Posted by: Ed Tittel
Desktops, MS says no free upgrade from 8.1 ISO, Windows 8.1 upgrade issues
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.