Skip to main content

Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation FAQ

Q: Which Windows 8.1 editions are available for evaluation?

A: Only Windows 8.1 Enterprise is available for evaluation.

Q: Is the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation a pre-release or final version of Windows 8.1 Enterprise?

A: The Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation is the final Released-to-Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 8.1 Enterprise. This is the same software that is available to Volume Licensing (VL) through Software Assurance (SA) and is feature-complete.

Q: Who is eligible to download the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation?

A: IT professionals, IT decision makers, and developers who are looking to test their hardware, software, and deployment strategies on Windows 8.1 can download the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation. You must correctly complete a registration form to gain access to the download. Incorrect or incomplete forms will result in the inability to download the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation. If you already have access to Windows 8.1 bits as an MSDN or TechNet subscriber, or as an existing Volume Licensing/Software Assurance customer, you do not need to download this evaluation as you may already have access to the Windows 8.1 Enterprise bits without an expiration date.

Q: When will Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation become available and how do I download it?

A: The Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation can be downloaded for a limited time from the Microsoft TechNet Evaluation Center beginning August 15, 2012.

Q: In what languages is the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation available?

A: The Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Korean, Japanese, and Spanish.

Q: When does the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation expire?

A: The Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation is valid for 90 days after activation. Once the evaluation period expires, your computer will shut down every hour.

Q: What precautions should I take before installing the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation?

A: Be sure to back up your data and settings, and please don’t test this evaluation version of Windows 8.1 Enterprise on your primary home or business PC.

Q: What web browsers can I use to download the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation?

A: Windows Internet Explorer 8 (or later), Firefox, and Chrome support the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation download experience. Please note that Internet Explorer 8 users behind a proxy server should use automatic configuration for their proxy server for the best download experience.

Q: What are the minimum hardware requirements for the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation?

A: The minimum hardware requirements are:

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 20 GB available hard disk space
  • 1366 × 768 screen resolution
  • Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • Internet access (fees may apply)
  • A Microsoft account (LiveID) is required for some features
  • Some features such as touch and Client Hyper-V may require advanced or Windows 8.1 certified hardware.
  • The Windows To Go feature requires advanced hardware. To learn more about USB drives certified for Windows To Go, please visit www.microsoft.com/WindowsToGo.

Q: What happens if the download doesn't finish?

A: If the download is interrupted, you will find an icon on your desktop that you can click on to restart the download. Once you restart the download, it will pick up where it left off.

Q: How do I create an installation DVD?

A: Insert a blank DVD into your PC DVD drive. Navigate to the downloaded Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation file. Right-click the file and select Burn disc image, then click the Burn button when the Windows Disc Image Burner dialog appears. A bootable DVD will be created. Alternatively, you can use commercially-available or free DVD burning programs.

Q: How do I install the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation?

A: Follow these instructions:

  1. Make sure your data has been backed up before installing the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation.
  2. Turn on your computer, insert the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-Day evaluation installation disc you created after downloading Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-Day Trial into the computer's DVD or CD drive, and then do one of the following.
    1. If you want to replace your computer's existing operating system with the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-Day evaluation and you don't need to adjust your disk partitions, go to step 3.
    2. If your computer doesn't have an operating system installed, or you want to install Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-Day evaluation on another disk partition, boot the PC with the DVD in the drive. In the BIOS ensure boot from CD/DVD is chosen. When you're asked to press a key to boot from DVD or CD, press any key. If the Install Windows page appears, go to step 3.
    3. If the Install Windows page doesn't appear and you're not asked to press a key to start from DVD or CD, you might have to specify that your computer uses its DVD or CD drive as the startup device. See Start Windows from a CD or DVD. After you select your DVD or CD drive as the startup device, restart your computer, and then start Windows from the installation DVD or CD as previously described.
  3. On the Install Windows page, follow the instructions, and then click Install now.
  4. On the Get important updates for installation page, we recommend getting the latest updates to help ensure a successful installation and protect your computer against security threats. You need an Internet connection to get updates.
  5. On the Please read the license terms page, if you accept the license terms, click I accept the license terms. (You must accept to continue the installation.)
  6. On the Which type of installation do you want? page, click Custom.
  7. On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, do one of the following:
    1. If you don't want to specify a specific partition to install Windows on, or create partitions on your hard disk, click Next to begin the installation.
    2. If you already have another existing partition with enough free space and want to install Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-Day evaluation on that partition to create a multi-boot configuration, select the partition you want to use, and then click Next to begin the installation. (Be sure to install Windows 8.1 on a different partition from where your current version of Windows is installed.)
    3. If you want to create, extend, delete, or format a partition, click Drive options (advanced), click the option you want, and then follow the instructions. Click Next to begin the installation. (If the Drive options (advanced) option is disabled, you need to start your computer using the installation disc.)
  8. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Q: Can I use Microsoft deployment technologies to deploy the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation to multiple computers?

A: Yes, the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation is a fully functional copy of Windows 8.1 Enterprise until it expires 90 days after the installation on the reference computer (the computer from which you build a system image). You can deploy the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation using a variety of deployment technologies, including the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit. You can also install it by simply running the downloaded installation application.

Q: Do I need a product key?

A: No, Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation has a product key built in, so there is no need to enter one.

Q: Do I have to activate Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation?

A: Yes, activation of the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation is required after installation or the product will shut down every hour. The ability to activate the trial software will expire on August 15, 2013.

Q: What happens after the evaluation period expires?

A: If you wish to continue to use Windows 8.1 Enterprise after the evaluation period, you will be required to purchase and perform a clean installation of Windows 8.1, including drivers and applications. Please keep this in mind as Windows 8.1 Enterprise is not available through retail channels until October 26, 2012 .

Q: How do I get support for the Windows 8.1 Enterprise 90-day evaluation?

A: Expert support from Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), Microsoft product team members, and the community can be obtained at no cost by utilizing the Windows 8.1 IT Pro Forums on TechNet. You must have a Microsoft account (LiveID) and forum profile to post questions. Note that forum support is only available in English, German, Portuguese (Brazilian), French, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.

Q: How do I stay informed about Windows 8.1?

A: You can keep up with general technical information and news by following the Springboard Series Blog. For technical guidance, tips, and tools, visit the Springboard Series for Windows 8.1 on TechNet.

 

Key Resources

Related Sites