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  1. #1
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    New ways to get free Windows-installation media




    TOP STORY

    New ways to get free Windows-installation media


    By Fred Langa

    Sooner or later, you'll need to repair, refresh, or reinstall Windows a task that will require your original Windows installation/setup files. But most new PCs no longer come with classic Windows setup discs; the vital recovery files are typically stored on the hard drive where they are vulnerable to loss or damage.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/new-ways-to-get-free-windows-installation-media (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    Tried using the Win 7 download with my Retail Upgrade key (from the 3 PC Family Pack) as my x64 Disc is missing but it failed with "ERROR We encountered a problem with the validation request. Please assure your product key is for a product supported by this site and was entered correctly, then try your request again." So not all retail packs are supported.

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    I have Windows 7 with OEM installation and no disc. I went to Windows 7 software recovery site and entered my Product Key but got message that the key was from an OEM installation which was not supported and told me to refer the matter to manufacturer.

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    Is it possible to make disc that is a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate with SP 1 on it. I want to do an upgrade as you described in an earlier column and I find it impossible to uninstall the SP 1 already on my computer.

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    Fred, your article has a bit of "bait and switch" in it. Near the start you say that, "...Windows 7 users...can now download copies of the full, free, official, 100 percent legitimate Windows install/setup files...", that is, "...free of OEM add-on software." But that's not entirely correct.

    The method provided later in the article is only for those people who have a retail version of Windows 7, which is already free of the OEM crapware. There is no way for people with an OEM copy to get a "virgin" copy.

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    "all Windows 8 and Windows 7 users — and some Vista users — can now download copies of the full, free, official, 100 percent legitimate Windows install/setup files"


    This is misleading. only a very small number of windows 7 users can get the download. The vast majority of us have oem versions that came with our computer and are locked out of the site.

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    I have a PC that came originally as Win 8 ... I upgraded it to Win 8.1 using a previously published method to install Win 8.1 from a USB stick and then upgraded to Win 8.1 Pro.

    I used the first method to successfully create a Win 8.1 Pro 64bit setup dvd. It never asked me for the key. After creating the iso file, I used Nero BurnRom to create the bootable disk.

    Based on past experience with recovery, I'm wondering...if I try to reload my PC from this setup disk, won't I get an error message when I try to use the Win 8.1 Pro Upgrade Key? Seems like I have run into something like this in the past, the Upgrade key not being acceptable to load Windows from scratch. Would I have to create a Win 8 recovery disk with the original key and go through the upgrade to Windows 8.1 and then to Pro again?

    I was hoping that this new method would give me a disk that would work with this PC with the current key that I received when I upgraded to Win 8.1 Pro. The article wasn't clear on what I would be able to do or not do depending on circumstances.

    I also have another PC that came with Win 8.1 that I upgraded to Pro. Will that Pro Upgrade key work with this method or not?

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    Is this a viable alternative to building a slipstream Win7 USB?

    My original disk does not contain SP1. I'd like to have this on a USB drive. I'd like to have all the latest updates included.

    I guess if I go through the effort of building a slipstream USB, I could include the drivers but a USB drive with fairly current updates would be good enough for me.

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    @ Starry173 - This article gives some advice on doing a Repair Install when having upgraded from Win 8.0 https://www.winhelp.us/non-destructi...8-and-8-1.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmcguirk View Post
    Is this a viable alternative to building a slipstream Win7 USB?

    My original disk does not contain SP1. I'd like to have this on a USB drive. I'd like to have all the latest updates included.

    I guess if I go through the effort of building a slipstream USB, I could include the drivers but a USB drive with fairly current updates would be good enough for me.
    I can't see any reason as to why it will not work as long as you have a retail key for Win7. MS seemed to change things with the 8.0 to 8.1 upgrade though...

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    Thought I would give it a try with my self-built WIN 7 Pro x64 which has a product key from Microsoft. I get an error message saying that my choice of language (English) is not supported. I then went to the support site --- gave up waiting after 20 minutes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LinusF3 View Post
    Thought I would give it a try with my self-built WIN 7 Pro x64 which has a product key from Microsoft. I get an error message saying that my choice of language (English) is not supported. I then went to the support site --- gave up waiting after 20 minutes.
    Perhaps Fred should have researched the topic a bit more before publishing - some of us have known since last month when MS pulled the ISOs and the ensuing difficulty in the new site validating even retail keys.

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    Major Letdown from Fred

    Because of changes in the way Microsoft distributes Windows setup files, all Windows 8 and Windows 7 users and some Vista users can now download copies of the full, free, official, 100 percent legitimate Windows install/setup files.

    For the first time, Fred has really let us down. He said,". . . . all Windows 8 and Windows 7 users and some Vista users can now download copies of the full, free, official, 100 percent legitimate Windows install/setup files. . . This article will show you where and how to obtain full, legitimate setup files for Vista, Win7, and Win8."

    In fact, it turns out that any Windows 7 owner who acquired it via a computer, rather than retail software, purchase is offered no advice. Greatly disappointed!!!


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    Working fine here...

    Screenshot (8).png

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    Glad to know it is working for someone!

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