Chris123NT's Blog

Where I rant and rave about all things tech

Make an ISO for Windows 10 9860

So one of the revelations with today’s release of the Windows 10 Technical Preview update is that there will be no ISO’s offered for this build or any future build for the insider program.  While I can understand Microsoft’s thinking here because they want to test their new update mechanism, it is also confusing from the standpoint of recovery if there’s a system crash running one of these newer builds.  Fortunately there is an easy way to create your own ISO out of the esd file that is downloaded through the updater to give you that “what if it crashes” protection and for clean installations.

Download ESD and convert to ISO

Alternative  ways to get the ESD include initiating the download, and as soon as the install starts, go to C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources and copy install.esd to another location.  Then proceed with the instructions below.

You can also find the file after updating to the new build in C:\RecoveryImage

  • Download the ESD Decrypter tool from HERE
  • EDIT: Updated link above to new 4c version of tool 10/23/14

Once you have your desired ESD and the tool, extract the tool anywhere you see fit (ex: C:\ESDTool) and place the ESD file in the same folder.

Run the cmd file and you will be presented with a list of options.  Option 4 will give you the traditional ISO with a boot.wim and install.wim.  This is the option you want to make a traditional Windows ISO.

Let the tool run, and when it is done you will have a fully functional Windows 10 build 9860 ISO that you can use to perform clean installs as you see fit.  And you will have no problems getting future build updates if you use this method as well.

Drop a comment if you have any  questions or any extra tips!

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  • Brandon

    Anybody tried this to see if it gets around the VHD upgrade block?
    I’ve got Win10 installed in a VHD to which I boot. When I try to update it to this new build, I’m met with “you cannot upgrade an installation on a virtual hard disk”. Am wondering if this method would bypass that check.

    • Chris123NT

      It should since this is essentially full install media when the process is done. Give it a try and let me know.

      • Brandon

        Unfortunately it doesn’t :( It indeed launches a “full installer” but in the course of “preparing PC” it detects VHD again and errors out.

        I haven’t yet gone thru all the XML/INI files to see if there’s a tweak to get around it. If anybody does please post it up here :)

        • Tito


          It’s impossible to simply upgrade on VHD. My process is to attach the VHD in a Hyper-V VM, upgrade & then trash the VM & use the VHD.

          • Brandon

            I’ve heard this as well but people always leave out the step that you need to also mount the Win10 ISO and run Startup repair to get Hyper-V to boot the VHD.
            I did this last night, and not only did the Startup Repair not work, it corrupted the VHD so now it doesn’t boot. So, I’m back to square 0 with my Windows 10 evaluating.

          • Tito

            You may need to sysprep the installed Windows in the VHD before attaching it in Hyper-V. But Startup Repair sounds irrelevant.

  • Frylock86

    Typo: Window 10

    • Chris123NT

      Doh, fixed it, thanks.

      • Tony Beck

        whats the point of all of this if you need a new product key to install anyhow?

        • Chris123NT

          You don’t? I just tested a fresh ISO I made in a VM, it didn’t ask for a key.

        • Tony Beck

          maybe its the ESD file or something I got it from the recovery folder.

  • Tito


    The ESD links used to download these files are not permanent because they require Store authentication. Better you remove them & use abbodi1406’s or LostED’s mirror.

    • Chris123NT

      Fixed the links.

      • Tito

        Awesome! BTW, abbodi1406 has also updated the decrypter; its now v4c which fixed the ISO label bug for new IR4 ESDs.

        • Chris123NT

          Thanks! Updated the link for the new version of the tool.

  • KERR


  • Xerone

    I am now clean installing Windows 10 build 9860 and it is asking for a product key. I tried this product key but no luck

    • fred

      try this one


      • Xerone

        Nope. Now it says “We cannot verify the product key. Please check your installation media”

        I think there is something wrong with my ISO. Gonna bake a new one now and retry.

        • Tony Beck

          I dont think its going to work unless you obtain a new product key, or bypass the product key in which I tried with no luck…BUT it would be nice to install this latest version with a clean install…

    • dsteiner1992

      This tool was originally made for creating a Windows 8.1 UPDATE ISO from the Update files. So you’d propably have to use a Windows 8.1 UPDATE Key.

