Decided to upgrade 2 XP machines, a Dell D620 laptop and a Dell Optiplex 755. Upgrading the laptop could not have been easier, I decided on the upgrade due to the £25 offer from Microsoft, normally I would buy the full version and start with a freshly formatted hard disk. First things first!
1. make an image of the C drive, I used Macrium Reflect but Acronis is also good. There will be others.
2. Backup your personal files, this will make it easier if you need to get to them without having to re-image. (might be belt n braces this step)
3. Use FAST ! (Files and settings transfer). You can find this in All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Files and settings transfer wizard. Just fire up the wizard on the XP machine and select “old computer” and then follow the prompts to make a file that contains all of your settings. Save this file either on a USB drive or a network share.
4. Now download the Windows8-Upgrade Assistant from http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows-8/upgrade-to-windows-8.
5. Run the upgrade assistant and it will advise you what is compatible and what is not – it might not get details of all the programs you have installed.
6. On completion, you then have the choice to purchase the upgrade directly from a Microsoft partner(?), just enter you details and credit card number and you will then be able to download the upgrade.
7. On completion of the download, you get the choice of “upgrading now” or “upgrade later”, Upgrade now will start downloading the complete set of files needed to upgrade – took about 10mins to download with my 20Mb connection. It should then put a new icon on your desktop, which will be the upgrade-setup.exe file.
8. Click on the new icon and the upgrade starts, it will advise that all personal files will be saved but programs will have to be re-installed.
NOTE upgrading a Windows 7 machine, will give you the choice of copying the set-up.exe to a USB drive or DVD
9. The upgrade should run nice and smoothly and will take a while, probably about an hour so don’t get impatient 🙂
10. On completion you will have Windows 8 on your PC/Laptop and hopefully all your personal files will be available in “the Library” (I hate that). All your old programs and other user data will be in a new folder called “Windows.OLD”.
11. Have a play and get a feel, clicking on the “Desktop Tile” will take you to a familiar desktop view that has a Win 7 style taskbar without a “Start” button.
12. Start re-installing your favourite programs and don’t bother with stuff you don’t use.
13. Accept that it isn’t XP and that you will need to do things differently or download and install Classicshell from http://www.classicshell.net/ so you can get the “Start” button back and disable the Windows 8 start screen if you want.
I don’t regret doing the upgrade but I still prefer XP. However, I am pleasantly surprised about how good Win 8 works. Win 7 always annoys me but Win 8 is somehow different and I can’t explain why but it’s definitely better than Win 7.
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