Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create

ISO_file.png
How to Create or Download a Windows 8 and 8.1 ISO



If you purchased Windows 8/8.1 and have a "retail" Windows 8/8.1 product key, then this tutorial will show you how to create or download an upgrade Windows 8 ISO or full Windows 8.1 Update ISO file directly from Microsoft.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

You will need to have your Windows 8 or 8.1 product key number from your retail box package OR online order information in the confirmation email for your purchase.

For example, if you purchased Windows 8 or 8.1 online using the "Windows 8/8.1 Upgrade Assistant".


A Windows 8 product key will not directly activate Windows 8.1 Update. To be able to clean install Windows 8.1 Update and activate it with a Windows 8 product key, see:Clean Install - Windows 8


CONTENTS:
  • Option One: (recommended) Download Windows 8.1 Update ISO File with "Windows Installation Media Creation Tool"
  • Option Two: Download Windows 8.1 Update ISO File with Retail Windows 8 or 8.1 Key
  • Option Three: Download Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Update ISO File with a Retail Key
  • Option Four: To Create a Windows 8 or 8.1 ISO File from "C:\ESD\Windows" Folder




OPTION ONE
Download Windows 8.1 Update ISO File with "Windows Installation Media Creation Tool"


This option allows you to download the latest Windows 8.1 ISO file without needing a product key.

If you have a retail Windows 8 or 8.1 PC, then you will still need to have a valid Windows 8 or 8.1 product key to be able to install and activate Windows 8.1.

If you have an OEM Windows 8 or 8.1 PC, then you will also be able to use this ISO to install and activate Windows 8.1 if you are installing the same edition of Windows the key is for. The Windows 8 or 8.1 product key embedded in the UEFI firmware of the OEM PC will be automatically detected and used during installation to activate Windows 8.1.

When you run the mediacreationtool.exe file below it will permanently delete any folder named Download and it's contents that's in the same folder as the mediacreationtool.exe file.

If you have a folder named Download in the same folder (ex: on desktop), then you will need to rename it before running the mediacreationtool.exe file to avoid it and it's contents from being permanently deleted.



1. Click/tap on the Download button below to download and run the mediacreationtool.exe file for the Windows Installation Media Creation Tool.

Source: Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help

download

2. If prompted by UAC, click/tap on Yes.

3. Select the Language, Edition, and 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) Architecture you want for the ISO file, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

Windows_Installations_Media_Creation_Tool-1.jpg

4. Select (dot) ISO file, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

Windows_Installations_Media_Creation_Tool-2.jpg

5. Select where you would like to save the ISO file to, type in a name you want for the ISO file, and click/tap on Save. (see screenshot below)

Windows_Installations_Media_Creation_Tool-3.jpg

6. The Windows 8.1 ISO file will now begin to download. (see screenshot below)

Windows_Installations_Media_Creation_Tool-4.jpg

7. When the download has finished, you can click/tap on Finish. (see screenshot below)

Windows_Installations_Media_Creation_Tool-5.jpg


You could now create a bootable DVD/USB or UEFI USB with this ISO file when you like to do a clean or upgrade install of Windows 8.1 with.





OPTION TWO
Download Windows 8.1 Update ISO File with Retail Windows 8 or 8.1 Key


This option will not work with an OEM product key number.

This option will only work with a retail product key number.



1. Click/tap on the Microsoft site link below for your location, only click/tap on the Install Windows 8.1 button at the site like below to only download the Windows8-Setup.exe file, and save it to your desktop.

US: Upgrade Windows with only a product key - Microsoft Windows Help

UK: Upgrading Windows with only a product key - Microsoft Windows Help

Install_Windows_8.png


2. Click/tap on the Download button below to download the WindowsSetupBox.zip file for Windows 8.1 Update. Open the ZIP file, and extract (drag and drop) the WindowsSetupBox.exe file to your desktop.

This is the official older 6.3.9600.16415 version of the WindowsSetupBox.exe file that is no longer available for download at Microsoft.

download

3. Run the Windows8-Setup.exe file (step 1), enter your RETAIL Windows 8 product key, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)


This will not work if you use an OEM or system builders product key.

If you enter a generic key, then you will get a We can't connect right now message since they have been blocked.

If you still have the hidden folders below on your computer from the Windows 8/8.1 Upgrade Assistant, then you will see step 7 in OPTION THREE below instead.

You can delete these two hidden folders below to be able to enter your product key and download a new ISO file.

%UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WebSetup

AND

C:\ESD\Windows

To get a 32-bit Windows 8.1 Update ISO, you must run the .exe on a 32-bit Windows computer.

To get a 64-bit Windows 8.1 Update ISO, you must run the .exe on a 64-bit Windows computer.



Download-1.jpg

4. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

Download-2.jpg

5. Once downloading starts and still at 0%, CLOSE Close.jpg the Windows 8 Setup window. (see screenshot below)

Stop.jpg

6. Quickly click/tap on Yes to approve closing "Windows 8 Setup". (see screenshot below)

Quit.jpg

7. Run the WindowsSetupBox.exe file (step 2) for Windows 8.1 Update.

8. Windows 8.1 Setup should now start downloading Windows 8.1 Update. Go to step 6 in OPTION THREE below to continue for the Windows 8.1 Update ISO file. (see screenshot below)


If it fails to start downloading Windows 8.1 or you get an error, then delete the two hidden folders below, and start over at step 3 above.

%UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WebSetup

AND

C:\ESD\Windows

8.1_Download.jpg





OPTION THREE
Download Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Update ISO File with a Retail Key


This option is for how to only download a Windows 8 ISO file using a Windows 8 product key, or to download a Windows 8.1 Update ISO file using a Windows 8.1 product key.

This option will not work with an OEM product key number.

This option will only work with a retail product key number.


1. Click/tap on the Microsoft site link below for your location, click/tap on the Install Windows 8 or Install Windows 8.1 button at the site to download and run the Windows8-Setup.exe (Windows 8) or OSGS14-WindowsSetupBox-32bitand64bit-English-4141408.exe (Windows 8.1 Update) file.

US: Upgrade Windows with only a product key - Microsoft Windows Help

UK: Upgrading Windows with only a product key - Microsoft Windows Help

To get a 32-bit Windows 8 or 8.1 ISO, you must run the .exe on a 32-bit Windows computer.

To get a 64-bit Windows 8 or 8.1 ISO, you must run the .exe on a 64-bit Windows computer.


2. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes (Windows 7/8) or Continue (Vista).

3. Type in either your RETAIL Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product key for the one you want to get an ISO for, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)


This will not work if you use an OEM or system builders product key

If you enter a generic key, then you will get a We can't connect right now message since they have been blocked.

If you still have the hidden folders below on your computer from the Windows 8/8.1 Upgrade Assistant, then you will see step 7 instead.

You can delete the two folders below to be able to enter your product key and download a new ISO file.

%UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WebSetup

AND

C:\ESD\Windows

You will only be able to enter a Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product key.

A Windows 8 product key will only get you a Windows 8 ISO file.

A Windows 8.1 product key will only get you a Windows 8.1 Update ISO file.

You will not be able to enter a Window Media Center Pack or Windows 8 Pro Pack product key. These are considered to be an upgrade key and can't be used to install Windows 8/8.1 with. You could use Add Features to add the Window Media Center Pack or Windows 8 Pro Pack again after Windows 8/8.1 is finished installing.

Download-1.jpg

4. You will now see that Windows 8 or 8.1 will be downloaded. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

Download-2.jpg

5. Windows 8 or 8.1 will now begin to download. (see screenshot below)

Download-3.jpg

6. When it's finished downloading, it will check and verify the download, then start to getting files ready. (see screenshots below)

The Window 8 or 8.1 installation files will be saved in the hidden C:\ESD\Windows folder.

Download-4.jpg

Download-5.jpg

7. Select (dot) Install by creating media, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

Download-6.jpg

8. Select (dot) ISO file, and click/tap on Save. (see screenshot below)

Download-7.jpg

9. Navigate to a location where (ex: Desktop) you want to save the .iso file at, type in a name for the .iso file, and click/tap on Save. (see screenshot below)

Download-8.jpg

10. Click/tap on Finish. (see screenshot below)

Download-9.jpg

11. You will now have your upgrade Windows 8 ISO or full Windows 8.1 Update ISO file.

You could now create a bootable DVD/USB or UEFI USB with this ISO file to do a clean (8.1), clean for upgrade (8), or upgrade (8/8.1) install of Windows 8 with.





OPTION FOUR
To Create a Windows 8 or 8.1 ISO File from "C:\ESD\Windows" Folder


You will only be able to do this option if you still have the hidden "C:\ESD\Windows" folder from previously using OPTION TWO or OPTION THREE above, or from the Windows 8/8.1 Upgrade Assistant on this PC.


