Download Windows 8.1 OEM and Retail .iso

The Free Upgrade to Windows 10 Version 1903

Windows 8.1 Reached End of Mainstream Support in January 2018. Extended Support lasts until January 2023. For more details see End of Support.


Windows 8.1 is becoming obsolete however your Windows 8.x OEM License is compatible with Windows 10 Version 1903 Installation Media* and Windows 10 Version 1903 Installation Media will automatically input your Windows 8.x OEM Product Key embedded in the systems UEFI BIOS during installation selecting the correct Edition of Windows 10. Any system shipped with Windows 8.1 OEM is Windows 10 Version 1903 Compatible.

* Note: Ignore any references you see around referring to a "1 Year Only Free Upgrade". This wording was a marketing flop and Microsoft have since then followed the feedback presented in these guides to make Windows 8.x OEM Product Keys compatible with Windows 10 Installation Media.

See Windows OEM FAQs and Downloads for instructions in Downloading a Windows 10 .iso, Creating a Bootable USB and Clean Installing Windows 10 or performing an Upgrade Install to Windows 10.

Introduction, Editions and Product Keys

Due to Windows 7 OEM and earlier Product Keys readily fading or peeling away from the systems, Microsoft worked with OEMs to embed Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 OEM Product Keys in the systems firmware (UEFI BIOS).

This was meant to alleviate installation and product activation issues found with Windows 7 OEM. Unfortunately Microsoft made Windows 8.1 Installation Media and Product Keys both edition specific. If the correct Edition is selected with an OEM License, the Product Key will automatically be input during installation taking you straight to the license agreement screen as designed:


However if the incorrect edition is selected, then you will be stuck on the enter your Product Key screen.


The side effect with the keys being physically embedded in the UEFI BIOS was that one could not identify the correct edition of the OEM license and this led to confusion between Windows 8.1 (Home) and Windows 8.1 (Home) Single Language in particular. Microsoft have addressed these issues with Windows 10 Version 1903 Installation Media. If you are unsure about your Windows 8.x OEM Edition you should install Windows 10 Version 1903 instead.

Check your Edition

To check your Edition if Windows can boot, right clicking the start button (or pressing [Windows] and [x]) and then select system:


If you have Windows 8.0 there is no Start Button so you may press the [Windows] and [Pause|Break] key to launch system or access it from Computer in Windows Explorer.


Look at the product ID at the bottom and see if the product ID mentions the words OEM. If the license is OEM then your product key will reside within the system UEFI/BIOS known as a System Locked Preinstallation (SLP) key.

If your Windows 8.1 system cannot boot it is recommended to install Windows 10 Version 1903 as the installation media is multi-edition and you do not need to worry about your Edition. Otherwise OEMs did ship systems with OEM stickers however the "Home" (just called Windows 8.1) and "Home Single Language" (just called Windows 8.1 Single Language) Editions have the same sticker which resulted in great confusion.

Home Editions

  • Windows 8.1 (Home) Most Common
  • Windows 8.1 (Home) Single Language Common
  • Windows 8.1 (Home) N Rare

In essence if you have this sticker attempt to install Windows 8.1 and if you are asked for a Product Key retry with Windows 8.1 Single Language.

Home with Bing Editions

  • Windows 8.1 with Bing Common
  • Windows 8.1 Single Language with Bing Common

Installation Media is not downloadable for these Editions. You have no choice but to use Windows 10 Version 1903 Installation Media instead.

Pro Editions

  • Windows 8.1 Pro Most Common
  • Windows 8.1 ProN Rare

Media Centre

The last Edition is a retail upgrade and requires the base Windows to be reinstalled and then use of "Get Features with a New Edition of Windows":

  • Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Center

RT Edition

If you have this sticker you have Windows RT:

Windows RT

A Windows RT device has hardware in particular a processor that is non-Intel/AMD using instead Arm processors. These devices were made to compete with Chrome Books as budget devices and prolonged battery but are extremely low end. Installation Media is not available for Download.

Downloading a Windows 8.1 ISO

Microsoft offer direct Download Links for Windows 8.1:

Select your Edition:

Select Confirm:

Next select your Language:

Note "English International" corresponds to CANZUK and Commonwealth Countries and "English" corresponds to the United States.

Once you have selected your language, select confirm:

Select your Download:

Checking ISO Checksums and Making a Bootable USB

These ISOs are downloaded as single files and the checksums should match the source. It is best to check these ISO Checksums using Rufus:

Note the last version of Rufus to work on Windows Vista and Windows XP is 2.18 which has a slightly different user interface.

Launch Rufus and select the select button:

Accept the User Account Control Prompt:

You should have a 8-16 GB USB Flash Drive Attached, it will display under Device:

Select "select":

Select your ISO and select Open:

The ISO name will show at the bottom:

Select the checksum button:

Copy the MD5. If you are using an English or English International ISO, you can [ress [Ctrl] + [ f ] on this page to see a match. If using a non-English language the MD5 should show up on a Google Search:

If your MD5 yields no search results, your ISO is likely corrupt so retry downloading it.

It is advisable to change the Volume Label as this is the Windows 8.1 (Pro and Home) ISO:

I will use the name Win81ProHome:

If you are using a computer shipped with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 you should be using the 64 Bit ISO and will have a UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot. The partition scheme should be GPT and the File System should be FAT32:

If using a computer older than 2012 with a Windows 8.x Retail License, you may need to use the MBR partition scheme or NTFS File System:

Select Start:

You will get a warning stating you will format all the data on your USB Flash Drive. Select OK:

When done it will say Ready, you can now close Rufus:


For English International and English the ISO checksums are as follows. Press [Ctrl] + [ f ] on this page and just paste in your MD5, if it matches then your ISO is good to use, if it doesn't match it is likely corrupt. For a non-English Language use a Google Search of the MD5.

English International (CANZUK) Checksums

English International 64 Bit


Note this ISO is multi-Edition and contains both Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 (Home).





Note this ISO is multi-Edition and contains both Windows 8.1 Pro N and Windows 8.1 (Home) N.


English International 32 Bit


Note this ISO is multi-Edition and contains both Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 (Home).





Note this ISO is multi-Edition and contains both Windows 8.1 Pro N and Windows 8.1 (Home) N.


English (US) Checksums

English 64 Bit


Note this ISO is multi-Edition and contains both Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 (Home).





Note this ISO is multi-Edition and contains both Windows 8.1 Pro N and Windows 8.1 (Home) N.

English 32 Bit


Note this ISO is multi-Edition and contains both Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 (Home).



Note this ISO is multi-Edition and contains both Windows 8.1 Pro N and Windows 8.1 (Home) N.

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center Edition and "Get Features with a New Edition of Windows"

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center is a 2 stage installation. It requires installation of the base Windows 8.1 "Edition" (non-N, the N Editions are Windows with Native Windows Media Player Capabilities Removed) which needs activated and then "Get Features with a New Edition of Windows".

