Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/178487/how-to-download-windows-8.x-and-create-a-bootable-dvd-usb-legally/
Over the years readers have written in asking how to download Windows and make a bootable install disk, and we’ve always had to tell them that there isn’t a great way to do that. Microsoft has finally fixed this problem in Windows 8.x, and here is how to do it.
I have already downloaded 8.1. I would like to have a copy to reinstall if necessary. Can you download again and save to USB?
It doesn't work for OEM Windows, does it?
These days we buy laptops without a windows DVD, So, how do we get "our" Windows serial number?
This does not work for OEM installs
there are a few ways to find your windows serial...
I have a Toshiba OEM purchased with Windows 8 and upgraded to 8.1 from the Store. I downloaded both exe's and used my key in both of them. They both failed. Once again one needs a retail version of Windows to download the ISO.
I purchased an Asus UX31A from somewhere you can buy the best stuff. I upgraded to 8.1
I subsequently purchased another one, this time for half the price. It was running W7 and I assumed he'd rolled it back legally. Now I find he did not, and what's more, one can not roll back to 7 without 8 being Professional. Lots of misinformation when buying kit these days.
Tallked to MS. Asus, BB, several times each. Even MS bod did not agree with his colleague on the matter of putting in the Key. Asus, BB and MS have all said put the new software in ( on a clean install) and the computer / software will recognize each other and it will work. Yeh, right. Finally, up to supervisor level and they let someone have the case number that is sending a full version. But there's a charge. A bargain really, but still somewhat galling to think I can't just download and put MY key in.
I'm aware there are utilities to extract this Key from the BIOS or wherever it lies, but every one I found is looking into the OS software. Oh, my. DOS was so much easier.
So now I have to buy a USB DVD to start proceedings unless I can run the DVD - to USB stick conversion on another computer. I MUST NOT risk the second machine by having the discs start an instal.
So, can this be done safely on another (W7) machine with full version 8.1 discs making the USB bootable? SAFELY.
Sorry, my shouting is involuntary.
With OEM windows installation you cannot do this. Worse yet, after you have updated to 8.1, the innate refresh/reset function takes you back to windows 8.
Enter the FREE Slimware RecImg Manager. After using it to create a custom refresh, you then restore to 8.1 if that is the status of your pc when imaged. Better still, all of your desktop software is in place without need of reinstalling from a list.
Still, Macrium is my first go to, but if things are bad enough, RecImg Manager is a godsend. Note that on my pc, the time to create my full Macrium backup image increased from 17 minutes to 24 minutes after creating the custom refresh image with Recimg Manager.
I only just discovered this today. I am glad it was in time to beat the cutoff time for comments, as I consider it quite valuable to us poor OEM windows 8 users!
I bought an 8.1 student license and was trying to set up a VM for Windows 8. I tried to download the tool, but -- guess what -- it crashes on Linux under Wine.
So, I tried running it on a Windows 7 demo VM install. Froze at 100% CPU.
And here's the kicker - I tried to run it on my brother's Win7 computer - and it didn't give the option screen, just started downloading the installer.
I gave up and just got the ISO from a
illegal download unauthorized re-distributor and it worked like a charm. Put in my license key, and all set to go.
My point is that for some reason, this may not always work.
Will this lock the key used to the media or is the key used to just verify legit copy before downloading?
I have 2 PC's and would like media for both. Would rather just do the key and download one time for both.
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