We have already seen that the Enterprise-N Edition of Windows 8 had leaked just a day after Microsoft announced RTM of its latest operating system on the 1st of August. Now for those who want an early taste of the new OS before its public launch on October 26, there are copies of what claim to be the new OS floating online, in the usual dodgy places.
What makes this special is that these weren't even supposed to be seen before the first availability of the OS on MSDN on August 15th. The term RTM simply means the final copy, so named because it is first Released to Manufacturing for OEMs and brands making desktop/laptop PCs.
Now that it is available for those willing to risk it, here's what you need to know about the build-string, leaked editions, known checksums and installation procedure.
The final version of Windows 8 to get signed-off for release and announced as the RTM, has the following build-string:
The build number of 9200 is arbitrarily inflated and contrived as always ("divisible by 100 and 16") as is the minor build number of 16384 that follows it. Apparently there have been no last minute bugs, unlike Windows 7 which had to resort to a minor binary build number of 16385 at release. Also note that the build string indicates it was compiled at 12:47 on the noon of July 25th 2012, and was only confirmed to be final six days later.
Editions Leaked with Checksums and file-sizes for English SKUs
Windows 8 (for desktop clients) and Windows Server 2012 are based on the same code, so it makes sense that both kept getting released for Preview to the public in tandem 3 times before final release. Even now, both have come out together. The editions known to have leaked so far are:
- Windows Server 2012 Datacenter (Volume License, 64-bit only)
(VL x64- Size: 3,694,114,816 bytes, SHA-1: 492E51F29E8FC6A1947796CA49784ECFA7A7BC98)
- Windows Server 2012 Standard (Volume License, 64-bit only)
- Windows 8 Enterprise-N (the EU version, without Windows Media Player)
(VL x64- Size: 3,474,915,328 bytes, SHA-1: 76DC79D1DF995348B184188E6007CECBD0A05BF1)
- Windows 8 Enterprise (the international version, 32 & 64-bit)
(VL x64- Size: 3,490,912,256 bytes, SHA-1: 73DF20A98D8CDF52E70FBFFECBEBA63F2A242322)
(VL x86- Size: 2,551,154,688 bytes, SHA-1: 15CE0B54557B0EC6376ACBBF76E33714FFC3A632)
- Windows 8 Professional (non Volume License, 32 & 64-bit)
(x64- Size: 3,581,853,696 bytes, SHA-1: E63C1D3733532ABC7AB28F3D61526E361E80271A)
(x86- Size: 2,632,460,288 bytes, SHA-1: B30B7D770F047CF427E836ABC048501EFF8A1FAC)
Note: MD5 and CRC-32 checksums have been excluded above in favour of SHA-1 since it can be more accurate to verify with a checksum tool. The above file sizes are for the unmodified ISO image files, which is what what you could expect to see on MSDN.
Notably missing from this list is "Windows 8", which stands-in for the Standard/Home version of the desktop OS (probably modifying the same media could surface it). There is no news about Windows RT, the ARM version for Tablet devices. Similarly, the Windows Server 2012 Essentials edition has also not made an appearance in the leaks at the time of writing.
Reports are coming in that a serial key is required for installing Windows 8 - both the Volume License and the normal Retail editions. As far as Microsoft's activation servers are concerned though, this OS does not exist and will not be released until another week passes. In any case, the only keys available for entering at present, are the trial keys that are present on the Windows 8 DVD itself (see the file "product.ini" in the "sources" folder).
If you have already reached the Product-Key entry screen, you could look-up a key to install Windows 8 RTM online, from this text file. Volume License copies must be activated by a KMS server, retail copies with a key from a store purchase. Reports are filtering in that this version has retained "1000x re-arm before activation", but we could not test it yet.