The "Install by creating media" option is missing when using the upgrade assistant.


  • I originally posted this question on, but I've had no luck there - I'm hoping that someone here may be able to shed some light on this issue.

    I would like to do a clean install, which means I need to burn a DVD from an ISO. Apparently there should be a "Install by creating media" option in the upgrade assistant that allows me to do it, but this option is not there:

    I spent a very frustrating and unproductive time with customer support last night, with two different people who told me different things, and I have no confidence in the advice given. 

    The first person advised me that I needed to download the ISO from the MSN developer area (wat??), but omitted to tell me that I needed to ring customer services in order to get a developer account. 

    The second person was the person who said I needed to ring customer services in order to get a developer account. When I said this was ridiculous as I'm not a developer, and ran through the problem yet again(...), he said that the problem was due to the fact that too many people were downloading the ISO, and to try again in 24 hours.

    So according to the second person, the option to "Install by creating media" is not appearing due to the fact that too many people are downloading the ISO. I simply cannot understand how this could be the case.

    Saturday, October 27, 2012 9:23 PM

All replies

  • I have exactly the same problem. I had planned to create a DVD since I will probably end up upgrading 5 PCs and wouldn't be surprised if I had to do some more than once. The Upgrade Assistant forces you through the Order screen, so it looked like with the Upgrade Assistant it's not possible to do the upgrade with a key you bought earlier. However, at the end, I simply didn't get the choice to create the media.

    I've only read one reference to this, by someone on a Dutch forum who has been told by local Microsoft Support that that is because he was upgrading from Windows XP. Apparently if you upgrade from XP you don't have the choice to create the media. Beats me why that would be the case. Moreover, I wonder how you are supposed to reinstall W8 later on the same machine after you e.g. restored the PC to an old XP image. I assume it can't be the purpose that you have to re-order and pay once again.

    I also don't buy the explanation that too many people are downloading it. That wouldn't make sense, since the install itself also has to download all the W8 stuff anyway.

    Sunday, October 28, 2012 2:06 PM
  • I'm having the exact same problem and it seems a number of users on the community forums are as well.  I can't imagine that it is upgrading from XP that is causing the problem alone as I would expect to see a hell of a lot more people complaining.  As it is I see reports but not a lot of them!

    My last reply on this thread links to other users:

    Monday, October 29, 2012 10:11 PM
  • After spending a good couple of hours yesterday talking to Microsoft, and getting nowhere,again today I have been trying to get help but with no satisfactory outcome!
    I must have now spoken to around ten people.  They fail to listen to what your problem is and in most cases have simply pointed me to downloading the installer again, which still gives me only two options.
    The last person I spoke to on the Answer Desk advised me that Windows XP does not have the ability to handle ISO files so that is why I do not have the option.  They said that I would need to install Windows 8 via the installer first THEN I would be able to burn a DVD with the ISO.  I can't imagine that every user with Windows XP is having this same problem as surely there would be more reports.
    Support from Microsoft is an UTTER SHAMBLES.  I'm not just bashing them because they're the big company that everybody loves to hate, I've given them enough time and enough chances to rectify the problem I am having but with no successful resolution.
    I'm going to give the installer one last try and if that doesn't work I'm getting a refund and calling it a day.
    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 1:03 PM

    To cut a (very) long and (very) tedious story short I have now managed to burn the ISO to DVD and install Windows 8.  I had to install Windows 7 on a virtual machine within Windows XP and then download the installer within W7, this then gave the media option.

    I don't know if this was connected but when I was doing the W8 install it froze and only continued after I had unplugged a USB card reader which was using two USB ports.

    Anyhow, absolutely no thanks go to Microsoft for the non-existent customer support.  After using Twitter, the community, technet and telephone support over a period of three days NOBODY could provide me with an answer to this problem, in fact on most occasions the people answering didn't even seem to read what the problem was before directing me to download the installer.

    It's been a sorry affair and dented my confidence in MS.
    Wednesday, October 31, 2012 12:15 PM

    To cut a (very) long and (very) tedious story short I have now managed to burn the ISO to DVD and install Windows 8.  I had to install Windows 7 on a virtual machine within Windows XP and then download the installer within W7, this then gave the media option.

    Thanks for sharing your update. I had the same issue with Win XP and Win Vista (missing the third media option). Not sure this is worth buying Windows 7, mind you!

    • Edited by cgarvey Wednesday, October 31, 2012 12:22 PM
    Wednesday, October 31, 2012 12:21 PM
  • Hi ,

    Install by creating media : To install on another partition, the PC must boot from the Windows 8 installation media. This option creates an ISO file or bootable USB flash drive, which can be used to install on their PC, or on another PC of the same architecture. This is the explaination of Install by creating media. Actually cnce these steps are complete, the installation source files will be in the C:\ESD\Windows folder. You can use third-party burn DVD app to create a bootable ISO from C:\ESD\Windows folder. Simply burn these files to the DVD doesn't make it bootable. Hope this may help.


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    • Edited by HuAaron Wednesday, October 31, 2012 4:11 PM
    Wednesday, October 31, 2012 4:05 PM
  • Same problem here. I'm on Windows XP and cant't save the Win8 download to ISO file - option is missing from installer/downloader.

    I intended to upgrade all 4 Windows XP systems in my home to Windows 8. I can't even create an ISO file on Windows XP, so the show is already over before it started. Luckily I only purchased one Windows 8 for verifying whole upgrade from XP. The price is cheap but the lack of ISO based upgrade support for a quite large XP user community puts my upgrade project already at rest.

    I'll upgrade to Windows 7 instead - ISO files are made available for download which is a far better approach.

    Thursday, November 01, 2012 1:11 AM
  • I downloaded Win 7 ISOs (legitimate) to create a minimal Win 7 install. I then ran the Win 8 installer, and the missing installation media option was available. I burnt the ISO it created, and I was able to install Win 8 then. The (DVD) installer allowed me to wipe the hard drive completely and install Win 8.

    A long way around, but at least I get a clean Win 8 install.

    I didn't need a Win 7 product key, or to activate it, in order to download/burn Win 8. Hope that helps.

    Thursday, November 01, 2012 1:25 AM
  • OK, so now you/we have an ISO DVD with a Win8 distro.

    HOW do I use it once I need to install it? I have never used an installation from an ISO disk. Will it totally wipe my entire HD (which is divided into three logical disks, with tons of documents in D: and E:)? Or will it behave :) and let me choose the partition to install to?


    Thursday, January 03, 2013 4:10 PM
  • So if you didn't need a product key for win7, how does the win 8 upgrade validate it is an upgrade....?
    Thursday, January 03, 2013 11:49 PM
  • @nextofkeen:

    If the ISO file was properly burned to a DVD, just simply run the DVD or boot from the DVD. Following the instructions laid out in the installation wizard will give you the option to do what you are asking in your post.


    Either call MS for tech support to activate your copy of Windows 8 (OR search online for the error code it would spout during the activation).

    • Edited by ricorp Friday, January 04, 2013 1:53 PM
    Friday, January 04, 2013 1:51 PM