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I'd like to make sure an ISO (disc image) I have for a Microsoft Windows 10 OS is genuine. The way I usually do this with any file is by computing a hash of the file and comparing the result to the expected hash (typically provided by the software publisher).

The right resource would list the official ISO names along with that file's correct hash. For instance:

File: en-gb_windows_10_enterprise_2016_ltsb_n_x64_dvd_9058303.iso
SHA1: 0629BF04AA2A61E125EE6EDDF917DB471DCB8535

Something like this, but it would come directly from a Microsoft site. I do not wish to have to create a Microsoft account just to see the correct hash (eg. the hash is shown on the official download pages, but you need to have an account to get there). Any leads?

PS: By the way, if it helps anyone, I use the tiny MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility to compute hashes

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  • Quoting Microsoft: "After your download has completed, you can compare your download copy to the original to verify that the download was successful. For this purpose, the SHA-1 hash value is provided for each download available on Subscriber Downloads. To view the SHA-1 hash value, click “Details” in the download’s listing on Subscriber Downloads." – Alex Feb 4 '17 at 7:27
  • Thank you. I think this solution requires me to create a Microsoft account, which I do not wish to do. – BeetleJuice Feb 4 '17 at 7:40
  • I afraid it is the only way since you want it "directly from a Microsoft site." – Alex Feb 4 '17 at 7:42
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    Just create an account using a throwaway email address. – DavidPostill Feb 4 '17 at 11:25
  • Here is another third-party SHA1 database: Microsoft SHA1 Hash Archive from my.visualstudio.com. – starfry Jul 12 '18 at 19:23
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Download ISOs and Hashes directly from Microsoft

To download Windows 10 ISOs using Windows 10, you will need to change your browser's user agent. Without this step, MS will force you to download the Media Creation Tool.


Change User Agent Using Mozilla Firefox Browser:

  • Type about:config in the address bar and press Enter.
  • Enter general.useragent.override into the search preference name box.
  • Select String and save with the + button.
  • Use the user agent of a non-Windows browser such as WebKit/Blink as the setting value.
  • More user agents can be found here: https://udger.com/resources/ua-list>
  • Instructions for other browsers can be found at HowToGeek
  • Restart Firefox by closing all windows for the changes to take effect.

Download ISO and View Hash


Verify Hash in Powershell (Windows 10)

  • Right-click Start Windows Start Icon and select Windows PowerShell.
  • Navigate to the folder with the iso image.
    cd ~/Downloads
  • Check the hash
    Get-FileHash Win10_2004_English_x64.iso | Format-List
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  • I just used your instructions to download the May 2020 release of Windows 10, and the file is too large to burn onto a DVD. – Phil Goetz Jun 24 '20 at 3:48
  • @PhilGoetz Yes, the images have been larger than 4.7 GB for some time now. You either need a larger DVD or switch to a USB-Stick. – stackprotector Aug 3 '20 at 14:17
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    @idlehands Very nice answer. Slight improvement: You don't need to hard code any user agent. Just call the developer tools by pressing F12 and tell your browser to emulate anything that is not Windows (e. g. iPad, iPhone, Android). This works in Firefox, Chrome and even in Edge and does not require a restart. – stackprotector Aug 3 '20 at 14:22
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As of December of 2017 this doesn't work anymore.

Click on Details on MSDN, for example: Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB. You probably need to log in to your Microsoft account to look it up but you don't need to be MSDN subscriber.

Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB N MSDN page

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  • Thanks for the link. +1. I've already been to that site, but I don't wish to create a Microsoft account just to see the hash signatures. – BeetleJuice Feb 4 '17 at 7:39
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    Unfortunatelly, this doesn't work anymore. as Microsoft changed MSDN to My Visual Studio. – Hex Dec 13 '17 at 8:06
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The only safe ways are to

  • download a new one from Microsoft. For home and pro for OEM and retail. Note there is no enterprise option for OEM/retail. From https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10. While this is currently frustrating, as an IT admin there is normally a new semi-annual release that needs downloading anyway by the time I've forgotten where I saved the last iso I downloaded.
  • or log in to your current MSDN subscription and download a new one if you are elligible.
  • log in to your volume license portal https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/default.aspx and look up the hash for the image you are interested in. For Pro / Educational / Enterprise. If you don't have a volume license portal login, see the people that sold you license and they should be able to help set you up with one.
  • re-create the iso from your original install media and compare checksums.

