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Windows 8 Full Retail download available?

Last response: in Windows 8
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February 5, 2013 11:38:40 PM

Is there a Windows 8 Full Retail version available for download? I have checked Mircosoft's site several times and it only directs me to the Upgrade version for download only. I ask because they would be installed on machines with no optical drives. I'm talking about legitimate downloads right from Microsoft, btw.
February 5, 2013 11:56:50 PM

I don't believe there is, no. However, you could buy a retail disc and use a friends pc to make a disc image and then flash that to a usb stick. From there you could install it on one pc using the code that came with the disc. In order to install it on more systems you would have to purchase the activation keys from Microsoft on a per machine basis.
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February 6, 2013 12:05:34 AM

Do they plan on releasing a digital-only option for those of us who have no need for the discs?
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February 6, 2013 12:09:48 AM

I don't believe so - the only digital option available at the moment appears to be the upgrade versions. They're essentially the same thing they just check for a key in your bios before installing, and require you to input the key if there isn't one before proceeding with the installation.

Using the method I mentioned above and using a retail disc image would allow you to fully install it without activating it. From there, go to the start screen and type "windows activation" to bring up the activation dialogue. You can buy a key with a credit card.
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February 6, 2013 12:25:34 AM

I guess your method is only a little more hassle than using a USB stick. Thanks for the tip.
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February 6, 2013 12:25:48 AM

Best answer selected by anxiousinfusion.
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February 6, 2013 12:31:27 AM

No prob. If you don't want to go through the hassle of using a friends pc and making a bootable usb flash drive, you could always pick up an external disc drive for about $50 - you could even return it when you're done with it, just keep the packaging. Remember though that the install is about 10x slower using an optical disc than using a flash drive.
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