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Windows 8 Frequently Asked Questions / Quick Guide
Windows 8

Revision - 2.0

Q: What is Windows 8?

A: Windows 8 is the current version of Windows client, while Windows Server 2012 is the next version of Windows Server. Both follow Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Windows 8 is currently in development, the development started immediately after Windows 7 in 2009. Windows 8 introduces major improvements to the Windows user experience while supporting a variety of form factors and processor architectures. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January of 2011, Microsoft previewed early development Windows 8 code running on prototype hardware and System On a Chip (SOC) architectures from ARM Holdings plc, Intel and AMD. Windows 8 will feature a heavily influenced Windows Phone design style.

Q: When will Microsoft release Windows 8?

A: Microsoft has released Windows 8 on Friday, October 26, 2012.

Q: How much will Windows 8 cost?

A: Consumers running existing versions of Windows (XP, Vista or Windows 7), can purchase Windows 8 Pro for US $39.99 as a digital download for a limited time starting October 26th 2012. This offer will last until January 31st 2013. If you purchase a new computer starting June 2nd 2012, you can purchase a discounted copy of Windows 8 Pro for $15.99.

SKU

Full Package

Upgrade Package

Windows 8

99.99 (OEM Only)

N/A

Windows 8 Pro

139.99 (OEM Only)

39.99 or 69.99 (box package)

Windows 8 Enterprise

Volume License Only

Volume License Only

Windows RT

OEM preload only

OEM preload only

 

Q: What are the Windows 8 system requirements?

A: Windows 8 will run on any hardware designed for Windows 7. As long as your system meets the requirements to run Windows 7, it can also run Windows 8.

  • 1 gigahertz or faster 32-bit or processor

  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)

  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

One new element to Windows 8 is the requirement that Metro style applications have a minimum of 1024x768 screen resolution, and 1366x768 for the snap feature. If you attempt to launch a Metro style app with less than this resolution (e.g. 800x600, 1024x600) you will receive an error message.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/02/29/running-the-consumer-preview-system-recommendations.aspx

The following link provides a list of preliminary requirements:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/hh748200.aspx

Q: What is the Start Screen?

A: First previewed by Microsoft at the D10 Conference in June 2011, the Start Screen is a new user experience which makes touch a first class experience. The Start Screen works just as well with Keyboard and Mouse. Using a default horizontal navigation system, the interface features ‘live’ tiles which represents full screen applications. Other elements of the Start Screen include the Charm Bar, App History Bar and the App Bar. The Start Screen has the ability to snap apps and also supports grouping applications. The Start can be used on multiple monitor apps while hosting the Windows Desktop App on another screen.

Q: Can I disable or remove the Start Screen?

A: No, the Start Screen is the default environment in Windows 8.

Q: Why did Microsoft remove the Start Menu?

A: The Start menu, a feature of the Windows desktop since Windows 95 has been deprecated in Windows 8. Microsoft based its decisions on telemetry data which indicated that users are accessing the Start menu less in Windows. The Start menu is used as a directory for installed application shortcuts. With the new Taskbar introduced with Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9’s ability to pin shortcuts to applications and favorite web sites on the Taskbar, the relevance of the Start menu has become less. The Start menu also suffered from the complexity of navigation due to precision required by a mouse when navigating its structure. These are some of the key decisions that contributed to its removal.

Q: How many editions of Windows 8 are available?

A: Windows 8 will be available in several editions and architectures, these include:

  • Windows 8

  • Windows 8 Pro

  • Windows 8 RT

  • Windows 8 Enterprise (a superset of Windows 8 Pro only available to Volume License customers with active Software Assurance).

Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro will be available in 32 and 64 bit architectures while Windows RT will be available only on devices using the ARM architecture.

Q: Is there a list of what is included in each edition of Windows 8 and Windows RT?

Yes, you can view it at:

http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/04/16/announcing-the-windows-8-editions.aspx

Q: Is there a list of removed features?

Yes, you can view it at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_features_removed_in_Windows_8

Q: What are the available upgrade paths from previous versions of Windows to Windows 8?

A: Depending on the options you chose during setup, you might have to reinstall your applications.

Here are the options you might see:

Windows settings. Windows settings like Ease of Access, your desktop background, or Internet favorites and history will be kept. Not all settings will be moved.

Personal files. Anything saved in the User folder is considered a personal file, like the Documents and Desktop folders.

Apps. Some apps are compatible with Windows 8 and will just work after Windows 8 Consumer Preview is installed. Some apps might have to be reinstalled after Windows 8 finishes installing, so be sure to find the installation discs and installers for apps you want to keep.

Nothing. Delete everything and replace your current version with a copy of Windows 8. Your personal files will be moved to a windows.old folder.

 If you choose “Nothing”, make sure to do the following before you continue:

  • Back up your files to an external hard disk, DVD or CD, USB flash drive, or network folder.

  •  Find the installation discs and installers for the apps you know will work in Windows 8 Consumer Preview and need to reinstall.

  • If you use a fingerprint reader or other biometric device to sign in to your computer, make sure you write down your password. You’ll have to sign in by typing your user name and password the first time you use Windows 8

 To put it even simpler, this is what you get to keep depending on the version of Windows you are running;

  • Windows 7 - Windows Settings, Personal Files and Apps.