1. Click/tap on the Download button below to download the ESD-TO-ISO.zip file created by our member SIW2 (Simon).

If you use the ESD-TO-ISO.exe to create a 64-bit ISO, then it will also have UEFI support.

download

2. Save the ZIP file to your desktop, then extract (drag and drop) the contents to your desktop.

3. Unblock the ESD-TO-ISO.EXE, then right click on the ESD-TO-ISO.EXE file, and click on Run as administrator.

4. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes (Windows 7/8) or Continue (Vista).

5. Click/tap on GO. (see screenshot below)

ESD-1.jpg

6. Click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)

ESD-2.jpg

7. It will now create the ISO file. (see screenshot below)

If you get an error saying the ISO file cannot be created, then delete the C:\ESD folder, and do OPTION TWO above instead.

ESD-3.jpg

8. Click/tap on Cancel unless you wanted to create (burn) a bootable DVD with ISO file. (see screenshot below)

Burning a DVD with a 64-bit ISO created using this option will also have UEFI support.

ESD-4.jpg

9. The upgrade Windows 8 ISO or full Windows 8.1 Update ISO file will be at the root of your C: drive. For example, C:\WIN8x64.iso. (see screenshot below)

You could now create a bootable DVD/USB or UEFI USB with this ISO file to do a clean (8.1), clean for upgrade (8), or upgrade (8/8.1) install of Windows 8/8.1 with.

ESD-5.jpg


That's it,
Shawn


[/note]
 

Attachments

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  • WindowsSetupBox.zip
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Last edited by a moderator:

reden

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Aug 3, 2015
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Thanks for your help guys !!

Correct me with my process if its wrong .so this is what I will do to my computer ?

1. just burn this file to cd/dvd? burn.png
(before when I enter bios there is word "uefi" that is attch to my hard drive) I don't know why is it gone now .
2. correct the boot setting, restart my pc / or click the specific boot option /
3. format my drive "c" where the os is installed/ click/tap drive c then click next (I'll do nothing from the other drive)this is clean install right? ?|
my problem also what if it will request for a key should I use my original key or should I skip it(if there is a button ?

(I'm installing directly window 8.1 core) right ? even though my preinstalled is 8 ?
 

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Brink

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reden

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thanks sir brink!

actually I'm having a problem downloading the file using the media creation tool. do you have any recommended site where I can download it much faster ? thanks !
 

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Steve C

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In post 601 above, why don't you refer to using the Media Creation Tool at the start of this thread?
 

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cmanis1

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Thanks so much for all the info. all be safe...we sure do need you. Cliff
 

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layman

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I've ASUS laptop which came pre-installed with Windows 8(64-bit). It was upgraded to Windows 8.1 Single Language (64-bit) through Windows Store. I have gone through all the 604 postings above & notice that it is probably not possible to download Windows 8 ISO file with an OEM key from Microsoft. The relevant file(en_windows_8_x64_dvd_915440.iso) is available at Google Drive. Will it be prudent to use it for Clean Install of Windows 8?
 

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Brink

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I've ASUS laptop which came pre-installed with Windows 8(64-bit). It was upgraded to Windows 8.1 Single Language (64-bit) through Windows Store. I have gone through all the 604 postings above & notice that it is probably not possible to download Windows 8 ISO file with an OEM key from Microsoft. The relevant file(en_windows_8_x64_dvd_915440.iso) is available at Google Drive. Will it be prudent to use it for Clean Install of Windows 8?

Hello Layman,

You can use OPTION ONE to download a Windows 8.1 ISO without having to enter a product key. Afterwards, you will be able to clean install Windows 8.1 on your PC, and activate with your OEM Windows 8 product key. :)
 

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layman

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Thanks Brink. In other words, it is never advisable to wipe the hidden "OEM" partitions & "Restore" partition in my computer. In so many replies I have seen suggestions for complete formatting the whole hard drive even the separate partition containing data to overcome PC problems.
 

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Brink

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If you have installation media, then you don't really need the factory recovery partitions. However, I would recommend create factory recovery media before deleting them to have available if you should ever want to use it.
 

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Ztruker

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For instance, my computer came with Windows 8 Home X64. I upgraded to Pro then 8.1 Pro then10 Pro. The factory recovery partition would be useless to me as I would never want to go back to 8 Home so I deleted it and all partitions on my boot drive and did a clean install of 8.1 Pro.

I make weekly image backup instead, originally with Acronis but now I'm using AOMEI Back Upper.
 

