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Windows 7: Win8 upgrade experience

15 Jun 2014   #1
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 
Win8 upgrade experience

I am just about finished updrading to Win8 on my machine. Yes updrading!

I started with a Win8 VUP version (don't ask me, it was a gift - thanks - you know who you are)

The plan was to create install media from the download, create a VHD and boot Win8 from there.

After creating burning the media to disc, I started the install. Hmmmm, not the "normal" setup I was used to, better cancel and check EightForums tutorial sections.

Aha! That's what I was expecting, but not seeing. Turns out that the Win8 VUP is an ESD-ISO and the tutorial explained the steps necessary - even better.... it explained how to merge 8.1 (I think).

I thought about following the instructions, but decided to backup my data, create a system image and just install Win8 - see what it does. Would it give me the chance to install on the VHD and dual boot?

Nope, it updraded Win7. I cleaned up the c:\ drive and optimized it (defrag), then I ran Windows Update until the offers were exhausted. Another round of optimizing and a few hours of playing with Win8.

I actually liked Win8 - go figure! There were so many discussions about the new GUI that made it sound terrible, I was curious. Turns out that all the hoopla about the start menu was overblown much the way news exaggerates a storm. "hurricane threatens thousands of people on isolated island" and when the storm passes without causality? "thousands of islanders narrowly escape disaster from killer hurricane"

Windows booted up to the Start menu (errrr start screen) and I could hit the Desktop icon or the WinKey to see the desktop. No big deal really. The tiles bugged me until I figured out hot to resize them and arrange them to my person preferences. Of course, when I was on the Desktop, my mouse kept going to the lower left hand corner out of habit. Learning the four corners in Win8 took a while - habits....

The thing I disliked most is Internet Explorer launched from the Start Screen / menu. The UI was designed for the tablet mindset, you have to use the < and > to switch "tabs". I personally don't like that user input method, it drives me nuts on the tablet I got back in Feb....

The thing I disliked second most are ribbons everywhere. I never liked them in apps until I learned how to use the Quick Access bar to hold the icons I used most. Still playing with a new system, I began personalizing my apps with Quick Access Bars. Then I decided to work on making the taskbar on the desktop another way to increase the ease of use during the transition.

At this point, Win8 is set up on my machine, Start has all the apps I regularly use nicely arranged, the ribbons have been minimized and "replaced" with Quick Access Bars, my taskbar on the Desktop is functional and still tidy. I've uninstalled the apps that I will probably never use (news and weather I get every morning, I don't know or care to discover what reading list might be...).

One thing really bugged me was using Disk Cleanup just before applying Win8.1 - the Windows Cleanup component seemed to hang, so I killed it after 2 hours of no progress bar movement. Restarting the machine went into Configuring Windows update - about another two hours and I forced it down. I started the machine back up and tried Disk Cleanup again - went to bed and it was done 8 hours later.

I suspect that .Net was causing Disk Cleanup to appear hung. That always takes a long time to configure under normal circumstances.

The disk is optimized, now it's time to get and apply 8.1. This took a while, more than I expected. Apparently Win8.1 is not really an update, but more of an upgrade to a new version. When all was said and done there were two folders on my c: drive (BT~1..... and windows.old) and Win8.1 was installed.

I logged in (oops signed in) and saw that there are definite improvements in the GUI. First, windows determined that my machine would benefit from the Desktop GUI. This made Win8.1 more it's predecessors (Desktop, click start - not Start click desktop). I pressed the Winkey and nothing happened (I really liked that feature too!). It seemed easier to find settings and there I discovered an option to use the WinKey to switch between Desktop and Start. Sheesh.... I thought I had this puppy all setup the way I wanted it. But..... Win8.1 did one other thing - all of my customizations were GONE!

Since I had to personalize the machine again (and learn the 8.1 way) I also cleaned up and optimized the system drive (poor thing never worked so hard in such a short time)

I missed not having games installed so I could take a break while the machine was doing something else. I decided to find out what the Windows Store had to offer - another disappointment for me. All I wanted were the cheap standard games - all I found were nice graphics versions. C'est la vie!
The thing that bugged me was that I had to give them some form of ID to get the games, either my MS account or my local login password. Really? I can't just download the free game? You know that my personal information is worth $900 don't you, so they're not really free games or apps are they. The way of the future I guess.

There were some frustrating times during the updrade and some disappointments in where things are headed with the Store model (not only MS, but MS and Google) and some outright anger about having to personalize my machine twice.

All in all, I think Win8 is gr8
The Desktop is familiar, the Start screen just needs to be accepted, and there are some nice new features. When I told my friend that I had taken the plunge, he came up with a good analogy.

Windows replaced Dos, but you could still access Dos.
Now the newer GUI replaced Windows, but Windows and Dos and still accessible from the Start Screen

I should have just followed the tutorial


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Jun 2014   #2
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

In the same boat,
But have not acted because of my confusion of the tutorial and multiple options,
Personally I don't see this win-8 ios downloading to the desktop as a zip from Microsoft,
The work around to use 7-zip to access the ios makes more sense to update 8 to 8.1 but alias I do not want to upgrade win-7 at all,
win-8/ 8.1 is only a toy to play with/ tweak in my own special way
Cheers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2014   #3
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

DavidW7incus had a post that described his experience, I lost the link and was too busy updrading to look for it.

