Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Upgrading 8.0 to 8.1 With ISO

  1. #1

    Upgrading 8.0 to 8.1 With ISO


    The method for obtaining a retail Windows 8.1 ISO has been published and re-published. It seems that most people who are interested in the ISO want to use it for a clean install. I respect that, however I want to upgrade my copy of (retail) Windows 8.0 Pro to Windows 8.1 Pro.

    Can I use the retail Windows 8.1 ISO to upgrade from 8.0 Pro to 8.1 Pro?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Hasselt, Belgium
    Posts : 75
    Windows 8.1 Pro 32/64


    Yes, because Microsoft doesn't have real upgrade versions anymore. Windows 8.1 only comes as a full version but it can be used to do an upgrade as well.

    I found this info in the Microsoft Store:

    Windows 8.1 Pro offers enhanced features to help you easily connect to company networks, access one PC from another, encrypt your data, and more.

    Important: Windows 8.1 Pro full version is for Windows 7 users only. Currently running Windows Vista or XP? First upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. Upon installation you can update to 8.1 for free.

    Already running Windows 8 Pro? No need to buy Windows 8.1 Pro—you can update to Windows 8.1 Pro for free through the Windows Store.


    I find this information a little strange, because I installed Windows 8.1 Pro on my laptop after I had deleted all my partitions on it. So, you can also install it on a completely clean system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Thanks for your help.

    I also saw that information on the Microsoft website. It was confusing at first, but now I understand: In typical fashion, Microsoft only describes what it wants you to do, not what you can do.

    Microsoft wants you to upgrade from 8.0 to 8.1 from the Windows Store, so it doesn't mention that you can upgrade from the ISO.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Hasselt, Belgium
    Posts : 75
    Windows 8.1 Pro 32/64


    That's right.

    They also mention you can't use Windows 8.x on a XP or Vista PC, but the laptop I'm using right now had Vista pre-installed back in the day. And my Windows 8.1 is now working very nicely on it. I do get an error of my video driver sometimes, but that's because I still use the Vista drivers for it. But that's not a big deal. It just crashes -> recovers and you can work on for another few hours without losing any work.

    And... it's still working much smoother than when I had Vista installed on it. So...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    The linked solution reads:

    "A Windows 8 product Key can not be use[d] to Upgrade to Windows 8.1."

    I believe that means that a Win8 product key can't be used to clean install Win8.1. (Although there are work-arounds for that.) It doesn't make sense that you can't upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8 unless you have a Win8.1 key ... the upgrade is free for Win8.0 users.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Hasselt, Belgium
    Posts : 75
    Windows 8.1 Pro 32/64


    Quote Originally Posted by Daddyman View Post
    The linked solution reads:

    "A Windows 8 product Key can not be use[d] to Upgrade to Windows 8.1."

    I believe that means that a Win8 product key can't be used to clean install Win8.1. (Although there are work-arounds for that.) It doesn't make sense that you can't upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8 unless you have a Win8.1 key ... the upgrade is free for Win8.0 users.
    I did it like this:

    I booted with a Windows 8.1 Pro ISO that I had written to an USB stick.

    While going through the setup, I deleted my partitions and then let the setup of Windows 8.1 automatically make a new partition to install itself to it. However, you can also do an upgrade here from Windows 8. But because Windows 8.1 is not really an upgrade but a new OS, I prefer to do clean installs.


    There is only one other thing you need to do before you boot from the USB stick.

    Use notepad and add following text in a new document:

    [EditionID]
    Professional
    [Channel]
    Retail
    [VL]
    0

    and safe this as 'ei.cfg' to the 'sources' folder on the USB stick.

    This will make sure that the setup doesn't ask for a product key until Windows 8.1 is installed. Only then it well ask for your key and you can use your Windows 8 Pro key here.

    If you don't do this, you will need to have a Windows 8.1 Pro key at the beginning of the installation.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Daddyman View Post
    The linked solution reads:

    "A Windows 8 product Key can not be use[d] to Upgrade to Windows 8.1."

    I believe that means that a Win8 product key can't be used to clean install Win8.1. (Although there are work-arounds for that.) It doesn't make sense that you can't upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8 unless you have a Win8.1 key ... the upgrade is free for Win8.0 users.
    Just use the key at the end of the post.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    I believe that the reason you were able to do a clean install of Windows 8.1 after formatting your hard disk is because the 8.1 installer read your existing Windows key and recognized it as a qualifying version of Windows before you formatted your disk. Thus, the installer knew you were qualified to install Win8.1. This a supported method for doing a clean install. It's the same way I was able to format my Windows 7 partition to do a clean install of Windows 8.

    Had erased your hard disk before you first installed the upgrade media, I don't believe the install would have proceeded.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Hasselt, Belgium
    Posts : 75
    Windows 8.1 Pro 32/64


    Quote Originally Posted by Daddyman View Post
    I believe that the reason you were able to do a clean install of Windows 8.1 after formatting your hard disk is because the 8.1 installer read your existing Windows key and recognized it as a qualifying version of Windows before you formatted your disk. Thus, the installer knew you were qualified to install Win8.1. This a supported method for doing a clean install. It's the same way I was able to format my Windows 7 partition to do a clean install of Windows 8.

    Had erased your hard disk before you first installed the upgrade media, I don't believe the install would have proceeded.
    Hmmm, could be. Well, I'm planning to do a fresh install of my main PC tomorrow. I'll first delete my partitions and then boot from the USB stick. I'll let you know if I could install Windows 8.1 or not.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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