Windows 10 Version 1511 now is a Windows Update exclusive

Today, we came to know that Microsoft removed the ability to directly install Windows 10 Version 1511 from scratch! Everything related to the latest build 10586 of Windows 10 - the Media Creation Tool, Kits and Tools (SDK, WDK, ADK), Mobile Emulators, ISOs of the build from Tech Bench and Media Creation Tool - is moved to Windows Update. The old links which downloaded the updated build now lead to resources related to the older Windows 10 RTM build 10240.
Windows 10 build 10586This means you cannot download official ISO images of Windows 10 Version 1511, you cannot download the updated Media Creation Tool which supports build 10586. The only option you have now is to download and install Windows 10 RTM build 10240 and then use Windows Update to upgrade it to Windows 10 build 10586. We feel this only makes things inconvenient for Windows customers and cannot understand why Microsoft would do this.

Microsoft claimed the following:

The November 2015 update was originally available via the MCT (Media Creation Tool), but the company decided that future installs should be through Windows Update. People can still download Windows 10 [Build 10240] using the Media Creation Tool if they wish. The November update will be delivered via Windows Update.

Microsoft has not pulled the Windows 10 November 10 update. The company is rolling out the November update over time – if you don’t see it on Windows Update, you will see it soon.

There is something definitely wrong with this company. I see no reason to make everyone use Windows Update to download TH2. It also means the November update will have to be downloaded individually on every PC running Windows 10. A single, updated ISO cannot be used to update multiple PCs. Also, without Windows 10 build 10586, you will lose the ability to activate the OS with your Windows 7 or Windows 8 key. Windows 10 RTM users will end up wasting a lot of time and disk space with an additional upgrade which could have been bypassed earlier.

It might be that Microsoft discovered a major regression or bug in TH2 final build or it might be that they are tracking downloads/installations of the RTM build and therefore want to continue making everyone download the RTM build. Nevertheless, pulling the updated files after making them available without any transparency or explanation provided to customers looks very unprofessional.

Update: Microsoft has restored all downloads with an updated build, Windows 10 build 10586.14. Microsoft explained that the previous release had a bug. More details here: Windows 10 build 10586.14 available, all downloads are restored.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

19 thoughts on “Windows 10 Version 1511 now is a Windows Update exclusive”

  1. There is not something wrong with this company. The problem is that everything is wrong with this company.
    First those compulsory BUGGY SHITTY UPDATES.
    Then this one.
    May Lord save Microsoft.

  2. What a mess… Luckily I saved the direct link to the TH2 Media Creation Tool:
    TH1 64 Bit is:
    TH1 32 Bit is here:

  3. ESD direct links:

    via Media Creation Tool XML:

  4. I’m really glad I already have the ISO for RTM 1151. However if they continue this policy it will be a real pain for future releases.

    Hopefully we’ll be able to create updated ISOs from ESD update files like with the “unofficial” Insider Build releases.

    I’m actually a MS supporter and think people bash the company unjustly most of the time. But this policy is really pissing me off. It’s BS.

  5. You can still download 1511 from Tech Bench using a little hack.

    1. Create a bookmark with the location:

    javascript:var _0x5c09=[“product-edition”,”getElementById”,”innerHTML”,”Select editionWindows 10Windows 10 NWindows 10 KNWindows 10 Single LanguageWindows 10 (1511)Windows 10 N (1511)Windows 10 KN (1511)Windows 10 Single Language (1511)”],_0x1d62=[_0x5c09[0],_0x5c09[1],_0x5c09[2],_0x5c09[3],_0x5c09[4],_0x5c09[5],_0x5c09[6],_0x5c09[7],_0x5c09[8],_0x5c09[9],_0x5c09[10]],edititonbox=document[_0x1d62[1]](_0x1d62[0]);edititonbox[_0x1d62[2]]=_0x1d62[3],edititonbox[_0x1d62[5]][_0x1d62[4]]=_0x1d62[6],edititonbox[_0x1d62[5]][_0x1d62[7]]=_0x1d62[8],edititonbox[_0x1d62[5]][_0x1d62[9]]=_0x1d62[10],document[_0x1d62[1]](_0x1d62[11])[_0x1d62[2]]=_0x1d62[12],console[_0x5c09[14]](_0x5c09[13]);

    2. Go to Tech Bench web page and click the bookmark.
    3. Now the 1511 builds can be downloaded.

  6. I sometimes think that microsoft should employ outside people to do “common sense” tests on everything before descisions get made.

  7. I got the new MediaCreationTool.exe on Nov 19, 2015 and had no trouble creating ISO files, and I created a virtual machine from scratch. I executed MediaCreationTool on a qualified machine, it asked me whether I wanted to update this machine, or create media for another machine. Full Choice. The iso is home+pro.
    I don’t remember on what page I found it.

  8. I actually had problems on 1 machine that got the 1511 update: it could not create new users. I believed that Users/Default be corrupt and deleted it and updated again and it worked (with a lot of disk backup and restore). It seems Microsoft retired the 1511 update altogether, not just its MediaCreationTool.exe.

  9. “Nevertheless, pulling the updated files after making them available without any transparency or explanation provided to customers looks very unprofessional.”

    Hah, subjectively allowing the comments to posts you want to answer, and blocking the ones you don’t, that is “professional?” People in glass houses should not throw stones… I hate to break it to you, but I don’t think this site is going to win a professionalism award anytime soon.

    Good thing I don’t see any of the ads…

    1. I am not blocking comments. Heard about pre-moderation? Every second site in the Internet does this.
      Yes, it is professional.
      It is very effective against people who leave comments like just “f@ck you” and against spam.
      You can think anything you want. Nobody here tries to change your mind. You might like or don’t like this site, me or Microsoft. It is your right.

  10. For sure the fact that it’s now Windows Update only is a big concern, obviously for the download and install time, and this for each PC you have to upgrade. When it actually works… because sometimes it doesn’t. Like, at all.
    But as I already have downloaded the ISO (is it still usable at least ?), my biggest concern for now and what may restrain people from upgrading -when they can defer it…- is that it auto uninstalls software you have without notifying you before you start it, for, huh, them not to “disturb the installation processes”… then claims “your files are exactly the same” (oh, really ? lol). So what about W7 minesweeper (then prevented forever to be re-installed… too hazardous for upgrading, i suppose), Visual Studio 2013 (oh dear, a pretty recent Microsoft product that may be interfering with the update, how come ?!), CCleaner, CPU-Z, among many others, or worse, some hardware drivers ? As far as i know there is no official list about what should stay and what should not.
    I’m fine with a pre-1511 win 10 for now but not sure this will last forever. Soon or later i’ll have to jump into the unknown. Even with a disk image done right before the upgrade, this may hurt.
    Not tested, but i know stuff that can remove items from the add/remove programs list without actually uninstalling them (E.g. Add/remove software from Intelliadmin), i wonder if this would make software go “undetected” and therefore, not removed ?

  11. Looks like with the release of the Cumulative update on 11/24/2015 that Microsoft has done a U turn on this and that the latest ISO is again available via the Media Creation Tool. They are saying the reason it was pulled in the first place was that 10586 was changing privacy settings during install, but that the 11/24 update fixed that issue so that’s why it’s back.

    Sounds like when they found out 10586 was changing privacy settings they freaked out a bit and pulled the update in their panic. Understandable considering the crap storm they would have gotten if the press had found out about this issue. They are already having enough bad press with Windows 10 privacy as it is.

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