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I bought a product key for Windows 8 a while ago, but I never got around to using it, because I can't seem to find a 64-bit Windows 8 ISO image anywhere.

My processor is 64-bit, but my current installation of Windows 7 is 32-bit, meaning that trying to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 through the upgrade Assistant would give me a 32-bit ISO image, which is not what I want. I want a 64-bit ISO image, so I can at least use my processor and memory to the fullest.

Where can I find a legitimate verbatim Windows 8 ISO image to use with my product key?

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Contact MS Product Support Services. They should be able to direct you. support.microsoft.com –  Mark Allen May 9 '13 at 4:26

3 Answers 3

  1. You can install from an honest but ISO hunt or third-party file if it checksums correctly. Finding authoritative checksums is the first challenge, but Microsoft publishes ISO image file names and checksums at MSDN Subscriber Downloads. Find your product brand name and the detail line item for the name of the ISO image and hashes. Start here to verify this information:

    File Name: en_windows_8_x64_dvd_915440.iso
    Languages: English
    SHA1: 1CE53AD5F60419CF04A715CF3233F247E48BEEC4

  2. Paste the hash into the search engine for plenty of links at sometimes dubious sources.

  3. Gun up your antivirus and avoid downloading any "install assistants".

  4. The download will complete about as quickly as it would from Microsoft's Akamai mirrors, and you verify the ISO image hash. If it checks out, it's legitimate even if you downloaded it with urgency. An honest ISO image file is still honest, just like Gucci from Overstock.com.

MSDN, Microsoft and anyone else in the know would check the hash if they downloaded direct from microsoft.com since large files downloads are more susceptible to errors that might not manifest until the installation process.

You'll have plenty of chances to discover install problems even if Microsoft hand delivered your image builder DVD. Don't let an unobtainable ISO image or flawed ISO image trip you over.

You should also back up your existing SLIC, BCD and extract your current product key for the reasons you can't anticipate.

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+1 Exactly what I do. If you dont have MSDN/Technet subscription this is the best way to get an untouched disc. Always check the hashes. –  James May 9 '13 at 7:02
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An ISO is an ISO, whether it comes wrapped in grease or gold, if it's honest its honest. I don't recall Microsoft insisting the ISO source is defined more than they care about their keys. –  Karen3819x4 May 9 '13 at 7:07
    
I agree that if the SHA1 hash matches the ISO is most likely untouched. However if your last sentence was true and MS cared nothing at all for the ISO, why is it that there are no open-to-all Digital River downloads for Win8 like for Win7? The fact that MS withdrew the full retail version (substituting it with System Builder that isn't sold directly to end users) and started offering digital downloads from their own servers for the Win8 Upgrade tells me that they want people to legitimately obtain the installer only if they buy the upgrade, purchase a disc, via MSDN or their PC manufacturer. –  Karan May 14 '13 at 16:41

The setup tool will download the 32-bit files if you use a 32-bit and the 64-bit files if you use a 64-bit edition of Windows. So install the 64-bit Windows 7 Enterprise Trial in a VM, run the Setup tool, enter your key, download the files and create an ISO (Install by creating media).

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by far the safest answer. +1 –  Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Sep 15 '13 at 9:39
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If only it worked. My machine can't run a 64-bit VM. –  Joshua Merriman Oct 22 '13 at 11:12
    
@JoshuaMerriman which cpu do you have? –  magicandre1981 Oct 22 '13 at 14:56
    
@magicandre1981 Pentium Dual-Core E5200. It is a 64bit processor. –  Joshua Merriman Oct 23 '13 at 6:06
    
@JoshuaMerriman ok, your CPU doesn't support VT-x (Virtualization) that's why it doesn't work. Looks like you're SOL and need to google for a proper MSDN/Technet ISO. –  magicandre1981 Oct 23 '13 at 17:10

I was searching for a while to find this link, it let's you re-download your Windows 8 disc using your Windows 8 product key:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-product-key-only

This is the answer. I guess Microsoft wanted to bury this link to encourage more sales.

Please re-post this link on any appropriate forums you're a member of.

Cheers

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Also will not work with OEM keys. –  matthias krull Jul 1 at 14:51

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