Third Party Methods To Download Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 From Microsoft
Ever since Microsoft removed Windows ISOs from Digital River it’s been more difficult to find a clean and untouched image. There are ways in which you can get to the ISOs on Microsoft’s own servers using other means. Here are a few ways to do it.
Adguard.net Techbench Download Page
Adguard is a Russian website (not the ad blocker) that releases custom ISOs for Windows. They also have a page which is a simple frontend allowing you to download Windows ISO images from the Microsoft servers. This is an easy and quick way to get access to a number of Windows downloads at Microsoft without using hacks or separate third party tools.
Visit the page and in the drop down menus select the type, version, edition, and language. Also displayed are SHA1 checksums for the download so you can check the ISO file integrity once downloaded. Besides Windows 8.1 and a variety of Windows 10 versions, the Adguard Techbench page also offers downloads for Office and virtual machines. It is important to note that none of the Windows 7 options work anymore.
Heidoc Windows ISO Downloader
Heidoc is a website that has been hosting ways to get ISO images from Microsoft for a number of years. They also have a dedicated tool which is able to download not only Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 ISOs but also ISOs for Office 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 (also 2011/16/19 for Mac). An ad window pops up on program launch which can’t be closed for a few minutes, you can minimize it though.
Run the program, select what you want on the right and after selecting from a few drop down menus to get the product you want, the image file will start to download. Some of the Office downloads are slightly different because they open and download the file in your browser.
Notes About Windows ISO Downloader:
- Most of the time the Heidoc tool can’t download the standard Windows 7 ISO images. It can on occasion by using its own set of retail license keys to get the ISO from the Disc Image Page mentioned above. However, they get blocked quickly by Microsoft.
- There’s an option to download a Windows ISO from Dell’s repository. This is good for Dell users but other users that download an ISO could find a number of extras such as drivers and software pre-installed. The ISO might cause problems or not work on your system at all.
- The August 2018 entry does actually contain some Windows 7 ISOs direct from Microsoft which have been updated to late 2018. However, they appear to be non standard discs of about 5.5GB in size and there’s very little information online about what they really are. You are welcome to try them but be aware they are an unknown quantity at this time. They also do not integrate updates correctly.
Download Windows 7 ISO From A Third Party Source
Downloading from torrents (or any other third party) is something we’ve mostly discouraged. Mainly because most ISOs are not identical to the images that came from Microsoft. However, because there is very little choice anymore, we have taken the unusual step of finding some torrent files that download completely clean and untouched ISO files.
The English versions of the files we point to have been downloaded and checked by us and they match the known SHA1 checksums of the official Windows 7 SP1 ISO files, so are totally safe to use. They are also reasonably well seeded so you should get an acceptable download speed.
Visit this website at the Internet Archive. It lists an old page which contains a repository of Windows 7 TechNet and Digital River ISO downloads using BitTorrent. The original webpage is no longer available but this cached page still contains all the .torrent files for download.
All the entries shown in yellow above are the standard English ISO files that can be downloaded. Click on the link for the required version to download the torrent file, load up a torrent client (or another method of downloading torrents) and add the torrent file to start downloading. There are many torrent clients available, qBitTorrent is one we’d recommend.
Once downloading is complete you can verify the SHA1 checksum against the official checksums from Microsoft. They are listed in the image but for ease of use, they can also be viewed or copied from the list below. Some other languages are also listed, we haven’t tested them but they should be untouched like the English versions.
Verify The SHA1 Checksum of Your Windows ISO
All Windows ISOs are over 2GB in size so it’s wise to check the download is not corrupt. You can do this by comparing the SHA1 checksum of the downloaded ISO with the checksum from Microsoft. If they don’t match there is a problem and you will need to download the file again. One good source for checksums is the Adguard Techbench page.
If you don’t already have a hash checker handy, we have a list of 10 File Integrity checking tools so you can download one of those. Then compare both SHA1 checksums and make sure they match.
For your convenience, we’ve listed some English language SHA1 checksums for Windows 7 and 8.1 ISOs. We haven’t included Windows 10 simply because it has major updates every six months and the ISOs you can download are constantly changing.
Windows 7 Starter SP1 32-bit
Windows 7 Home Basic SP1 32-bit
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 32-bit
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 32-bit
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
Windows 7 Enterprise SP1 32-bit
Windows 7 Enterprise SP1 64-bit
Windows 8.1 and Pro (Autumn 2014 update) 32-bit
Windows 8.1 and Pro (Autumn 2014 update) 64-bit
Windows 8.1 and Pro (Autumn 2014 update) 32-bit (English International)
Windows 8.1 and Pro (Autumn 2014 update) 64-bit (English International)
If any checksum you want isn’t listed, you should be able to find it using the Adguard database.
Unlocking Windows 7 Versions From a Single ISO
Each Windows 7 ISO contains all other available versions, except for Enterprise. For instance, the Home Premium 32-bit ISO also contains Starter, Home Basic, Professional and Ultimate, but they are hidden. To unlock the extra versions all you need to do is remove a file called ei.cfg from the image.
A simple way to do this is by using a small program called the ei.cfg Removal Utility which tells the file system of the disc to ignore the file. This is a handy and quick method because opening the file, deleting it and then resaving the ISO is not required, the process is nearly instantaneous. Below is a Home Premium 32-bit install disk with ei.cfg removed.
All you have to do is run the ei.cfg Removal Utility and locate the downloaded Windows 7 ISO, a small window will pop up to say the file is removed, running the tool on the same file again will restore the ei.cfg. Using this method means you can save time and bandwidth and get all Windows 7 consumer editions by downloading one 32-bit and one 64-bit Windows 7 ISO file.