Can I install Windows 8 download onto a blank Hard Drive?

I was looking to install this copy of Windows 8.1 onto my planned PC build, but can I install it onto a blank hard drive?
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  1. Yes, if you can properly put the ISO download onto a bootable USB drive (via a program available through Microsoft).
  2. Best answer
    That is an upgrade. Requires a previous version on the drive.
  3. ^ Whoops didn't notice that.
  4. NO you can't "install" it to a blank HD. When you 'install a OS' your telling it to setup everything to talk to the computer the way it is then (all the parts that the computer is running) so the OS can tell the hardware what to 'do'. What you can do is download the OS as the electronic file to a HDD for later use YES, but the main reason to download 'electronically' is so you can burn your 'own' DVD of the OS to 'install' off of, since that allows the BIOS to 'boot' off the DVD, which has a mini OS loader, to then 'install' the OS to the computer. You can't do that off a 'hard drive download' on a external HD.
  5. USAFRet said:
    That is an upgrade. Requires a previous version on the drive.

    Oops, didn't notice that either. Thanks for the help
  6. Hi

    Microsoft has made this offer confusing

    it says 'Important: Windows 8.1 Pro full version is for Windows 7 users only. '

    How can it be a full version and a upgrade from Windows 7 only
    with a different version for upgrading Vista & XP

    My retail upgrade of Windows 8 pro will do a upgrade of Win 7 (keeping programs & data) or a install over XP or Vista (which requires all programs to be re installed)

    Do you need the Pro version which is more expensive than the standard version ?
    (you do if connected to a large network domain)


    Mike Barnes
  7. Because Win8.1 Pro is similiar but NOT THE SAME as Win7, but is DRASTICALLY different then Vista or XP. In the latter cases the way programs, user data, etc. is handled is different so YES you would most likely run into many things that would need to be reinstalled, told to remove and BUY a NEWER edition of the software or worse "NOT COMPATIBLE AT ALL" and needs to be removed before the upgrade from Vista/XP can proceed. There would be some but much less issue for Windows 7.

    No you don't /NEED/ pro unless you plan to do alot of Remote Desktoping and Encryption of files, it is made for 'PROFESSIONAL' (aka Business) use, where is standard version is the 'CONSUMER' use.
  8. I think the upgrade version will look for a c:\windows directory and rename it to c:\windows.old for you before it installs. Otherwise it will refuse to run.
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