When Media Center is installed the base Windows installation cannot be determined using System you will be in a similar case to users who cannot boot see Determining your Edition when Windows cannot Boot.

After installing your original Edition. The easiest way of adding the product key is via system by right clicking the start button (or pressing [Windows] and [x]) and then selecting system:


In system you should first check at the bottom that your old version of Windows is activated otherwise you may run into an issue upgrading to media center.

In system select "Get more features with a new edition of Windows".


Select "I already have a product key" or select "I wish to buy a key online" if you want to purchase a new upgrade key. At this stage I do not recommend paying for media centre as you will lose it when you take the free upgrade to Windows 10 therefore the cost is not worthwhile:


Enter in your Media Center key:


Select next


Select Add Features


Then select close. You may want to recheck that Windows is activated under system.


Theoretically the following pathways to Media Center are possible with the ones crossed out being a complete waste of money and time:

  • Windows 8.1 SL Core → Windows 8.1 Core →Windows 8.1 Professional → Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Center.
  • Windows 8.1 SL Core → Windows 8.1 Professional → Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Center.
  • Windows 8.1 SL Core → Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Center (Pro Pack).
  • Windows 8.1 Core → Windows 8.1 Professional → Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Center.
  • Windows 8.1 Core → Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Center (Pro Pack).
  • Windows 8.1 Professional → Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Center.

The N versions are versions without Media Player or Internet Explorer. These editions cannot be upgraded to Media Center via "getting features with a new edition of Windows".

  • Core N → Professional N → No further Upgrade
  • Professional N → No Further Upgrade

After upgrading you will be unable to determine your original version using System. You can also obtain your product keys using Berlarc Advisor. I don't fully recommend this as this utility looks to the registry and sometimes can give bogus keys especially for systems upgraded from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 via the Microsoft Store or from systems that have used "Get More Features with a New Edition of Windows". Its better to get the keys from the original confirmation email and/or retail packaging. For a Windows Media Center Edition install take note of the product key for Internet Explorer which will be your original Windows 8.1 Product Key*.

* The test of Windows 8.1 SL Core → Windows 8.1 Core →Windows 8.1 Professional → Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Center using generic keys gave only the Windows 8.1 SL Core (Internet Explorer Key) and Windows 8.1 with Media Center (as Key: None Activated).

berlarc advisor2

Generic Product Keys

There are a number of generic product keys which allow you to install Windows 8.1 for evaluation however you will require a genuine product key to activate.

Windows 8.1 (Home):


Windows 8.1 (Home) N:


Windows 8.1 Single Language:


Windows 8.1 Professional:


Windows 8.1 Professional N


Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Center


The generic product key can simply be typed in during installation or added as PID.txt file to the Bootable USB. With the latter, the key in the PID will automatically be input during installation.

Windows 8.1 (Home):


Windows 8.1 (Home) Single Language:


Windows 8.1 Pro:


Copy and paste the text for your Edition into Notepad and save the file as a PID.txt file in the sources folder of your Bootable USB.

The easiest way of adding the product key is via system by right clicking the start button (or pressing [Windows] and [x]) and then selecting system:


In system select Activate Windows:


Either enter the key which you bought from a retail purchase or select buy key.


Determining the UEFI BIOS OEM Embedded System Locked Preinstallation Key

The OEM product key (SLP key) is hidden within the UEFI BIOS. Although you shouldn't need your UEFI BIOS Embedded OEM SLP key as it should be automatically input during installation. You may also use the Windows Product Key Tool or RWEverything to obtain your UEFI BIOS Embedded SLP Key from your MSDM tab:

These utilities give the findings from the MSDM table if you have a UEFI BIOS embedded SLP key. The Windows Product Key Tool directly gives you your key from the MSDM table whereas RWEverything requires you to launch ACPI tables and then open the MSDM tab.

product key utility - Copy

No MSDM table = No UEFI BIOS Embedded OEM SLP Key:

product key utility

For RWEverything select ACPI Tables and the MSDM tab, copy down your product key.


Note no MSDM tab = No Windows 8.0/8.1 UEFI BIOS Embedded SLP key.

If you are supposed to have a MSDM table and don't note the following…

  • This key is classified as hardware (part of the motherboard) and so Microsoft will not be able to help you if this tab is missing.
  • Systems which shipped with Windows XP, Vista or 7 have no MSDM tab as these versions of Windows used a generic key for OEM SLP; you need to purchase a retail product key for these systems. Note if you have purchased a retail license for such systems there will be no MSDM tab.
  • If you have a systems which came with Windows 8.0/8.1 and no MSDM tab then you need to contact your OEM for a motherboard replacement or purchase a retail license. Its extremely rare for an OEM motherboard to lose its Windows 8.0/8.1 key but I have seen a few examples.

While this utility gives your product key. It should be noted that it does not give you the Edition of Windows 8.1 this product key is for however at least you can confirm you have an OEM product key. If you have tried the 5 "Editions" and they all reject your product key then it is likely you have a Bing Edition which Microsoft chose not to support with this tool.


240 thoughts on “Download Windows 8.1 OEM and Retail .iso

  1. dear philip,

    you are such a life-saver. 🙂

    i have not yet done my clean install of win8.0 (SL-64bit), and the win8.1 upgrade (for which you have guided me – ref:

    since i have not yet done it, should i use this win8.1 .iso download method (instead of the in-store update)?
    since my dell 3214 came with win8.0 64 bit SL, i presume i will have to select windows 8.1 single language in the 'edition' field, right?

    i have everything else downloaded and ready as guided by you (dell drivers, KB2871389, kb 2919442, kbkb2919355 and the win8.1 wsus updates)

    thank you.

    1. Microsoft have updated the downloader for Windows 8.1. The downloader now requires no product key.

      For installation a product key is required but the updated .iso of Windows 8.1 with Update 1 accepts both Windows 8.0 and 8.1 product keys.

      I'm not sure if it will accept the OEM key during installation natively and don't have a system to test at the moment. Can you try this and let me know?

      If it doesn't work we'll need to use a PID.txt and EI.cfg file to install.

      As far as I know theres little difference between the regular Windows 8.1 and the Single Language. I will need to test.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to test, the .iso is the most up to date and contains Windows 8.1 with Update 1.

      Essentially the questions to ask are:
      1. Will you be stuck on the product key screen? Does it say invalid key or will an error flag up and halt the install? Alternatively does it accept the OEM key automatically and activate?

      Then depending on 1.

      2. If it says product key invalid, does it accept the generic key and let you continue the install?

      3. If an error flags up and halts the install, does inputting a PID.txt and EI.cfg allow the install to run to completion?

      Then depending on 2. or 3.

      4. Does the key from RW-Everything allow for activation once installed?

      1. got it, philip.

        the 8.1 downloaded and .iso burnt on to a dvd.

        will start the clean install of win8.0 in a day or two.

