Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Dangers of using an install iso found on the net?

  1. #1

    Posts : 2
    Win 8.1

    Dangers of using an install iso found on the net?

    Awhile back my computer died, and I bought a mac mini to replace it. I wanted to install a Win 8 partition on this new machine with bootcamp, but I was unable to figure out how to get Win 8 installation media from Microsoft since they make you go through the Windows setup program that only runs on Windows, and the new machine has no disk drive. So I found a Win 8 iso on the net from a site that looked safe. I believe it was a blog but I don't remember, and I'm not sure if it was a direct download or link to a torrent. I installed Win using this and have used it for a while. It installed fine, and I haven't seen anything amiss in the time I've been using it. So my question is, how stupid was this? What danger did I expose myself to, and is there anyway to know for sure now if my system is compromised or not? I don't have the file I used for the install anymore. I'm about to re install the proper way, only waiting to see if there's anything I should check with the current setup that could give me some info.

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  2. #2

    Well a few months ago there were leaked ISO's available on few sites, I checked the Checksum of the ISO I used. Microsoft cracked down on the websites that were hosting these so no we go to use Torrent I chose not to. Most likely you don't have any problems. You could do some deep scans with Norton and Malware bytes, my opinion only.
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  3. #3

    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

    You didn't say if you have a legitimate Windows 8 key. I will base my answer on your response.
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  4. #4

    Posts : 2
    Win 8.1

    Thanks for the replies. Clint, should I spring for the full versions of those antiviruses, or will the free malware bytes do it?

    Popeye, yes it's a legitimate key. I just used the key to setup a usb drive so I can do this right. Pasted it from the order confirmation email.
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  5. #5

    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

    OK, a valid key is a start, I would never download Windows ISO from anywhere but official MS sites or verified retailers.

    I would run Malwarebyte and sfc /sannow to begin with.
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  6. #6

    I used unmodified ISOs (keyword here) from torrents when testing Alpha, beta and RC Win8 without any ill effects. Not everything is illegal or dangerous to download from torrents, just got to be careful with files coming with download. mTorrent has a screen which lets you to choose before download which files to download together with the main thing and if it's not a .txt file I don't let them download. Reading comments from other people before downloading also helps. There's usually outcry and warnings on PB if anything is amiss. Never be the first one that to download something, wait for comments. I use PB to share some of my files with friends if they are too large for other sites, properly coded and protected with multiple levels of complicated passwords.
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  7. #7

    Posts : 879
    Windows 10


    How to download and clean install Windows 8.1 -> link
    Last edited by genet; 10 Nov 2014 at 16:47.
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  8. #8

    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10

    Hi there

    I think we all used a LOT of torrents back when Windows 7 was in testing / development with new builds appearing almost weekly -- I rather miss that sort of frenzied activity back then -- Windows 9 (or even 8.1 update 2) seems to be locked down tighter than a Death Row in a Texas state Jail.

    If you do find an ISO on a Torrent - watch out for any "added extras" -- and ensure you have a LEGIT KEY -- those with activation tools are highly illegal and it's against the forum rules to discuss these or give any help.

    A LEGIT key with a valid checksum should install OK - provided it's YOUR OWN KEY and not a "Hacked" one -- which will get blacklisted very quickly these days.

    My biggest grip these days with Windows is that unless you have an MSDN ( expensive) or one of the expiring shortly Technet subscriptions you won't easily find ISO's -- it all seems to have to be done via that wretched store.

    If you don't have one what I would do is after the initial CLEAN windows install (plus drivers in any) take a CLEAN backup and use this as your reference point if you need to re-install Windows in the future. Then take a SECOND one after you've installed any applications such as Ms Office etc.

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  9. #9

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    Quote Originally Posted by genet View Post
    HashTab provides an easy way to verify file integrity and authenticity.

    Windows 8.1 with Update (multiple editions) (x64) - DVD (English)
    Release Date: 4/2/2014
    File Name: en_windows_8.1_with_update_x64_dvd_4065090.iso
    File Size: 3924 MB
    SHA1: 4652DC6EBFEBE02C6A63E167C36E3FAEDFB93999

    You can look up the hash code and file info on MSDN Subscriber Downloads (but you can't download without a subscription from this page).
    . If the hash matches it is unaltered and fine to use.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Dangers of using an install iso found on the net?
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