I'm in the common yet unenviable position of having the older Windows 8 keys (one OEM non-Pro version - key in BIOS, one retail boxed copy Pro version), yet wanting to easily install Windows 8.1 whenever I want to re-install windows. I'm tired of waiting for the windows update, reboot cycle, repeat ad nauseam. Is there a way to obtain a Windows 8.1 Update 1 installation ISO that will work with both of my older Windows 8 keys (again, please note one is OEM non-Pro [key in BIOS], the other is retail Pro)?

If not, what is the next best thing? Can I slipstream? Can I get something like an .msi file that I can use to install 8.1 Update 1 after I've installed Windows 8?

Note that I'm asking about installation media that will ultimately work with my keys. I'm completely fine using a generic key for installation and then putting my own key in later. That is completely fine. I just want a way to install 8.1 Update 1 without having to wait for windows update to download updates and apply them one by one, then go to the windows store and install windows 8.1, then again let windows update apply updates one by one etc.

I have Googled, but didn't find what I'm looking for.

  • Its not possible to use a Windows 8.0 license to install Windows 8.1. You must use the generic Windows 8.1 license key, install Windows 8.1, then change the product key. There are numerous questions ( answered ) by me proving great detail on the exact steps. The OEM license can only be installed on the original hardware it came on clearly. I refuse to provide another answer to a question I feel I already answered.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 22:40
  • 1
    I'm not asking about keys. I don't have a problem installing using a generic key and fixing it later. I'm asking where/how I can obtain installation media. I included key information because it would be nice to have only one set of install media that worked with both keys. You have hundreds of answers, please point me to the relevant ones. Thanks.
    – Eddified
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 23:18

2 Answers 2


The article HOW TO: Download Windows 8.1 ISO Image describes how one can download the Windows 8.1 ISO using the Windows 8 serial.

  1. Download the setups for both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 from this page.
  2. Execute Windows8-Setup.exe. Enter your Windows 8 serial key and press Next when asked. Once the download begins, pause it and close the window using the standard X close button.
  3. Execute WindowsSetupBox.exe. The download will restart from scratch and you’ll have the Windows 8.1 ISO image instead of the Windows 8 ISO image.

You could follow this with the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to write the ISO to USB (works also for Windows 8).

  • That trick no longer works, as evidence by commenters (on other sites not referenced here) reporting as such. In addition, I tried it myself before I asked this question. Also, it doesn't include Update 1.
    – Eddified
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 16:32
  • 1
    See more instructions on this thread. You might need to download their WindowsSetupBox.exe. Note that this cannot not work if you use an OEM or system builders product key.
    – harrymc
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 17:56
  • That looks like the ticket. I'll report back after I've had a chance to try it out.
    – Eddified
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 22:00
  • It works if you want to download Windows 8.1 PRO using a Windows 8 PRO (non-OEM) key, or if you want to download 8.1 non-pro using a 8 non-pro, non-OEM key. Not 100% sure, but it doesn't seem to include Update 1. Doesn't work at all for my OEM key. Generic keys can't be used for purposes of downloading the installation media.
    – Eddified
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 16:49
  • At the moment, such ISO is only downloadable from Microsoft with MSDN subscriptions. You can find it on google, file name for the english version en_windows_8.1_with_update*_, but for evident reasons I cannot go any further.
    – harrymc
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 17:52

Microsoft provides a page called Upgrade Windows with only a product key which allows you to input a product key and download installation media for Windows 8. It provides the option to install Windows right away, or download an ISO file.

Link: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-product-key-only

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