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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

My experience with migrating a desktop PC from Windows Vista to Windows 8.1

I was getting along fine with Windows XP on my assembled desktop PC till 2007 when my friends raved about Windows Vista. Wanting to be with the crowd, I installed Vista on that PC. In retrospect, I regret it. Gradually over time, I piled up so much stuff on that PC that I found it easier to move to other machines rather than backup the useful things on it and rebuild it.

I took the time today to upgrade that PC from Windows Vista to Windows 8 and subsequently to Windows 8.1 to carry out some experiments. It has bought new life to that idle PC! The PC with 2GB RAM now boots up in about 2 minutes.

This is how the migration went:
- After backing up the important files, I extracted the Windows 8 36-bit ISO onto the Vista file system & clicked on the setup file.
- During the setup process, I was asked for the product key and if I wanted to keep anything from the previous OS. I choose the "Nothing" option. There were hardly any other questions that needed deep thought during the short time (15-20 minutes) that it installed.
- Windows 8.1 is free if you're already running Windows 8. To install Windows 8.1, I had to go to the Windows Store and click on the Windows 8.1 Update tile that is shown prominently at the very beginning. I was asked to get the latest Windows Updates. This took a while (after 45 minutes I went for dinner and stopped tracking)
- After I returned back, the updates were installed and it asked for a reboot.
- I went back to the Store again and clicked on the Windows 8.1 Update tile. The Update is a 2.81GB download. The progress indicator in Windows 8 as such doesn't give an indication of the percentage downloaded but if you hover over the indicator you see the percentage.

- Deleting the Windows.old folder via Disk Cleanup helped me reclaim hard disk space that was going waste as I don't intend to go back to the old stuff.

I've so far tried Windows 8.1 on a VM and I can't wait to start using it as the primary OS.

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