This is my second attempt at upgrading my Windows 7 Ultimate OS to Windows 8.1. Why Windows 8.1? It’s usable or so I’m led to believe after working on Windows Server 2012 R2. They’re the same right? Well, at least Windows Server 2012 R2 is “usable”. Dudes what were you thinking when you put the Metro interface on a server? Do you know how frustrating it is to have to RDP to a remote server and hover around corners waiting for the same-old – same-old to show up in a different spot? What “genius” product manager had the arrogance to force something like that on IT professionals? Did we really need a smart phone’s touch interface on a server? So you’re trying to be Apple and hoping to sell phones with a clearly annoying interface. I buy that but why force it on “mouse-enabled” computers? You already had the crappy Metro interface on Windows 8 RT. Leave it there, but I digress. Later, we will find out exactly what is behind the curtain.
I have a retail copy of Windows 8.0 Professional Upgrade. This version was the only one available to me at the time the OS was first made available. It was an upgrade from Window 7 to 8.
The opportunity came about strangely enough through a misfortune on my part. I had turned off my computer for the day on Friday, awoke on Saturday to find the dreaded slowness and an offer to run chkdsk. Fortunately on my desktop computer I have the option to boot from the BIOS into 3 operating systems on separate hard disks. That saved the day. I have Seagate drives so I downloaded the Seagate Disk Tools for DOS (Windows Version) and confirmed the hard disk failed what the S.M.A.R.T tests revealed – R.I.P. I ran off to Fry’s Electronics and found a replacement 500GB drive. Why not a 2 or 3TB drive? Where do you back up a 2 or 3 TB disk to? You get the point.
Let’s get started. Pop the upgrade DVD into the drive. Spin, spin, spin. Analyzing and a message appears in a web page that lists all of the programs that Windows 8 wants you to remove. Any you have to remove them or it won’t continue. Cancel.
Remove a list of stuff that Windows 8 doesn’t like – about 50% of it I found that I had forgotten about or I didn’t like either.
Pop the upgrade DVD in and begin again. Spinning, spinning, spinning.
The installer performs the check for errant software…clean. Continue.
Installer checks to see if you want to download the latest updates. Why not…?
Installer wants the product key found on the card in the box.
Do you want to keep your apps? Yes, the default.
Are you ready to install? Are you sure you’re sure? Yes. Spin, spin, spin.
Oops, Mr. installer found that it didn’t like my Inter USB Extensible Host Control Driver. The Uninstall button on the error reporting page is non-functional. Click Cancel. restart into Windows 7, again and uninstall the USB driver. Then restart into the upgrade DVD. But no, the upgrade DVD is not bootable. Reboot to Windows 7 and pop in the DVD – at least it’s auto run. Answer all the questions as I answered the previous time and we’re back here. Continue.
After an initial setup step to install a mini feature to enable the installer to continue automatically while the installer performs some soft boots that lie ahead, it continues aggressively reading the DVD. Stop!
Reboot – “Preparing…”
Reboot – “Getting devices ready…”
Reboot – “Getting ready …”
Reboot – reading DVD…”Moving my settings…”
Personalize desktop color, user preferences.
Logon to Windows. Here’s where it wants an email address to use as a logon credential but it really wants to set you up to use the Microsoft store. Nope use my Windows Logon.
We’re getting things ready…
We’re getting things ready…
I’m logged in and I need to update Windows. Found 108 updates and only 3 optional ones. Installing. Need to reboot. Rebooting. Configuring Windows – don’t turn off your PC.
We’re ready to start – a beautiful picture of Seattle’s Space Needle. What to do? Ok, move the mouse. Click somewhere. Click to Logon.
OK, back to Control Panel – Windows Updates has found 95 important updates and 4 optional ones. Let’s Download and Install…
Reboot – Configuring updates. Don’t turn off your PC.
This happens one more time after a reboot. It was only 1 important update.
Finally, I’m logged in. But what to do? Windows 8 is unusable with a mouse-based computer.
Let’s visit the Microsoft Store to download and upgrade to Windows 8.1. It’s free!!!
I download 3.6GB. Windows starts the upgrade and asks for a reboot.
Restart – “Getting devices ready…” “Getting ready…” “Applying PC settings…”
Reboot – “Setting up a few more things…”
Reboot – accept license terms. Is this Express or Detailed? I choose Detailed.
Customize the Firewall, Keep Google as the search engine. Do not let apps advertise my picture and name. Do not let apps use my picture and name. Do not let Windows apps request my location. In a moment of weakness, I let Windows send info to Microsoft when Defender is on.
Again, it wants you to use an email address for logon but you can skip this by entering spaces and then it continues to use my old Windows account.
Now it connects to the Microsoft Store and begins downloading apps.
Installing apps. “Taking care of a few things…”
“Lets start” I’m logged in. But I’m fatigued and turn off the computer. I might add that this entire saga took 2 evenings to accomplish.
Next time I start up my computer to the default boot device (Windows 7), I get CHKDSK asking to run against the other disk drives that were online during the upgrade. What’s up with that. I then realize that the kind, beneficent Windows 8.1 wants to mess with whatever is connected to your computer.
That’s it. I move the hard disk to another desktop and decide to experiment with it there. I’m not about to have a crap OS mess with my important stuff.
Word to the wise. Windows 8.1 is just a new shell over Windows 7. As I mentioned. Want an OS for a smart phone and tablet? Use Windows 8.1 RT. Otherwise don’t bother to put it on any desk top that uses a mouse.
This posting is provided “as is” with no warranties, guarantees or rights whatsoever.