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How to Get All the Windows 8 Editions on One Install Disk

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There are a lot of different versions of Windows, but you probably didn’t know that short of the Enterprise edition, the disc or image that you own contains all versions for that architecture. Read on to see how we can use them to make a universal Windows 8 install disc.

Things You Will Need

  • A x86 Version of Windows 8
  • A x64 Version of Windows 8
  • A x86 Version of Windows 8 Enterprise
  • A x64 Version of Windows 8 Enterprise
  • A Windows 8 PC

Note: While we will use all the images above you don’t really need the Enterprise Edition. You could always leave out parts of the tutorial if you know what you are doing, if you are not comfortable with that and still want to follow through you could always grab the Enterprise evaluation images that are available for free to the public, on MSDN.

Getting Started

To get started you will need to Download the Windows 8 ADK from Microsoft.

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Once downloaded go ahead and install it, you will only need the Deployment tools so be sure to uncheck the rest of the options.

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Lastly you will also need to create the following folder structure on the root of your C:\ drive to make things a bit easier.

  • C:\Windows8Root
  • C:\Windows8Root\x86
  • C:\Windows8Root\x64
  • C:\Windows8Root\Enterprisex86
  • C:\Windows8Root\Enterprisex64
  • C:\Windows8Root\Temp
  • C:\Windows8Root\Final

OK lets get started.

Making The Image

The first thing we need to do is create a base image, so mount the x86 version of Windows 8 and copy its files to:

C:\Windows8Root\Final

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Now move the install.wim file from:

C:\Windows8Root\Final\sources

To:

C:\Windows8Root\x86

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Next go ahead and copy the install.wim file from the other 3 images, Windows 8 x64, Windows 8 Enterprise x86 and Windows 8 Enterprise x64 to the respective folders in Windows8Root, the install.wim file can be located at:

D:\sources\install.wim

Note: The above assumes that the images are always mounted at drive D.

Remember that each install.wim is different so don’t copy them to the wrong directories or the rest of the tutorial wont work.

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Next switch to the Metro Start Screen and open the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment.

Note: If you are not a local administrator on your PC, you will need to right-click on it and choose to run it as an administrator.

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Now run the following commands:

Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\x86\install.wim /SourceIndex:2 /DestinationImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8″ /compress:maximum

Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\x86\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8 Pro” /compress:maximum

Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\x86\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8 Pro with Media Center” /compress:maximum

Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\Enterprisex86\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8 Enterprise” /compress:maximum

Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\x64\install.wim /SourceIndex:2 /DestinationImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8″ /compress:maximum

Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\x64\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8 Pro” /compress:maximum

Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\x64\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8 Pro with Media Center” /compress:maximum

Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\Enterprisex64\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8 Enterprise” /compress:maximum

Next navigate to:

C:\Windows8Root\sources\

And create a new text file.

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You will need to call it:

EI.cfg

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Then edit it to look like the following:

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The last thing we need to do is work some magic to get Windows Media Center added to the WMC editions of Windows 8. For that I have written a little script to make it easier for everybody, you can grab it here. Once you have downloaded it extract it.

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In order to use it right-click in the bottom left hand corner of the screen, and open an elevated command prompt.

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Then go ahead and paste the following into the command prompt window.

powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -File C:\Users\Taylor\Documents\HTGWindows8Converter.ps1

Note: You will need to replace the path to the script, another thing to note is that if the path you replace it with has spaces you will need to enclose the path in quotes.

The script should kick off straight away and has some progress bars you can watch while it does its thing.

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Half way through another Window will pop open, which will start creating your final ISO image.

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When its complete, close the command prompt and you should have an ISO image on the root of your C drive called:

HTGWindows8.iso

That’s all there is to it.

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Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 10/8/12

Comments (23)

  1. rKiller

    No I will just wait for upgrade!!

  2. Jaco

    A very cool way to show that I’m a geek :D

  3. michif100

    Am I right assuming that still a valid license Key is Needed to install the respective Version?
    Right now i’ve got a legal Version of Win 8 Pro x64 (Dreamspark).
    Media Center is Not included.
    Do i have to Pay for the Upgrade?

  4. Taylor Gibb

    Yeah would need the correct license key. So yes you would have to pay for the upgrade.

  5. BadJasper

    Is it possible to do this with Win7 also?

  6. thegeekkid

    @BadJasper, just extract the iso, go into the sources folder and delete the ei.cfg file. It’s much easier, and it worked on W7. I haven’t tried it with W8, but I’m pretty sure that if the file is there, you don’t have to go through all of these steps. I could be wrong though… I hate W8, so I haven’t done much with it yet.

  7. Taylor Gibb

    @thegeekkid are you just trolling, or do you seriously think we would publish an article like this just to make your lives harder? Every step here is necessary Windows 8 doesnt even come with an EI.cfg depending on the version.

  8. thegeekkid

    No I was not trolling. Like I said, I don’t really use W8, so I didn’t know. And do you think that letting someone know about the ei.cfg file in W7 is trolling? I just figured that if it was on W8, that it would do the same thing. I did not mean any disrespect, but there is often more than one way to do something, and often the long way is published. I’m sorry if you took it the wrong way.

