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I would like to purchase downloadable windows 8.1: http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Windows-8.1/productID.288401200?icid=L3_Nav_Store_windows81_011415

My plan is to install it using unetbootin. But the page says:

Important: Windows 8.1 full version is for Windows 7 users only.

Currently running Windows Vista or XP? You will need to buy Windows 8.1 on DVD and perform a clean installation.

I don't understand that, why do I need any windows at all? I want to perform clean install, not upgrade. What is difference between downloadable version and box version? I don't want to order box version because of slow shipping and so on, I don't even have DVD drive. Is it possible to install the downloadable iso using unetbootin?

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You require Windows because you are downloading it using Microsoft's tool. The tool to do this only supports Windows 7. Even if you already had Windows 7 installed, technically there is no direct upgrade path from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1. The only thing that will exist, if you were to upgrade your Windows 7 installation to Windows 8.1, would be your personal files.

I don't understand that, why do I need any windows at all?

The tool used to download the .ISO only supports Windows 7.

I want to perform clean install, not upgrade.

The tool used to download Windows 8.1 can be used to do a clean installation, which means, everything including your personal files would be wiped.

I don't want to order box version because of slow shipping and so on, I don't even have DVD drive.

The tool used to download Windows 8.1 supports creating an USB device.

Is it possible to install the downloadable iso using unetbootin?

Once you have the .ISO downloaded this would indeed be possible. The .ISO if you go through Microsoft will be personalized to your license. If you wanted to download the .ISO from another source, purchase the license, you could then input the license when prompted by the installation process.

There is a solution of course, Amazon sells a digital download of Windows 8.1 Professional, that does not have the same system requirements. You can then use any tool you want to create the installation media you want.

  • So I could use another computer with windows to download the iso and make installation drive using it? I was thinking the installer is somehow bound to license of previous OS on that same PC. – Petr Jul 10 '15 at 14:39
  • That is only the case after you activate the license Determine what rights you have under the license before you purchase it. – Ramhound Jul 10 '15 at 15:54

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