How to download Windows 10/11 iso using a M1 MacBook Pro

I’ve recently tried UTM on my Apple Silicon MBP to test Windows 11. To install Windows 11, I needed a recent iso image. This blog post explains how to download the iso files for Windows 10 or 11.

Go to UUP dump. This page lists all available UUP files from Windows Update servers.

Search for “feature update Windows 10” or “Windows 11 Insider Preview” and select a recent version for the required architecture (e.g. x64). Click on next.

Select a language and click next.

Select an edition, like “Windows Pro” and click next.

Select Download method “Download and convert to ISO”. Check “Include updates” and click on “Create download package”.

Extract the resulting file. You’ll see three scripts:

  • Windows: uup_download_windows.cmd
  • Linux: uup_download_linux.sh
  • macOS: uup_download_macos.sh

Make the uup_download_macos.sh executable by using “chmod +x uup_download_macos.sh” and try to execute it.

It will probably complain about missing files. But at the same time, it offers help on what you’ll need to install using homebrew, e.g.:

brew tap sidneys/homebrew
brew install aria2 cabextract wimlib cdrtools sidneys/homebrew/chntpw

On my M1/Apple Silicon Mac, chntpw complained about a non working SSL. I’ve found this issue on Github, which has some easy installation recommendations:

curl -LO https://gist.github.com/minacle/e9dedb8c17025a23a453f8f30eced3da/raw/908b944b3fe2e9f348fbe8b8800daebd87b5966c/openssl@1.0.rb
curl -LO https://gist.github.com/minacle/e9dedb8c17025a23a453f8f30eced3da/raw/908b944b3fe2e9f348fbe8b8800daebd87b5966c/chntpw.rb
brew install --formula --build-from-source ./openssl@1.0.rb
brew install --formula --build-from-source ./chntpw.rb
rm ./openssl@1.0.rb ./chntpw.rb

Now try to execute the uup_download_macos.sh script again. It will now download the requested update files and will create automatically a nice ISO file, which can be used to install Windows.

As we’re using the official Windows Server Update files, this method should be legal. There is a more detailed report available ag win10.guru which explains, that most of the tool was developed by analyzing the network traffic of a Windows installation running updates. It’s also a good way to get the versions including the latest updates including the Insider builds. Of course there’s still the official download page from Microsoft.

Howto convert a Windows 10 installation from legacy BIOS to UEFI boot

I’m currently trying to build a Hackintosh. I had some troubles with bootloaders and modified BIOS, as they weren’t able to detect my existing Windows 10 installation. Windows 10 was installed in legacy BIOS mode, which means you have a traditional boot layout using a Master Boot Record (MBR) instead of GPT (which is also used by Mac OS).The Windows 10 installation would be visible if I could somehow change it from MBR to GPT.

Normally you would do a reinstall and would create a new installation of Windows 10, but this time you would select the Installer as UEFI Installer and it would suggest to reformat the disk with GPT.

However, I don’t want to reinstall everything so I searched for a solution. With one of the recent Windows 10 updates Microsoft added support for a tool called MBR2GPT. This tool can update your existing installation to GPT.

WARNING: The following assumes that you’ve created a working backup of your installation and that your computer supports booting via UEFI.

The necessary steps are:

  • Start your computer, so that Windows 10 is loaded.
  • Select restart and press and hold the shift key.
  • The computer will restart into Windows PE mode.
  • Select Troubleshooting, Advanced options, Command Prompt.
  • Windows will ask you to select a user name with admin rights.
  • Login with that user.
  • The Command Prompt opens and you can start the process with
    • MBR2GPT /validate
  • If that command succeeds without errors, you can start the conversion with
    •  MBR2GPT /convert
  • You can exit the Command Prompt.
  • Reboot your computer.
  • It should boot from the found GPT partition scheme and should present you the Windows boot screen.

 

Fix Windows 10 error code 19 for CD/DVD drives

I recently tried to convert a CD to MP3 (as part of my private copy for cds without protection), since my car stereo doesn’t have any CD drive at all. Therefore I’ve installed CDEX. CDEX complained about a missing CD drive, which puzzled me since I know that I have a DVDRW drive installed in my desktop PC. Upon further investigation I’ve seen no drive letter assignment in the explorer or disk management of Windows 10.

