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How to download the official Microsoft Windows 8.1 ISO

Upgrading your Windows 8 system to Windows 8.1 is simple enough through the Microsoft Store, but if you need to reinstall it or run the update on more than one PC, it can be inconvenient and time-consuming since Microsoft doesn't give you the option to save the update files.

There's a trick, however, that allows you to download the official Windows 8.1 ISO from Microsoft's servers with your Windows 8 product key. With the Windows 8.1 ISO, you can create DVD or USB media to update a Windows 8 PC to Windows 8.1. … Read more

Review: Create, burn, and back up ISO files with ISO Workshop

ISO Workshop features a great menu, plenty of useful features, and powerful performance. It's not as fast as some other ISO managers, but it makes up for that with incredibly easy operation. It's a wonderful program for newbies, but still offers just enough useful features for users with experience.

When you're downloading this program, it offers to install the AVG Toolbar for you. You can opt-out of it if you don't want it. The program installs quickly despite not being the tiniest download in the world. Once you open it, you'll feel right at home … Read more

Review: Free ISO to USB burns ISO files to any USB drive with ease

With its step-by-step process, Free ISO to USB makes it really easy to move an ISO image to a USB drive. While this process will be welcomed by beginners, a drag-and-drop setup would be more fun for more advanced users. Nevertheless, if you need a really basic program, this is the one you want.

This program takes you through a straightforward, four-step process to find and move the file you want. Since you can't skip steps, you might get bored if you already know how to find the file and just need software to do the moving or burning. … Read more

Back up your DVDs with free BDlot ISO Master

The days of physical media are slowly but surely drawing to a close. Of the last 10 movies I rented, eight came from Amazon Instant Video and one from iTunes. There wasn't a shiny silver platter in sight.

That said, lots of folks have giant DVD libraries, and with good reason. DVDs are cheap. They work great in minivans that have DVD players. And, um, oh, what was that third one again? I can't...sorry. Oops.

I kid, I kid. I'm just jokingly making the case for why you might want BDlot DVD ISO Master, a free … Read more

Create disk images with Free ISO Creator

Unlike zipping files, creating compressed ISO archives isn't as easy as a simple right click. Free ISO Creator is a solid tool to help you turn multiple files into a writable ISO image file. The program does exactly what it says it will. However, it's not the easiest or most customizable creation software you'll ever use.

The program gains major points just for being free. There aren't many similar programs that can say the same. However, there are a good deal of things missing that might be available in a paid program. Free ISO Creator is … Read more

Torrent site IsoHunt loses appeal against MPAA filters

Torrent search site IsoHunt has lost its appeal against Hollywood movie studios to have keyword filters removed from its results.

The court battle between the torrent indexing site and the Motion Picture Association of America's member studios has resulted in the former losing its appeal to remove an injunction that forces the Web site to filter its search results.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld a 2010 ruling (PDF) that stated the site does not qualify for safe harbor under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The site's founder, Gary Fung, allegedly had "red flag&… Read more

Create disk images with PowerISO

If you need an easy way to create disk images, it's hard to imagine an option that's easier than PowerISO. This simple program makes it a breeze to create disk images in several different formats, open existing images, and burn disk images to CDs and DVDs.

PowerISO has a straightforward interface that's easy to navigate. A set of clearly marked buttons across the top make the program's main features easily accessible. It took us just a few seconds to navigate to a handful of files we wanted to include and then save them as an ISO … Read more

Windows 8 Release Preview: How to download and install it

Those of you who want to try out the new Windows 8 Release Preview can install it from an ISO file or run a full setup that guides you through the upgrade process.

If you want to skip to the chase and just download the ISO file, you can find it at Microsoft's own site or through CNET's Download.com.

Microsoft provides both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 8 RP across a variety of languages. After you download the ISO file, you can burn it onto a DVD using the Windows Disc Image Burner in Windows 7 … Read more

Install Windows 8 virtually with free software

Don't have a dedicated PC on which to install Windows 8? No problem. Just install the OS virtually on an existing PC using a free virtual machine utility.

Various VM applications will let you install an operating system in a virtual environment on your Windows desktop or laptop. But not all are free and not all support the latest Windows 8 beta.

A product such as VMWare Workstation 8 supports Windows 8 but costs $200. Microsoft's own Windows Virtual PC is free but won't accept Windows 8 as a guest.

Instead, you can use Oracle's VirtualBox … Read more

Windows 8 to directly support ISO and VHD files

Windows 8 will let you open and view ISO and VHD files all on its own, according to the latest "Building Windows 8" blog from Microsoft.

Posted yesterday by Microsoft engineer Rajeev Nagar, the new blog post, titled "Accessing data in ISO and VHD files," revealed that native support for ISO and VHD files was one feature often requested by users, prompting the company to add it to its upcoming OS.

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) files are image files that hold the contents of a CD or DVD. Large programs available for download through the … Read more