Windows 8.1 Preview ISO files now available

The public preview version of Windows 8.1 was released on Wednesday and one day later the company has provided the ISO files for the preview version of its latest OS upgrade.

The ISO files are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions in several languages on the Windows website, along with the product key needed to install them. The ISO files are meant to be used in case users want to give their PCs a way to dual boot to the preview version of Windows 8.1 while also keeping their current versions of Windows running on their rig.

However, PCs must already be set up as a dual-boot system ahead of time as downloading the Windows 8.1 preview ISO files won't allow users to select another partition on their PC. Also, the files must be converted into installation media and then stored on a DVD or a USB flash drive before being installed on a PC.

Microsoft also warns that after the preview build of Windows 8.1 is installed, user won't be able to use their PC recovery partition to go back to the previous version of Windows. You will have to use the original installation source, usually the DVD, to go back to the previous Windows version.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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67 Comments

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So I understand that the Library's are not going to be setup by default in 8.1?

It still blows my mind that they implemented them they way they did.

installed on hyper-v on my laptop, I like it a lot! much more refined and the settings are much more streamlined and feature rich (the new modern settings).

I also like setting the desktop wallpaper as the modern start screen background, makes it much more seemless!

Impressed!

i downloaded windows 8.1 and burning to all ok and puted to dvd burning and restart the pc and go to install and nothing bootschreen and nothing aagain restarting what a problem who speak what a problem?

Can someone please explain me, why Microsoft is ALWAYS dividing its software into 2-3 language groups? It's 2013 now - why they can't provide all language versions at ONCE? First group almost always contains french, german, english, chinese and russian versions...

insanelyapple said,
Can someone please explain me, why Microsoft is ALWAYS dividing its software into 2-3 language groups? It's 2013 now - why they can't provide all language versions at ONCE? First group almost always contains french, german, english, chinese and russian versions...

Think about it for about, say, 5 seconds, and the answer should come to you.

Well, it looks like some dummy posted the SHA1 checksums for Windows 8 preview (from last year). Look the checksum posted with todays 64bit English ISO and you'll see. LOL

I can already see Microsoft making bold and highly suspicious claims "Windows 8.1 preview has downloaded 987 billion trillion zillion times and is a smashing success" and yet mysteriously 8 and 8.1 combined still have less than 4% of the os market.

I only ever saw the report that the previews of 8 were downloaded some half a million times? Paltry compared to the hundreds of millions of previous versions out there. It doesn't surprise me anyway. This version should be better from a critic's standpoint now that the two UIs have a middle ground so to speak.

ModernMech said,
If 6% in 8 months is downright humiliating, I wonder how you would characterize OSX, Android, Linux and iOS...

OSX and linux fully deserve such a low marketshare, most osx hardware costs 3x or more than what it's worth and linux is too complicated and fragmented for most people.

Windows 8 also fully deserves those embarrassing numbers as well but for different reasons and according to various sites windows 8.1 will only continue to be an embarrassment for Microsoft and their fanboys.

And some folks run into last-minute gotchas - the only OTHER Windows 8 upgrade that I know of got bit by a program one of her distance-learning classes required, forcing her to revert back to 7. I'm on my second run of 8.1 (Install Fair); apparently, all VL versions of 8 should use the ISO version to update (I have Pro VL x64, and both attempts to upgrade via the Store failed - however, both upgrade attempts via ISO succeeded; what makes the last success confirmatory is that this Pro VL was NOT activated prior to the upgrade). Therefore, the same warning that applies to Enterprise VL apparently applies to Pro VL (and may apply to Core VL as well).

Order_66 said,

OSX and linux fully deserve such a low marketshare, most osx hardware costs 3x or more than what it's worth and linux is too complicated and fragmented for most people.

Windows 8 also fully deserves those embarrassing numbers as well but for different reasons and according to various sites windows 8.1 will only continue to be an embarrassment for Microsoft and their fanboys.

The problem is that those "Microsoft Fanboys" as you call them actually use their brain and are capable of realising that gaining 6% of global pc market share in only eight months is actually anything other than embarrasing.

People that do use their brain are capable of taking into consideration multiple variables, like the fact that reaching 6% market share in 2013 is certainly a bigger achievement than reaching 10% 6 years ago.

