I have a laptop that was shipped with Windows 8, I nuked the drive and installed a linux distro on there temporarily.

I'd now like to put Windows 8 back - but I have no physical Windows 8 installation media. What are my options?

  • 2
    Depending on the model, maybe you can reset to factory settings. Usually there is a partition for this purpose and you can access this and reset it, like a recovery disk. Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 10:26
  • I guess that would depend on how well he nuked the drive while installing Linux. Good point though.
    – SLaG
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 10:27
  • That why I said it would usually be their :)...but yes, if you deleted all partitions, then forget about factory reset. Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 10:28
  • The whole disk was nuked :)
    – mercutio
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 10:39
  • Did I read something about Windows 8 laptops being shipped with product keys in the bios?
    – mercutio
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 10:40

1 Answer 1


You should be able to get a Windows 8 install disk from the laptop vendor. Sometimes for a small price but you can usually sweet talk them to giving it to you for free.

If you have the Windows 8 Product Key, you could theoretically download an .iso of the version you need. At a guess it would be Windows 8 x86 OEM or x64 OEM as that's is usually how the big name vendors work.

Update: Another alternative to get the files has been asked on SU before... Where can I download Windows 8 legally, from Microsoft? If you download the executable that is mentioned, when you run it, it will ask for the product key and then apparently allow you to download the .iso for external media. This is all just in those comments.

  • Unless the author has access to an Windows 8 upgrade license then there is no legal method for him to download the .iso. If he had access to the few alternatives like MSDN or Technet ( for the time being ) he wouldn't have asked this question. So really the laptop vendor is his only solution.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 10:58
  • Hence why my primary statement being that he should approach the vendor. :) If he has a product key, he's entitled to the data to use that key.
    – SLaG
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 11:06
  • My comment was directed toward anyone who didn't know. I am not sure why Microsoft has choosen to keep Windows 8 .iso behind installer that won't accept any valid license. It does not make a lot of sense given the rate of Windows 8 adoption.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 11:13

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