How To Install Windows 8
Here are tips on how to install the Windows 8 RTM (Release to Manufacturer), or regular version.
How to Get Started with Microsoft Windows 8
Although installing any version of Windows is straightforward, there are three tiny traps to avoid:
Trap 1: Get the product key! Unlike the developer beta, regular versions of Win 8 require a genuine product key. You are looking for a 20 digit string such as: DBJXZ-8XBW8-4328T-B23TX-BGUYJ.
Confession: This was a case of more haste less speed, a combination of tiredness and over-excitement caused me to type the Sha-1 hash numbers instead of the product key! I can laugh now, but please don't repeat my mistake!
Trap 2: Be patient during first 4 minutes. My initial install screen froze for at least 4 mins; I even restarted the boot loader procedure twice until the penny dropped, I realized that static screen with the fish was not going to do anything for 4 minutes!
Trap 3: Go for a clean install. People who go for an upgrade from Windows 7, or Windows 8 Developer Preview sometimes get a problem at about 90% completion. As you can neither upgrade to the RTM version, nor downgrade to the previous OS, a clean install makes the most sense.
Plan How to Install Your Windows 8 Operating System
Alternative install method: Try the web based installer which incorporates the Upgrade adviser and Easy transfer wizard.
Recommendations: Install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine, or alternatively, use an old laptop as a test machine. To really get to grips with the Metro-style UI install Windows 8 on one of these systems: HP Elitebook 2760p convertible, ASUS EP121 tablet or a Dell Inspiron Duo convertible.
Good News: These Virtual Machines Are Supported
Beware: Window 8 won't install here: Microsoft Virtual PC, Windows 7 XP Mode VMware Workstation 7.x or older. The reason is they don't support Hypervisor Type 1.
Strange but true: People asked for 64-bit versions of Windows 8 (and 7) to run in Virtual machines, but when Microsoft deliver 64-bit compatibility, most people choose to install 32-bit versions for ease of use and performance reasons.
Plan B - Dual Boot: If you have a second partition of at
least 20 GB then you could install Windows 8 there. The result would
Please think through how to preserve any existing files on that second partition before allowing the Windows 8 install to format the D: partition. Once you have installed Windows 8, pay close attention to menu choices as soon as the machine powers on.
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Windows 8 Downloads
Microsoft has made these beta versions freely available as .iso images.
The scenario: you have created a bootable DVD from the .iso image, which you downloaded from MSDN or another internet site. Check the BIOS is set to boot from DVD. Next fired up your test computer with the Windows 8 DVD in its caddy. All you have to do is catch the screen which says: 'Press any key to boot from CD or DVD'.
The instructions are very similar to previous Microsoft Windows installs. This was the quickest installation of a Microsoft operating system that I can remember, it took only 28 minutes including me formatting a drive and checking options.
Beware: At the very beginning nothing seeming to happen. When you see a picture of a fish with an upside-down '8' coming out if it's mouth, have faith! After about 3 minutes it will fade away and familiar install menus will appear:
Instructions for a Custom Install
Main Windows 8 Install
Copying Windows Files (After 4 mins had elapsed)
I am so pleased that Microsoft ask for the product key at the beginning of the Windows 8 install, consequently, we now have only simple questions such as the new machine's name. I was impressed (and relieved) that Windows 8 found the NIC drivers and connected to my physical network automatically. Naturally, it needed the password for the wireless connection.
Logon with a Microsoft Account (Windows Live ID)
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My research also discovered that Windows 8 install will incorporate the Upgrade Advisor and the lovely Windows Easy Transfer. Even in Windows 7 these were separate products, handy to have them bundled in the Windows 8 setup experience.
One of its cleverest features is the way Windows 8 adapts to a huge variety of form factors, it recognises computers with our without keyboards and different screen widths, and adapts accordingly. Nevertheless, if possible choose a recommended screen size, so that you can activate the menus near the screen edge.
Windows 8 Download Option
For years techies have been downloading software from TechNet then installing it. Microsoft is now going to extend this principle for members of the public to install Windows 8. Thanks to digital delivery, Microsoft will sell downloads of Windows 8 anyone who has a credit card, thus saving people having to go out and buy a physical disc from a store, or place an internet order with postal delivery.
Windows 8 "Upgrade" from Win7 or Developer Preview
There were some pleasant surprising when I upgraded TO Windows 8 RTM. Amazingly, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Consumer Preview from Windows Developer Preview. Less surprisingly you can upgrade from Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP.
Microsoft set the gold standard for installs, everything was simple until I came to the logon. Here the legacy settings haunted me, the USER ICONS for the old Windows 7 accounts were so big I could not see them all! I had a problem because Windows 8 seemed obsessed with a Windows Live ID for logon and I forget my password. Problem solved, I logged on with another of my accounts.
Upgrading from Windows 7 Pro in Domain
New Install Strategies for Windows 8
Preparing a Bootable Windows 8 Disc
I began by downloading the 32-bit .iso file of Microsoft's Windows 8 onto my Windows 7 machine. I chose this version because at 2.8GB I knew it would fit on a regular DVD. Once it finished downloading, I right-clicked the .iso, selected 'Open with' and chose the native Windows Disc Image Burner.
Just in time, I inserted a 4.7GB DVD and allowed the burning to proceed. Incidentally, I could have used a USB flash drive to create this bootable disk. I hear that the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool will prepare your USB stick for the .iso image.
Choice of Test machine
Microsoft's File Transfer
What's new here is that Windows 8 File Transfer moves whole folders rather than individual files, thus reducing the number of calls for a file operation. In the case of a Windows 7 upgrade, you start setup inside the old OS by running the DVD. Thanks to new intelligent routines, install scans for the existing OS language and provides check-lists of compatible (and incompatible) programs. Alternatively, you could eschew old settings and select a clean install.
Dual Booting Windows 8 and Windows 7
Now you can dual boot provided you plan ahead and create a 50 GB partition BEFORE you begin the Windows 8 install. The trick is to select 'Custom' during the first section of the setup.
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You get the full set of installation options in the final phase of setup. The key decision is 'Express' or 'Customize', I hit customize just to see the choices.
How to Create a New Image or Refresh Windows 8
You can use a command-line tool called to Recimg to set a new Refresh Point.
This is the command which I ran from the command-line.
Recimg -CreateImage D:\Backup\
See how to refresh your Windows 8 machine in the Control Panel
Windows 8 Secure Boot UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface)
UEFI is an alternative to the BIO; either one can prepare the motherboard to load an operating system such as Windows 8. UEFI supports 'Secure boot', one benefit would be stop malware loading before Windows 8. Many experts in Malware claim that this not a common method of viral infection.
Secure boot works on code signing principles. Microsoft will sign the Windows 8 boot loader and a public key will be burned into the UEFI chipset. Your Windows 8 boot loader is signed with a corresponding private key, so your operating system works as you would expect.
The main reason that this is a hot issue is that Secure Boot would prevent you from loading an alternative such as Linux.
Install the Windows 8 Language Pack
Using a WDP Universal Language Installer and the Win8Lang files you can choose to change from say English USA to ZHH - Chinese (Hong Kong). Go to the Control Panel, Hardware, Clock, Language Region and Add Languages.
The Benefits of Keeping the Previous Windows 7 Settings
As my Windows 8 was 'born' it did not ask for a computer name or IP address, it got these from the previous (now over-written Windows 7) machine.
Here above is the App Bar displaying the tailored 'Metro-style' programs. Each app can be run full-screen and is immersive. Developers will be inspired by the September 2011 BUILD conference to write more apps in HTML 5 or a .NET programming language.