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layman

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For instance, my computer came with Windows 8 Home X64. I upgraded to Pro then 8.1 Pro then10 Pro. The factory recovery partition would be useless to me as I would never want to go back to 8 Home so I deleted it and all partitions on my boot drive and did a clean install of 8.1 Pro.
.
I have also upgraded to Windows 10 Home from a downloaded ISO file on a DVD. It is version 10.0.10240. I have extracted the Product Key using Magical Jelly Bean & notice that it is different from the OEM key which it was showing while using Windows 8 & 8.1. Can I use this Product Key for a Clean Install of Windows 10, if required later?
 

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Brink

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Hello Layman, :)

Sorry, but no. You do not get or can use a product key for the free Windows 10 offer.

The free upgrade Windows 10 offer requires that you upgrade from an activated Windows 7 or 8.1 PC first. This registers the Windows 10 activation of Windows 10 on Microsoft's activation servers.

Windows 10 - Upgrade Installation - Windows 10 Forums

Afterwards, you will be able to do a clean install of Windows 10 on that same PC anytime in the future without entering a key ("skip" during installation), and have it activated when finished.

Windows 10 - Clean Install - Windows 10 Forums
 

My Computer

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    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
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    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
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    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
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    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
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    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
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    Thermaltake Core P3
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    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    Logitech wireless K800
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    Logitech MX Master
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    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
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    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
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    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
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alphanumeric

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For instance, my computer came with Windows 8 Home X64. I upgraded to Pro then 8.1 Pro then10 Pro. The factory recovery partition would be useless to me as I would never want to go back to 8 Home so I deleted it and all partitions on my boot drive and did a clean install of 8.1 Pro.
.
I have also upgraded to Windows 10 Home from a downloaded ISO file on a DVD. It is version 10.0.10240. I have extracted the Product Key using Magical Jelly Bean & notice that it is different from the OEM key which it was showing while using Windows 8 & 8.1. Can I use this Product Key for a Clean Install of Windows 10, if required later?

You can use that key on a Clean install on that same PC that you have already done the free upgrade on. You don't have too, you can just skip when asked for one. Entering it or not entering it won't make any difference. If you already did the free upgrade and activated Windows 10 on that PC it will activate on a clean install. If you try to use that same product code and clean install on a PC that never had Windows 10 activated on it, it will fail activation. I enter the product code automatically with a PID.txt file to save having to do the skip. You have to click skip at least twice during the install. It might even be 3 times.
 

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Brink

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mvp
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Hello Joostin, :)

Usually if you download an ISO using OPTION ONE, it'll save the ISO file to the location shown in your screenshot like under step 7.
 

My Computer

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    Shawn Brink
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    PC/Desktop
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    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
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JoostinOnline

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Hello Joostin, :)

Usually if you download an ISO using OPTION ONE, it'll save the ISO file to the location shown in your screenshot like under step 7.
I was referring to the warning:
When you run the mediacreationtool.exe file below it will permanently delete any folder named Download and it's contents that's in the same folder as the mediacreationtool.exe file.

If you have a folder named Download in the same folder (ex: on desktop), then you will need to rename it before running the mediacreationtool.exe file to avoid it and it's contents from being permanently deleted.
Now I realize it doesn't mention anything about creating a new folder named Download after deleting the old one (I'm running on fumes), but because I misread it, I thought it was worth mentioning. It's strange that it would delete a folder even though it doesn't use it.
 

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System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1

Brink

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mvp
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It does actually create a hidden "Download" folder at the same location the mediacreationtool.exe file is at if one doesn't already exist, and is used as a working folder until finished. When the download is complete, the tool automatically deletes the "Download" folder as part of cleaning up after itself. This of course would be an issue if you just happen to already have a "Download" folder at the same location.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Name
    Shawn Brink
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
    State/Region Flag
    us oklahoma

JoostinOnline

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Joined
May 31, 2014
Messages
10
It does actually create a hidden "Download" folder at the same location the mediacreationtool.exe file is at if one doesn't already exist, and is used as a working folder until finished. When the download is complete, the tool automatically deletes the "Download" folder as part of cleaning up after itself. This of course would be an issue if you just happen to already have a "Download" folder at the same location.
It doesn't. I'm running it right now. I disabled both hidden file options, and nothing is there. Just for good measure, I tried accessing it through command line, and it doesn't exist.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
24,320
I just tested again, and the tool doesn't create a Download folder, but only deletes it (if there) when you run the tool.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Name
    Shawn Brink
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
    State/Region Flag
    us oklahoma

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