Microsoft

Quick Tip: Download a new copy of the Windows 8 Upgrade ISO

Using your Windows 8 Product Key you can download a fresh copy of the setup file and then save it as an ISO file.

Did you purchase and download Windows 8 Upgrade from Microsoft during the initial release and now need to reinstall the operating system but don't have a DVD? For instance, maybe selected the Install now option or maybe you selected the Install by creating media option and now can't locate the ISO you downloaded or the DVD you burned or the USB flash drive you created.

Fortunately, using your Windows 8 Product Key you can download a fresh copy of the Windows 8 Setup file and then save it as an ISO file. You can then burn the ISO file to a DVD.

Caveats

Keep in mind that this particular download is not for everyone.

  • This procedure will only work if you purchased and downloaded a copy of Windows 8 Upgrade during the initial release.
  • If you purchased a new computer with Windows 8 preinstalled, this procedure will NOT work for you. If you need to reinstall Windows 8, you will have to investigate the manufacturer's recovery procedure.
  • If you purchased and downloaded a copy of Windows 8 from the Microsoft Store and now can't locate the ISO you downloaded or the DVD you burned, all you have to do is return to the store, sign in to your account, access the Downloads, product keys, and subscriptions section, and you can then re-download the ISO.

Also keep in mind that for this download procedure to work correctly, there are two requirements you need to pay strict attention to. If you don't adhere to these requirements, the download will fail.

  1. You must perform the download on a system running Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP. (You cannot perform the download on a system running Windows 8.)
  2. The computer you use to perform the download must meet the minimum system requirements for Windows 8.

In addition, you'll want to pay attention to the bit version of the system you use to perform the download. More specifically, if you want to end up with a 64-bit version of Windows 8, you'll need to perform the download on a system running a 64-bit version of Windows. Likewise, if you want to end up with a 32-bit version of Windows 8, you'll need to perform the download on a system running a 32-bit version of Windows.

Getting started

To begin, go to the Upgrade to Windows 8 with only a product key page and click the Install Windows 8 button. When you do so, you will be prompted to Run or Save the file - select the Run option. This process is illustrated in Figure A.

Figure A

After you select the Install Windows 8 button, click the Run button when prompted.
You'll then be prompted to enter your Product key. When you click Next, there will be a slight delay while your product key is verified. You'll then see a screen that shows you the Windows 8 version that matches your Product key. These steps are illustrated in Figure B.

Figure B

You'll begin the process by entering your Windows 8 Upgrade Product key.
As soon as you click Next, the download will begin. Once the download is complete, Windows 8 Setup checks the download, and then prepares the files. These steps are illustrated in Figure C.

Figure C

The download will proceed through three steps and take about two hours to complete.
Once the files are ready, Windows 8 Setup prompts you to choose how you want to install the new operating system. You'll then choose the Install by creating media option and then choose ISO file option. These steps are illustrated in Figure D.

Figure D

You'll choose to create an ISO file that you can then burn to a DVD.
When you click the Save button, you'll be prompted to specify a location on your hard disk to create the ISO file. Windows 8 Setup then creates the ISO file, reminds you of the Product key, and prompts you to Open the DVD burner. These steps are illustrated in Figure E.

Figure E

Once the ISO file is created, you can burn the file to a DVD.

If the system doesn't have a DVD burner, you can copy the ISO to a USB flash drive or other external drive and then burn the ISO to DVD later.

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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