        (after fresh win8.0 installed, do i still follow the same process that you advised, that is – install KB2871389 before running this win8.1 update? and then install kb2919442 and kb2919355, followed by all drivers? correct?)


      2. philip, which EI and PID files do i use? that mentioned for win 8.1 home? or there are different for win single lang.?

        also… since i have burnt a dvd from the downloaded .iso, how do i use these files if i need to follow this workaround method?

      3. Biren

        The new .iso includes Windows 8.1 and Update 1 hence there is no need for KB2871389, going to the Store to update to 8.1 and no need to install KB2919442 or KB2919355.

        Unfortunately I don't have a generic product key for the single language version so its not possible to make a PID.txt until we find a working generic key.

        Can you try the install and let me know how it goes?
        It may be unnecessary work to hunt for the generic product key if it works directly.

      4. sorry philip… but since i am feeling a bit unsure, i would like to recheck – about the procedure.

        1. i reinstall win 8.0
        2. then, immediately i install win 8.1 thru this .iso
        3. then i install all 8.1 updates offline (wsus)
        4. then i install the drivers.

        please let me know.


    2. Biren
      The new .iso is a full .iso do not reinstall Windows 8.0; it is a waste of time. The new .iso will install Windows 8.1 directly (no need to install Windows 8.0 and then Windows 8.1) and it also includes the update 1.

      Instead directly install using the updated .iso. WSUS offline update is not necessary as the .iso will be almost up to date (at present) but you can use it if you want. You will need to install the drivers after installation.

      1. dear philip,

        i finally got around to reinstalling 8.1 from the .iso.
        this is what happened:

        1. was not asked for the product key (but windows is not activated – may be it will automatically do it once i can connect to the internet, or i may have to key in the key i got from RW)

        2. surprisingly, i was not even taken to the sign in page that asks for a microsoft account – the screen i saw simply asked for a name, password, etc.)

        3. once the windows was ready, i started to install the drivers. (since you said, windows updates are not necessary)

        4. the dell 1705 network driver failed to install
        i think i made a mistake in not only the drivers, but also the order. so, could you please check the drivers you suggested at dell forums ( still hold true?

        5. on trying to install the intel turbo boost driver/application, it needed .net 3.5, which i could not download because of no internet connection. is this normal? and can i install the turbo boost app later also?

        also, i found that when i used dban, and reached the screen after successful completion of process (where it says, press any key to continue), on pressing the key, the screen that came up next was of some advertisement (of BLANCCO). i hope this was in the dban cd and not on my laptop. do let me know if u have any idea.

        thank you philip.

        i am now going to reinstall 8.1 and wait for your confirmation about the drivers and their order as suggested by you in the dell forum.

        i am sorry to be asking you to do it again.


      2. Biren, no need to clean install again. For Windows 8.1 the driver installation order is not so critical as long as Windows 8.1 with Update 1 is installed first and the chipset next.

        1. Its as expected, it will activate when you are online.
        2. This page does not show if the system cannot connect to the internet. You can sign into your Microsoft Account after you install the wireless card driver.
        4. It should be the driver, check the device manager again. If its not there the wireless switch may be disabled.
        5. Leave the Intel TurboBoost until you are online. For some reason Microsoft disable the Framework by default, it can be added using features when you are online. See here:

        Blancco is just an advertisement to let users know there is a commercial version of DBAN. This is normal and it comes up in DBAN 2.2.8 I used 2.2.7 in my screenshots, its about the only thing thats changed regarding the user interface but theres other enhancements with version 2.2.8.

        See here where it mentions Blancco:

      3. thank you philip.

        i already reinstalled 8.1. 🙂
        now i will try with the drivers that i downloaded thru links given by you in the dell forum reply to my query.

        will let u know.

        thanks a bunch.

      4. dear Philip,

        as I said, I had reinstalled 8.1. (ifound that the windows got activated on its own once I was connected to internet)
        then i directly went ahead to install drivers that I had downloaded from the links you provided me on the dell forum post ( – in that same order.

        this were the problems I faced:

        the 4th driver was intel turbo boost –
        it stopped because it asked to download .net 3.5, and I couldn't do it since I couldn't connect to the internet (without the network driver)

        I found I had saved 2 network drivers for dell 1705 –


        the first one failed to install
        the second one installed, but somewhere – as it was loading – I read it was for x86.
        is that okay? since my system is x64? though my Bluetooth and wifi seems to be working ok.

        the intel WiDi (?) driver (WiDi_Intel_W7W8_X04_A01_Setup-4N2D3_ZPE) –
        installed ok. but when I clicked the desktop icon (to see what was it about), it said "this program has compatibility issues"
        do I need to do anything? do I need this app?

        the last was quickset app (Application_1VRX6_WN_11.1.007_A00) –
        this also installed ok. but I couldn't find the icon in the notification tray. nor was I able to see it listed in 'all programs' (I remember seeing it as dell quickset when I was running win8.0 on my laptop)
        just now, what I have done is… I went to the programs folder and copied the shortcut icon to taskbar and start.
        why is it not showing in notification menu? can I do something about it?

        after the driver installation, I went to windows update, thinking there will be one or two updates, if any. there are 45 updates (and 5 'other' updates)
        is this normal/ok?
        should I download and install this through windows update? or wsus?

        I am having this feeling that all has not gone well. is there a way I can check if everything is as it should be?

        thank you for holding my finger all along this path.
        I shudder at the thought, what if you were not there to help.


    3. well I have tried it with diff programs that say to copy to flash drives but no luck or I am doing something wrong so if you can help me on my clean instill of win 8.1 thank you

      1. Good day to ask the question! Finally I got some new Dell hardware – Inspiron 7347. I also have upgraded my XPS 8300 to have USB 3.0 ports so I could use my new StarTech USB 3.0 HD Video Capture Device to capture within the Dell BIOS. I have done some personal testing with the Windows 8.1 Media Creation Tool with its Windows 8.1 OEM license. I demonstrate making a bootable USB of the correct edition for use with a UEFI install with SecureBoot enabled. Take a look at the new tutorial videos at the top of this guide…

  2. Win 8.1 Core_Single_Language default key: Y9NXP-XT8MV-PT9TG-97CT3-9D6TC
    Works for OEM users,I hope.

    I did clean install by using Win 8.1 OEM media on Dell system which is Win 8.0 OEM licensed.It asked for product key at the beginning of installation,I used this key and it worked.And then activated using OEM key.

    1. Thanks just input it into a VM and it allows he installation to proceed with the Windows 8.1 Update 1 Single Language .iso. It can be added as a PID.txt file if the OEM key is rejected.

      If you have time can you make a bootable USB with the updated .iso and tell me if you go straight to the license screen or if it asks for a product key or finally if the installation is terminated?

