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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Win 8.1 Software Options

    I have two computers with Win 8.0 installed and would like to know if I have any other option for Win 8.1 other than downloading from the Store? I don't like the idea of downloading it and not having a hard copy and it replacing the original. Could I be asking too much?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Good question.
    I was about to query the same thing.

    I would like to know where 8.1 is downloaded to so that I may preserve it for future use.
    3GB is a lot to download on a slower connection. I suppose if worse comes to worse I could sniff it out with
    a tool like space sniffer or something.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I would keep an eye on this folder while downloading and copy the contents off just prior to installation.
    C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\6ddb9bcbd ad85c71f69371614ee5b2f6
    The last folder may or may not be specific to your own system.

    SS04.jpg

    I'm currently downloading 8.1 right now and resource monitor (disk activity) is showing the above location activity.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2013-10-17 at 15:55.
    DRIVE IMAGING
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  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have not seen the site yet either, and the downloads are pretty slow now. I'm upgrading my wife's PC now.

    Remember to create a new Image before and after the upgrade. This will give you the last Image on Win 8 and the first Image on Win 8.1
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks Clint. I was hoping for a ISO download or something similar. I'll keep watching here.

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    I'm afraid you are out of luck. See Windows 8.1 Won’t Be Released as a Separate Free Download.

    Joe

  7. #7
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    I guess that if Windows 8.1 fails in the future, you will have to resort to the common measures: reset, refresh or, the best of any possible strategies, restore your own image of a working system. In the very worst case scenario, you might have to go back to Windows 8 and install Windows 8.1 again.

    As Ted wrote, just image your system after the upgrade and keep that image as your fallback point in case anything goes bad in the future. Without a 8.1 DVD, this seems even more recommended than before.
    Rui
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  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have already created my first Win 8.1 Image, and restored it to ensure it works. Used Acronis True Image 2013. Everything worked very well.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  9. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I'll keep you all updated on the "Software Distribution folder" idea and test to see whether it pans out
    as a useful backup to 8.1.
    I'm hopeful it will contain an exe, or some other installer package.
    If so, I'll revert to the image I created prior to the installation of 8.1 and test it.

    As Joe says, there doesn't appear to be any other way to download it, except through maybe purchasing
    it directly from MS as a complete Windows 8.1 package.
    DRIVE IMAGING
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Update
    It appears that the "Software Distribution" folder was just a placeholder for the downloaded Windows 8.1 files.
    On further examination it appears that the folder "C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources" was the destination folder.

    Now, when the Windows 8.1 upgrade was complete, the upgrade only gave me approx. 15 min before it would automatically boot and begin
    the install process. I managed to copy the entire "Sources" folder to a safe destination, so, as time goes on I'll
    restore my pre 8.1 image and test to see if this works to install the Windows 8.1 upgrade as an "off line" installation.

    ss02.jpg
    Be aware that the above file contents were removed after the upgrade took place and that the 8.1 set up file no longer exists.
    Make certain you copy the "Sources" folder prior to the installation.

    Also of note: Windows creates a "Windows.old" folder who's filesize is approx. 3.57GBs.
    DRIVE IMAGING
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  11. #11
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Update

    No go!
    The setup file(s) above would either error requesting install media disk, or refuse to accept my Windows 8 Pro product key.
    I'm not entirely certain that ALL of the Windows 8.1 setup files are actually present in the above named directory.

    So I'm out of ideas trying to extract the actual downloaded 8.1 setup files.
    It appears that it will need to be re-downloaded should one ever have to perform a clean install of Windows 8.

    I don't think it will be the end of the story though, as time goes on we might start seeing articles on how to get an off line download
    of Windows 8.1. After all it should be completely legal and legitimate provided one has an actual Windows 8 installation & key.

    ...Now I'm off to restore my 8.1 image and take it for a spin.
    DRIVE IMAGING
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  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to CLiNT For This Useful Post:

    dg1261 (2013-10-18),ruirib (2013-10-17)

  13. #12
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    Thanks for the update .
    Rui
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  14. #13
    3 Star Lounger
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    Thanks for doing the legwork, Clint. I've got multiple Win8 computers here, and it's #$&! inconvenient to have to endure separate 2-hour, 3.6GB downloads for each computer to get the same thing. Good thing I don't have to pay my ISP for the extra bandwidth. Why can't I just do one download and apply it to all computers? Grrr...

    I noticed the Windows.old file, too, but mine is just over 7GB! (for Win8 Pro x64)

    BTW, I also noticed the 8.1 installation changed my video driver. Since video was my lowest score on the Windows Experience Index, I thought I'd rerun WEI to see if the new driver made any difference. Guess what--WEI is now gone, and nowhere to be found!
    Last edited by dg1261; 2013-10-18 at 03:26.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dg1261 View Post
    BTW, I also noticed the 8.1 installation changed my video driver. Since video was my lowest score on the Windows Experience Index, I thought I'd rerun WEI to see if the new driver made any difference. Guess what--WEI is now gone, and nowhere to be found!
    Yes, that was a known "feature" of Windows 8.1.
    Rui
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  16. #15
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    8.1 seems to be a lot leaner than Windows 8, especially after removing the Windows.old folder.
    Mine was 3.5GBs. Now I'm down to 22GB for the entire primary "C" drive.

    It also seems to have cleaned up some of my red flagged network adapters from my previous W8 installation.
    I also noticed that previously in W8 I had an optional driver update queued for my GPU card, which is no longer showing up in WU.

    Another thing I've noticed, more of an annoyance than anything, is I'm constantly having to logon to this site every time I visit.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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