Monday, 22 October 2012

Win8Pro Ugrade - what home users need to know.

Thinking of upgrading on Friday 26th October?  Here are a few pointers that may help.

Why upgrade?  There are a couple of reasons why you might choose to upgrade.
- Your current Windows Operating System is ancient and you really need to refresh your computer.
- You like the new Metro style  (sorry - not allowed to call it that anymore) or "Windows 8-style UI"
- You want to cut in half your computer's boot time (Windows 8 uses a new hybrid-hibernation startup)
- You like collecting Windows Operating Systems

Cost of upgrade. Microsoft are quite keen for people to upgrade. No surprise there.  Until the beginning of 2013 the upgrade cost is low.  For downloads its £15 if you have a new PC (since June 2012) and before that, assuming you have a valid XP SP3, Vista, or Windows7 license, its £25

£15 Win8Pro Upgrade.  Register your interest NOW for this upgrade.  Click the link

£25 Win8Pro Upgrade.  You'll have to wait until Friday for the download.  Alternatively you can order a DVD (NB. -15% if you go through

On Friday, when you run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant and identify to it a qualifying existing Operating System (XP SP3, Vista or Windows 7) - and pay your £15 or £25 - you should download the Win8Pro Upgrade as an ISO and burn it to USB or DVD.  This will enable you to do the upgrade in your own time and save you from having to perform multiple downloads should you wish to upgrade more than one client.

You can upgrade ANY Windows installation.  What does this mean?  If you bought the £15 upgrade you do not have to upgrade your new PC.  But if you have another, older, installation, you can upgrade that instead.

Simple rule:  One Win8Pro Upgrade is required per qualifying existing Windows installation.
e.g. if you have a triple-boot PC with XP SP3, Vista and Windows 7 and you wish to upgrade all 3, then you would need to buy 3 upgrade licenses.
** "qualifying existing Windows installation" is a partition with XP SP3, Vista or Windows 7 installed.

Can I upgrade from Windows 8 pre-release?  No you cannot.  You can only upgrade a partition that is installed with XP SP3, Vista or Windows 7.

Can I perform a clean installation of Win8Pro using the Upgrade?  Yes, as follows:-
1. Purchase your upgrade.
2. Install your upgrade (saving personnal data as required and making a note of installed applications as required).
3. Start your computer (Win8Pro).
4. Press Windows key + i on your keyboard to show the Charms bar (If you are using a touchscreen: Touch the right edge of your screen and swipe your finger to the left)
5. Click Settings
6. Click Change PC settings
7. Click General in the left column
8. Under Remove everything and reinstall Windows, click Get started
9. Follow the instructions that will be provided on the screen to reinstall Windows on your PC. 

At this point it may be worth doing a full backup.

Backing up your new Win8Pro installation
Whether you back up after the upgrade or after the clean install is up to you.  Follow the instructions at this link
(references Windows 7, but the same principles apply to Windows 8).

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