  • Windows  Vista - Windows Settings, Personal Files.

  • Windows XP - Personal Files

Q: What are the upgrade paths from supported editions of Windows 7?

A:

Note: Windows 8 Enterprise can only do in place upgrades from Windows 7 Enterprise edition.

Q: What is Windows RT?

A: Windows RT is a new edition to the Windows family; it is based on Windows code and uses many of its facilities. RT stands for Run Time, this is partly to differentiate it from its x86 siblings and provide clarity when making a purchasing decision. Windows RT will target devices based on the ARM processor architecture.

Q: What is the ARM Chip about?

A: ARM is a popular processor architecture used in smart phone devices such as those manufactured by Research in Motion, Apple Inc, and manufacturers such as HTC running Windows Phone 7. The ARM architecture is currently incompatible with x86 software which runs on the vastly popular x86 architecture manufactured by Intel and AMD. Microsoft President for Windows Stephen Sinofsky promised to have Microsoft Office ready for the ARM architecture by the time Windows on ARM is released.

Q: What does SoC mean?

SoC (System on a Chip) architectures consolidate the major components of a computing device onto a single package of silicon. This consolidation enables smaller, thinner devices while reducing the amount of power required for the device, increasing battery life and making possible always-on and always-connected functionality. With support of SoC in the next version of the Windows client, Microsoft is enabling industry partners to design and deliver the widest range of hardware ever.

Q: What are some of the advantages of Windows RT?

A: Windows RT offers greater battery life and can run for weeks on ARM based devices without charge. Applications such as Mail can retrieve new messages without draining battery life. Supports new design factors that are thin and light. Windows RT also includes Microsoft Office ‘15’ and Windows Desktop App and Desktop Internet Explorer for traditional computing task.

Q: How much disk space does Windows RT use?

A: Approximately 12 GBs of disk space, this is inclusive of Office 2013 RT.

Q: What are some of the disadvantages of Windows RT?

A: Windows RT cannot run traditional desktop x86 applications. For that users will be best served by choosing a Windows x86 device. Windows RT devices cannot run classic desktop applications such as Windows Media Player. Also, Windows RT cannot join a Windows Domain and must access resources on a business network using other means configured by a Company’s IT to support RT based devices.

Q: Can applications for Windows RT run on Windows 8 on x86?

Modern applications available only through the new Windows 8 Start Screen are cross platform compatible, meaning, a Modern application built on Windows 8 x86 can work just the same on Windows RT on ARM without modification.

Q: Can my existing library of Windows x86 applications run on Windows RT?

No, traditional desktop applications that run on the x86 architecture from Intel and AMD will not work on Windows RT on ARM. So for example, Adobe Photoshop CS5 or Microsoft Office 2010 will not run on Windows RT on ARM. Microsoft is restricting third party applications on Windows RT to just the Metro design language. The Windows Desktop App in Windows RT is a restricted environment just for File Explorer and Microsoft Office 2013 applications.   

Q: Can I virtualize my Windows x86 applications or at least run x86 Windows in a Virtual Mode on ARM?

No, you cannot do this.

Q: Can I run Windows RT on an existing ARM based device such as a Blackberry Playbook, Samsung Tab, Acer Iconia Tab or Apple iPad?

A: Windows 8 does not support processor architecture’s based on ARM which is in your Tablet. You need an Intel or AMD x64 or x86 processor in order to evaluate the Windows 8.

Microsoft has worked with partners to release devices based on ARM. Those will come preloaded with Windows RT.

Q: What is Microsoft Surface?

A: Microsoft Surface is a flagship device designed and manufactured by Microsoft exclusively for the Windows 8 operating system. The Microsoft Surface will be available in two models, Microsoft Surface RT and Microsoft Surface Pro.

Q: What is the difference between Surface RT and Pro?

A: Microsoft Surface RT is designed to run only Windows RT while Surface Pro uses standard x86 Ivy Bridge CPU from Intel and runs the Windows 8 Pro edition.

Q: When will the Microsoft Surface be available?

A: Microsoft Surface RT will be available on October 26th 2012, the Surface Pro will be available 90 days later.

Q: What is the cost of Microsoft Surface devices?

A: Pricing for Microsoft Surface RT:

32 GB

32 GB with Touch Cover

64 GB

US 499

US 599

US 699

More information: http://surface.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/Content/pbpage.Surface?ESICaching=off&WT.mc_id=WinHH_PreOrder_DisplayAd

Q: Why did Microsoft choose to restrict Windows RT so much?

A: A lot of the engineering decisions that went into the development of Windows on ARM were based on the user experience the Windows Team wanted to deliver. These included the following:

  • Long battery life (Windows RT devices are always connected and can run for weeks without charge).

  • Security (Windows RT does not support extensions or customizations like Windows 8 x86).

  • Simplicity when maintaining a Windows RT device, because each ARM based vendors implementation is unique, this makes it hard to maintain the same level of quality without restricting certain capabilities to make it easier to update across all variants.

Q: How will I be able to obtain Metro applications for Windows 8?

A: Users will be able to obtain applications through the new Windows Store available from the Start Screen. Users can choose from a variety of applications that include both commercial and free applications.

Q: Are Metro applications licensed the same way as classic desktop applications?