But don't let me stop you from claiming silly things like Windows 8 is embarrasing, OSX hardware costing three times as much and that Linux is complicated.

Order_66 said,
I can already see Microsoft making bold and highly suspicious claims "Windows 8.1 preview has downloaded 987 billion trillion zillion times and is a smashing success" and yet mysteriously 8 and 8.1 combined still have less than 4% of the os market.
LOL! You are probably spot on.

Order_66 said,

6% is not only embarrassing for an os in this time frame, it's downright humiliating, but thanks for letting me know

And Linux has had well over a decade to become popular yet it's far behind Win8.

Even "Other" is ahead of Linux.
Go figure.

Order_66 said,

OSX and linux fully deserve such a low marketshare, most osx hardware costs 3x or more than what it's worth and linux is too complicated and fragmented for most people.

And Android and iOS? What's their excuse for falling behind Windows 8? And what's Windows 7's excuse for flatlining since Oct 2012. It seems the only OS growing is Windows 8. You want to label it a failure *so badly* yet no other OS can seem to match its growth in 2013.

SledgeNZ said,
Works fine on Hyper-v.

Just about to copy my 8.0 install to a vhd and run it inside hyper-v on 8.1.


Oh, how do you do that? Sounds like what I might want to do.

JayPi said,
Downloading the ISO right now. Hope to run it on Hyper-V. Anyone tested it on Hyper-V already?

Installed on hyper-v on windows 8, runs fine.

nice, i'll let you guinea pigs try this and i'll download windows 8.2 with the option to bring back the start menu when they realise 8.1 doesn't increase the number of windows 8 users by much.

torrentthief said,
nice, i'll let you guinea pigs try this and i'll download windows 8.2 with the option to bring back the start menu when they realise 8.1 doesn't increase the number of windows 8 users by much.

that would be nice. metro sucks!

torrentthief said,
nice, i'll let you guinea pigs try this and i'll download windows 8.2 with the option to bring back the start menu when they realise 8.1 doesn't increase the number of windows 8 users by much.

From someone who was very critical of the Start Screen, let me say that the only people still clutching to the Start Menu must not want to be more productive. Some people just don't like change, or need something to complain about I guess...

primexx said,
will there be ISOs for the final release too?

on msdn/technet sure, not for the public to download no. These are previews designed to give microsoft tons of bug reports.

torrentthief said,

on msdn/technet sure, not for the public to download no. These are previews designed to give microsoft tons of bug reports.

Lame... Is slip streaming still an option anymore with updates like this?

I got an ISO from MSDN and they do not seem to work on VirtualBox. I had to use VMware Player to get it to run in a virtual machine.

Konstantine said,
+1 I'm so happy with 8.1. Not that I wasn't with 8, but 8.1 feels snappier and faster. Those options in 8.1 should had been in 8.

Same here; what I would like to see is to have all the options to lock, restart, hibernate etc. be grouped under my account icon in the top left corner.

testman said,
Well it IS a beta, so no need to needlessly put out multiple language versions.

Problem is that, when trying to download from the store, I keep getting error messages like "W8.1 not available right now, try again later" or "An error occurred, try to download later" etc.
I hope that when W8.1 RTM will be available people will not have to deal with these issues

PsYcHoKiLLa said,
Only if you live in the US because there is no other country in the world according to every US company.

Would you like a little cheese with that whine?

PsYcHoKiLLa said,
Only if you live in the US because there is no other country in the world according to every US company.

Then have the companies in your region create products and deal with all the legal involved. Then us in the U.S. can complain.

deadonthefloor said,

Change your region to EN-US.
I'm in EN-CA but always install EN-US.
Worked for me.

How do I do this? I'm guessing changing the language isn't the same thing

deadonthefloor said,

Change your region to EN-US.
I'm in EN-CA but always install EN-US.
Worked for me.

I am EN-US... I found out that the issue was that I installed a Language Pack, Italian, for Office and that created the conflict. Well it is a Beta......

Vinylchan said,
It actually comes from several different languages. That's why it's one of the hardest to learn

Still better than learning all the 50,000+ different japanese/chinese Kanjis though.