Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Why Do Microsoft Make Installing From ISO's So Awkward?

  1. #1


    Posts : 446
    Win 8 64-bit

    Why Do Microsoft Make Installing From ISO's So Awkward?


    I don't understand why Microsoft are so awkward when it comes to allowing people to install Windows from ISO. First they don't make the ISO's available, then when they do you have to jump through hoops to get it to work (for example with Windows 8 having to make changes to the registry then run slmgr /rearm to activate it or on 8.1 having to install with a generic key first as it won't accept your proper 8.1 serial number).

    So it seems they recently realised that some people have multiple machines and they want to do clean installs of Windows on them without downloading the whole lot every single time they decide to wipe and start again. But instead of just making ISO's available and supplying a tool to burn the ISO to USB or DVD, they decided to use a Installation Media 'Web app' instead. (Windows 7 USB tool is still available, but requires .net Framework 2.0, which isn't installed by default on Win 8).

    The first problem with the web app is that it operates from a Temp folder and everytime it's opened it has a different path (For example %USERPROFILE%\appdata\local\temp\6585d8d2-2062-4f9c-969e-08k8bb550rst\mediacreationtoolexpanded\mediacreationtool.exe). That means for those using a whitelist firewall it will be automatically blocked and you can't just create an outbound rule for the executable because when you open the tool again, the path is different.

    But, the above isn't the main problem as it's possible to work around it. The biggest problem is how un-user friendly it is when it fails to write to the media. When I tried using it, it said there was an error writing to USB stick, but I have no idea why. And you can't just retry, you have to restart from the very beginning and download the whole lot again!

    So instead of re-downloading it again and facing the possibility of experiencing the same problem, I just downloaded the raw ISO and used 'Rufus' to write it to a USB stick instead. Rufus was able to create the ISO perfectly fine, so I don't know what the problem was with the proper windows tool. Pretty poor that the best solution is to use a third party tool rather than a tool from Microsoft.

    /r

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    the windows 7 usb tool fails at 98% every time.. I've always created ISO and then copied the mounted ISO files to USB, have not had an issue, so far..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help No key needed to do the download and you can download multiple versions if you want. Also, the install media created with this tool will use Windows 8.1 and 8.0 keys. There is no need to install with a generic key. It will use embedded OEM 8.0 keys automatically or you can enter a Windows 8.0 Retail key during setup. I've done both so I know it works. If you create a bootable thumb drive with this tool it will be formatted fat32 and be UEFI compatible. You can just save the ISO file if you want too.

    EDIT: Oops, looks like you already found this. Sorry, I didn't click your link until after I made my post.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    One issue I had is it wouldn't use my 4 gig thumb drives. It said they weren't big enough. I had no problem fitting the ISO on one though doing it with diskpart. Your thumb drives weren't Sandisk drives were they? My Sandisk thumb drives have a bit set in their firmware that makes them show up as fixed disks instead of removable media. The Windows 7 DVD toll looks for removable media and won't use them. I think I had the same problem using the Media Creation Tool.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 446
    Win 8 64-bit


    I didn't realise some Sandisk drives can cause problems, but no it was a 16GB Kingston DataTraveler R3.0 G2. Maybe it just didn't like USB 3.0, I have no idea what caused it.

    Anyway, toys are back in the pram now and I think I'll just stick with optical media. Use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool to download the raw ISO and then right-click 'burn disk image' to burn on DVD, as I've always found that to be 100% reliable.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    The East Coast
    Posts : 101
    Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 9926


    I had the same issue when I tried to put the 8.1 iso on a 4 GB Fdrive, not enough space.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Kingston is my preferred brand. I have more of those than anything else. These days I only use optical media if I absolutely have to. I do all my installs from thumb drives. It's considerably faster than when done with optical media. What ever works for you though. Lately I've been making mine though diskpart. I've got all the commands memorized now so it doesn't take long.

    I don't know what's up with the not enough space message? The first drive I tried to make was Core and I got that message. I just used an 16 gig drive. Later on I just downloaded the ISO files and made the thumb drives manually. Pro fits on a 4 gig drive no problem when done with diskpart. The Core ISO is slightly larger than Pro and may actually need a bigger drive. I'll have to play around with it latter. I'll have to find another 4 gig drive to play with. Right now all mine are in use.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    I never used an ISO.

    But in my opinion, they ought to work like Factory Recovery Disks.
    From a USB or DVD.

    You stick it in & follow the prompts.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    The Factory Recovery disks I've used don't install an OS though, they just restore an image. A custom image made for that system. Doing a clean install of Windows is a totally different deal IMHO. Still, when I do that I just plug it in and follow the prompts so I'm not sure what your getting at? Unless your referring to the process of making the thumb drive? There may come a day when your store bought Windows install media comes on a premade thumb drive instead of a DVD. I'd be happy with that. They may have to make them read only though, or have that option like an SD card does. That I would like to see.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    The East Coast
    Posts : 101
    Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 9926


    That is an excellent idea, the install files and the key but don`t hold your breath
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Why Do Microsoft Make Installing From ISO's So Awkward?
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