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I am attempting to update a netbook to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8. Unfortunately, visiting the Windows Store in Internet Explorer and clicking the "Get the free update now" link leads to the following error:

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How do I get the free update if I can't even open the Windows Store?

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You can set your laptop to use EnableDynamicScaling by opening regedit and changing the EnableDynamicScaling from 0 to 1.

Bad news: Microsoft got sneaky and has now disabled that function in Windows 8.1. Once you set the scaling to 1 and change your resolution to 1024x768 and install Windows 8.1, you will no longer have the 1024x768 nor the DynamicScaling for netbooks with a max resolution to 1024x600. Once you upgrade, you're stuck.

In regedit, go to Edit - Find, and enter Display1_DownScalingSupported. On all occurrences, change value to 1. F3 finds the next occurrence. After reboot other resolutions should be available.

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I asked this Microsoft earlier this week because I expected such questions and the answer is your out of luck. The only way to upgrade is to get a MSDN/TEchnet Windows 8.1 ISO, mount it inside Windows 8, run the setup.exe from the mounted DVD, enter a generic Win8.1 key, select Upgrade, install 8.1 and enter your Key again in Windows 8.1 and activate.

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  • +1. I used the MSDN 8.1 ISO to upgrade my netbook ((Windows Store download is too slow for me anyways). You can find the original ISO at other places too but make sure to use a 8.1 key – Sandeep Singh Rawat Oct 29 '13 at 14:41
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Your screen is 1024x600, which doesn't meet the minimum requirement for Windows Store, which is 1024x768.

If your hardware permits it, temporarily connect an external monitor of at least 1024x768 resolution. You can then use the Store to download the Windows upgrade.

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  • What if my hardware doesn't permit it? – Nathan Osman Oct 18 '13 at 4:50
  • Then you go with the other answer. Or try this. – Michael Hampton Oct 18 '13 at 4:51

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