Let us assume that you have the product key of Windows 8.1-you earned (or bought) a Windows license. But for some reason, no longer have the installation media. What now?
Friends who use Windows, I have a Product Key pro Win8, but have no Windows installed nor DVD/ISO. How can I download legally?
— Juan Lopes, SJW (@juanplopes) June 22, 2015
Well, let's register the answer! 🙂
Microsoft offers two different solutions to get ISO images the legal way (i.e., downloaded directly from their website):
- For Windows 7: the Microsoft Software Recovery site. This is the most convenient way to obtain an ISO image. Unfortunately it still does not support the Windows 8/8.1
- For Windows 8: "Media Creation" tool, available on Create Installation Media for Windows 8.1.
Windows 8 Media Creation Tool
Go to the Create Installation Media for Windows 8.1 page and download the tool:
Then, just run the tool and choose the desired version of Windows:
The problem with this option is that you must have a running Windows to execute it. If you do not have Windows-for example, you have a Linux and want to do a dual-boot with Windows-how to run the tool?
If you have no Windows installed (I'm assuming you have a Linux distro already installed and you want to dual-boot), you have two options to get to run the Media Creation Tool:
- Download a trial version of Windows, you're going to use just to be able to install and run the media creation tool; or
- Download a VM with Windows and run it on VirtualBox, also just to be able to run the media creation tool. You find some pre-configured VMs running Windows here.
Yes, I know – both are horrible solutions. But while the Software Recovery site does not offer the possibility of downloading Windows 8 ISOs (the same way that it currently supports 7), we don't have much choice.