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Analysis

Install Windows 8.1: step by step

Posted on 17 Oct 2013 at 15:28

6. You'll now be confronted with a 14-page licence agreement. "Please read this so you know what you're agreeing to", asks the text at the top. If you click "I don't agree", you'll be given the option of aborting the upgrade and rolling back to your old Windows 8 installation. If you want to finish installing Windows 8.1, you'll have to click the "I accept" button.

Windows 8.1

7. As with the original Windows 8 installer, you're now prompted to accept Express Settings. If you're eagle-eyed you might notice however that the list of settings is now longer, and includes some new behaviours that you might consider quite intrusive, such as:

Use Bing to get search suggestions and web results in Windows Search, and let Microsoft use your location and other info to personalise your experiences

In Internet Explorer, use page prediction to preload pages, which sends your browsing history to Microsoft.

Let Windows and apps use your name, account picture and advertising ID, and request your location from the Windows Location Platform.

If you don't want to go along with all this, click Customise and step through the options one by one.

Windows 8.1

8. You'll now be prompted to sign into your Microsoft account - sneakily there's no longer an overt option to use a local account, though you can do this by selecting Create new.

Windows 8.1

You'll also be asked to verify your identity by providing a security code sent to you via SMS or email (even though Windows 8 knew perfectly well who you are). Lastly, you’ll be asked to authorise SkyDrive to sync your documents. Windows then grinds along for another minute or so, behind a pulsing, multicoloured welcome screen, before the new Start screen comes up. Job done.

Windows 8.1

9. Now you're happily set up in Windows 8.1, you can reclaim some hard disk space by deleting your old Windows 8 files. To do this, search for and open the Disk Clean-up tool, select the C: drive and click the "Clean up system files button".

Under "Previous Windows Installation(s)" you should see several gigabytes of data than can be safely deleted. If you want to confirm exactly what will be deleted, browse the C:Windows.old folder to see for yourself what Windows has determined is no longer needed.

Author: Darien Graham-Smith

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User comments

I believe you can avoid the MS account prompt by disconnecting from the internet.

By tech3475 on 17 Oct 2013

2 factor

the 2 factor authentication is pretty standard when you first log in on a new device.

As this is a new version of Windows, the key that it had is probably invalid, which is why it is requesting to verify your identity.

Generally a good thing, I would have thought.

By big_D on 17 Oct 2013

Nope

Not if, like me, your laptop has a small HD and so you used an external HD to take the Win 8 image. Only now do you discover that you have been running Windows 8 To Go, and are lockewd out of the Windows Store. If I install XP again and upgrade I may not be able to use my key, so it will cost. And Tech support just kill the chat when I ask, rather than even saying 'goodbye', let alone answering the question. I am sooo glad we put a tax on tea.

By ntuson6 on 17 Oct 2013

How about user profiles?

If the Windows 8 machine belongs to a Active Directory Domain, do the user profiles get migrated as part of the 8.1 upgrade or does the machine have to rejoin the domain?

By Neilski on 18 Oct 2013

Gotcha!

The two factor authentication is weird. I elected to have my confirmations sent by email. Later it demanded I entered the confirmation number emailed to me - before login! Since I could not see my emails at this stage I had to hit the "I can't do this at this time" link. This logged me in right away without the number. I then checked my email and sure enough there is the number, but no indication of what to do with it. So it's now stuck on a postit on my monitor in case it demands it again!

After the upgrade my heart sank as MediaPortal refused even to load - fortunately a quick web search revealed they'd already updated - the benefit of open source I guess!

Next I found my Behringer USB sound card had been kicked out of Device Manager. Several attempts at automatic fixes failed, but eventually I got it back by downloading an (aged, certainly not 8.1 aware) driver from the Behringer site.

By JohnAHind on 18 Oct 2013

W8.1 messed up trackpad & Power Shell

After upgrading, the trackpad on my Dell XPS13 (a new driver came with W8.1) had only basic functions (no right-click, no two-finger scroll) and I had to download the original driver from the Dell website. The Windows Power Shell (which provides a proper "Start" button and menu needed re-installing, too.
I have not yet figured out how to reclaim Libraries and original Sky Drive functionality.
I still hate Windows 8, W8.1 is no better and wish that I had got W7 on the laptop. Why has Microsoft foisted this useless "Metro" interface on users? The W7 interface is far superior and much easier to use on anything bigger than a postage-stamp sized display.!

By dwrobinson on 18 Oct 2013

W8.1 messed up trackpad & Power Shell

After upgrading, the trackpad on my Dell XPS13 (a new driver came with W8.1) had only basic functions (no right-click, no two-finger scroll) and I had to download the original driver from the Dell website. The Windows Power Shell (which provides a proper "Start" button and menu needed re-installing, too.
I have not yet figured out how to reclaim Libraries and original Sky Drive functionality.
I still hate Windows 8, W8.1 is no better and wish that I had got W7 on the laptop. Why has Microsoft foisted this useless "Metro" interface on users? The W7 interface is far superior and much easier to use on anything bigger than a postage-stamp sized display.!

