Update: If you are using Windows 8 Enterprise version at home, you would be in slight trouble, because you can’t upgrade it to Windows 8.1 from the Windows store or control panel. Even you can’t upgrade it by the ISO file available from the Microsoft site publicly. Windows 8 Enterprise can be upgraded only by the medium you download from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). Mostly the Microsoft EA and SA business customers have access to VLSC.
By any chance, you have Windows 8 Enterprise on your home computers, the only solution is to take a full backup of your data, format and install Windows 10 as a new installation.
If you upgrade the existing Windows 8 Enterprise with the normal ISO file, it will be installed like a new OS. You will lose your personal data and old system files will be moved to Windows.old folder.
Microsoft clearly says the reason below why the normal update is not possible by the Windows store.
How to Update Windows 8 Enterprise to Windows 8.1 Enterprise without losing Data
1) Download the ISO from Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). Make sure to download the correct 32-bit or 64-bit version matching your existing OS version.
2) Create a DVD or USB (bootable).
3) Once you execute the installation, it will start preparing the files.
4) Next screen is to download the latest updates from the Microsoft site while installing.
5) This step is very important. Obviously, we do not need to lose any existing data, programs and Windows settings.
So, select the first option.
If you try this update with normal Windows 8.1 Enterprise ISO which is available for the public, you will get only the ‘Nothing’ option. It will not give the option to select keep personal files, Windows settings and apps options. Basically, it will install a new Windows OS to replace the existing OS without formatting the hard disk.
6) The installation will start smoothly.
7) Once the installation is completed, you will go through the steps to customize Windows OS.
8) The good thing is it did not ask to log in or create an online Microsoft account. It picked up my old Windows 8 local user account.
9)Even after entering my local user account credential, it showed the below error related to setting up an online Microsoft account. I did not bother much since I do not want to log in with an online user account that will create another new user profile.
10) After settings up and configuring apps and other settings, you will get the upgraded Windows 8.1 enterprise desktop. It will keep your files, settings and same profile. So, we successfully upgraded without losing personal data or formatting the disk.
Can you upgrade directly from Windows 8 to Windows 10?
- If you have Windows 8 OS, you can’t upgrade directly to Windows 10.
- You must first upgrade the OS to Windows 8.1 and then upgrade to Windows 10.
- Then this Windows 10 can be upgraded to Windows 11.
- You must check the verify the compatibility of the programs you use before doing the major Operating System updates.
Updating the Windows 8 Enterprise to Windows 8.1 Enterprise is easy and straightforward. But, this can be done only by the ISO file you download from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).
If you are using Windows 8 enterprise in an organization, your IT department may deploy the updates across the organization by using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) or System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager.
Also, you can ask for the official ISO file from your IT person if you want to do the upgrade manually by yourself.
If you like to try some latest or old Windows Operating Systems in a virtual environment, try our download page which has pre-installed Windows OS images.