My boyfriend bought the World of Warcraft Battle Chest, Wrath of the Lich King, & Cataclysm. He downloaded them to our previous computer, but now we have a new one and when he took out the first disk from the battle chest he severely scratched it. Anyway, I tried putting in disk #2, and it said I couldn't do it without disk 1 (which is scratched!).

I've recently put in Wrath of the Lich King (it came with 2 CDs), and it said that I haven't downloaded the original and asked me if I wanted to downloaded. I clicked "yes" -- does that mean its downloading WoW & The Burning Crusade? Or do we need to buy it all again?

We just bought the whole set on June of this year...


6 Answers 6


Wow and its expansions are registered to your Blizzard Battle.Net account. If you ever lose your disc, you can simply download the WoW downloader from Battle.Net's website, which will in turn download the game and the appropriate expansions.

WoW Download

  • If anyone's wondering where I got the link to all the downloaders, Blizzard sent me an email telling me that one of my accounts (a trial account) was updated to a Starter Edition account... I verified that the link was really Blizzard's before logging in.
    – user2974
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 22:02
  • On a side note, I just installed WoW this way over the weekend. The downloader downloads the Cataclysm Launcher, which then downloads the game. Be aware that your expansions may not be registered until you log in the first time, so you will have another download period after the base game is done.
    – user2974
    Commented Oct 23, 2011 at 19:51

Ever since the revamped launch of Battle.net 2.0, Blizzard keeps tracks of which games you own on your battle.net account.

Among other things, this means that even if you lose the original discs, as long as you have registered your game to battle.net (Required for WoW and Starcraft 2), you are able to digitally download the entire game from the account management page!

Here's a link: Battle.net

From the account management page (make sure you're logged in, first!) you can click on any game attached to your account - which should include up through Cataclysm in your case - to access the game's page. There's a handy button, circled below, that does exactly what you're hoping for: download the entire game, no CDs required!

enter image description here


You should be able to download any copies of World of Warcraft that you have purchased in-store or online from Battle.Net.

You first have to register your copy to your Battle.Net account by CD-key, which you can find on your CD case or in the game packaging. If you don't have an account I recommend getting one. From there you can download registered copies of your games. Downloading will be quite slow compared to installing from disk, but at least you will not have to rebuy anything you already have.

Note that you need to ensure that your account is not frozen. I did a transition to a new computer and froze my account during the transition, and I was unable to download World of Warcraft until I unfroze my account (by paying for game time). Here is what it will look like if your account is frozen:

Example of a frozen account

  • This also works with Starcraft 2, and even the old Starcraft Anthology and Diablo 2! Be sure to register your old copies in case any other CDs are damaged :)
    – Sadly Not
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 1:07
  • Bwahaha! Peer pressure wins out! Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 1:09
  • 5
    No freehand circles?
    – user2974
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 1:23
  • It also works with Warcraft III and it's expansion The Frozen Throne.
    – Xantec
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 2:15

To answer the title: No, the game is just a client. The keys are tied to your battle.net account. The game can be freely downloaded from your battle.net page.

To answer your post: Yes it is downloading WoW and BC as well.

Interesting note: If you already know someone who has already installed WoW, you can simply copy the folder over. No need to wait for the whole game to download. Or since you have installed this, zip the whole folder and back it up somewhere. Even if it is outdated, when you start the Launcher, it will auto-update the game.

  • +1 for suggesting to copy the folder. Probably much faster than downloading & installing all extensions & installing and configuring addons.
    – Julien N
    Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 17:54

What you should've done is just install Cataclysm. Cataclysm (and I think WotLK as well) DVD contains all the game data, so you don't have to install all games one after another. Especially with world changes in Cataclysm that would be highly ineffective.

What you download from the Battle.net is a unified installer as well. You can even start playing before installation has ended! And since you're installing the game from the Battle.net installer, you probably won't need to download all the patches (since Cataclysm DVD contains 4.0.3), but I am not entirely sure about that


Actually, LXj is wrong. Cataclysm will NOT work without the base game and the previous expansions, so first you need to install the base game and then all expansions up to Litch King, or Witch-king or whatever it is. AFTER, and ONLY AFTER that last expansion is installed, you can install Cataclysm AND Mists of Pandaria and then you can play.

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