      1. Yes I did,it didn't ask for product key.Went straight to the license screen.

        But my system is not showing USB path under the boot list options in boot menu (F12) if secure boot is ON.So I continued in OFF mode and finally it showed "Windows can't be installed on GPT partitioned disk" error for every drive of my hdd,didn't allow me to proceed further!

        I tried with all three types of Partition schemes in Rufus,didn't work.

        (I faced this before when I was installing Win 7.So I removed my hdd,converted to MBR using other system and installed.)

        Mine is Inspiron 15R 5521,Win 8.0 OEM licensed.

        I guess all preinstalled systems come with GPT partitioned disks,isn't it?

    2. Philip

      Thanks for the solution,I'll try that later and inform you.

      I tested on another system which is also Inspiron and Win 8.0 preinstalled but MBR partitioned.It went straight to the license screen,but not activated automatically.I used RWEverything to get embedded key and then activated.

      1. Hi Ravi

        Thanks for the feedback, its excellent news and it means that Ei.cfg and PID.txt files are not required.

        The RW-Everything and change key are simple enough steps to follow to activate the product.

  3. Windows 8.1 Default Keys:


    Core N=6NPQ8-PK64X-W4WMM-MF84V-RGB89


    Professional N=JRBBN-4Q997-H4RM2-H3B7W-Q68KC


    1. It definitely solves the problem – you do not need to modify any files, after installation simply enter your key and activate. I have / I installed Windows 8 Pro off course by taking an ISO image from the Media Creation Tool and this keys. Thanks.

    2. Hi Ravi

      Now that I am back from travelling I have done some extensive testing of the generic keys and the additional Media Centre Edition generic product key in a VM. This guide is significantly updated to address the issues users are getting stuck with.

      Thanks for the help.

      1. Hi Philip,

        Your guide looks like Wikipedia,covered all.It definitely solves the problems.

        I just wanted to know that activation of Windows by GVL keys is legal for personal use??
        If that is the case I'll share some generic keys of it here.
        And I found generic keys of Enterprise edition(Anyway you didn't recommend this for consumers).I'll share these keys also for those who use KMS to activate Windows if it is legal.

      2. They can be used for installation only and not product activation and some are available here which is essentially a Microsoft site, it has only the professional and enterprise editions:
        I'm not sure where all the others originally came from but I got them from you and

  4. I used mediacreationtool to download windows 8.1 update 1 iso and used it on a dell desktop to reinstall windows 8 after a the first hard drive died .
    From what I see if you have the internet plunged up to the computer when installing windows it will activate itself and if it has no internet then you will have to go and tell it to activated windows when you do get a internet connection .

  5. Thank you so much! Windows Store really sucks, my download kept breaking in between. This worked for my Asus laptop with Windows 8 Single Language OEM. Since I didn't have an extra flash drive around, I tried If I could just boot the .iso on VirtualCloneDrive and open it there and it did. It asked for a key, so I used the one from Ravi Teja.

    1. Thanks for posting, as you know from these guides I was very against forcing a service pack through the Windows store and the lack of an .iso especially for the OEM license. I'm glad Microsoft finally followed our feedback and its working its just a shame it took 2 years…

  6. I had removed Win8.1 from my computer and I reinstalled it with mediacreationtool to download windows 8.1 update 1 iso. During installation on an ASUS desktop it asked if I wanted to use the OEM or another activation. I used OEM and it found the code from the motherboard and activated windows ok.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Please describe in more detail how it "asked" you. What did the screen say? Did it automatically input the OEM key?

  7. Great guide, thanks – btw it suddenly start referring to Win 7 when you get to the section about creating the bootable usb which may confuse some.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, I copied and pasted that section from the Windows 7 guide, I changed Windows 7 to 8.1 in the text and put a note. I will likely update the images to 8.1 next time I create Windows 8.1 bootable media.

  8. This worked for me. I had an OEM key in bios and used the windows 8.1 download. it picked up the licence from bios and activated itself. works a treat 🙂

  9. I have an OEM 8.1 license on an Acer laptop. I was not asked for a license key. I used GPT partition scheme for UEFI computer (thou I'm not sure why. This stretches my abilities a bit.) But the guide is great. I was desperate to have a recovery disk and I was shocked to learn how difficult MS makes it. The disk should have been included with the system, or they at least could have included a copy of your excellent guide. It was easy to follow, even for me, and it worked.

    I couldn't figure out how to get Rufus to offer my dvd burner as a choice for "Device". The only choice was a 5gb VHD I created in an attempt to retrieve files backed up to an external HD from a vista system. (another function I thought MS would have offered, but didn't). So I let Rufus create the recovery to the VHD, then copied it to a dvd. It completed normally, but I'm not sure it's a valid recovery disk, given the fact I copied it as I did. Short of actually reinstalling the system, is there a way to test it?

    Thanks very much for making the guide available. Tim

    1. Tim

      Thanks for the kind words. Rufus is designed for USB install and not DVDs. There are programs such as ImgBurn which will easily burn the .iso to DVD.

      However I recommend not using a DVD, firstly as DVD drives are becoming obsolete and systems are shipping without them. Secondly I've seen that many users have multiple errors with burning DVDs. The third and main reason I do not recommend using a DVD or mention it as an option in this particular guide is because the UEFI/SecureBoot/GPT BIOS settings often don't allow one to boot from the DVD drive.

      I had a guide on making the DVD from the .iso with ImgBurn but again theres no sense if you cannot boot from the DVD with the UEFI/SecureBoot/GFPT BIOS settings.

      1. The new UEFI (BIOS replacement) with SecureBoot and GPT partition tables is causing much confusion. Thankfully most systems, except "Windows Surface" tablets, have a hybrid UEFI that will recognize BIOS-enabled boot devices *when you manually change settings*.

        After reading various guides online, I learned that you have to *turn off* "Fast Boot" and "Secure Boot" and *turn on* "Enable Launch CSM" to boot from *any* BIOS-enabled media. I am successfully able to boot from both USB and DVD/CD media. Thankfully, I do *not* have to change those settings to boot from the 8.1 that came installed on my computer, so I guess that comes both BIOS-enabled and UEFI-enabled, or else it doesn't matter for the hard disk itself. (I am only guessing at the reason.)

        The other thing I have to do (and this may be due to the manufacturer of my UEFI/BIOS), is *change the boot order* every time I want to change how I boot! For some reason, even though it shows a list, it does not actually step through it! Whatever I left as "Boot Option #1" is the only thing it will try. (I have an ASUS N56J-EB71 notebook.)

        BTW, I use CDBurnerXP, which is extremely simple to use for ISOs. Simply choose that you want to burn a disc from and ISO image, and in the window that pops up, select your options. (You should leave the options alone unless you know what you're doing, except for simple things like asking it to eject the disc or shut down the computer when done, if you wish.) I *highly recommend* checking the option to verify after burning, which takes longer than the actual burning itself, but it's worth it for the trouble it saves!

