 8.1 using the Windows 8 App Store but my PC became damn slow and started to hang, so I reinstalled my Windows.
    I would like to “Why did this thing happen and How can I prevent it?”.
    Thank you

    • Hard to say.
      Preinstalled junk such as McAfee/Norton interfering with the Windows Update.
      Drivers within the service pack, conflicting with drivers already installed.
      BIOS and drivers not up to date for Windows 8.1.
      The above commons are common but it could also be others which is why I always recommend a clean install using a .iso with the latest service pack included. Unfortunately as mentioned Microsoft has made this difficult.

  18. Hi, I have a question.

    I have 2 PCs, one has 64bit Windows 8 Pro installed and the other has 64bit Windows 8 Core
    If I download a Windows 8.1 ISO using the above method, will it work for both versions of Windows 8 or do I need to do a separate download for each version?

    • My testing unfortunately has indicated that they are incompatible so I think you will have to download each separately.
      I have tried installing Core using the Pro .iso and the generic Core product key.
      The key is recognised but I then get an error message stating the image for the key is not available and to try another key.
      I was trying to play about with the .iso file to switch from pro to core (as its useful to have both images) but have not found a way.

  19. Very intuitive and thanks for the info as I was able to download 8.1 easily after finding nothing is wrong with my key.

  20. I’d just like to confirm that it is indeed possible to use an OEM Windows 8 key to activate (not download) a corresponding version of Windows 8.1.

    In other words, you need a retail key to obtain the ISO download, but after that, you can use the dummy keys provided in the article to install Windows 8.1. When that’s done, you can use your OEM key to activate the copy.

    If your OEM key is hidden inside a UEFI, use a program like rweverything to read the license key from it:

    http://www.nextofwindows.com/how-to-retrieve-windows-8-oem-product-key-from-bios/

    If you don’t have a retail key, then your only option is to obtain the ISO through other means (eg, from a friend, etc).

    Thanks to the OP for this great guide.

    • Hi thanks for the feedback. I tried the procedure on a Dell system with a Windows 8.1 RTM .iso and the product key found in Belarc Advisor yesterday and couldn’t activate – my friend will call Dell to get the Windows 8.0 Reinstallation DVD as I don’t have a 8.0 Core key to download with.

    • Okay I managed to do it also:

      http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/a-clean-install-of-windows-8-1/microsoft-product-activation/

      I have wrote some new video tutorials here aswell as updated this one.

      • That’s great to hear. This process is currently obscure, but it’s a much more ideal course of action than having to expend a whole another license key just to use 8.1, when you have an OEM key to start with.

        Hopefully more people will learn about it and be helped.

    • Yeah it is an obscure process and I don’t know why Microsoft are making it so difficult for OEM users to clean install Windows with the latest Service Pack on their computer.

      The clean install with the latest service pack is the way to optimally run Windows. Currently there are many OEM systems which have awful factory settings which ruin the perception of Windows 8.0. Then the update method of Windows 8.1 makes these systems perform even worse.

      I hope the statistics of these series of these guides which are approaching 250,000 hits gets taken up by someone at Microsoft.

  21. Can someone please do these exact same steps on a 64 bit computer and host the ISO file (UNTOUCHED) on a site? I have an error that it won’t even download it here in Canada. So it would be greatly appreciated if someone were to do this and upload the ISO.

  22. Your blog doesn’t make it quite clear enough that Windows8-Setup goes out of its way to reject codes from OEM install disks, saying it cannot be used to create a Retail disk. That’s a shame because you really have to have your wits about you to be able to retrieve the ISO file when the 8.0 to 8.1 update is going through – like most people will probably be, I was too worried about making sure the actual update goes OK to dare to hold up the process and try to grab the .iso file. And this was on my second 8.0 to 8.1 update.

    MS will probably tell you that to do what you should be doing with the 8.1 disk, you can *always* re-install 8.0 and immediately do the upgrade to 8.1 out of the web-site.

  23. I can’t thank you enough for this guide! All I wanted to do was repair my Windows 8.1 installation, but because it was an upgrade from Windows 8 it wouldn’t let me do it with my existing media. I had resigned myself to re-installing Windows 8 and running the upgrade again, when I came across this excellent guide. Now I have created a Windows 8.1 DVD which can be used to repair the existing Windows 8.1 install – and that’s what it did (saving me hours of work)! Thank you!

    • Great glad it helped, I have tried submitting the statistics of my guide to my Dell and Microsoft contacts to let them know that this workaround has had 92,241 hits and that people want to clean install using a Windows 8.1 .iso directly or have the .iso to repair their system.

  24. I have to thank you greatly for explaining the “We can’t Connect at the Moment” error. I’ve been trying for days to get this to work as my computer froze in the last stage of the download and I couldn’t try again. I borrowed another key for the download and I’m downloading it now. Great article

    • This page has got very popular >102,000 views despite the complexity of the workaround(s). I don’t why Microsoft have made life so difficult regarding this update, even its errors are badly worded and mislead users into spending time troubleshooting in the wrong direction. Its no wonder Windows 8.1 deployment is poor compared to Windows 7.

