It is possible to access the Windows Store from a remote desktop session and initiate the Windows 8.1 Update from the Windows Store, but the update hangs after the first reboot, likely waiting for the user to accept the license check. This leaves the computer unusable remotely.

Is there a way to pre-accept the license terms so that the update can complete autonomously? Perhaps an UNATTEND.XML such as would be used for an unattended clean install? Failing that, is there a way to connect with remote desktop during that phase of the install (it appears to be GUI-mode setup running with the usual Windows kernel and full OS)?

  • I am unhappy to report that Windows 10 upgrade failed similarly. Now it isn't the license check that's responsible, but the OOBE sequence that tries to change the user's default browser and privacy settings (make sure to opt-out, naturally). Again, Windows was fully running but the Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Server) didn't start until the wizard finished, to the detriment of remote upgrade.
    – Ben Voigt
    Jul 31, 2015 at 17:29

2 Answers 2


Have you looked into using Windows ADK?


I believe you should run this from an 8.1 machine to deploy to other machines to get them upto 8.1 without having to be physically in front of the machine.

  • Both the short description of the tool and the example scenarios are applicable only to installing Windows "on new computers". I know there also are tools for managing Windows updates centrally, but the 8.1 upgrade is in a category all its own. So this could be the right tool, but if it is the procedure is very unclear.
    – Ben Voigt
    Nov 1, 2013 at 15:49
  • Ah okay, sorry I misread your question - I did a bit of research on using an unattended.xml and everything pointed to ADK - may be worth a shot?
    – sgtbeano
    Nov 1, 2013 at 15:51
  • @BenVoigt - There is nothing special about the Windows 8.1 upgrade. It was possible to upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7 as an unattended installation. Windows 8.1 is no different. I would just apply the same process with an extra step, changing the license key from a generic key, to your actual Windows 8 key.
    – Ramhound
    Nov 1, 2013 at 16:01

I have the same issue. I have a system up in Azure running Windows 8.1 Enterprise and there's no console access. I can upgrade the system to 8.1 but I can't answer the OOBE questions, license, mircrosoft sign-in, etc and accept what it wants because RDP isn't up yet.

I put the following in an UNATTEND.XML (not a complete snip-it) and call it via setup.exe /unattend: true true true true true Work 1

But setup.exe treats it as new and not an in-place upgrade. There's a way using Azure Console Connect, but setting up infrastructure for that seems like a pain for 1 VM. Another post says download the VM and upgrade and the re-up to Azure. Not a good idea IMO.

  • There's an easier way, but it didn't work for me in Azure, but did work for me at home in my test environment. If you run setup.exe /auto:upgrade, you are not prompted for anything. For my Azure VM, it got stuck in minisetup based on the computer name because it's not what I named it.
    – user274742
    Nov 17, 2013 at 18:53

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