How can I upgrade Win 10 tech preview to the full version without an internet connection?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by baryon, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. baryon, Sep 30, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015

    baryon macrumors 68040

    baryon

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    #1
    I have been using Windows 10 tech preview for a while now running from an external USB 3 drive on my Retina MacBook Pro. It was running fine with no problems whatsoever. However, there must have been some recent update somewhere that screwed up my WiFi, so now when booting Windows 10 I no longer have access to the internet for more than a minute or so. This means Windows update obviously can't work.

    I just want to upgrade to the Windows 10 retail version before the tech preview expires (which is tomorrow). I don't want to clean install because doing that on an external drive requires a PC. I don't have an internet connection in Windows.

    Can I download something while in OS X that I can transfer to Windows and then do the whole upgrade there without a connection? Is there such a file or installer that performs a full upgrade and can be downloaded from a Mac? There must be a way to do this! Thank you!

    PS: To be clear, I don't mean some illegal way - I mean does Microsoft actually provide an "offline installer" that once downloaded, gets to work and upgrades the Win 10 tech preview PC on which it is being run, without needing an internet connection again? All I've seen so far are tools that download it for you - but those can't run on a Mac.

    Edit: Turns out that since my installation is on an external disk (which is officially supported in Windows 10), I cannot use the bootable USB stick ISO method to update it. I also can't update it via software update because it either doesn't work or I have no internet connection. I also can't fix the internet connection because the new BootCamp drivers are not signed and Windows refuses to boot from then on. I can disable driver signing but Windows update still fails to run. I ended up installing Windows 10 on an old PC, then using that to format and deploy the whole thing and just installing Windows 10 on the external disk from scratch, it was not easy (the PC has no backspace key, the battery is dead, the charger is faulty, has USB 2.0 and only has 1 GB of RAM so it was no fun) but still a lot easier than this crap! Except now I've lost my eligibility to get it for free as that only works when updating, not when reinstalling. How fun installing Windows always seems to be huh.
     
  2. Shirasaki macrumors 603

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #2
    You will really need an ISO file in order to upgrade without using Internet. This could be downloaded from Microsoft site for Windows 10 Enterprise. Free, 90 days trial.
    And you will need an external disk formatted as FAT32 to copy files to Windows.
    This might be the best ever way to do upgrade. And you can upgrade to latest official build 10240 without reinstalling system. But I am not sure if your NIC would work.
     
  3. baryon, Sep 30, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015

    baryon thread starter macrumors 68040

    baryon

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    #3
    Thanks a lot! I found this page: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO

    it seems to allow me to download the ISO but it doesn't say which edition it is other than 32 bit or 64 - I'm just downloading it and see what happens... Hopefully I can turn it into a bootable USB somehow or is that not required?

    In the end I don't really mind if my network card doesn't work - I can always sort that out later. I just need Windows 10 installed without it expiring, then that buys me some time.
     
  4. Shirasaki macrumors 603

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #4
    What you find seems to be a legitimate download source of Windows 10. I don't download from there because either home version or pro version lacks very important enterprise features I require, and only enterprise version can disable Windows update for good.
    Yeah. Expired technical preview will become completely unusable. Your choice is right. :)
     
  5. doynton, Oct 1, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015

    doynton macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #5
    To do an upgrade to your Preview you don't need a bootable USB - that is only for a clean install.

    Sign into windows, download the ISO (must be same 32/64 bit and language. Home/Pro doesn't matter - this is just based on the key.)

    Then right click on the Windows.ISO file (it can be on any disk you can see so a USB is fine) and select "Mount" - you'll then see it in File explorer as a DVD drive. Open it up and click on setup.exe

    Hope you aren't too late... If you are on a PC you can change the date back in the BIOS. On Mac I don't know. Perhaps you could disconnect from internet and change the date back a month but I've no idea if that would work. Previews will not even boot once the expiry date is passed though.
     
  6. baryon thread starter macrumors 68040

    baryon

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    #6
    Thanks! I didn't figure that out, so I just went for a clean reinstall instead (I only use Windows for Steam gaming so I didn't lose anything). It looks like Windows does not like installing/updating/setting up anything to an external drive despite it being officially supported now, this was the main problem for me. It keeps saying "setup does not support USB devices" which is silly. So I used the "Windows to go" deployment method (Install.wim, ImageX.exe, all that crap) to do a clean install from my old netbook onto a USB drive. It worked well but first I had to install Windows on the netbook... UGH! Anyway it works now! Only issue is that I now lost my eligibility for a free upgrade...
     

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