I'm trying to figure out how I upgraded machines from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 without downloading the installation files every time. I have tried Mediacreator and create media. But then I have to enter a license which I dont have.

SOLUTION: You cannot do a offline upgrade "WINDOWS 10" from USB/ISO. You have to use the Media Creator for Windows 10 and upgrade windows 7,8,8.1 before running clean install. If you already have upgraded your computer, you can use ordinary ISO files downloaded from www.microsoft.com. To do an "OFFLINE" install you have to have the "tech bench" kit. Think I got it just because I'm a retailer. Correct me if I'm wrong!

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    If you are doing an in-place upgrade then shouldn't be getting prompts to enter a license, even if you do, you can skip that step. If all your machines have the same version of Windows 8.1 you can download it once then save the contents of $Windows.~BT and $Windows.~WS and you should be able to then just perform the upgrade through Windows Update.
    – Ramhound
    Aug 5 '15 at 13:52
  • Although I have read and used reliable sources, I can't seem to find a screenshot, which shows you can skip entering a product key. I find articles which sort of reference your ability to do this but can't find them right now. If you cannot it likely means your trying to upgrade to a version that does not match your current version. Even if I have to create an answer myself later today.
    – Ramhound
    Aug 5 '15 at 14:07
  • I have tried win 8, 8.1 and 7 home Premium. Aug 5 '15 at 17:33
  • You have tried what exactly? To run the installer from those versions of Windows, skipping any prompt for a product key, and proceeding to upgrade from those installations?
    – Ramhound
    Aug 5 '15 at 22:25

Have you tried to download the iso file and use it to upgrade by running it directly without creating a media?



I've done this on a few systems. Using the media creation tool to create an media USB key, and running the upgrade tool from the resulting usb key on a windows install would upgrade the system without asking for the key if the current windows installation is activated. If its not an activated system, then it'll ask for a valid key.

  • This is a good chance to add in the disclaimer that once Threshold 2 is released on November 2nd 2015 you will be able to use the license key of a eligible version of Windows to install Windows 10 and it will activate. Of course this involves downloading the updated .ISO once it is released
    – Ramhound
    Oct 25 '15 at 14:33
  • I might test this at some point.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Oct 25 '15 at 14:39
  • Will only work after Nov 2nd
    – Ramhound
    Oct 26 '15 at 10:27

I used the windows 10 media creation tool to download an ISO file from Microsoft I don't recall having to input a license key but I was running from my activated 8.1 copy of windows. It gives you the option to save an ISO. I then used the windows 7 usb/dvd download tool to install the ISO on a USB stick. I then just ran the setup file from the usb stick to install windows 10 as an upgrade on my Laptop.

  • Strange. I did the same. Except I moved the files from iso to usb and did not make it bootable. Aug 5 '15 at 17:27
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    The media creation too can make a bootable W10 install usb, no need to use an iso.
    – Moab
    Aug 5 '15 at 21:55
  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post.
    – Ramhound
    Aug 5 '15 at 22:26

If you do have a running Windows 10 machine in your LAN, you could also use the function provided with Windows, that each pc shares his upgrades with either machines in the same LAN or also in the Internet. So first install Windows 10 via windows update and gwx.exe on one machine and then the other machines should see that win10 machine and download the updates from that instead of the Windows update server.

for more information about it see this article (ger/de)


The solution for this is to download correct image. (retail) I downloaded a iso named Win10_N_Norwegian_x64.iso. the N stands for "no media center", see the comments.

For users see Can I download and install Windows 10 using tech bench?

  • 1
    No, it doesn’t. The N series of editions is the result of the EU antitrust decision against Microsoft. See here. To upgrade an N installation, you need an N medium.
    – Daniel B
    Aug 6 '15 at 11:22
  • Ok, I downloaded "Win10_Norwegian_x64.iso" and it works well.. Aug 6 '15 at 11:24
  • @StianStørstfeskarAndersen - The technical information in this answer should be corrected. I am more then happy to do it myself, you just won't get positive reputation, when I vote on how helpful the answer is.
    – Ramhound
    Aug 31 '15 at 21:41
  • @StianStørstfeskarAndersen - Feel free to update your question so it contains accurate information and I will reverse my vote.
    – Ramhound
    Oct 25 '15 at 14:34

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