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When I clean-installed my Windows 8, hoping to start clean when I upgraded to Windows 8.1, I noticed that the Windows 8.1 upgrade was absent from the Windows Store.

It appeared again once I had spent hours and several GBs of my limited Internet connection to install close to 100 Windows Updates, but did I really need to install all of these updates just to upgrade to Windows 8.1?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

No, you did not need to install so many updates. From a clean Windows 8 installation, you only need one update:

KB2871389

Source: Why can't I find the update in the Store?

To install this single update, follow these steps:

  1. During the Windows 8 install process, choose not to configure Windows Update, so that no updates will be automatically searched for or installed.

  2. Then reach Windows Update in the control panel (not PC Settings), click Change settings in the left sidebar, choose "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them" in the drop-down option list (it's the second last option), and save your settings.

  3. Windows Update should now check for available updates, which should be relatively short (less than a minute in my case). Click the links that tell you the number of available updates, and uncheck all important and facultative updates. Then check the one update you want, KB2871389 (the full name should be something like Windows 8 update for computers with x64 processors (KB2871389)). It should be towards the bottom of the list.

  4. Validate by pressing Install and watch as Windows Update (relatively quickly, again) downloads and prepares your update. Once it's done, Windows Update will want you to restart your computer. Do so.

  5. Come back and notice that the the Windows 8.1 upgrade has appeared as a huge tile on the Windows Store home. Install it and have fun!

Note: If even before showing you that it's downloading, it tells you "An error has occurred, which prevents Windows 8.1 from being installed", or something similar, it's likely because something else is currently installing by the Windows Store. The first time I opened the Windows store after a clean install, my Logitech webcam had something to install from it. Let it finish (or cancel it altogether; that's probably a valid option too) then try again.


Fresh installing Windows 8, installing update KB2871389, restarting and then installing Windows 8.1 through the Store is probably the fastest way to clean-install Windows 8.1 with a Windows 8 license number (assuming you're not a member of MSDN/etc. and don't have access to ISOs).

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