  9. Jay

    I agree with thegeekkid on this one, he did ask a perfectly legitimate question regarding the ei.cfg file, that would have been my first thought as well, especially since Windows8 really isn’t much more than Windows7 with some ‘improvements’ slapped on it. Unless one has touchscreen, it’s a dude for the average computer user using the desktop environment, unless one adds in something like ClassShell. Great tutorial though, very well written, I’m planning on giving it a try.

  10. Taylor Gibb

    I never meant to be rude either. I put a lot of effort into the articles and i kind of took thegeekkid’s comment in the wrong manner. We get a lot of trolls in the comments so i hope you forgive me =)

  11. BadJasper

    I have been using Win8 since RTM and I have to say, it is not a bad OS at all. Once you put Classic Start on it, it actually runs better and more stable than Win7, and I have been a big proponent on 7. Win8 is by no means a revamped version of Win7. It had to be written from the Kernel up in order to take advantage of the ARM processors and other mobile devices. I have some cases where software the wouldn’t even install on Win7, is working great on Win8. Using the desktop is just as easy with 8 as it is with 7 if you get the Classic Start (Or some other app to restore it). Just like any OS the Microsoft has come out with, everyone will hate it and complain but, as soon as the next one comes out, they will tout the previous one. I think once people get used to it, they will like it. It does have a lot to offer. People just have to take the time to investigate it first. :)

  12. r

    I don’t hate Win8. I hate the idea of eventually being obligated to install & configure it on about sixty workstations (OEM full install ver.), update the domain server user info, all related software, implement all hardware configurations for plotters, printers & scanners, etc….no, I do hate Win8.

  13. Kpoch

    I like win 7 too much and as a developer (not a professional) i like to code utilities for windows and mess around with rootkits Windows 8 is totally a waste of money (if i buy) just to have compatibility with arm processors

    Linux is gonna take advantage of this M$ fail

  14. Ron007

    Good tutorial.

    In the future, could you take it the next step and tell us how to also slipstream in Windows updates?

  15. EastWood

    Is it also same with WIN7 that the Enterprise edition contains all versions?

  16. thegeekkid

    @Taylor Gibbs: No hard feelings. I write articles on professional audio on instructables.com, and I know exactly how you feel. I’m glad you published it, because now when I do eventually start using W8 (and would be looking for the ei.cfg), I know where I can come! :)

  17. Serpico

    @Taylor Gibbs: Well done with this. I am seeing that the EI.CFG is problematic with the Enterprise Eval build of Win8 when it is folded into mix. The channel set in the evaluation’s original EI.CFG file is ‘eval’. When added in here and launched from install it throws an error ‘Windows cannot find the Microsoft Software License Terms. Make sure the installation sources are valid and restart the installation’ (this is not a VMware installation). Have you happened to find a way around this?

  18. Dave

    When creating the EL.cfg text there is an error in the instruction. It reads as:
    Next navigate to:
    C:\Windows8Root\sources\

    This should read as C:\Widows8Root\Final\sources\

    You missed the Final subdirectory.

  19. Zakariah

    I get error 87 in deployment tools cmd. Help?!

  20. Chris

    Nice tutorial. I did this tutorial in a more geeky fashion.

    For the Dism part in deployment and imaging tools command prompt, instead of doing it individually, I combined all of it at once.

    Sample(Using D Drive):

    Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\x86\install.wim /SourceIndex:2 /DestinationImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8(MSDN)”/compress:maximum && Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\x86\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8 Pro(MSDN)” /compress:maximum && Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\x86\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8 Pro(MSDN) with Media Center” /compress:maximum && Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\Enterprisex86\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8 Enterprise(MSDN)” /compress:maximum && Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\x64\install.wim /SourceIndex:2 /DestinationImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8(MSDN)”/compress:maximum && Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\x64\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8 Pro(MSDN)” /compress:maximum && Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\x64\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8 Pro(MSDN) with Media Center” /compress:maximum && Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\Enterprisex64\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:d:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /DestinationName:”Windows 8 Enterprise(MSDN)” /compress:maximum

    and for the .ps1 script, it can be edited of course. same thing in creating directories with mkdir and “&&” in cmd. geeky eh? :)

  21. Chris

    just copy the entire command that i’ve posted earlier, paste it in deployment and imaging tools cmd, and you’ve saved some valuable time ;) GEEK STYLE :)

  22. George

    Help! When I run it just says:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Deployment
    Tools>Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\x64\install.wim /Sour
    ceIndex:2 /DestinationImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /compr
    ess:maximum /DestinationName: Windows 8

    Error: 87

    The /DestinationName: option is missing a required argument.
    For more information, refer to the help for the /DestinationName: option.

    The DISM log file can be found at C:\WINDOWS\Logs\DISM\dism.log

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Deployment
    Tools>Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\x64\install.wim /Sour
    ceIndex:2 /DestinationImageFile:c:\Windows8Root\Final\sources\install.wim /Dest
    inationName: Windows 8 /compress:maximum

    Error: 87

    The /DestinationName: option is missing a required argument.
    For more information, refer to the help for the /DestinationName: option.

    The DISM log file can be found at C:\WINDOWS\Logs\DISM\dism.log

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Deployment
    Tools>

    Please Help!!
    George

  23. Scott N

    I’m getting the error code 87 as well. It’s complaining about the actual syntax of the posted commands, and the ones Chris posted above as well.

    I was trying this on a Windows 7 x64 box. Does this process need to be done on a Windows 8 system?

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