A: Applications purchased through the Windows Store can be installed on up to 5 Windows 8 PC’s.

Q: Will there be at least a Microsoft Office for Windows RT on ARM?

A: All Windows RT devices will come preloaded with Microsoft Office 2013 RT which will include desktop versions of Word 2013 RT, Excel 2013 RT, PowerPoint 2013 RT and OneNote 2013 RT.

Q: Will Windows 8 x86 devices come preloaded with Microsoft Office ‘15’?

A. No, the Office 15 bundle is exclusively for Windows RT devices.  

Q: Will Office 2013 be available in a Metro version also?

A: Microsoft Office 2013 will be desktop only suite which is used through the Windows Desktop App.

Q: Who are some of the hardware developers bringing solutions to market for Windows RT on ARM?

A: Some of Microsoft partners include Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and nVidia.

Q: What is the strategy Microsoft is employing creating Windows 8?

A: Windows 8 is expected to target a wide range of device form factors, from traditional desktop and laptops to slate based tablet devices convertibles. Windows 8 use of new user experiences in regards to touch will enable users to enjoy Windows in more natural ways.

Q: What is the thinking behind the name Windows 8?

A: Windows 8 branding it is presumed Microsoft wishes to continue the success of Windows 7 by keeping things simple and follow a logical versioning. Part of this is to also indicate that Windows 8 is a major upgrade of the Windows operating system.

Q: What new experiences does Windows 8 offer users?

A: Windows 8 introduces a new user experience based on the design language called Metro first implemented in the Windows Phone 7 SmartPhone Operating System. According to Microsoft, “it shows the information important to you, embodies simplicity, and gives you control. The interface is a personalized layout with clean typography and animations to make interacting with your PC fluid and intuitive. The new interface is built for touch. With touch, you can do what you want to do quickly and naturally. The new Start screen puts all of your apps in front of you for immediate access. You don’t have to remember where things are. And whether you want to type, click, or swipe, Windows 8 is optimized for easier navigation so moving around the operating system is effortless with either a finger, or a mouse and keyboard.

In the classic desktop application, Windows 8 introduces the Ribbon user interface to the Windows Explorer shell. File History, a new feature which builds on top of Previous Versions introduced in Windows Vista will allow you to back up your file changes to an external hard disk, along with the ability to selectively restore them; File History will also integrate with HomeGroups. Reset and Refresh will allow users to reset a Windows 8 installation to its default factory install with the option to selectively remove applications, personal files and settings or both. The new upgrade experience will allow you to upgrade with the option of keeping applications, personal files or not. Windows 8 features an enhanced deployment experience with install time estimated at 10 mins.

Q: How can I obtain Windows 8?

A:  Quote:

However, if you want to wait until October 26th you will be able to upgrade online via Windows.com using the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant for just $39.99 USD ERP*. Online upgrade to Windows 8 Pro is supported for 140 countries worldwide, with 37 languages, and 23 supported currencies!

You will want to upgrade your PC to Windows 8 Pro sooner rather than later - this upgrade promotion for Windows 8 Pro both online and at retail runs only through to January 31st, 2013.

Also starting today, you will be able to pre-order new Windows 8 PCs and devices from OEM partners such as Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Samsung and Sony.

If you purchase (or have purchased) an eligible Windows 7 PC anytime between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 you will be able to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for only $14.99 USD ERP** (U.S.) which will be redeemable starting October 26th. For more details on the Windows Upgrade Offer, see this blog post.

For complete details visit http://windowsupgradeoffer.com

Source: http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/10/12/reserve-your-copy-of-windows-8-pro-and-pre-order-windows-8-pcs-today.aspx

Q: Is there a trial version of Windows 8 available?

A: Yes, you can download the trial version of Windows 8 Enterprise and use it for 90 days.

Download: Windows 8 32bit | Windows 8 64bit

Q: What is the currently available build number of Windows 8?

A: Windows 8 Release to Manufacturing build number is 9200.

Q: What happened to Beta, Release Candidates that were known for with pre-release versions of Windows?

A: The dynamics of beta testing have changed over the years, experimenting with software is more trendy than risky. Bleeding edge still carry its risks and it is recommend if you are going to install it on a production machine, at a minimum, backup your current installation and dual boot with your current installation instead of replacing it. Microsoft also noted that the way it tested Windows and improved its quality has evolved, instead of having a beta program with a few thousand individuals versus an opportunity to receive voluntary feedback from hundreds of millions of Windows users was more effective and insightful. This new strategy is called telemetry data, the new science came out of the Customer Feedback Programme first introduced in Windows Vista. Microsoft uses this data to find out a lot about how its users are using the product, what works, what can be improved and how it can improve the overall user experience.

Q: Why did Microsoft change the Windows logo for Windows 8?

 The Windows logo has evolved over the years, from a retro window for version 1.0 to a flying window in motion Windows 3.1 to Windows ME and a flag for Windows XP to Windows 7. The new logo representing Windows 8 defines what it’s all about, the Modern UI which uses a tile based interface for interaction. The perspective look and the simplicity is certainly a departure but also communicates what the platform signifies.

Q: When does the Windows 8 Developer, Consumer, Release Previews expire?

A. All three Previews will expire January 15th 2013 at 6:59 PM.

Q: Will I be able to upgrade from pre-release versions of Windows 8 to the final release?

