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  • I just downloaded a copy of the Win10 ISO installation file. How can I be sure it’s for version 1803?

    Posted on October 10th, 2018 at 04:40 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A very timely question just appeared in my inbox.

    I did do one thing today, that had got “timed-out” earlier this month…  downloaded the Win10-1803 ISO.  Or at least, I think it was the 1803 version, which is what I wanted to ask you about.

    The MediaTool download stated it was for 1803 – can I rely on that being 1803?  Is it possible it slipped me a copy of 1809 while pretending it was 1803?

    I’ve just filed it away for future reference, as an insurance policy (not that I think my machines are deemed to be “supported” for anything past 1511?).

    A whole lot of people are going to be asking that question over the next few days. Fortunately, the answer’s easy – if you know the dism trick.

    Check out my full explanation in the Computerworld article Grab a free copy of Win10 version 1803 and save it for a rainy day.

    If you already have an ISO file and want to know for sure if it’s 1803, start at Step 10.

    If that helped, take a second to support AskWoody on Patreon

    Home Forums I just downloaded a copy of the Win10 ISO installation file. How can I be sure it’s for version 1803?

    This topic contains 20 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by

     PKCano 6 months ago.

    • Author
    • #223402 Reply

      Da Boss

      A very timely question just appeared in my inbox. I did do one thing today, that had got “timed-out” earlier this month…  downloaded the Win10-1803
      [See the full post at: I just downloaded a copy of the Win10 ISO installation file. How can I be sure it’s for version 1803?]

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #223403 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      Simple deal just use 7Zip right click on the .ISO, select Open Archive, go in to Sources and copy the install.esd or install.wim whichever to any empty folder and run @woody ‘s DISM cmd. Don’t have to recreate the .ISO or anything like that and all the contents are still intact. End the CMD with /index:1 for full details of the particular index number you want or just leave out completely the /index:1 off the end for the full contents or indices of the .wim or esd file. There’s normally at least 2 or more depending on how you specified the download.

    • #223407 Reply

      Noel Carboni

      Hi Woody,

      A question related not to the ISO version, but to the appearance of your screenshot in your article…

      What’s the tweak to get the dark File Explorer background? I thought I knew it but when I finally got around to trying it I found Explorer stayed with the white background, though I was able to get the Apps dark.



      • #223435 Reply

        Da Boss

        The trick, I think, is to use 1809.

        Yep, I’ve been testing 1809 for many months now….

        • #223563 Reply

          Jan K.
          AskWoody Lounger

          Yeah, come on, Noel! You know you want that shiny feature!

          And 1809 has a further whopping 261 brand new features for your experience!!

          • #223585 Reply

            AskWoody Lounger

            Well, on a lighter note, you could always play “Microsoft Roulette” Install a nameless ISO file and if your Windows Explorer gets the all Black look after selecting Dark Mode in settings, and you’ve lost all your data/files then you have Win 10 1809 😉

          • #223598 Reply

            Noel Carboni

            Thanks, Woody. I thought that might be the case but I figured I’d ask.

            To be honest, a dark theme really IS very attractive to me, and I would consider it a valuable feature to have. All the things I CAN set that way now (under Win 8.1) I do set that way (Visual Studio, Photoshop, CMD windows, my own applications, Skype, etc.).

            Besides my having a bit of a bright light sensitivity (bright light simply feels unpleasant/painful), this harkens back to when I first used video display terminals to interact with computer systems (it was typewriter terminals with fanfold paper before that, and card punches before that).


            On a video terminal the characters were all initially light on a dark background…



            The downsides of Windows 10 are still significant enough that even though Explorer can be made dark in v1809 (I hear it’s been made into a UWP App now), I’m probably going to stick with my current Windows 8.1 system on my hardware for the time being. Let’s see after another nearly 6 months…


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            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #223612 Reply


              Used a stage lighting green gel taped at the top of the monitor for eyestrain relief. Eventually had a monochrome display in amber. That was nice.

    • #223421 Reply


      Additional info: I have read the original post when published but have no opportunity to download the ISO at that time. A few days ago I try to download it, but the tool file in windows site was changed in MediaCreationTool1809.exe so I stop the process

      Now they have reverted it back to 1803 🙂

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #223437 Reply

        Da Boss

        That’s exactly what my correspondent noted — and was hoping to confirm.

        The LAST thing you want to do is save a copy of the 1809 ISO and label it 1803. 🙂

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #223476 Reply

      Da Boss

      Woody, so what’s the answer for those who are downloading the ISO from an OS other than Microsoft Windows without the Media Creation Tool?
      One would have thought that Hash SHA256/ Checksum CRC values would determine the ISO version, and be published alongside the ISO download link to check later..

      | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7 Pro x86 | XP Pro O/L
      • #223506 Reply

        AskWoody Lounger

        @microfix I would have to say that @woody ‘s method is about the best definitive method for determining the correct version, if you use Wzor’s Web page with FF, Edge or IE11 it’ll tell you what your getting and your trusting that the right .ISO is coming down the wire. If you use Windows Media creator you get to choose your own “save as” label and of course you can change the name of an .ISO any time, so @woody ‘s command is the best so far. But its not that hard to change the .xml meta Data file in the .wim with ADK or WAIK not sure about .esd‘s probably though, using GIMAGEX you can alter the SKU with a drop down menu and displayed version, and capture and save with DISM and IMAGEX in your CMD line, not really an issue most days for the average user, but round here with staff floating in an out I enforce, out of necessity, a strict labelling policy not to be changed and probably I should lock my Workstation more when not around lol 😉 SYSPREPPED images are labelled so with contents Office Vers, updates status, created “bittedness” (x86 or x64) etc and untouched .ISO’s (orig) appended to the description and then try and fit all that in to seen at a glance and under 250 characters, unfortunately I cant put them all under “lock and key” as I would like as when I am not around they still have to be accessible alas, and trusting that no one has any more quaint ideas about labelling constructs.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #223521 Reply

          Da Boss

          @bobbyb, Agreed, I appreciate that Woody’s method is solid for Windows but, what if someone ONLY has Linux or macOS and wishes to try W10, in say a VM or even on the metal? that’s what I was getting at. The media creation tool doesn’t work in these operating systems, it’s solely for Windows.

