October 21, 2013, 12:42 PM — Windows 8.1 is a free update for Windows 8 users and it's easy enough to upgrade through the Windows Store. If you prefer, however, to have a copy of the installation files on USB or other media just in case--or to do a clean rather than in-place upgrade, here's how you can download the ISO, even though Microsoft isn't making the file readily available.
- Head to this Windows.com page and download both the Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 installers.
- Start the Windows 8.0 setup (Windows8-Setup.exe) and enter your product key to start.
- Once the download is at 1%, immediately pause the setup and exit it.
- Then run the Windows 8.1 setup, which will give you an error ("The download did not complete successfully. Element not found."). That's okay!
- Close the setup window and run WindowsSetupBox.exe again. The download will begin again and you'll get an option to install Windows 8.1 or create media.
- Choose the option to create media and you can save the installation file to a USB drive or as an ISO file for later burning to a DVD if you want.
Mosharino writes that the ISO file helps in instances where you want to "Reset" your computer and choosing to repair the PC on bootup--without running into issues like missing install files. It's also just good to have the installation files for your operating system.
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