By dwrobinson on 18 Oct 2013

W8.1 messed up trackpad & Power Shell

After upgrading, the trackpad on my Dell XPS13 (a new driver came with W8.1) had only basic functions (no right-click, no two-finger scroll) and I had to download the original driver from the Dell website. The Windows Power Shell (which provides a proper "Start" button and menu needed re-installing, too.
I have not yet figured out how to reclaim Libraries and original Sky Drive functionality.
I still hate Windows 8, W8.1 is no better and wish that I had got W7 on the laptop. Why has Microsoft foisted this useless "Metro" interface on users? The W7 interface is far superior and much easier to use on anything bigger than a postage-stamp sized display.!

By dwrobinson on 18 Oct 2013

update fails

I tried several times yesterday,including disabling all non-MS services and everything else (via msconfig) that starts up. It fails before the license agreement and restores back to Win8. Hugely disappointing

By raybarclay on 18 Oct 2013

Trails of 8.1

It took about 12 hours to download and install. Several problems followed.I now need to use a password to log 0n. I would like to avoid that but the help file dose not help

By Neil_S on 19 Oct 2013

update fails- Updated

Got there in the end by also disabling anything not absolutely necessary in Device manager and in the BIOS. Once working, re-enabling in large chunks gave Blue Screen start ups so I'm slowly working back to a fully functioning system.

By raybarclay on 19 Oct 2013

Bumpy upgrade

My Yoga 13 got stuck at 79% at the final setup. Still at 79% 7h later so had to power off. Windows then started to roll back but after re-booting got stuck in a loop! Used the recovery options to repair. Cleaned up old install and removed Avast a few other things I thought may have caused issues and tried again. This time it worked but lots of problems such as no touchpad and missing drivers. After many hours I now have the Yoga back to normal with Windows 8.1 installed and only have one remaining issue, the touchpad two finger tap for a right click will not work. I have even tried the Yoga 2 Pro 8.1 Synaptics driver with no joy. Maybe Microsoft is giving the two fingers to Synaptics!

By bernardm3 on 19 Oct 2013

watch out if you have amd graphics card!

So, well done to microsoft for wasting 3 hours of my day. Looks like if you have an amd graphics card the installation can leave you with a black screen because of an incompatibility with the win8 amd driver and win8.1. If you have this issue, follow the directions given by 'Adel' in the comments section of the link below. Good luck.
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-8-1-Install
ation-Fails-with-Blank-Black-Screen-392346.shtml

By spideryman on 19 Oct 2013

Start Screen Nuisance

Downloaded in 1 - 1.5 hours (using a wired connection to my router) and installed OK after another 1 hour. I had to do another restart to get my PC to communicate with my printer.

The small start screen tiles are great; I can fit all of my tiles in one screen, without scrolling, but only if I have fewer groups as it seems you have to have 4 columns in each group.

Also annoying that the IE icon appeared back on the task bar. Don't MS realise that if it wasn't there I don't want it.

By Bushy2006 on 20 Oct 2013

Upgrades

Over 12 hours to download the upgrade and a further hour to install (on a standard PC - C2D E6600). The PC will now no longer download Office 2013 updates or any other for that matter.
Upgraded a Surface RT without issue, other than the time it took - similar to the PC.
Tried to upgrade a Surface Pro, it just failed and rolled itself back (about halfway through the install process), similar time issues.
All 3 devices upgraded individually, not at the same time.
Most likely our BT Internet speed here in the centre of Norwich! Glad we are not based in the middle of nowhere!
Just beginning to think that Win 8 has some merits, but am not ready to change my main PC yet - still on 7. Certainly not happy the minor upgrade done on the START button, bring it back completely please. The Metro interface is not used at all (except on the RT box)!

By skeetboy on 21 Oct 2013

Not impressed

I've got W8 on a VM on my laptop at home. The upgrade to 8.1 was straightforward enough (couldn't work out any way to avoid having to give Microsoft account details though - not sure how this would work on a computer at work).

It's an improvement on W8, certainly, but I still prefer W7.

By valeofyork on 21 Oct 2013

Cannot rollback to Win 8.0

8.1 has 4 error on start-up and machine running like a dog. I tried to repair but cannot as I do not have the original media DVD and cannot find a location for window to look at. Windows refresh tells me there are missing files but not how to find them. But most importantly I cannot roll-back to Win 8.0. I could try reinstalling Win 8.0 from DVD but really do not want to risk it.

By malmoy on 21 Oct 2013

Windows 8.1 should have called it Beta...

Upgrade seems to have gone fine. Then the problems started. Zone Alarm Firer Wall does not work. VPN Juniper Networks Connect 7 dont work on Windows 8.1 so can't work from home :-(. Tried all the fixes for 8.1 Preview for the VPN without any luck. The Pc feels sluggish even on an Intel i7 with 8GB memory.

By Meltdown on 22 Oct 2013

Windows 8.1 should have called it Beta...

Upgrade seems to have gone fine. Then the problems started. Zone Alarm Firer Wall does not work. VPN Juniper Networks Connect 7 dont work on Windows 8.1 so can't work from home :-(. Tried all the fixes for 8.1 Preview for the VPN without any luck. The Pc feels sluggish even on an Intel i7 with 8GB memory.

By Meltdown on 22 Oct 2013

download windows 8.1 for free without opening store

download windows 8.1 ISO without even opening store!! go here http://goo.gl/hMXSuA

By newandroidfan on 30 Oct 2013

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