How to download a Windows original ISO image

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?

Emmannuel Brandão (from Lambda3) showed me this tweet from Juan Lopes and asked me if I knew of any solutions:

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):

Windows 8 Media Creation Tool

Go to the Create Installation Media for Windows 8.1 page and download the tool:

Downloading the media creation 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:

  1. Download a trial version of Windows, you're going to use just to be able to install and run the media creation tool; or
  2. 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.



Author: Igor Abade

Igor Abade V. Leite ([email protected]) is a Visual Studio ALM MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) since 2006. Speaker at various Software Development community events (TechEd Brasil, The Developers’ Conference, DevOps Summit Brasil, Agile Brazil, Visual Studio Summit, QCON among others), has also written articles in magazines and websites such as MSDN Brazil. Since March/2011 is one of the owners of Lambda3, a Brazilian consulting company specialized in ALM, software development and training. Visit his blog about VS ALM at and follow him on Twitter @igorabade.

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