With Windows 8 being launched today, Friday, October 26th, I thought it was time to get it installed on my laptop. I usually enjoy upgrading and using new interfaces. This particular upgrade had me a bit anxious though. I’ve been hearing over the last year about how it was all new and made for touch and there was NO start button! I’d heard how the average consumer was going to absolutely rebel against something so vastly different than anything they’d had before.
BUT – I’d also heard about an 8-second start up time, a personalized experience with my computer populating and bringing to my desktop all of my ‘stuff’, i.e. email, calendar, photos, videos and music. (The photos and videos will app
My Windows 8 Installation Experience
So I made installing Windows 8 one of my projects for last weekend. I’d heard installation was very fast – about 15” for a clean install and 30” if you’re doing an install and keeping your files and folders intact during the install. Unfortunately, my experience was not at all a textbook one. I was going to do a clean install and had everything backed up on an external hard drive. At the last minute, I decided to go for the upgrade. The screens and steps outlined were very clear and I said I wanted to do an upgrade and keep my files and entered in my license key and then it started the upgrade.
Not As Expected
Unfortunately, I didn’t document everything because I thought it would be a breeze. So I’ll have to relate this from memory (faulty-haha). I realized something was wrong when 1. It was taking over 30” and 2. I was taken back to the original screen where I was asked to start all over again.
I dutifully entered in the license key again and went through the process thinking something must not have taken. I waited about the same amount of time and was taken back again to the same start screen where I did it yet again (don’t ask why). The same things were happening again and I was not going to go through the process again. It had been about 1 1/2 hours – way too long. I clicked some keys on the keyboard, opened and shut the CD drive and then I decided that I was going to put Windows 7 back on and I went to my office to get the CD and came down and was just reaching to open the CD door when a message came on that said, ‘let’s get started setting up your computer’ (or something to that effect). I was shocked, but I followed the instructions and entered in my Microsoft account, my wireless details and I was ready to go.
My documents and desktop items were not there. According to this article from Ars Technica, my desktop icons and Firefox and Chrome browsers should have been there, but they weren’t. What was there were three copies of Windows.old (with 3 different names), corresponding to the three times I’d installed Windows 8. An Windows.old folder is usually created when upgrading – it contains documents and lots of other ‘Windows stuff’ from your original system. These three folders and my current stuff had my hard drive uncomfortably full. I thought I could simply delete the old files, but it wasn’t that easy. I’m not going to go into all of that, let’s just say that trying to get ‘trusted installer’ rights to your own computer can be frustrating.
Finally, I decided I’d do a clean install of Windows 8 to get rid of the Windows.old folders and just get a clean start. I wasn’t sure how good of an installation I had. So I started it around 6 AM and it finally finished around 9-ish. I thought maybe it needed a lot of time to delete all that data, I just don’t know. Maybe there was something I missed during the install process…
Windows 8 Computer OK Now
It’s been 4 days now and everything is going well. It does start up very quickly and shuts down quickly too. I’m getting used to the new features and know I need to access some keyboard short-cut tips. Paul Thurrott has some great resources here, including a comprehensive keyboard shortcuts list. He says the most important two are:
- Windows key + C – this brings up the ‘charms’ menu. These charms get you to Search, Desktop, Start, Devices and Settings
- Windows key + I – this brings up the menu for your computer’s settings
I hope my Windows 8 installation experience is not what anyone else experiences. I would like to know how your Windows 8 experience goes. Are you going to upgrade or wait? Let me know.
There’s a lot to learn and to explore, so stay tuned.