Although I still have a number of promised items still uncovered in my original (Windows) Admin’s Toolkit list, I’ve decided to add something new to the mix for this item overview. This will be the 15th item in the series. It takes as its topic a useful and reliable third-party tool for obtaining Windows (and Office) ISO downloads. The tool is formally named “Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool.” It’s hosted on HeiDoc.net, a site run by a developer named Jan Krohn. The site name was originally devoted to documentation for Heidelberg Press equipment, so I’ve figured out it should be pronounced “high-dock-dot-com” rather than “hay-dock-dot-com.” If you check out Krohn’s “Welcome to HeiDoc.net” page, you’ll learn that the site has been operational since 2005, that Krohn started publishing download links for Windows 7 SP1 in 2011, and that the ISO Download tool has been around since May, 2016.
What’s So Interesting About the ISO Download Tool?
A composite look at the tool’s download menu for Windows 10 versions tells a good story, so I’ll start with those three screen captures by way of illustration:
The point of all this is that we see ISOs of many flavors for releases from 1809 all the way back to 1511.
This is a great resource for individuals seeking access to older Windows ISOs from a “usually reliable source.” I’ve been using this tool since mid-2016, and I’ve never had problem one with the ISOs that it delivers. If you take a look at the other products the tool also covers, you’ll get an even stronger sense of its value:
- Windows 8.1
- Windows 10 Insider Preview: Cover Builds 18356 back through 14295
- Windows 10 Developer releases: Includes SDK, ADK, HLK, WDK, eWDK, Desktop App Converter Insider Preview and Win10PE for Builds 18362 back through 14279 (IoT Core Insider Preview)
- Office: ISOs for Office 2011 for Mac, 2013, 2016, and 2016 for Mac
Generally, when I need an older ISO (Microsoft only makes current releases available through the Media Creation Tool) I will turn to this tool first. It’s easier to use than digging into Microsoft’s own archives (formerly known as MSDN, now called developer.microsoft.com), and it’s not a whole lot slower than Microsoft’s Akamai-based download delivery services, either. Some may balk at using a third-party source for Microsoft stuff. That said, I’ve never seen nor heard of any evidence of tampering or alteration of files accessed. And in fact, this tool downloads from software-download.microsoft.com, so there’s no reason (or way) for monkey business anyway. Here’s a screen cap of the most recent available Win10 ISO file for Pro/Home:
Here’s the screencap for version 1511, which still comes from the same source:
I figure as long as the tool is downloading from software-download.microsoft.com, it’s GOT to be on the up-and-up. And that’s why I recommend this tool, too.
Author: Ed Tittel
Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.