A closer look in the device manager showed me a problem with my drive:

Windows 10 code 19 dvd drive

I’ve tweeted this and got some responses from the official Windows support account. While I like this unexpected help and its experience, their advise wasn’t really helpful 🙁

https://twitter.com/WindowsSupport/status/655438486657441792

I took control and searched the web for the exact error message from the device manager:

Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged. (Code 19)


Beware: Take a backup of your registry before you edit and just follow instructions from the internet! I cannot be held responsible for damage/problems caused to your machine.


 

I only found instructions for older Windows versions. However, I’ve tried those instructions on my machine and found a LowerFilters entry in my machine’s registry:

Windows 10 fix for Code 19

 

I’ve deleted it from the registry and rebooted. After the reboot my drive was working as expected without the need for any new driver or firmware updates.

Update Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 10 Pro with USB stick

I’m trying since last night to install the update from Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 10 Pro on my gaming machine. The experience wasn’t smooth as I expected, since I’m using an english Windows installation, while Microsoft’s media creation tool always seem to use the german setup of Windows 10.

You cannot upgrade without data loss (your apps are removed), if you install a different language of Windows. The installation of language packs isn’t helping here either, so you’ll need to install exactly the language version, you’ve once installed.

Windows 10 No Upgrade possible because of different langauge

Unfortunately I only know that my Windows version was english (en). English Windows can be either US (en-us) or Great Britain (en-en). So after a few tweets with @verdreaux I’ve selected en-en and tried to create an USB stick with the Windows 10 update.

https://twitter.com/verdreaux/status/627038983231508481

Your USB stick needs to be formatted in FAT32 format. I’ve started with NTFS but that created an unbootable stick:

https://twitter.com/verdreaux/status/627075414880600064

Ideally you’ll use a tool like Rufus, which will create your USB stick from an ISO file, so that you don’t have to use the Microsoft tool again. If something fails during the creation, it’ll download the 3GB setup files again and again. So its definitely recommended to download the iso in the correct language, architecture and version and then try to write that ISO to a bootable media.

Here’s my used rufus setting. I’ve used MBR but GPT would probably be the better/modern choice:

Rufus Windows 10After the stick creation I’ve rebooted from the stick. I could now select upgrade. However, the setup suggested to start the upgrade from windows without booting from the installation media.

So I’ve rebooted and tried the setup again from the USB stick. The setup is finally in english and I hope its working this time. Right now the installation is checking for updates and this takes ages. I’ll update this post once I have new results ready.

Update 15:28:

The update is running. It seems to keep my installed apps and data:

Ready to install and keep apps and dataUpdate 19:35:

It’s finally running! All apps & settings are still there and working. Glad that this finally worked out. BTW: Although I installed en-en Windows 10 started with en-us langauge settings.

 

Update Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 10 – my experience

As I’ve written in my last blog post, I’m one of the guys who likes to test the newest and latest software versions. In this case, Windows 10. So I’ve updated my gaming system with the tool from Microsoft I’ve mentioned.

The setup tool of Windows 10 warned me about two things:

  • All your apps will be removed and only your personal data is kept.
  • Your language pack will be removed (english) and will be reset to german.

The first one was really misleading: All apps? What defines an app? Isn’t that only the one from the market place? Apparently not, because I’ve lost all my installed applications as promised. The update wasn’t able to reuse the installed applications, which is really sad for an update imho.

The language pack is reset to german: well, that’s somehow ok, although I’ve installed an english Windows 8.1 pro and only enabled the german keyboard layout and date/timezones. I would have assumed that it continues to use english as the system language, but it seems that you need to install one of the language packs again.

This left me only with one possible choice: restore Windows 8.1. Open start, type “update” and open the update settings. Select “restore” from the left menu and select “return to Windows 8.1”.

This option exists only for 31 days after your update and will ask you for the reasons why you want to restore your system. A few restarts later and your system is thankfully restored to its previous state: All apps are working, your Windows 10 reservation is still active.

So if you ask me: It’s too early to update to Windows 10. At least with this media creation tool which seems to support only the creation of new installations of Windows 10.