Remember Microsoft is always trying to outsmart the software pirates, which makes life difficult for people that have paid for their license. For previous versions of MS products this has meant that each combination of OEM/retail/VLSC coupled with home/pro/edu/ent has had its own sha1 hash for the same version. Also you had to match up license key you were trying to use not only with the version of software but the channel through which the key was purchased. Plus, each OEM manufacturer (eg dell/hp/etc) would have separate sha1 codes for all of the versions. While win 10 is still not perfect in this regard, having a single installer compatible with all oem and retail is much better than the old system.

Oh, and I forgot to add in the last paragraph there are also different language regions having their own sets of iso <-> key pairs for all of the above combinations. I'm not sure yet how the language region issues relate to Windows 10 yet.

PS. If you're concerned about 3rd party info/software then FYI, Microsoft also has an MD5 / SHA1 tool called FCIV, available for download from their site.

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EDITED in light of the (better) answer by idlehands:

You can't if you're running Windows, because Microsoft the Media Creation Tool embeds some differences within each ISO it creates. I've downloaded the Windows 10 x64 ISO 4 times in the past 2 days, and each download completed without errors, and each had a different md5 sum:

94413128e084237b291e8dcb6d66042a *Windows10-x64-A.iso
b4fe0950ce455035d4c69abcc57f6e22 *Windows10-x64-B.iso
0f97d05fc0dd407108c3dcf036b4a7b4 *Windows10-x64-C.iso
5787c173f8590cf48633ec20dc683131 *Windows10-x64-D.iso

WinMerge shows that the files that differ between the versions are

sources/boot.wim
sources/install.esd
sources/ws.dat

Checking just w.dat, I find each ISO has a different value of InstanceID. Possibly these should be confidential for key activation, so I'm not listing the one I'm going to use:

[in B:] InstanceId=f1a7e812-3f62-4457-9c7e-4f255d608e6c
[in C:] InstanceId=1e380011-8f50-49bd-9711-6c204f846e84
[in D:] InstanceId=f1a7e812-3f62-4457-9c7e-4f255d608e6c
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    Did you really download an ISO image? Or did you use the Media Creation Tool? The MCT doesn’t download an ISO image, it builds one locally. – Daniel B Jun 20 '20 at 19:03
  • I’ve downloaded a Windows 10 ISO and received an image that has the same checksum as the MSDN image “Windows 10 (consumer editions), version 2004 (updated May 2020)”. So Microsoft does not distribute personalized images. – Daniel B Jun 20 '20 at 22:39
  • @Daniel B: You're right; I must have used the Media Creation Tool each time, because, as explained in idlehands' answer, there's no way to download Windows from Microsoft when running Windows except either by using the Media Creation Tool, or pretending that you're not running windows. – Phil Goetz Jun 24 '20 at 2:55
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Ideally, you would make a note of the hash value that you store alongside the ISO file from where you downloaded it (presumably Microsoft). That way you can always remind yourself what the correct value is, then compute the corresponding hash value (MD5, SHA1 or SHA256) of the file anew and compare it to the original hash value that you have on record. This way you don't have to worry if Microsoft or any other party you download your files from kills the service that provided this bit of inforamtion, or if the company itself goes out of business.

As it has been noted, Microsoft has decided to remove this information from public view when they revised their MSDN program. However, if you are willing to trust a third party provider, the same information is readily available at Heidoc.net. It is much better than the yooneed.one site you linked to in that it not only provides you with hash values for a handful of Windows 10 images, but the hash values for the entire MSDN catalog. At the time of this writing, the metadata for 67253 files is browseable and searchable (by SHA1 or SHA256 hash values or by text, i.e. title).

For posterity, here's a screenshot of what the interface looks like.

heidoc

And here you will find the metadata for the file you used in your example, along with a short description of what it is.

Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB N (x64) - DVD (English-United Kingdom)

This is the best such database I have found. I'm not sure there is any other, it's the only one I know of, and frankly it is better than what Microsoft provides. I have used it a few dozen times over the past 3 years or so and it has always proven to be accurate. Also, there are no ads, the interface is very clean and easy to use.

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