In the past month or so, I’ve documented various issues and potential gotchas in upgrading from Windows 8 to 8.1 This morning, I came across an extremely interesting item from Microsoft amidst its Windows 8 Website pages. The title of that page speaks volumes, so I reproduce it here in pictorial form as a screen capture:
MS clearly states that you can upgrade from 7 or 8.1 Preview only, and that the Windows Store method is REQUIRED for the Windows 8 to 8.1 “update”.
Alas, I wish this news were better. Just for grins, I’m going to try this method with the Windows 8.1 ISO and the Windows 8 product key from my son’s Dell XPS 2710 later today or tomorrow, to see if it will work for that scenario as well (Windows 8 key with a Windows 8.1 setup; FYI the link later on this page labeled “Install Windows 8.1″ points to a file named WindowsSetupBox.exe, whose original filename descriptor reads “Web Setup Self-Extractor” so I’m guessing this provides an alternate means of accessing the same installer that’s used through the Windows Store for ordinary 8 –> 8.1 updates). To grab the product key from an already installed version of Windows 8 (or other versions, for that matter) you need a tool to extract it for you (find a list in this Yahoo! article “How to Find Pre-installed Product Key for Windows 8“). I like Nir Sofer’s tools and utilities more than most, so I turned immediately to the NirSoft ProduKey utility. It coughed up the necessary info in seconds after I unpacked the ZIP file into my standard Utilities directory. Next blog post: a report on using the Windows 8 key with an ISO install from a bootable USB using an MSDN-obtained image file for Windows 8.1 Pro.