      This should be GCRJD-8NW9H-F2CDX-CCM8D-9D6T9 for Windows 8.1 (Update) Pro (that is the key from the ISO). I currently don’t know what file is responsible for verifiying the key but if you know what file is responsible for that you can replace it with the Windows TP one.

    • Chris123NT

      Look in your sources folder in the ISO, is there a pid.txt with a key in it? There should be, and that should be bypassing the key prompt during setup.

      • Rx

        Chris… please correct me if i am wrong or confused or just mind numb but I thought that the the PID.txt file specifically was excluded from Windows 10 but I also may remember that it may be excluded from the like os windows 8 even? Have you seen the PID.txt on a windows 10 build yet? If so, PLEASE let me know where and if possible, what the different settings are so that I can do some further testing because I am stuck with the tedious multiple download game and misplacing things, etc. so one image with the ability to set the parameters within the PID would be awesome man! I hope you can help me!! Do you have the settings for each version as well to modify it if so? Thanks so much in advance and I look forward to hearing back from you man!

    • dsteiner1992

      Okay, I just started setup, the Tool actually makes a complete setup out of the update files so if you use that tool you get a ful 9860 iso with a 9680 PE. and Setup just worked like a charm for me.

    • Shahab Ab

      Check this one: NTTX3-RV7VB-T7X7F-WQYYY-9Y92F

  • Drew

    I have Win10 on a VM in Hyper-V & it took the Build update w/ no problems, @ all.

    I won’t use this converter; violates the EULA.


    • Chris123NT

      I don’t see how it violates the EULA as you’re not modifying the software itself, you’re just adjusting the delivery mechanism.

  • mee11

    can you upload the ios file

  • krazyfrog

    I can’t find this folder C:$Windows.~BTSources

    I just have C:Windows

    I set the hidden folders to display along with protected files but I still can’t find that folder.

    • Chris123NT

      If you already have 9860 installed then the esd is in C:RecoveryImage

  • Lucious Maximus Meridius DelVa

    how can i burn this on a dvd

    • Chris123NT

      The same way you burn any other ISO to dvd, windows 7 and higher have built in ISO burning, right click and Burn disc image.

  • Som

    I keep getting error 1392, the file or directory is corrupted, it’s during the “Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool” stage, any suggestions?

    • Chris123NT

      At what part do you get that error? Maybe you have a bad download of the ESD?

  • Damon

    the decrypt.cmd file wont open as admistrator it just opens and close same time but it opens when its not run as admin, but it has to be run as admin can some one help?

  • Kunal

    Can we use this for upgrading the default build…and not a fresh install??

  • Siddhardha Bobba

    i had downloaded and made an iso file of build 9860
    i am currently using build 9841 in my base machine
    can i upgrade this current build like normal booting or
    else i have to clean install this build without upgrading .
    Could u please suggest me

    • Chris123NT

      Yes, you can upgrade with the ISO like you would normally do an upgrade if you wish.

      • Siddhardha Bobba

        i tried it sir but it shows remove installation media and restart for upgrade,and i got rid of it and made a clean install

    • Shahab Ab

      If you change .esd to iso or .wim by decrypting, you’ll sure can do it.

  • Shahab Ab

    Thank you for addressing a common problem for IT Pros with downloading Windows 10 TP newest build that’s not as easy-to-install as previous versions. I personally tested this by a different method and it was: Editing an existing ISO file of Windows 10 TP (Downloaded from Microsoft Insider Program) by replacing new build’s .esd file with prior build’s .wim file and remaking ISO from it witch is bootable itself. After booting from ISO to operate a clean install, it asked for product key witch is not available yet from any source. any attempts to bypass the Product Key screen with ei.cfg file failed because the EditionID field is unknown for this build of Windows.
    Anyway I’m testing your method that seems will work great. Thank you.
    If you have a product key for this build, please make it available here.

  • FedericoElSueco

    This worked fine for me. Are you going to give us the latest ESD, that was just released?

  • Zarah Khan

    go to

  • godsdog

    I have tried using both the ESD file from the BTSources folder and the download version. Both refuse to run starting as Administrator – it begins to open the command line and immediately closes.
    I’m trying to make an iso of my Win7 > Win 10 upgrade.
    All updates are installed.

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