Upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1

Upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1

Postby Certifiable » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:13 am

Regarding the Windows 8.1 Upgrade from the Windows Store:

I have had need to upgrade Windows 8 computers from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store, during the past year.
This process has failed every time I have tried it. I have tried it half a dozen times now over the past year, and it has never once worked right. It has proven to be a real dog.

Most of the time it takes its hour to run through the whole process only to get to the final leg “Setting Up 82%”, at which point the Windows 8.1 upgrade hangs with a cryptic message telling me that it cannot install Windows 8.1 at this time and to try again later. It also tells me that it set everything back to Windows 8. I have no idea why it refuses to finish the installation.

I have two unused copies of Windows 8 Upgrade lying around, and a copy of Windows 8 from DreamSpark. I haven’t been able to upgrade any of them to Windows 8.1 reliably through the Windows Store. It really bites!

The one time that it did install the Windows 8.1 Upgrade on my machine, it trashed the machine. ALL of the Microsoft Apps on the Metro Screen started hanging whenever I loaded them. Again, it was a totally unpleasant and unacceptable situation. After two weeks of misery, I copied all of my data off the machine and did a clean install of Windows 8.1 from a copy of Windows 8.1 that I got from Dreamspark.

I have found that the only reliable and safe way to get Windows 8.1 onto my machines is to do a clean install of Windows 8.1 from a Windows 8.1 disk. I have never once gotten the free Windows 8.1 Upgrade from the Windows Store to install and work properly. It’s a dead end every time.

In contrast, the upgrade from Windows XP Home to Windows 8 32-bit that I did a couple of years ago went flawlessly. I just wish that their flagship upgrade from 8 to 8.1 would actually work. The biggest drawback to Windows 8 has been the fact that it cannot be reliably upgraded to Windows 8.1. At worst, the Windows 8.1 Upgrade fails; and at best, it trashes the Microsoft Apps on the Metro Start Screen. You can’t imagine my disappointment, and I’m one of the few people on the planet who actually likes and prefers Windows 8.

It also bugs me how a computer that is running Windows 8 just fine isn’t guaranteed to work right with Windows 8.1. I have run into that situation a couple of times also. Windows 8.1 seems to require a higher quality graphics card than Windows 8 did, among other things. These machines meet the requirements for running Windows 8, but the Upgrade indicates that the same machine doesn’t meet the requirements for Windows 8.1. Go figure!

Of course, I really like Windows 8.1. Just install Classic Shell in order to get the Start Button back, and then use the new navigation feature to make Windows 8.1 boot straight to the desktop, and then Windows 8.1 is basically Windows 7 on steroids. There’s nothing wrong with it. Pin the one or two Windows Store apps that you actually use to the taskbar, and you can reside in the Desktop the whole time, and everything works just fine. For me, the obstacle has been finding a way to get Windows 8 to upgrade to Windows 8.1 without completely destroying the machine and without resorting to a clean install of Windows 8.1. I haven’t found a way around this obstacle, and I probably never will. The solution is to just do a clean install of Windows 8.1, and then it’s smooth sailing from there on-out.

Obviously, I’m writing about this because I ran into the situation once again during this past week. What I ended up doing, of course, is to install the copy of Windows 8.1 that I got from Dreamspark onto my new machine. The installation went fine, as usual. This time around I did the Update Installation over the top of Windows 8 instead of a Full Install, but the result was the same. I finally got Windows 8.1 onto my machine.

Of course, to do the install, I had to use the same license key that I was using on another machine, because the Dreamspark disk would not recognize or accept any other key. After the installation of Windows 8.1, I used “slmgr /upk” from the command prompt to uninstall the product key that I had used elsewhere. Then I went into activation and used the product key from one of the old unused copies of Windows 8 that I had lying around. Obviously, it rejected that key, or appeared to; but, then I phoned Microsoft and activated the product by reading the Activation ID to the machine, telling them that I’m using the unused key on only one machine, and then typing in the Confirmation ID that the machine read to me. Then it activated the unused Windows 8 Pro Product Key on my new install of Windows 8.1 Pro.

When I was done, I had a fresh install of Windows 8.1 Pro on the new machine using an old unused Windows 8 Pro key that I had purchased a couple of years ago. Belarc Advisor told me that the new installation of Windows 8.1 was indeed using the old Windows 8 key that the thing had actually rejected, or had seemed to reject.

Of course, none of this would have been necessary if the Update to Windows 8.1 in the Windows Store actually worked. It didn’t work for me a year ago, and it still didn’t work for me last weekend. It has been a year, and they still haven’t fixed the problem. Unfortunately, it’s what we have come to expect from Microsoft. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

And, Microsoft is wondering why people with Windows 8 are refusing to upgrade to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store. I saw it in the news just the other day. People aren’t upgrading to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store because they can’t upgrade to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store. It’s really not a free upgrade to Windows 8.1 if you have to buy a Windows 8.1 disk in order to do the upgrade.
Certifiable
 
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