Windows Installation Media Creation Tool

How to create a Windows 8.1 installation media to recover your system

Microsoft now allows users to download the Windows 8.1 ISO free to reinstall the operating system.

In the past, when you bought a new PC with Windows 8.1 or you had a custom installation of the operating system, you know it was a big inconvenience to need to recover and having lost the recovery discs. Now, Microsoft has acknowledged that this is a problem and it’s making available the installation media files for Windows 8.1, so you can quickly and easily recover your system.

From Microsoft, you can now download the installation media for Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 Pro on any language available and on either flavors: 32-bit or 64-bit.

And for those users having issues trying to recover, this is an official fix for the “Insert Media: Some files are missing” message trying to refresh or reinstall the operating system using Recovery feature. To download and create ISO or USB flash drive with the Windows 8.1 installation files follow the steps below.

Before you begin, you’ll need: Internet connection, USB flash drive or DVD blank, an installation of Windows 7, in which case you’ll need a new product key, or Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 system, and about 20 minutes.

How to create a media recovery for Windows 8.1

  1. Go to: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/create-reset-refresh-media

  2. Click Create media, once the file finishes downloading, double-click it to run the “Windows Installation Media Creation Tool”.

  3. Carefully, choose your version of Windows 8.1. Make sure you select the correct language, version, and architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).

  4. Select if you want to create an USB drive or ISO file for your Windows 8.1 installation. I personally like to create an ISO file, so I can use it in many different ways including to create a USB drive and to easily install the operating system in a virtual machine.

  5. Click Next and choose the folder to save the installation media and to begin the download. This will take a while depending on your internet connection and version of Windows you’re downloading.

The advantage of Microsoft allowing to download and create an installation media for Windows 8.1 is that you can use the bits to install, reinstall, and even upgrade from previous versions of Windows. But of course, if you are upgrading you’ll need a new Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product key. The same is true if you’re running Windows 8 and you’re a trying to install Windows 8.1 Pro.

Limitations: You can’t use Windows 8.1 on PCs running Windows Vista or Windows XP.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.