Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create

  1. #80


    Posts : 22,575
    64-bit Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by floepie View Post
    Will creating an 8.1 ISO using Option 1 with the Windows 8 setup on a machine that differs from the target machine work? After creating the ISO, I ran a hash check on it and its SHA1 value has no hits on Google. That leads me to believe that this ISO is unique. In what way is it unique? Is it unique to the machine hardware fingerprint upon which it was created or simply from the Windows 8.0 product key entered to initiate the download?

    Hello Floepie,

    The ISO file you get using OPTION ONE would be either for a 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 8.1 depending on what the Windows is that you downloaded the ISO on.

    This ISO is just a retail version, and not unique for your PC only.

    The product key you enter while doing OPTION ONE will determine the edition of Windows 8.1 that the ISO file is for.


    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
    Last edited by Brink; 01 Jan 2014 at 21:11. Reason: added quote

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  2. #81


    Posts : 42
    Windows 8.1 Core


    Ah, OK, thanks! Still a bit odd that SHA1 of the ISO then garners no hits in the Googles.

    That last part is not what I was hoping to hear. So, the ISO doesn't have both Pro and Core versions, like the RTM Technet version does? I entered a paid-for Pro key, but I didn't intend to activate it on the target machine. I had intended to use the ISO to install the Core version in combination with the OEM key.

    If all else fails, I do have the RTM Technet Core/Pro ISO for 8.1, but I thought it would be cleaner to install the "general availability" version which is newer.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #82


    Posts : 22,575
    64-bit Windows 10


    I'm pretty sure the downloaded ISO would only be for the edition of the key entered, but you could try and see if it may do both Pro and Core as well. Please let us know how it went.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #83


    Posts : 42
    Windows 8.1 Core


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    I'm pretty sure the downloaded ISO would only be for the edition of the key entered, but you could try and see if it may do both Pro and Core as well. Please let us know how it went.
    Just as you expected, the created ISO contains only the version for which the key is intended, unlike the MSDN/Technet version, which includes both Core and Pro. As others mentioned to their surprise, only English UK was an option for install with no English US on the ISO. It could be perhaps because I'm in W. Europe.
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  5. #84


    Posts : 22,575
    64-bit Windows 10


    Nar, it's most likely to keep the size of the ISO as small as possible for download.
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  6. #85


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY View Post
    Apologies that I'm probably not answering the question (certainly not the part about ISOs) ... but in case it helps anyone, I have done the following:

    • clean installed the 8.1 Preview using the 8.1 Preview ISO and the default Preview product key
    • upgraded in the Windows Store to 8.1 Final
    • Windows boots up with no problem and takes me through the rest of setup
    • input my 8.0 Product Key and activated 8.1 successfully.


    The 8.0 Product Key was a Windows 8 Pro Upgrade key that had previously been used on the same machine before I wiped it with the Preview.

    So you can upgrade the 8.1 Preview using an 8.0 key - I've done it!
    Thank you David.

    Was this on an OEM PC that came with Windows 8 Pro preinstalled?
    Hi Shawn,

    Apologies that this is a little late but just in case it helps, I have finally had a chance to try something like the above, on a machine which had Windows 8 (Core not Pro) preinstalled.

    1. Start with Windows 8 OEM laptop
    2. Find the Windows 8 Product Key. This is important as it doesn't self-activate later.
    3. Add Features using the Windows 8 Pro Pack product key to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. (This step isn't essential but I like Bitlocker and other Pro features so bought a Pro pack for the laptop.)
    4. Install Windows 8.1 Preview (note this is the Pro version) as a clean install from the ISO into the partition that held the original C: drive. I ran Windows Update but did little else on the PC.
    5. Upgrade to the final 8.1 using the Windows Store.
    6. Skipped the step during Setup to enter a product key, to see if it would read it from the BIOS - it doesn't!
    7. Once Windows 8.1 was going and connected to the web, entered the original Windows 8 product key (from step 2) . Even though I'd upgraded from Windows 8.1 Pro Preview, it seemed happy to activate with a core key and the edition showed as "Windows 8.1" at this point.
    8. Use the product key from my Windows 8 Pro Pack to upgrade to Windows 8.1 Pro. As above, this isn't essential, but it did work.
    9. Seems to work and is activated and running - I just need to check through to make sure there aren't any drivers I need to update


    It seems to work fine, so I have a clean-ish install of Windows 8.1 without needing a Technet ISO or anything else that didn't come direct from Microsoft (except to read the product key).

    The only thing is... it's a bit late given the 8.1 Preview expires in less than 2 weeks!

    I saved the 8.1 Preview download links and it seems I can still download the UK version of the 8.1 Preview ISO though, so it is still possible to give it a go.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #86


    Posts : 22,575
    64-bit Windows 10


    Thanks David. Yeah, to bad it's for a 8.1 Preview.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #87


    Australia
    Posts : 716
    Windows 7 Ult Reatil & Win 8 Pro OEM


    I had already downloaded 8.1 upgrade from the Windows store, installed on my flagship PC.

    Downloaded the install files as per tutorial.

    When I ran the Winodows 8 install on my backup PC which has Win7 installed, and put in the serial key from my retail disc, the following error message came up: This product key cannot be used to install a retail version of Windows 8.

    Any thoughts on this?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #88


    Posts : 22,575
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hey Mustang,

    What edition is your product key for?

    If it's for Windows 8, then you might see if the method below may help with it on Windows 8.1.

    Activate retail Windows 8.1 with Windows 8 Product key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #89


    Australia
    Posts : 716
    Windows 7 Ult Reatil & Win 8 Pro OEM


    Hi Brink, thanks for the input.

    My version is Windows 8 Pro 64bit. And the key still works if I reload Win8 off the retail disc ... I formatted my HD and tried it.

    Pardon my ignorance, but is the GA version of Win 8.1 referred to in the other thread the same one downloaded off this tutorial?

    Is that the same as the retail version of Win 8.1?

    If I read the other post correctly, you download and save 8.1 by using the generic code provided in that thread. Then burn the ISO. And when you clean install you have to change the generic key in the OS to your original retail key of Win8 to activate it.

    Update: The generic key was accepted OK using the Win 8.1 free download, but get error message: You're not connected to the net, even though I've got the Microsoft web page open. Not sure if the link is just busy or simply doesn't work?
    Last edited by Mustang; 06 Feb 2014 at 07:57.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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