        Thank you so much for your awesome tutorial! I don't have a Dell, but all the processes should be the same. BTW, I recommend these tools for probing one's hardware in preparation for finding drivers:

        * Belarc Advisor
        * UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD) – Per (UBCD or PartedMagic? I forgot) website, certain versions of a PartedMagic component have problems with newer systems. Recommend using version UBCD 5.2.5 (new enough, without the problems).
        * Sysinfo (from DreamSoft, not the other one)

        Of course, Dell also has its own tools. But HP's website has so many problems, I've never been able to get their tools to run on any of my HP systems, or even, in some cases, download any drivers! (You may have to find them from other sources, like DriverGuide or Tom's Hardware.)

      2. Thanks for the reply, I actually recommend use of Berlarc Advisor (and need to update this page):

        I actually advise leaving UEFI on and SecureBoot on when possible. There are advantages in the GPT partition scheme in the way the data is stored and the reliability. There are also advantages with SecureBoot (for most customers who only want to run Windows). SecureBoot will stop Malware from booting up before the OS.

        Also it does significantly decrease the boot time and you can see users complaining that they disabled these technologies and their system boots much slower.

        For Windows 7 64 Bit SecureBoot is not supported but UEFI is. This guide was updated to convert a Dell Windows 7 Reinstallation DVD or generic Installation DVD into a Bootable USB for installation with UEFI:
        There are some issues with USB 3.0 ports and the installation of Windows 7 with some newer systems and these need to be set to debug in the UEFI BIOS setup.

        On the Windows side of things I am not recommending anyone to install any other Windows OS besides Windows 7/8.1/10 64 Bit. If users want a 32 Bit OS or dual boot with Linux, bog standard hardware is now well suited for virtualisation in most cases. For this reason I have spent some time writing guides connecting legacy hardware to a VM in VMWare Player focusing on Windows 98SE and XP:

        I also recommend the same virtualisation for Linux because I have seen many people want to evaluate Linux and don't like it and in doing so ruin their Windows install. Of course this won't suit the die hard Linux fans who want to use the full power of their PC with Linux however most 64 Bit Linux distributions support SecureBoot.

        Also regarding HP, I am not a great fan of their hardware (the way things are put together, their manuals and driver services) but its been a while since I have looked at HP hardware. Dells Drivers and Downloads also lack but they have a nice FTP website. Many of the utilities for automatically detecting drivers etc. do not work. Also many third party utilities take users to questionable sources. For Dell hardware I can get the drivers for the systems with the hardware IDs and model number.

        I've had a look into CDBurnerXP but I prefer ImgBurn unfortunately both programs have installers embedded with Malware.

        I got banned from Tom's Hardware for trying to help out by linking to my guides and I have never been back.

  10. Hi Phillip! Hoping you can help with this….I got a Dell Inspiron 1535 laptop which I extracted the embedded OEM key from and the OS is listed as "WINDOWS 8.1 CONNECTED"….I'm trying to do a clean install of 8.1 onto a new SSD (Intel 530 120gb) I got…..I'm trying the methods you are mentioning here….I used the MS downloader and got the 64bit 8.1 installed using one of the generic keys, but ONLY if I switched from SATA to ATA in the BIOS…it won't let me install with AHCI….I get to that point where it asks for storage drivers and does not see the SSD at all (I looked everywhere for some sort of AHCI drivers but came up empty)….so, when I switch it to ATA, I can install Windows…the funny thing is my OEM key will NOT be accepted even once I get Windows installed…so, wondering if maybe I picked the wrong version to download? I don't see anyone else mentioning this "8.1 Connected"…..this is maddening….just to install the OS?! what are these idiots thinking?!..


    1. I have never heard of the Inspiron 1535. There is a Studio 1535 but this was a 2008 system that came with Windows Vista and won't have a Windows 8.0/8.1 BIOS Embedded SLP key.

      I have never heard of "Windows 8.1 Connected". A search for either system or this Windows version doesn't come up with anything.

      Regarding the AHCI, it seems you need a SATA driver:

      I can't advise on what to use as I see no Inspiron 1535.

  11. Hi there
    when i download the Media Creation too from the link you provided, it opens to the first screen but the menus are not populated and I cannot progress from that screen. Any suggestions please? Currently running 8.1 update 1 on a Sony Vaio Duo 11

  12. Awesome guide, Philip! The Windows 8.1 OEM core .iso installed on my Inspiron 3542 without prompting me for a product key.

  13. Hi Guys,
    I upgraded windows 8.1 OEM just by using the windows 8 pro upgrade key that i bought from Microsoft when windows 8 was released in november 2012.
    Just type the product key in "ADD FEATURES" reboot and then go to Activate windows en use the activate by phone option ( the toll free number).
    Now i am running a Legal windows 8.1 Pro

  14. Does the ISO file require to be downloaded in one go? I have a relatively slow DSL connection, and that too, with a small download quota. Can I split the download between different locations (i.e., start the download at home, pause it, and continue it elsewhere)?

  15. Hi Philip, I was just wondering if the fixes above would work for a machine that apparently recognizes the product key but is blocking it from activating? I get an error code from Windows 0xC004C003. The machine came preloaded with Windows 8. Before this problem I did a factory reset yesterday and now the error described has happened.
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Mike, have you resolved your issue? Same Refresh issue wont recognize my Office suite. Any advise?

    2. I'm not sure if you will rn into the same error or not. If you do then you should phone Microsoft to activate Windows. Sorry for the late reply I never seen the comment earlier.

  16. Thanks, this worked a treat. Clean installed windows 8.1 core onto a new ssd in my 2012 Toshiba satellite p850-321. Did not ask for a key during installation and auto activated, presumably due to embedded win 8 OEM key.

    Had to burn a DVD as could not boot from USB (turned out to be a bios issue fixed in a newer version available from Toshiba), and needed a USB mouse as trackpad not recognised until driver downloaded

  17. Hello.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You're the number one.
    Thank you very much.

  18. How do I know what version of windows 8 I had installed ? I have my product key and I can see the configuration of my product at dell website, It says only windows 8 , so I suppose it was plain windows 8, right?

    1. It should be according to the label however you may also want to download single language just in case. These new .isos works with both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 (8 Service Pack 1) product keys.

  19. My installation froze at 60% so i had to reinstall windows 8 just to create a new disc from the image i had backed up on another drive. on the 2nd attempt i discovered the dvd failed on writing (run verify disc when writing) maybe a shoddy disc or the ludicrously high speed it tries to write at, why can't I manually slow it to something sensible? so instead I used the Rufus program to create the Usb install. I ran the scan for bad sectors (I set to 1 pass) and my first attempt found the old usb drive to be too faulty to proceed. I used a newer drive and this all worked!
    I formatted my SSD using the Linux OCZ Toolbox for my drive on another usb first. so in brief from this point I:

    1. hit F12 on boot up screen to select the USB
    2. entered the original Windows 8 OEM key when prompted
    3. Selected the drive to be installed on
    4. Celebrated when it all worked and that it says in the settings Windows is activated!