No.

In order to install Windows 8 Pro upgrade, you will first need to reinstall your original version of Windows that was running on your computer prior to installing the Windows 8 Release Preview. Whether that is (Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7). After installing it, you can then do an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. The Windows 8 Release Preview does not support upgrades to Windows 8 Pro. Windows 8 Pro will become available on October 26th 2012.

Q: Is there a full version of Windows 8 available? I notice all the retail versions are upgrades.

There are no full retail versions of Windows 8. If you need a full version, you will need to purchase the Windows 8 Pro OEM from New Egg. This requires a custom clean install, you cannot use it to upgrade from Windows 7. The Windows 8 OEM license includes transfer rights.

Windows 8 Pro
64 Bit (OEM)

Windows 8 Pro
32 Bit (OEM)

Windows 8
64 Bit (OEM)

 

Windows 8
32 Bit (OEM)

 

Q: What is a Microsoft Account and Local Account?

A: There are two ways to authenticate on Windows 8:

  • Microsoft Account – You can use your Windows Live ID (Hotmail, Live or MSN) to log into Windows 8. This allows you to sync your settings across all your Windows 8 PC’s such as Themes, Bookmarks and app settings.

  • Local Account – works just like an account does today in Windows 7, Vista or XP and allows you to only access resources available on the PC you are using.

Q: What are some of the available methods for logging into Windows 8?

A: You can log into Windows 8 using the following methods:

  • Password – This is familiar method Windows users have been using for the past 20 years where you might enter a username and or password using your keyboard.

  • PIN – Similar to setting up a PIN on a cellular phone, this is quick and easy (I personally use this) since its just 4 digits required, of course there might be security issues making it easy to guess.

  • Picture password – all you do is use a picture of your choice and choose points within the picture that you would use to authenticate. You can also draw directly on the Touch screen to create a combination of traps, straight lines, or circles. The size, position and direction of your gestures become part of your picture password. A basic example would be you could use your pet’s eyes and nose and points you use to log in.

Q: What does Windows 8 sync?

  • Personalize

  • Themes

  • Ease of access

  • Language preferences

  • Apps

  • Web browser

  • Other stuff

  • Some passwords

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/09/26/signing-in-to-windows-8-with-a-windows-live-id.aspx

Q: How can I switch between a Microsoft Account and a Local Account?

A: You can choose between whether it uses your Microsoft Account or a normal user account by going to all PC settings, to the Users section.:

1) Just move your mouse to the bottom-right corner of the screen till the side menu pops up, and click on Settings (gear icon).

2) From there, click on the "More PC settings" link on the bottom-right.

3) Now you should be on the PC settings full-screen menu. On the left, go to the "Users" section.

4) On the right side, it will show your current account with a button that says "Switch to a local account". Clicking on this button and following the steps will enable you to be able to log into Windows as you do with all other versions of Windows like Windows 7, Vista, XP, etc.

After you have switched to a local account again, switch back again to a Microsoft Account and enter the new Windows Live ID.

Q: What is the difference between downloading Windows 8 as a .ISO file versus using the Web Installer?

A: It’s the same files, no different, it just that it provides a convenient option for you to have a backup copy handy if you need to repair or reinstall Windows 8. The previous Box files setup experience in Windows 7 was difficult to use and confusing and usually left users without a backup copy which they had to download again and burn to a disc.

Whether you create a copy on a USB thumb drive or DVD, it is the same as the DVD ISO Image. You get the same class drivers for your hardware, no different.

Q: Why did Microsoft remove Windows Media Center and DVD Play back?

A: Microsoft chose to remove these features formally built into Windows because of the changing landscape of how users consumer video. Users are turning to online services such as YouTube, Netflix, HULU, Vimeo and other sources for movies, videos and other types of content. Also, the types of devices Windows 8 will target on a large scale will likely not include an optical drive. This means, Microsoft would be licensing a codec to decode video for something that might not be included with the cost of the product on a shipping device.

Q: Suppose I have an existing computer that does have an optical drive or I currently use Media Center and Media Player for DVD playback and want to upgrade to Windows 8?

A: You have a few options:
  • If you upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, you will have the option of purchasing Windows Media Center as an add on feature for a small cost.

  • If you purchase the introductory edition of Windows 8, you will need to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro then purchase Windows Media Center.

  • If you purchase a new PC or Notebook with an optical drive, it is likely the OEM will include a third party decoder or bundle Windows Media Center as part of the overall cost of the system.

  • If you need DVD playback, you can purchase or use a third party program such as Intervideo, Cyberlink or VLC Player.

Q: Which editions of Windows 8 will Windows Media Center be available to?

A: Windows Media Center will only be available to Windows 8 Pro.

Q: Are there any major changes coming to Windows Media Center in Windows 8?

A: No, Windows Media Center on Windows 8 is identical to the commercially available version in Windows 7 today.

Q: Which versions of Windows can I do an upgrade from to Windows 8?

Windows 8 will support in place upgrades from Windows 7 only. Customers running older versions of Windows such as Windows Vista and Windows XP will have to do a custom clean install. This means you will need to backup your personal files and settings and prepare to reinstall applications and drivers.

