Windows 8 optimize

Follow the right Windows 8 upgrade path

Upgrading to Windows 8 may not be as simple as you think, this infographic will help.

It is late September, 2012, and we are just about a month away from the retail release of Microsoft Windows 8. I know not everyone will be clamoring to upgrade the week it arrives, but I suspect there will be more than a few. And, I also suspect, even more than that will at least consider the possibility of an upgrade.

Well, TechRepublic is here to help. The infographic below can lead you down the right path when it comes to upgrading to Windows 8 - a path that is dependent on the computer involved and the operating system that is to be upgraded, among other things. The process is not rocket science, but it does require some decision making. The TechRepublic Follow the right Windows 8 upgrade path can help.

Feel free to use the infographic to spread the word; just remember to link back to this Windows and Office Blog post when you do. (http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/window-on-windows/follow-the-right-windows-8-upgrade-path/6654)

If you would prefer, a downloadable PDF version is available.

Graphic developed by Kimberly Smith for TechRepublic.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

22 comments
Rick80
Rick80

It would have been great if I was using a touch screen. I did a fresh install on a spare PC, and everything went smoothly. It was installed on a PC with an AMD 880G chipset and 8 GB of RAM. (Asus M5A88-M motherboard with AMD Phenom II processor) This was not exactly a powerhouse of a PC, but it was able to run the OS smoothly. Since I am using that PC as a DVR, I will likely upgrade it soon to the new OS. (Windows 7 to Windows 8).

chdchan
chdchan

I hope not again that apps and drivers need to be re-written for the new OS.

Tessieri
Tessieri

So how does one determine if your computer meets the criteria for the graphics device...a DirectX 9 with WDDM 1.0 or higher. I checked in Device Manager on my 1 year old Lenovo laptop, and no hint of this terminology for my Intel HD Graphics device. Can you provide some guidance on this? Mike in VA

garyoa1
garyoa1

It would be quite devious if they made you upgrade without an option to save it. Then you'd be forced to buy a "retail" version on top of it. At... what... $100, give or take? There aren't that many out there who have the "technical" ability to create an image. However, no one seems to be able to answer that question. Interesting. I, for one, would not hesitate to buy at $39 but I would certainly not install it right from the get go. I'd rather wait until the bugs are fixed and the screaming subsides. ;)

garyoa1
garyoa1

Yeah usually there are many ways to upgrade. But at $39 it may be that you can only upgrade immediately on line without an option to save the upgrade to disk. That is, go to upgrade, pay the fee, click ok and it immediately starts to upgrade your machine with no option to save it to disk. That's my question. Once you pay, is it a forced upgrade? Since this upgrade price will only be available for a few months it seems to me it "could" be a waste of money if you can't create a copy. If you have a problem and have to reinstall... you can't.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Cause My laptop qualifies, but I don't want to upgrade to Windows 8 right now, not until there is a real need to.

garyoa1
garyoa1

There is nothing said about just copying the upgrade. Can you just pay for it, download it and burn to disk to install at a later date? Or does this price only available if you install it immediately?

gilbey666
gilbey666

As a lone business Win 7 user I had always been told it was a good idea to do a fresh install when changing OSs, I like this as I can get rid of all the odd stuff I accumulate over the years, accepting the time and data transfer issues. On this occassion does this mean I will have to format my drive, install my Win Pro 7 and then run the upgrade to Win 8, or can I miss the Win 7 install? Any bright ideas on speeding up the process?

Cuffy10
Cuffy10

The info above has been pretty well distributed at this point. What I haven't seen is the mechanics of this operation. I own three licenses for XPPro but none installed on a drive that I want to put Win8 on. I'm assuming they will require proof of ownership to upgrade from XP but it doesn't make sense to reinstall XP, activate it, then install the upgrade to Win8, Has the procedure been defined anywhere?

mike
mike

Win 7 to 8 brings apps. This leads me to believe that any app running on W7 can run on W8. I have some industry databases running on XP, Vista, W7 so my guess would be I could upgrade XP and Vista to W7 and then 7 to 8 and all my apps come along for the ride. Am i correct? I also have the need to run IE in a version no greater than 8, can that be downgraded from 10? Just my thoughts

Slayer_
Slayer_

Open your run menu. Type in dxdiag your directX version is listed on the system tab, you rWDDM version is on the Display tab under drivers on the right hand side. ("Driver Model: WDDM ###")

acubley
acubley

With both of MS's previous versions (7 & Vista) you can go online and download an .iso file. I know with 7 you can even use this on OEM pc's to de-crapify and have a virgin install (don't know about Vista). So we probably don't need to worry about forced upgrades or disc fees.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

I believe you will have the option of downloading it as an ISO file. They've done it that way in the past. It may not be readily obvious but look for that option before doing anything. At least I hope they do it that way.

essex133
essex133

I think it would be quite a poor show if you had to install the upgrade immediately :-( But if you have saved an image of your current system and you then save an image of the system with the upgrade, you should be able to go back to Windows 7 or Windows 8 depending on which image you chose to restore :-)

GAProgrammer
GAProgrammer

I am no M$ rep, but you usually have many options. Besides, if they give you an ISO, there is no time limit to burn it.

GAProgrammer
GAProgrammer

Usually, you can perform a fresh install with an upgrade disk. You will be prompted for the old version CD. After you put it in the drive and it verifies that you have a legit CD, it resumes the install process.

mike
mike

Microsoft told me if you put the disk in the cd/dvd, you could point to it as the previous install. You had to wait until the system asked for / informed you it could not find a previous version...MAYBE (not sure as I am old and feeble minded) this will work and as long as you have the disk. Licensing - posession is what counts. If you have keys for your disks, you are covered. If not, they are just a platform for the licenses copy (W8) to move from and thereby licensed

Gisabun
Gisabun

Why the double upgrade? That's double the headache and at least triple the time to upgrade. If this still holds for Windows 8 [as it did for windows 7], you can legitimately do a [quasi] fresh installation from Windows XP to Windows 8 32-bit or 64-bit. How? Assuming it is the same computer you are upgrading from. Won't be legal otherwise. In yopur XP machine, back up your date. Next install Windows 8 [32-bit or 64-bit] but do not enter a serial number. Do not do any updates. Do not fix things. Do not install any missing drivers. Next, install Windows 8 on top of Windows 8. Your upgraded version is the one where you have a license for. Enter the license key. Now you can install missing drivers and fix things up. Restore your files and install your apps. You can not stick with IE8 during an upgrade. Automatically you will be upgraded to whatever the OS came with. If you seriously need IE8, you will need to run a VM inside Win 8 either using the Hyper-V client [if going Win 8 Pro] or VMware Player or VMware SErver or other VM clients. You will then need a license to install Win XP [can't use the same serial number as the one you upgraded from] or Vista.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

No previous versions of Win have allowed downgrading IE below the default installation version.

mike
mike

how do you back up a dte, what does that even mean? Also, when you are prompted for a serial number (key), if you don't enter it, you don't move forward. Only place I remember not having to enter the key first was xp &

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You can use the 'upgrade' installation media, but installing either on top of XP is a destructive installation. You''ll lose all the XP apps and configuration and wind up with the same virgin W7 / W8 installation as if you had started with bare metal.. Be sure you have all the media and license keys to reinstall your apps, and back up all you data first because you WILL have to restore it. You can upgrade XP to Vista and retain your apps and data, and upgrade V to W7 non-destructively.

sehamon
sehamon

On the part of the infographic where the three roads split, it does say your personal data will persist on, as it did with a windows xp to 7 upgrade. Thats not saying you shouldn't backup your data when doing an upgrade in the first place, but please don't miss inform.