    I see that it has kept all my bookmarks, the current desktop wallpaper and internet passwords, not sure what else yet but it does seem it's added things to the Windows.iso file, so I assume it can't, or shouldn't be given to anyone else to try on their pc!

    Thanks for the guide

    1. The .iso is generic and can be used on multiple systems.
      The Internet Explorer bookmarks and some customisation settings such as Desktop Background/Lockscreen that you have retained are usually synced to your Microsoft Account. Therefore as you logged in to your Microsoft Account these files and settings were automatically re-downloaded and applied. Similarly with all files/folders saved on OneDrive.

      The idea is that everyone has their files on the cloud to make Windows installation and working with multiple PCs better/easier. The OneDrive cloud storage usually automatically backups versions. OneDrive still isn't a perfect solution but its getting there.

    2. With CDBurnerXP you can manually chose the burn speed. Burning too slow can cause problems, too, so for most people, it's best to leave it as automatic or whatever gets selected for you. If you have problems with the speed you may want to research your specific DVD burner online.

    1. thank you Philip.
      I read your suggestions/answers in the comment at the dell forum.

      just one more confirmation needed.

      do you suggest update installation directly from windows update rather than using wsus?


      is it okay even if I use wsus (recent build 95)?



      1. You can use either, in your case just use the Windows Update.

        The WSUS update is really only needed when alot of updates are required and major updates such as Service Packs.

      2. thanks Philip.
        everything seems to be okay. all updates installed (except the optional one, which has the huge one – kb3000850. and I read somewhere it creates lot of problems. so, am waiting to find out more before attempting).

        but, there is a new problem.

        I had turned off the secure boot and turned on the legacy boot, while installing 8.1.
        now, I am unable to change it back.
        if I do (that is, turn on uefi secure boot), the message returns saying this:

        internal hard disk drive not found
        to resolve this issue, try to reseat the drive
        no bootable device – strike f1 to retry boot, f2 enter setup, f5 enter psa.

        so, I had to return to legacy boot with secure boot off.

        because of this, the start up is taking quite long.

        any suggestions? guidance?


  20. Philip,
    I am still stuck.
    i seem to have installed 8.1 with MBR style partition.
    I am able to use uefi boot mode, but the start up time is too long. so, I am having to use legacy mode for boot.

    should I reinstall again (with GPT style) and use uefi booting? or MBR-legacy mode is ok?

    thank you.

    1. Its up to you it sounds as though everything is working, it depends how much the boot time annoys you.

      As I mentioned before I have limited experience with SecureBoot/UEFI so can't advise inside out and need to evaluate it when I get a new system and aren't travelling/trying to finish a PhD.

    2. Biren, I myself haven't done my clean install yet, but as to the issues with booting, did you choose UEFI when you created the USB installer? If not, maybe your resulting hard disk installation is only BIOS-enabled, when ideally, you should choose UEFI-enabled.

      Just a thought.

      1. …And further, reading what Phillip replied to Jay (below), you need to turn *off* Secure Boot (and also maybe turn *on* Enable Launch CSM) when actually booting from the USB.

        But make sure you *chose* "UEFI" when *creating* that USB to begin with. Best wishes!

  21. I have an ASUS G751 laptop I upgraded the hard drive….I followed the tutorial and Windows is prompting me for a key. It's not pulling it from the bios and I have no idea what my key is. I tried rweverything and there is no MSDM tab..any suggestions?

    1. No MSDM table = no product key therefore nothing on this page will help you.

      The OEM product key is essentially regarded as hardware (part of the motherboard). You will need to call ASUS and arrange a motherboard replacement if the systems in warranty. I think its overkill for a missing product key but I have seen a good few threads on the forums which have required this. You can also try to see if any BIOS updates are available. These may restore your key but I am doubtful.

      If its out of warranty then install the Windows 10 Technical Preview and evaluate it until its fully released then take advantage of any promotional deal when its released.

  22. Hi,

    Please note that the USB drive MUST be formatted as FAT32 in order to boot in a UEFI environment. Please note this in case you want to format in a GPT partition system. If you format it as NTSF it will never boot. You must also disable Secure Boot in the BIOS.



    1. Thanks I will add your note, I haven't got a UEFI system to test with at the moment so my guides are lacking with the UEFI/SecureBoot BIOS.

  23. Hello,

    I just re-installed my Asus laptop using the mediacreationtool from Microsoft. Using the tool I downloaded the Windows 8.1 x64 version in Dutch using a FAT32 formatted USB-stick. Before the installation I selected the USB-stick with the EUFI option. During Installation I did not had to input my product key, so I assume it took the embedded key automatically. I checked if Windows was activated and it was. Ooo, and i used a Windows 8 product key, so glad that worked without any problems.

    Kind regards,


    1. Hi Rick

      Thanks for leaving feedback that you managed to carry out a UEFI install; that it took your product key and that it activated Windows automatically. It will make other users much more confident with carrying out the same procedure and I think we are getting all the information to clamp down on most the installation issues users are having with the newer UEFI BIOS and Windows 8.1 in general.


  24. Hi Phillip,

    Is there a way to make sure what edition of Windows you have on your USB drive? My problem was, after 4 days of trying to reinstall Windows, and thinking I had the right installer downloaded from the Microsoft server with the Media Creation Tool and selecting (in my case Windows 8.1 Single Language), turns out that I installed Windows 8.1 (no Single Language) and my BIOS stored key obviously doesn't work, because it for a Single Language license.



    1. Its the problem I was highlighting in these guides, unfortunately there is no easy way of changing edition on the USB (like thw Windows 7 ei.cfg trick). This is also the reason why we can't help those with the Bing versions. You'll need to use the Media Creation Tool again to download the correct .iso and remake the USB.

  25. But I did (obviously I didn't because I ended up with 8.1), I remember choosing the right version from the 3 drop down menus, that's what bugs me… I wish there was a file or folder within these downloaded .ISOs that could tell each version apart. I am downloading another ISO right now and making a video of it. I will update ASAP.



  26. Hi Philip,

    I am stuck at the "please wait" screen on mediacreationtool. I have a retail license for the Windows 8 Pro. I dont have a clue as to why the windows .iso file wont start to download.

  27. Hi Philip,

    I was successful in downloading the windows 8.1 Pro.ISO ( I have a retail windows 8 product key) using the media creation tool. The size of the .ISO file is 3.19 GB. I hope it's the right file. I am asking this coz I think I saw somewhere on the net that the file is more than 3.5GB in size.

      1. hey Philip,

        Thanks for the response. Will check your post. 🙂

    1. I also downloaded the 64 Bit US ones and have listed the size of the .isos that I got. I will just focus with the size of the English ones as it takes too long to download all the .isos of other languages.