Users will have the option of installing Windows 8 while preserving personal files when migrating from Windows XP or Vista.

Q: Why doesn’t the Windows 8 Consumer Preview ask for a product key?

A: Windows 8 uses a new installation mechanism; the product key is embedded in the installation wizard which removes the need to enter a product key during setup.

Q: What are some of the other changes in the Windows 8 setup experience?

  • New Web Setup experience, makes acquiring and installing Windows 8 easier.

  • Issues that might prevent setup from completing successfully can be resolved from within the Windows 8 setup wizard.

  • Web Setup includes an integrated download manager provides time estimates, data validation, the ability to pause, resume, and re-download only parts of the file if something goes wrong.

  • The new Windows 8 Setup installation wizard includes an integrated Upgrade Advisor and migration tools. You can also create a bootable USB thumbdrive or ISO Disc Image if needed.

  • The Windows 8 setup experience requires less interaction, most task can be accomplished within 11 clicks.

  • Using Web Setup removes the need to enter a product key,( booting from installation media will require that you still enter a product key).

  • Setup provides granular options for selecting what you want to keep when migrating to Windows 8 such as Windows Settings, Personal files and apps, just personal files or nothing.

  • When using the new Web Setup feature, users do not have to install a separate download manager, mount the ISO to begin the installation, check the hash of the file for verification post-download, manually clean up unneeded files, or restart a download from the beginning should connectivity be interrupted.

  • Inplace upgrade experience from Windows 7 is much faster because of improvements in the Windows 8 setup compression algorithm.

Q: I receive an error my computer is not compatible with Windows 8?

To resolve this error, follow manufacturer guidelines to enable NX (“No eXecute bit”), or the equivalent XD (“eXecute Disabled”), feature within the BIOS settings. This feature is typically found in the Advanced or Security tabs within the BIOS settings, and can be referred to by a variety of names, including but not limited to:

  • No Execute Memory Protect

  • Execute Disabled Memory Protection

  •  EDB (Execute Disabled Bit)

  •  EVP (Enhanced Virus Protection)

If the BIOS setting for the NX (XD, EDB, or EVP) support option is not available on your system, you may need to contact the manufacturer to update the BIOS. Note that some very old processors may not contain these features and will be incompatible with Windows 8 Release Candidate.

A whitepaper has been published with further details about the PAE/NX/SSE2 requirement for Windows 8, error cases and scenarios that customers encounter when machines fail to meet the requirement, and what to do to install Windows 8 on their PC’s. You can download the whitepaper at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/hh975398.aspx.

If you are using a virtualization product to install a Windows 8 Release Candidate virtual machine (VM) and receive this error (or error 0xC0000260), you must enable PAE (or PAE/NX) in the virtualization product’s settings or configuration manager when setting up the Windows 8 virtual environment.

Note that if you tried to install Windows 8 on the VM hosted on a system running a previous version of Windows with NX disabled, you will need to enable NX on the system before PAE/NX can be enabled for the VM. Please follow the instructions described in the whitepaper under “How Do I know if My System Supports NX or SSE2?” and “If NX Is Supported on My System, How Do I Turn on NX?” to enable NX on the system.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-windows_install/error-when-installing-windows-8-release-preview/a2c11f2c-d43b-44fc-9bc0-61805a2d95ef

 

Q: How can I do a clean install using the Windows 8 Pro upgrade?

A:

Step 1: Use the Upgrade Assistant to qualify the PC and pay the $40 (US)

Step 2: When the "Install Windows 8" message appears, select "Install by creating media" to create a bootable USB flash drive or an .iso (a disk image) file.

Step 3: Wait for the Assistant to download the Windows 8 Pro installation package and create the bootable media or .iso file. The flash drive must be have 3GB or more of free space available.

Step 4: Burn the .iso file, if that's the path you chose, to a blank DVD.

Step 5: Use that USB drive or DVD to boot the PC.

Step 6: When you get to the screen in Setup that asks, "Which type of installation do you want?' choose "Custom."

Step 7: Select a disk partition for the OS in the next screen. At this point, you can create a new partition if there's enough space available, or reformat the drive.

Step 8: Continue with the installation of Windows 8 Pro.

These steps might require phone activation.

Q: How can I upgrade from 32 bit versions of Windows to Windows 8 64 bit?

A: If you want to migrate from a 32 bit version of Windows to Windows 8 64 bit, you will have to manually download the Windows 8 64 bit .ISO, burn it to a blank DVD or create a bootable USB thumb drive and boot from either. You cannot start the installation for 64 bit Windows 8 from within 32 bit versions of Windows.

To make it easier on you, you should really upgrade to Windows 8 32 bit since you are already running a 32 bit version of Windows.

In order to install Windows 8 64 bit over 32 bit Windows , requires a clean install, this means you will need to reinstall applications, backup documents and settings.

How to burn a .ISO file to a blank DVD:

ImgBurn - In addtion to supporting the creation of Cds/DVDs from .ISO files,
it supports a wide range of other image file formats, and it's free.
(BIN, CUE, DI, DVD, GI, IMG, MDS, NRG, PDI and ISO)
http://www.imgburn.com/

Burning ISO Images with ImgBurn article: http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/G/Burning+ISO+Images+with+ImgBurn

screen shots to help you use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/index.php?act=screenshots


Note: Always use the slowest burn speed (4 or 8x) and use high quality DVD+R media.

