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Factory Restore Image - Windows 8.1 or Windows 10?

wynand32

Well-Known Member
Has anyone used the latest SP3 factory restore image? Is it Windows 8.1 or Windows 10? I ask, because things got hosed when I went to preview build 10532 and then back to 10525. Now, I want to do either a restore to Windows 10 if that's the factory image, or a clean Windows 10 install if that's possible. I don't want to go through the hassle of a Windows 8.1 > Windows 10 upgrade if I can avoid it.

Been a bit out of touch with this stuff over the last couple of weeks, so I'm not sure what the current best practice is. Thanks!
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
AFAIK the restore image is serial number dependent so what you get (download) is what it was shipped with from the Factory. I re-downloaded last week and got an 8.1 image while another person got 10 because their device came with 10 preinstalled.
 
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wynand32

wynand32

Well-Known Member
Aha, gotcha, thanks. So it seems like the way to get to the shipping (non-Preview) version of Windows 10 is to use the factory restore image, then upgrade, correct? No way to clean install because then it won't be activated...
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aha, gotcha, thanks. So it seems like the way to get to the shipping (non-Preview) version of Windows 10 is to use the factory restore image, then upgrade, correct? No way to clean install because then it won't be activated...
Well If It was activated you should be able to do a clean install and it should reactivate. I don't know where you would get the "W10 factory restore image" Id just use the Media Creation Tool to make a release version USB and do a clean install from that... again, assuming the machine was on W10 and activated.

Lets limit the conversation to one thread though as we will get crossed up and it'll be confusing to others as well.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
One user reports that he was able to do a clean install of W10 by starting setup from within W8.1 and he references an article which to me doesn't clearly indicate what the steps are and my question for clarification led to a circular discussion with nothing resolved.
Microsoft quietly rewrites its activation rules for Windows 10 | ZDNet
The author is generally very good but his strange choice of wording when he documents it at the end left me wondering if this was not straightforward. still, in theory, I can see how it could work but I haven't tried this scenario.
 

lonaysta

Member
AFAIK the restore image is serial number dependent so what you get (download) is what it was shipped with from the Factory. I re-downloaded last week and got an 8.1 image while another person got 10 because their device came with 10 preinstalled.
Could you please ask the "other person" to share the Windows 10 based recovery image with us? I'd like to experiment on it (using it on a 8.1 preinstalled SP3, but with W10 activated/registerd to MSFT).
 

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