  28. Hi Philipyip

    I would like to thank you sooooo much for this blog. before I started to look on the internet to sort out my problem. I called Dell to help me out as the warrantry expired. just to make a copy of OS CD /DVD they will charge me alot of money. then I tought its worth to try something myself. I have read your blog and I started to try it on my computer. i took me alot of time to make it write but your information and the step by step guidelines were very useful and so accurte to get my system running up again.
    I have the inspiron 15 Z ultrabook, for some reason I formatted the computer and I lost the refactory drive and system Image. I have no OS to install.
    your guidance was perfect and amazing. initially i thought it would not work but it worth to try.

    just to let you know when i made the DVD os and I nstall it the system never asked me for Key product. I already found the Key product from Bios as your guide.
    when I started the system and gone through the steps, it never asked me to put the key product. i was not connected to internet at all. when I checked the it was saying inactive and need to active it. then I connected to internet and I switch the comoputer off, then I swtiched on and i checked the system again and it was automatically actived.

    again, thanks you so much for your help


  29. Since USB flash drives are MUCH more expensive compared to CD and DVD media and Microsoft abruptly and rudely removed the ability to create recovery media on CDs/DVDs in windows 8.1 (and 8?), I took on the challenge of converting the USB stick recovery drive generated via the pretty well hidden Windows 8.1 image backup/restore feature into a uefi bootable CD (sans Dell factory recovery partition) and DVD DL (with Dell factory recovery partition).

    After a lot of research on the web, I have developed a batch file which contains a process to create these two images using the image burning tool in the Microsoft ADK kit. It runs on windows 7 (even 32 bit) and should run on win 8 or 8.1. The uefi boot is required since the newer Dell systems are GPT structure – which can't be accessed with legacy BIOS boot disks (except perhaps to do an image restore?). There are one or two BIOS settings that may need to be changed from default to use a boot cd/dvd that don't seem to affect normal booting. Let me know the best way to provide this information.

    1. It sounds like an interesting project, does the Windows 8.1 install still work after SecureBoot is enabled? I'm not sure where the best place is to load batch files – if it isn't too big OneDrive. Also I don't have a Windows 8.x system with UEFI BIOS and an optical drive to hand to test with. You may also also want to get in contact with Pete who write Rufus, he may be interested in this as it was one of the additional features he was thinking of implementing for Rufus (how to copy bootable USBs to DVD/.iso to recreate them).

  30. I made the mistake of buying a Dell laptop with windows 8 and then purchased the windows 8 "Pro Pack". Upgrading to windows 8.1 has been a nightmare (failed/corrupted system 4-5 times now). Will this method work for me? I can't use the pro pack key on 8.1 (tried that). I have to upgrade on 8 first then install the 8.1 update. So a reinstall for me is: Install win 8 using dell recovery usb. Upgrade to pro with my pro pack key. Install 8.1 through MS store. Pain in the ass especially when the 8.1 upgrade goes sour. Would be handy to just clean install 8.1 or even just use this method to upgrade to 8.1 so I don't have to download 3.5GB each damn time. Any help would be muchas gracias. Cheers

    1. Jim the problem is determining the Edition of your base OEM install… Forget about the Pro Pack for just now. I assume you downloaded a Windows 8.1 Professional .iso (the Pro Pack key won't work with it) and it came with a Home OEM Edition.

      Restore your Windows 8 OEM install (without the Pro Pack) and follow the instructions to determine the Edition.Once you know the Edition; this guide takes you through downloading Windows 8.1 with Update 1 Media circumventing getting the update through the buggy store. Install (delete all partitions and create new ones) and activate your base install.

      You can then add your Pro Pack key to "add features with a new edition of Windows" as I demonstrate here:
      Note failure to ensure your base install is activated before using Add Features may result in activation failure of the Pro Pack.

      Once all the drivers are installed and the product is activated, install Dell Backup and Recovery to make a new Recovery partition for the clean installation.

      1. Thanks Phil, I will give that another try. My base OEM version is just Windows 8.

        The only problem I have is that my windows 8 pro pack key does not work through the "add features with a new edition of Windows" on windows 8.1. It says it's an invalid key. My windows 8.1 was activated first, so it wasn't that. It seems that the windows 8 pro pack can only be installed on windows 8 🙁

      2. Scrap that, it finally worked!!! The update 1 ISO must have finally allowed my pro pack 8 key. Thanks Phil. You are a life saver! MS should employ you. You're 1000 times better than MS tech support who couldn't help me at all. Clowns. Thanks again and have a nice day 🙂

      3. Glad it helped, the Windows Media Creation Tool has a number of fixes over the older version. Microsoft could definitely improve their Windows deployment and my guides give alot of feedback for doing that.

        Be sure to vote for the idea at the top of the page on the Windows uservoice so they don't make the same issues with Windows 10 and leave them a comment explaining your issues.

      4. Done and dusted mate. I gave you 3 votes on each of them. Thanks again!

  31. Hi there,
    Here i'm facing the problem that in past I lost my genuine windows 8 (standard edition) and after that i installed win 8 pro which i made mistake. Now i want my old Windows get back, and i'm trying to make .iso file from Media creation tool but it gives errors. Can someone help me out?
    Any help will be appreciated.

    1. Its giving you errors? Please expand on the specific errors otherwise we can't help you…
      Also what is the make/model of your system?

      1. First thanks for fast reply.
        It's giving only "server execution failed"
        I am using Toshiba satellite D850 – 19D

  32. I think my windows has been corrupted. Maybe that's why Media creation tool is unable to make an .iso file.
    Is it possible that I can get somewhere online .iso file of Windows 8.0 home edition?

    1. Use another computer to download, the downloaders for Windows 8.0 are significantly more buggy than the Windows 8.1 Media Creation Tool. You will also encounter issues updating…

  33. I have lenovo g510 I deleted recovery partition. I have downloaded W8.1 SL and it activated automatically. I have problem with wireless. Whenever I try to install wireless drivers it is getting bluescreen message "irql_not_less_or_equal" message. I downloaded w8.1 compatble drivers from lenovo website but still same issue. Tried Windows 7 drivers as well. I have also tried to update

    I have installed Windows 7 and wireless drivers installed and working but but I don't have windows 7 key. I want o use w 8.1 but wireless drivers are not getting installed. Please help me

    1. I am not an expert with Lenovo Drivers. In particular the driver does not mention whether it is Atheros, Broadcom or Realtek but instead mentions all 3 vendors:
      It does sound like a bad driver however. Also you have installed the chipset drivers first? These need installed for other drivers to load correctly.
      Hardware IDs may help:
      Its best to make a new post on Microsoft Answers.

  34. hello,
    i have just bought a laptop with FREE DOS.
    i want windows 8.1 pro but not purchased it yet.
    can i use media creation tool to download and install it?
    will generic key work for installation as i am planning to buy it some time later.
    will i be able to activate windows when i buy it, without fresh installation.

    thanks in advance.