 

Q: How can I reinstall Windows 8?

A: You have a couple options:

If you would like to reinstall Windows 8, which means removing apps and personal files and settings, you can use reset and refresh. This is equivalent to a clean install.

To do it, do the following:

Press Windows key + i on your keyboard to show the Charms bar (If you are using a touchscreen: Touch the right edge of your screen and swipe your finger to the left)

  •  Click Settings

  •  Click Change PC settings

  •  Click General in the left column

Under Remove everything and reinstall Windows, click Get started

Then follow the instructions that will be provided on the screen to reinstall Windows on your PC.

Option 2:

If you create a installation DVD or Bootable thumb drive, you can use that to reinstall Windows. First, you will need to reinstall the qualifying license, then start the upgrade again to Windows 8. Qualifying license means you will either need to reinstall Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7.

Option 3:

A workaround for this situation is to create a system image of Windows 8 just after you have upgraded. So if your drive does crash, you can simply restore the image on a new hard disk or restore the image on the same drive if you just want to reinstall Windows 8.

See the following for instructions about how to create a system image of your Windows 8 installation:

http://www.notebooks.com/2009/10/24/how-to-backup-your-installation-of-windows-7/

(references Windows 7, but the same principles apply to Windows 8).

 

Q: How do I activate Windows 8?

A: If you are running the retail distribution of Windows 8, product activation is done automatically the minute you are connected to the Internet. If you do not have an active Internet connection, you can use phone activation:

Press Windows key + X then click Run, then type:   slui.exe  4

Next press the 'ENTER' key

Select your 'Country' from the list.

Choose the 'Phone Activation' option.

Stay on the phone (do not select/press any options) and wait for a person to help you with activation.

Explain your problem clearly to the support person.

 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950929/en-us

If you are using volume license distributions of Windows 8, you can use the following methods. If your license is using KMS licensing, speak with your IT Administrator. The following method demonstrates product activation using a MAK (Multiple Activation key)

Make sure you obtain a Multiple Activate Key from your MSDN, Technet or volume license subscription

Right click the left hand corner of the Windows 8 screen

Click Command prompt (Admin)

Type: slmgr.vbs -ipk <enter your product key here>

Press Enter

Then type:

slmgr.vbs -ato

Q: What are some of the new security improvements in Windows 8?

A: Windows 8 includes a variety of security enhancements at the hardware and software level, these include support for new standards:

Secure Boot – a prominent new security feature built into Windows 8 supported on hardware that only supports the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). What it does is capture a signature of the operating system so if a malicious piece of code tries to infiltrate the system at boot time, Windows will check against the signature the last time it booted up, if they don't match up, the bad code is stopped from executing and system rolls back to a known state where there exist no modifications.

Windows Defender – Windows 8 includes built in Antivirus scanning engine based upon the company’s free Microsoft Security Essentials utility.

PCs running Windows 8 can better resist malware because of a trusted boot-up process that automatically repairs drivers and reinforces policies—with no action required from users.

Windows 8 enables an always-on data encryption mechanism, running in the background to help ensure that data is safe even when the device is lost.

For Windows 8 business customers, BitLocker delivers better performance than today’s software-only encryption by supporting fast, hardware encrypting drives. BitLocker only encrypts sectors that have data, incrementally encrypting the drive as free space is used.

Windows 8 also include Smart Screen Filter which scans your applications and downloads for malicious code ensuring the integrity of your files.

Q: Does Windows 8 include a new version of Internet Explorer?

A: Yes, Windows 8 comes built in with the next version of Internet Explorer, version 10.

Q: What is new in Internet Explorer 10?

  • Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 includes a Touch friendly Metro version of the web browser.

  • Automatic Grammer and Spell checker

  • Improved support for CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) standards, SVG (and Scalable Vector Graphics) and hardware acceleration, Microsoft is adding some enhancements in version 10 that will make it a HTML5 first class citizen.

  • New features include support for JavaScript typed arrays, which lets Web apps handle raw data such as files better, and HTML5 video features such as the ability to link to a specific time in a video and to add captions.

  • Automatic Update Mechanism.

Q: Will Internet Explorer 10 be made available for older versions of Windows such as Windows Vista and Windows 7?

A: Internet Explorer 10 will only support Windows 8 and Windows 7.

Q: Windows 8 includes Hyper-V; I thought this was only a server feature?

Microsoft has brought its previously Windows Server based virtualization technology to the Windows 8 client. Microsoft say’s this enables IT pros and developers to run multiple operating system instances simultaneously on their Windows 8 computer. This lowers costs by consolidating hardware and improving efficiency through VM compatibility with server Hyper-V.

Q: I have been testing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on my computer, but I notice I cannot get Hyper-V to work, why?

Windows 8 Client-Hyper-V only supports certain CPU’s with built in support for SLAT (Second Level Address Translation).

Q: How can I find out if my CPU supports SLAT?

See the following: How to Check if Your CPU Supports Second Level ... - How-To Geek

Q: Are there any workarounds for running virtualized operating systems on Windows 8 that do not support SLAT?

A: Third party virtualization utilities such as Oracle Virtualbox and VMWare both support Windows 8 on their current releases.

