If you feel like a Windows 8 upgrade, now is the time to do it. Microsoft have a special offer running until January 31st 2013 whereby you can upgrade your system for only £24.99. After this date the prices increases.
Windows 8 Upgrade
Visit http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/buy and click on the download button. This will launch the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant.
Note – ensure you have a backup of your system BEFORE you start in case you need to re-instate your current version and data!
The first thing is the Assistant will do is to check the compatibility of your hardware and software. Depending upon this report you can choose to continue or abort the upgrade at this point. Assuming you wish to continue, you will then be prompted for the usual credit card details etc. Once this is cleared, you will be issued with your Windows 8 serial number or product key. I recommend you make a note of this, although you will receive an email with the key.
Next the download will start. This is approximately 2Gb so allow enough time for this. Once the file is downloaded, it will be verified to ensure it is not damaged.
The main installation will now start. The first option you will get is to:
- Install now
- Install by creating media
- Install later from your desktop
I recommend creating media just in case there are problems. Choose “Install by creating media” and click next. You can choose to use a USB flash drive or create and ISO image to be burnt to DVD later. I choose the ISO option and then burnt the DVD.
All we do now is to insert the DVD and allow Autorun to start. If you have Autorun disabled, then open the DVD and launch the file called “setup.exe”
After a few seconds, you will see a pop-up for Windows 8 as the installer starts preparing for the upgrade.
The first option you get is to choose if you want to go online to install updates to make the installation smoother. Having experienced a very had incident of doing this with a Windows server install recently, I choose not to. The updates will be downloaded and installed later as part of the normal Windows Update process.
You will now be prompted to enter the product key. Once this is validated (you will need a working Internet connection) you can click the next button. Accept the Licence agreement and you now need to decide what you want to keep:
- Keep Windows settings, personal files and applications
- Keep personal files
I choose the first option as this is a working computer and I need all of the information and applications on it.
The next stage appears to carry out the same checks as the initial assessment – essentially checking the machine and applications are going to work OK. Any software that is not compatible must now be uninstalled before you can proceed. In the case of this Laptop, this meant uninstalling the Bluetooth Win7 Suite and the Digital Fingerprint Software. The process is easy, as against each incompatible application is an uninstall button.
Once these have been removed, you can hit the Refresh button and check again. Once the listed applications have been removed you will probably need to restart the computer before you can continue the Windows 8 Upgrade. Remember to remove the DVD when you reboot.
After the reboot you have the option to continue where you left off or start again at the beginning. Insert the DVD back into the drive and “Continue from where I left off”
The Application check is repeated once again to ensure that nothing will stop the installation. This time the Assistant reports that you are ready to install, and confirms the setting you made earlier. In this case it was to install Windows 8 Pro and to keep all Windows settings, personal files and applications. Select “Install”. Expect several reboots as is the norm with installing a Microsoft operating system.
Once the progress indicator reaches 100%, we are getting near the end of the Windows 8 upgrade. Following this reboot, we see the first signs of Windows 8 as it attempts to detect all the hardware and install the necessary drivers.
Another reboot and Windows 8 moves your settings into the new system. This is the scary part as you don’t want to loose any information.
Now you get the chance to personalise the system. Remember these settings can always be changed later. 1st choice is the colour, I left it at the default of Blue. Next up is the “Settings” options, again accept the default to use Express settings as you can change them later. Next you will be prompted for your password, enter it and choose “Next”. Finally you can choose to enter your email address associated with a Microsoft account, or skip this and use your old username and password. As this is a business machine, we do not want to use the Microsoft login details, so I choose “Skip”.
Finally a working desktop. Now is the time to explore the new interface and find out where all of your applications have gone.
See the next blog if you wish to install Media Centre.