  25. My father recently purchased Windows 8.1 64-bits OEM in French. He didn’t like it, so he reverted back to Windows 7 and gave it to me to muck around with! My problem is that I hate using software in French, so I’ve been looking for an official release of Windows 8.1 64-bits OEM in English. Unfortunately, the bastards over at MS have disabled their downloading app (besides it didn’t even accept my OEM product key). MS are really trying hard to make our lives difficult! I’ve never had such a bad experience with any Mac product ever! Anyway, I’d really be most grateful if anyone could point me to an official download source where I could download Windows 8.1 64-bits OEM in English. (If I download the retail version, I don’t know if it’ll accept my OEM product key.) Thanks a bunch!

  26. David Witteried

    Just spent several hours watching a MS technician try to get past the “We can’t connect at the moment” error screen. She basically tried everything I had already done. Finally recommended I call the backup media people. WHAT A JOKE! I already spoke to them and they want to charge $20 for something I should be able to download for free. I was hoping she could give me a link, or download the ISO for me. Nope, she got stuck in the same logic loop I was on.

    I don’t understand what the big deal is about the stupid ISO file, it is the activation keys that are important.

    GRRRR… I may reconsider my relationship with MS products in the future.

    • There are some rumours that Windows 8.1 update 1 will be available as a free download next month however I’m not too sure if its true or not. In the meantime I recommend you complain in as many places as possible about the negative service you received due to Microsoft’s immensely botched up deployment of this service pack.

  27. The Windows Installation DVD generated by the processes you describe might not actually produce the installation you want. I tried to use it and my installation wasn’t activatable, but that was for reasons that hadwas actually nothing to do with the actual DVD. I kept the disk and did a Windows Store update, making sure my PC fulfilled all the conditions of th update and it went OK. But when a Windows software fault made me really want to do a system refresh, the installed system had no software to do it with… enter the installation disk, which doesn’t ask for the software key code if you are using it to repair an existing installation, and bingo, I was actually able to run a System Refresh with it. Thank you Philip.

  28. Sorry, slight typo there, here’s my edited version:
    The Windows Installation DVD generated by the processes you describe might not actually produce the installation you want. I tried to use it and my installation wasn’t activatable, but that was for reasons that had nothing to do with the actual DVD. I kept the disk and did a Windows Store update from 8 to 8.1, making sure my PC fulfilled all the conditions of the update this time, and it went OK. But when a (the?) Windows sytem image DVD backup software fault made me really want to do a system refresh, the installed system had no software to do it with… Enter the windows 8.1 installation disk, which doesn’t ask for the software key code if you are using it to repair an existing installation, and bingo, I was actually able to run a System Refresh with it. Thank you Philip.

  29. you don’t say the EL.cfg and PID.txt file need to go into the /sources folder of the usb drive to make this happen

  30. Does the trick with installation download still work?

    I’ve just tried this with both (US and GB) versions and after cancelling Win 8 download Win 8.1 downloader requires me to enter S/N again. Since I have only Win 8 retail S/N, it does not accept it and I’m unable to download 8.1 iso…

  31. librarianscott

    Trick doesn’t work any more.

  32. What I found on other forum is that MS changed the downloader exe so and the current version didn’t allow for this trick any more. However, you may still find old exe from some webpagex.

    • It appears they have modified the Windows 8.1 downloader to allow change of architecture and possibly (added update 1) and simultaneously patched the downloader.

    • I have updated the instructions to include a link to the old downloader which should still work.

      • It does indeed!

        A question however – I’ve downloaded ISO with EN-US language supposedly (from the EN-US download page) but when I start the installation I have only EN-UK language available in the drop-down list. The same happens when downloading from UK download page and then install, but this is fully understandable.

        Why can’t I install EN-US version? Sure I’m based in Europe but is the installation able to somehow detect it?

      • I should have said EN-GB but I hope it was clear anyway.

        I’ve noticed that even though I downloaded the downloaders from US site the downloaded ISO’s language is in fact EN-GB (as seen in folder “sources” only this language is present there). So, how to download US-language ISO?

      • The download links for both should be the same. I assume the installer detects your region and installs the appropriate language. I am however in the UK and hence I have only tested using UK files. I have not tried the workaround in the US…

    • I’m based in Poland so I guess I should get the Polish ISO…

      However it may be the case of serial number used. I’ve used my S/N purchased via MS Store UK (there was no Polish store at the purchase time) – thus, the downloader might have identified my S/N as “British” and select the EN-GB ISO as a result.

  33. fwiw.. there are old saved copies of those old upgrade make media things here in En-US
    https://mega.co.nz/#fm/CdAXUTwD pw=forget
    Windows8-Setup.exe
    WindowsSetupBox.exe from oct 2013

  34. Enabling GPT Partition Scheme in Rufus allowed me to reinstall using SecureBoot on a Samsung Series 3 laptop, NP355E5C

  35. was it the multiple edition copy u downloaded in the video of the tutorial ?

  36. I have posted in both places.

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