Q: How does the new reset and refresh feature in Windows 8 work?

A: Reset allows you to reset your computer to its original state, which means, it will reinstall all your applications and delete your personal data.

Refresh gives you the option to reinstall Windows while retaining all of your documents, accounts, personal settings, and even the apps you’ve downloaded from the Windows Store.

Q: Does Refresh allow you to keep your class desktop applications?

A: No, this only works for Windows Metro based applications available through the Start Screen. You can preserve applications by creating a system image of Windows 8 the first time you install and configure Windows, so your classic applications are not deleted when you do a reset.

Q: I notice that Windows 8 boots noticeably faster than Windows 7, how is this achieved?

A: Microsoft has reconfigured under the hood of Windows, by hibernating parts of the kernel (the heart of Windows) this significantly reduces the time needed to do certain normal checks that Windows does when it is loaded from the MBR (master boot record) into main memory and does its own start test such as initializing the kernel, registry and composing the desktop.

Q: Are there any trade offs from this though?

A: Yes, certain drivers that need to be enumerated might not be detected when you plug them in. A work around for this is to do a Restart.

Q: I am dual booting Windows 8 and Windows 7/Vista, but I notice Windows 8’s boot manager takes longer to boot into Windows 7 or Vista when I select it.

A: Windows 8 graphical boot manager is actually a fully booted Windows 8 environment. When you select a previous version of Windows to boot into, it recycles the operating system and boots into the older version of Windows. A work around for this is to enable the old BIOS/Text based boot manager.

In Windows 8, click the Start button then click PC Settings or Control Panel (depending on the build of Windows 8 you are running).

Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click More Settings.

Click System and Security then click System

Click Advanced System Settings

Click the Advanced tab, under ‘Startup and Recovery’ click ‘Settings’

Click in the Default Operating System: list box

Select the older version of Windows

Click OK then Apply and OK

This will in future give you the option when you start your computer to boot directly to the operating system of your choice.

Q: How do I do a Startup Repair in Windows 8?

A: Boot from the Windows 8 DVD

a)    At the Install Now screen

b)    Click Repair your computer

c)    Click Advanced Options

d)    Click Troubleshoot

e)    Click Startup repair

f)    Follow the on screen instructions

OR

From within Windows 8

a)    Press Windows + I then click Change PC Settings

b)    Click General

c)    Scroll down click Startup repair

 

Q: What is the Charm and App Bar?

A: Within the Start Screen interface are some hidden features that are more Touch ready and available when using on a Tablet. If you are working with a mouse though, you can discover some of them to make working in the new interface easier. For instance, if you right click a traditional desktop application this brings up a Charm bar, a feature that lets you do simple task such as unpin a tile or access advanced task such as pinning to the Windows Taskbar, Run as Administrator or navigate to the file location. The Charm Bar gives quick access to system settings along with the ability to share information between your applications.

Q: I understand that Windows Update now installs updates gracefully, how does this work?

A: Windows Update now sets aside low priority updates aside so you can install them at a time more conveniently to you. Higher priority updates will be installed when available and require reboots if necessary.

Q: What is Windows To Go?

Windows To Go is a way for IT departments to create portable copies of Windows they can easily store on an external storage device such as a thumb drive, external hard disk and give their employees. Windows To Go allows you to boot from that portable storage device and be able to access your applications and personal files without any compromise, it is also encrypted. When you boot from a Windows To Go device you cannot access data on the local drive. Windows To Go is available only to customers running the Enterprise edition of Windows 8.

Q: Where can I learn more about Windows To Go?

Windows To Go Step by Step:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/6991.windows-to-go-step-by-step.aspx

From: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w8itprogeneral/thread/2c4b3587-5f22-4a64-9766-ff5be5706658

Resources:

http://channel9.msdn.com/events/BUILD/BUILD2011/HW-245T

Q: Where can I go to check the compatibility of my applications and devices?

Compatibility Center for Windows 8 Consumer Preview (not yet complete):

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/en-US/CompatCenter/Home

Q: When I use the Web Installer to download Windows 8, how can I recover disk space?

Check for a folder named 'WindowsESD' at the root of your C drive (if you have multiple partitions this folder could be on a different partition).

Q: Where is the control panel?

A: You can access the Control Panel by right clicking the left hand corner of the screen and click Control Panel.

Q: How do I close a program?

A: Press the close button if you are in the Desktop App or press Alt + F4

If you are in a Metro app, just go the start screen and the application you were previous using will be suspended. Metro Applications are never running in the background.

Q: I cannot log into Microsoft Apps such as Mail, Calendar, Music and Photos, how can I fix this?

A: You can choose between whether it uses your Microsoft Account or a normal user account by going to all PC settings, to the Users section.:

1) Just move your mouse to the bottom-right corner of the screen till the side menu pops up, and click on Settings (gear icon).

2) From there, click on the "More PC settings" link on the bottom-right.

3) Now you should be on the PC settings full-screen menu. On the left, go to the "Users" section.

4) On the right side, it will show your current account with a button that says "Switch to a Microsoft account".

Once you have setup your Microsoft account (this requires a Windows Live ID (Hotmail or MSN).

Restart your computer and try logging into the applications for Mail, Calendar and messaging.

Q: What are some of the developer improvements in Windows 8?