After upgrading to Win8, it seems to make more sense to dual boot to 7 from 8. That's next! I have a few things I need to determine about VHDs (on a USB 3.0 GPT drive or place it on a partition on a logical drive) - either way, it's not the best scenario to run an OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

15 Jun 2014   #4
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

I installed as a dual boot, partitioned my SSD and installed 8 on the second partition. I ran all updates straight away and upgraded to 8.1 straight after that so I had the absolute minimal interaction with 8. I bought Start8 and now my 8 desktop looks like my 7 desktop minus the Aero and F-Secure. I've got a dedicated 2TB HDD for 8.1 so I can install games and programs without affecting my SSD, in fact it's virtually a mirror of my 7 install.

The Start screen does nothing for me whatsoever, I don't really do apps so I have no need to go there. I bought a copy of Office 2013 for 9 through the HUP and installed that, so my Outlook account is tied into that while my ISP email account is in Office 2010 on Windows 7. It's a bit like a Jekyll & Hyde install, I can boot where I want depending on what mood I'm in.

I'm glad I set things up the way I did, I wanted to learn more about 8 but there was no way in hell I was surrendering my 7 install, the best installation I've had in years. This is how I'd recommend going about 8/8.1 if people are interested, I was an 8 hater but now I find myself booting into it more frequently. Mainly to learn about it but the intention is there to mirror my 7 setup, enquiring minds want to know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2014   #5
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Love to see it Gav,
I'm lost on this stuff these are the tut's I've been reading,
This first one is unbelieveable windows would offer a win-8 download as zip or saving it to desktop is going to do anything but replace your current os mine being win-7,
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/18309-windows-8-windows-8-1-iso-download-create.html
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/13375-clean-install-windows-8-upgrade.html
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2344-dual-boot-installation-windows-8-windows-7-vista-33.html
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2014   #6
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Slartybart View Post
DavidW7incus had a post that described his experience, I lost the link and was too busy updrading to look for it.

After upgrading to Win8, it seems to make more sense to dual boot to 7 from 8. That's next! I have a few things I need to determine about VHDs (on a USB 3.0 GPT drive or place it on a partition on a logical drive) - either way, it's not the best scenario to run an OS.
I had a problem where the update from 8 to 8.1 would error out at the very end of the process.
From what I read later, it can be a problem if there is a windows.old folder.
I reinstalled 8 and did not have the windows.old folder the 2nd time.
Then the 8 to 8.1 update worked.

I'm using Classic Shell for Windows (free) and have it looking and working pretty much the same as my Win 7 setup.

The thing I dislike most about W8 is the Inactive windows borders - they are very difficult for me to see the edge of windows...Others have complained about this, so I know it's not just me...

I didn't like some of the things they changed with Windows Defender, no tray icon, fewer settings, ...
I installed Avast yesterday.

I'm thinking I might prefer to run W8 in a VM with W7 as the host.
Not sure if my hardware is up for it, but I might try that sometime.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2014   #7
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ThrashZone View Post
Love to see it Gav,
I'm lost on this stuff these are the tut's I've been reading,
This first one is unbelieveable windows would offer a win-8 download as zip or saving it to desktop is going to do anything but replace your current os mine being win-7,
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/18309-windows-8-windows-8-1-iso-download-create.html
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/13375-clean-install-windows-8-upgrade.html
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2344-dual-boot-installation-windows-8-windows-7-vista-33.html
Mike, go here to download the ISO creator you need.

Win8 upgrade experience-capture.jpg

Once it's saved you'll end up with a Windows8-setup file.

Win8 upgrade experience-capture-2.jpg

Click on that to run the ISO creator.

Note   Note
When it runs you'll see the Windows 8 logo flash up, don't panic as it does nothing to your 7 install at all.


You'll end up at this screen.

Win8 upgrade experience-capture-3.jpg

Choose the 'Create media' option and you'll be able to create a bootable USB to install wherever you like. Here's how mine ended up, the 'J: New Volume' is actually the second partition on my SSD (C: Windows 7 is the other partition), when I boot into 8.1 that drive then becomes C:. Confusing at face value but it's all pretty self explanatory when you've done it.

Win8 upgrade experience-capture-4.jpg

When 8 is installed, run all rounds of updates as you would in Windows 7. Then go to the Start screen, click on the Store app and you'll see the 'Upgrade to 8.1', you can't miss it as it's massive and dominates the screen. Run that update then when 8.1 is installed run all rounds of updates again to get the 8.1 Update (8.1.1 or whatever it's called).

Job done.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2014   #8
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

Thanks David, I was going to try and find the post you made - saved me from looking for it.

The tuts on Win8 were written by some guy named Brink and they are very good as usual. I took the long road just for experience.

Clean Install - Windows 8

Clean Install with Windows 8 Upgrade

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create
Read Option Three a few times.

AS it is now, I can go back to and forth between 7 & 8 any time in about half an hour using images. But I'm probably going to stay with Win8. There are some performance improvements and some interesting features like

Storage Spaces (poor man's raid?)
File History (better Restore points?)
Work Folders (sounds like magic to me - access your files and devices even when offline)

Besides, Win8 is Pro, Win7 is HomePrem.

Explorer isn't very different at all once you get past the ribbons.

This is my Start menu... for now


Attached Thumbnails
Win8 upgrade experience-win8-start_b.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2014   #9
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Thanks Gav I posted to Brink and he cleared up one point as you pointed out again
Downloading now,
Creating media in about 10 minutes
Cheers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2014   #10
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

You're welcome Mike.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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