    1. Yes it will allow you to download a .iso and you can install with a generic key. You will be nagged from time to time about product activation. Later on it will force log you out after 10 minutes (I think this is after 30 days but not sure). The only thing is you need a Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 system to use the Windows Media Creation Tool. Personally I would just advise installing Windows 10 Technical Preview and evaluating it. You can then take the path from Windows 10 TP to Windows 10 RTM possibly with a discount or maybe even a free upgrade.

      1. U maen i should install windows 10 tech preview insted of windows 8.1 and when windows 10 will officially come out i will be able to upgrade..

      1. Downloaded a new iso for windows 10TP
        Philip do i need to use a new email id as the one i have was alreday been used buy me for win 10TP earlier in my old machine.(when TP was initially launched)
        Or is it will allow me to use TP with the same email id.

      2. You can use the same email on all your machines, that is one of the major points of the Microsoft Account and services like OneDrive which sync across all PCs you log into.

  35. Very, very frustrating choices by MS. My Win 8.1 laptop disk crashed. Manufacturer, as most now does not provide Win install disk. Fine, I can count on MS? No. I do not have another Win 7 or newer PC and new tool won't work on my old perfectly functional Win XP machine. Why? I do not want to upgrade that PC. I want to burn image and re-install completely non-functional system, which i OBVIOUSLY CAN'T USE TO DOWNLOAD AND RUN THE TOOL… Where are ISO images? Why can't I just download one of them, I have perfectly valid key…

    1. Agreed but I have been making points about their flawed Windows Media Distribution since 2011, more so since 2012 when Windows 8 was released.

      The Media Creation Tool is better but has its flaws which is why I have left the feedback on the Windows uservoice addressing the flaws in the media distribution. Add your votes to these and leave a comment there telling Microsoft how frustrated you are.

      As I write its a catch22 a modern Windows OS required to download a modern Windows OS…

      You can perform the following workaround. Download Windows 10 TP:
      Its a prerelease version of Windows but available as a direct .iso download. Install it on your laptop you are fixing and then use it to launch the media creation tool to create a USB to revert to Windows 8.1 (or alternatively evaluate Windows 10)….

  36. I have purchased win 8.1 single language 64 bit O.E.M. license for my new system, but now i want to deploy Win 8.1 32 bit, will same key work for both 32 & 64 bit or i have to purchase new one.

  37. Philip i have one more question i have assembled a new system with Asus H81 mother board and Dual Core 4th Gen. Intel processor and 4 Gb Ram, and purchased Win 8.1 SL O.E.M. License.
    Now after activating windows is there any way i merged product key in BIOS and also how can i make recovery partition as it comes with branded system like Dell, Asus, Hp etc, so that whenever i format my system i just reinstall through Recovery partition and that time no requirement for install all drivers again and insert product key.

    1. That OEM license is an OEM system builders license and not a major OEM license.

      As an end user you cannot add or alter the key to the UEFI BIOS. The major OEM UEFI BIOS SLP key are designed so they can only be added/altered by the manufacturer. One of the main points is so the end user doesn't remove them and they are always tied to the motherboard.

      My guides recommend the use of Dell Backup and Recovery which will make a recovery partition on a clean install but this will only work with a Dell system and you don't have a Dell system however.

      Therefore I recommend you make a refresh image instead, see my guide here:

  38. I am still on premium Dell support. I have pre-installed Win 8 OEM. After I upgraded to Win 8.1 I had problems. Dell helped me to re-install Win 8 from their Win 8 DVD disk (they sent me Win 8 OEM disk). After upgrade to Win 8.1 I got the same problems. Therefore I am thinking of clean install Win 8.1. I contacted Dell and they promised me to send Win 8.1 OEM disk. What do you suggest – to use .iso to be created using Windows Media Creation Tool or at first try their OEM? What the problem with key in OEM? Could I insert my key built in BIOS if this disk to be req'd insert key or or use generic key and later activate with my key from "Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System -> Windows activation -> Change activation key?" (If the wrong .iso is used with your OEM product key then you will get stuck on the Enter Your Product Key Screen)

    If I use Windows Media Creation Tool (if OEM 8.1 method would fail) how to install drivers? I have Dell XPS 8500. What I found out:

    Dell Update Application


    Creative Labs Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe Audio Card Driver

    Realtek ALC887 Audio Driver

    BIOS (has been installed) – re-install?

    Chipset (2 files)

    Intel AMT HECI Driver

    Intel Panther Point H77 Driver

    Network (2 files)

    Dell DW1703 802.11 b/g/n,BT4.0 + HS

    Realtek 8111E Network

    Removable Storage

    Card Reader driver

    Serial ATA

    Intel Rapid Storage Technology

    Video (4 files)

    Intel Integrated GFX Driver

    AMD Graphics HD7570/HD7470 Driver

    AMD Radeon 6xxx/7xxx/8xxx/R9 xxx Desktop Graphics Driver

    NV WHQL Driver for 5xx/6xx/7xx Series cards supporting Windows 8.1

    For example, I see that there are drivers for Radeon and AMD? What driver to be selected? In what order I have to install drivers? I also have a disk with drivers were sent when I bought my computer

    Thank you in advance

  39. I need product key for activating windows 8 with bing please I can not find it and my laptop is going off

    1. There is no .iso image for the Bing Edition but follow the instructions on this page to get your key from the MSDM tab using RWEverything.

  40. mediacreationtool fails to download the ISO file. It produces the following error message:
    "The download task did not complete.
    The parameter is incorrect."

    1. PC is connected to the Internet.
    2. The language list does not look like the one in your photo above; the only English options I see are "English (United States)" and "English (United Kingdom)". PC's Language is "English (Canada)" so I chose "English (United States)".
    3. Lenovo PC has OEM version of "Windows 8.1".
    4. Architecture is "x64".

    I chose "ISO", indicated to place it in Documents (also tried Desktop and Downloads but this shouldn't matter), and then mediacreationtool immediately responded with the error message shown above.

    Any idea why this simple operation is failing?

    Is it because I chose "English (United States)" and mediacreationtool compares it with the default language, "English (Canada)", and refuses to proceed because of the disparity? FWIW, I added "English (United States)" as a second language and tried mediacreationtool again but it failed with the same error message.

    1. I can download English UK and English US in the UK so you should be able to download both in Canada. Not too sure about that error message. Try disabling your firewall.

      1. Thank for your prompt reply. Your suggestion, turning off Windows Firewall, wasn't the cure but it did serve as a valuable hint: something could be blocking mediacreationtool's access to the Internet.

        My router is running Tomato with a "blocking" function that prevents access to ad and malware sites for all networked devices in my home. I disabled the blocker temporarily and that permitted mediacreationtool to download the ISO. The downloaded list of blocked sites can be "overly aggressive" at times and this was such a case.

        I now have Windows 8.1 Installation Media on DVD. Thanks for your help.

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