Whether you're having issues upgrading Windows 8 to 8.1 or you need an easier way to upgrade multiple machines, you should do a clean install. However, it  isn't exactly clear on how to download a Windows 8.1 ISO to be able to do this, without doing the stream install from the setup assistant.

A clean install is not mandatory of course, but a surefire way to make your Windows box function new and proper again is to do the aforementioned clean install.

If you want the Windows 8.1 ISO or if you are otherwise having trouble downloading the Windows 8.1 setup assistant or the 8.1 setup assistant is not accept your product key, try the following steps below:

  1. Go to the official Upgrade Windows with only a product key page
  2. Click Install Windows 8 button
  3. Run the file you just downloaded
  4. Enter your product key and click Next
  5. The setup assistant will begin to download the files
  6. Close the assistant by click the [X] at the top right of the window
  7. Back at the Upgrade Windows with only a product key page, click the Install Windows 8.1 button
  8. The setup assistant will automatically download the 8.1 setup files
  9. After the files download, select Install by creating media option
  10. Select USB flash drive or ISO file, depending on your needs (you can always run the setup assistant again to select another option if you wish to create an ISO file and a bootable USB)
  11. If you proceed to do a fresh install or even just update your current setup, make sure you BACKUP YOUR FILES (documents, music, pictures, etc.)

If you have multiple boxes to upgrade, this download a Windows 8.1 ISO workaround will keep you from downloading the installer files repeatedly!

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