          If MS wish to gain ground with W10, shouldn’t there be a fail-safe method of verification, downloading and checking prior to installation. As it stands there is only a web-page with options on which edition, version and language to choose from. It’s a security thing from both perspectives.

          | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7 Pro x86 | XP Pro O/L
          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #223533 Reply


      better yet ask someone who has an active MSDN or VS (visual studio) subscription to get any of these 1803 ISOs with the following names:


      these win10 v1803 ISOs have the September 2018 updates fully integrated / slipstreamed, which are version 10.0.17134.285

      MSDN/VS subscribers are so fortunate to be given more up to date ISOs 🙂

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #223588 Reply


      Wait… If I get some ISO from somewhere else outside Microsoft and it has been tampered with, there’s no way to check it’s integrity?

      • #223661 Reply

        AskWoody Lounger

        @anonymous I’m afraid so, all those offers of “untouched Original” ISO’s floating around the Web its a safe bet they have been “monkeyed” with only definitive way is to compare the “Sha” numbers with the original and I believe “Sha1” has been compromised, is it 256 now? that’s still good. With an image ISO you can add Office, fully update and other stuff quite easily and put it all back together again, and relabel. So if that can all be accomplished so easily what else are they capable of putting in there? Cant emphasise enough just go to a reputable Source and check that you have the correct Version before turning it loose on your Machine.

        • #223946 Reply


          Not even a “legit seal of authentication” from Microsoft after all these years… Oh well, we just have to wait until someone hacks Microsoft and pummel an official ISO. Once millions are infected, I hope they take that as a lesson…

          Even Linux Mint learnt theirs when they got hacked and their official ISO was forged. So lets just wait for MS to do it…..

    • #223666 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      just go to a reputable Source

      This is one for Susan’s Month of Security Paranoia.

      No such thing. Even so-called “reputable Sources” can and have been compromised to deliver malware and modified binaries and source code.

      Only thing that will save your bacon is a cryptographic checksum. Those can probably be compromised, too, but it’s a lot more work for the perps if it’s handled correctly by the “reputable Source”.

      Have also wondered whether or not Windows installer checks the file(s) for you pre-install. Never seen a definitive statement yes or no. It should, but does it?

      • #223674 Reply

        AskWoody Lounger

        @estherd errm yep it does a sure sign its getting ready for an upgrade is look for the mysterious hidden folder(s) $WINDOWS.~BT and $WINDOWS.~WS that mysteriously appear on your C:\drive prior to an upgrade, if you look at the “Panther” Logs inside you’ll find you machines already been inventoried as to its suitability to upgrade (easy to open with note pad) so presumably its checked all the folders and files for any potential problems that may stop the upgrade, although in recent events with 1809 its dubious. I found one such folder on the day of the release 02/10/18 created approx 1800pm on my 1709 machine and in the 1803 version as well. Its safe to delete all the above folders if you wish to try and slow down the upgrade. For a “clean install” Windows just has a cursory check to see if your machines suitable for install.
        As for reputable source its a perfectly valid point that you made, its possible that even Human error creating the Download link i.e. inserting the wrong file or indeed the link has been Hijacked as you say, ultimately, alas, you can only minimise your exposure to dodgy software. “Fingers crossed here” I don’t think I have been got at yet but hey the world of Computer malfeasance is growing exponentially so you never know what the future may bring. Really the big limitation of the “Sha” system is finding the original number and comparing the 2 for changes, i.e. the checksum changes if the file/folder/ISO has been altered in any way but how many folks actually do that when theyre in a hurry? Hence I am more of a back up and “clean install” kind of person not a 100% mega secure but the best for me under the circumstances.

        PS this tells you a bit about it just in case your “upgrade dodging” like it seems most are round here: I just try it in another location before committing to change/upgrade as a rule.

        • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by
    • #225715 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      OK, I have downloaded the 1803 iso and tucked it away. I’m currently running WIN 10 version 1607 and need to upgrade soon. Can I use this iso to upgrade to 1803, preserving all of my files, settings and apps, including my win 32 applications? In other words, by using the MediaCreationTool1803.iso file, will I be upgraded the same as if I upgraded through Microsoft Update or Windows Update, just as if 1803 were the latest release?

      Sorry for the dumb question but I can’t seem to find a definitive answer by Internet search. Thanks very much to anyone who can provide a definitive answer.

      • This reply was modified 6 months ago by
      • #225719 Reply

        Da Boss

        Use the ISO to make an install DVD or USB. Do not boot from the DVD/USB.

        Boot up your Win10 1607. From inside the 1607, execute the setup.exe on the DVD/USB. Follow the instructions. It will ask you if you want to save your programs and data.

        Read this topic about upgrading step by step from 1703 to 1709 from an ISO. The method will be the same.

        1 user thanked author for this post.

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