  • Web developers can use their HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript skills to build native applications for

  • Windows.

  • .NET Developers can use XAML, C#, and Visual Basic to build beautiful Metro style apps.

  • Game developers can use the power of DirectX 11.1 to build amazing, immersive gaming experiences.

  • Driver developers can use the new, integrated Microsoft® Visual Studio® development environment to

  • increase productivity.

Q: What is Storage Spaces?

A: Storage Spaces is a new storage management technology exclusive to Windows 8. Storage Spaces simplifies adding additional storage to your computer while sharing some of the characteristics of RAID like redundancy. Storage Spaces utilizes the ReFS (Resilient File System).

Q: What is ReFS?

A: ReFS is a newly engineered file system. ReFS, (which stands for Resilient File System), is built on the foundations of NTFS.

Q: What are the key goals of ReFS?

A: The key goals of ReFS are:

  • Maintain a high degree of compatibility with a subset of NTFS features that are widely adopted while deprecating others that provide limited value at the cost of system complexity and footprint.

  • Verify and auto-correct data. Data can get corrupted due to a number of reasons and therefore must be verified and, when possible, corrected automatically. Metadata must not be written in place to avoid the possibility of “torn writes,” which we will talk about in more detail below.

  • Optimize for extreme scale. Use scalable structures for everything. Don’t assume that disk-checking algorithms, in particular, can scale to the size of the entire file system.

  • Never take the file system offline. Assume that in the event of corruptions, it is advantageous to isolate the fault while allowing access to the rest of the volume. This is done while salvaging the maximum amount of data possible, all done live.

  • Provide a full end-to-end resiliency architecture when used in conjunction with the Storage Spaces feature, which was co-designed and built in conjunction with ReFS.

Q: What are some of the key features of ReFS?

  • Metadata integrity with checksums.

  • Integrity streams providing optional user data integrity.

  • Allocate on write transactional model for robust disk updates (also known as copy on write).

  • Large volume, file and directory sizes.

  • Storage pooling and virtualization makes file system creation and management easy

  • Data striping for performance (bandwidth can be managed) and redundancy for fault tolerance.

  • Disk scrubbing for protection against latent disk errors.

  • Resiliency to corruptions with "salvage" for maximum volume availability in all cases.

  • Shared storage pools across machines for additional failure tolerance and load balancing.

Q: Where can I find more information about ReFS?

A: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/01/16/building-the-next-generation-file-system-for-windows-refs.aspx

Q: Does Windows 8 include any additional storage improvements?

Yes, Windows 8 has better support for large storage devices:

  • Introduce new and enhance existing API to better enable applications to query for the physical sector size of a disk.

  • Enhancing large-sector awareness within the NTFS file system, including ensuring appropriate sector padding when performing extending writes (writing to the end of the file).

  • Incorporating large-sector awareness in the new VHDx file format used by Hyper-V to fully support both types of AF disks.

  • Enhancing the Windows boot code to work correctly when booting from 4K native disks.

Q: Can I install Windows 8 on an Intel Apple Macintosh?

A: It’s possible to run it on a Apple Mac, but there are possible complications that might arise where drivers are concerned. It would be recommended users wait until Apple updates their Boot Camp utility with Windows 8 native drivers.

Q: I notice my optical drive is missing after installing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on my computer.

1. Run Command Prompt as an Administrator. Type cmd in Windows 8 Metro UI and press cltr+shift+enter

2. Type following and say enter

reg.exe add "HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\atapi\Controller0" /f /v EnumDevice1 /t REG_DWORD /d 0x00000001

3. Reboot the system

4. Verify if the problem has been resolved.

Q: How do I boot into Safe Mode on Windows 8?

A: Press Shift + F8 when starting your computer.

Q: Tile on the Start Screen are not working in Windows 8, what can I do to fix this?

For Metro Apps to work, you need to have the following:
1) Your screen resolution needs to be at least 1024x768.
2) Next, if you have turned off User Account Control, your Metro apps will not work.
You can check if UAC is enabled here:
From the Start Screen, type in Control Panel. Click on Contol Panel tile. Then click on User Accounts. Change User Account Control Settings
3) Try using a Local account instead of a Windows Live ID account.

If Metro Apps are still not working your other option would be to Refresh your PC.

Here is what will happen when you refresh your PC:
· Your files and personalization settings won't change.

· Your PC settings will be changed back to their defaults.

· Apps from Windows Store will be kept.

· Apps you installed from discs or websites will be removed.

· A list of removed apps will be saved on your desktop.

These steps will take you through refreshing your PC:

· Press Windows key + C on your keyboard to show the Charms bar (If you are using a touchscreen: Touch the right edge of your screen and swipe your finger to the left)

· Click Settings

· Click More PC settings

· Click General in the left column

· Under Refresh your PC without affecting your files, click Get started

Then follow the instructions that will be provided on the screen to refresh your PC.

 

Resources & Articles:

ActiveWin.com: Windows 8 RTM Review (2012)

ActiveWin.com: Windows Server 2012 Review

ActiveWin.com: Windows 8 Consumer Preview (2012)

ActiveWin.com: Windows 8 Developer Preview (2012)

ActiveWin.com: Windows 8 Preview (2011)

 

 

 


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