Here, I am going to write about how to install Windows 8 on your conputer. Windows 8 is the new version of Windows operating system after Windows 7. Windows 8 was released on 26 October 2012. I am been hearing about Windows 8 since year 2010. At the end of year 2011, a few preview versions of Windows 8 were released, which were Release Preview, Developer Preview and Consumer Preview. They could be downloaded and installed for free. I was interested to install Windows 8, but I did not do so because the Windows 8 preview would eventually expire and the computer hard disk must be formatted in order to revert to Windows 7. Later, because I was busy studying for my SPM examination, I did not pay attention to the release of Windows 8. However, at November 2012, I often saw advertisements about Windows 8 on the television. Therefore, after my SPM ended, I decided to upgrade my Windows 7 computer to Windows 8. The upgrade was successful, although I faced some problems during the installation. Here, I am going to share with you on the procedure to install Windows 8.
There are 4 different methods to install Windows 8:
1. Upgrade: This method will replace the current version of windows with Windows 8. All the files, settings and programs in your computer will be kept. This method is the easiest of all. However, some programs may not work properly after the upgrade, and the computer performance may decrease.
2. Clean installation: This mehod will delete the current version of Windows and delete all files, programs and settings on your computer, then install Windows 8 on your computer. Therefore, you have to backup your files and programs before installing Windows 8.
3. Dual-boot: This method will install Windows 8 alongside the current version of Windows. All your files, settings and programs will be kept. It allows you to have 2 different versions of Windows on your computer at the same time. You can choose to use either one whenever you start your computer. However, this can destroy all files on the computer if it is done wrongly. Also, your computer hard drive must have more disk space to do so.
4. Virtual machine: This method will install Windows 8 on a virtual machine. It won't affect your current version of Windows or any files and programs on your computer, even if it is done wrongly. You can use Windows 8 inside the current version of Windows. However, the performance of Windows 8 may decrease if you use this method. Also, your computer hardware specification must be high.
Before you install Windows 8, you must make sure that your computer hardware meets the system requirements of Windows 8. If your computer does not meet the requirements, you must upgrade your computer hardware first. If you are installing Windows 8 in a virtual machine (Method 4), your computer must have RAM and hard disk space that is double the system requirement. The system requirement of Windows 8 are as follows:
1. Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX and SSE2
2. RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
3. Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
4. Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
You are also advised to run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant software on your computer to see if the software and hardware you use are compatible with Windows 8. You can download Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant for free at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-MY/windows-8/upgrade-to-windows-8 . If it detects some problems, follow its instructions to solve the problems. If you performing a clean installation of Windows 8, you should also back up all your files on a pen drive, external hard drive, memory cards or others. If your computer is currently running Windows ME or older, your computer is probably very old and therefore you should not attempt to install Windows 8 on that computer.
If you are ready to upgrade to Windows 8, you have to buy a Windows 8 DVD. Note that Windows 8 is not a free software. The price is around a few hundred ringgits. Windows 8 have 2 editions, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Windows 8 Pro is more expensive than Windows 8, but has more features. There are 2 versions of Windows 8, which are 32-bit and 64-bit. 64-bit Windows 8 is faster and better than 32-bit Windows 8, but needs higher system requirements (Refer to the system requirements above). Note that 64-bit Windows 8 can run both 64-bit and 32-bit programs but not 16-bit programs, while 32-bit Windows 8 can run both 32-bit and 16-bit programs but not 64-bit programs. You can purchase Windows 8 DVD at computer stores.
The steps to install Windows 8 depends on the method you are using. Here are the steps:
Method 1: Upgrade
(Note: You can keep all programs and files if you are currently using Windows 7. If you are using Windows Vista or XP, you can keep files only but not programs. This method does not work with Windows 2000.)
1. Start your computer and log into the current version of Windows.
2. Insert the Windows 8 DVD into the CD drive, then go to Computer to open it.
3. Open setup.exe .
4. Wait until the setup preparation is complete.
5. Key in the Windows 8 Product Key and click Next. The product key can be found on the box of the Windows 8 DVD.
6. Tick I accept the license terms and click Accept.
7. Select Keep Windows settings, personal files, and apps and click Next.
8. Wait for the system checking to complete.
9. When it says ready to install, click Install.
10. Wait for the Windows 8 installation to complete.
11. After the installation is complete, restart your computer.
12. You have successfully installed Windows 8.
Method 2: Clean Installation
(Note: This method will delete all files and programs on your computer. Make sure that you backup all your files before you begin.)
1. Start your computer.
2. At the start screen showing your computer's manufacturer which appears before the starting windows screen, look for something like Press F2 to enter BIOS Setup or similar.
3. Press the key displayed to enter BIOS Setup. Usually the key is F2, DEL, F1 or ESC.
4. In the BIOS Setup, look for an option named Boot Device Priority or something similar and go to that option.
5. Rearrange the devices so that the CD or DVD Drive is arranged before the hard disk drive.
6. Save the settings and exit. To do so, usually you have to press a key displayed on the screen.
7. Insert the Windows 8 DVD into the CD drive, then restart the computer.
8. When the screen says Press any key to boot from CD or DVD. , press a key on your keyboard.
9. Wait while the Windows 8 setup is loading.
10. Choose the language for Windows and set Keyboard or input method as US.
11. Click Next and then click Install Now.
12. Wait for the Windows 8 setup to start.
13. Key in the Windows 8 Product Key and click Next. The product key can be found on the box of the Windows 8 DVD.
14. Tick I accept the license terms and click Accept.
15. Select Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).
16. Select the hard disk partition that you want to install Windows 8 on. Usually it is Drive 0 Partition 1, which is the C: drive. All data in that partition will be erased to install Windows 8. If you see an error message, try selecting other partitions.
17. Click Next.
18. Wait for the Windows 8 installation to complete.
19. When your computer restarts, remove the Windows 8 DVD from the CD drive.
20. You have successfully installed Windows 8.
Method 3: Virtual Machine
(Note: Your computer must have RAM and hard disk space that is double the system requirement of Windows 8. Refer to above for the Windows 8 system requirements.)
1. Download VMWare Player from http://www.vmware.com/products/player/ then install it.
2. Open VMWare Player.
3. Click Create a New Virtual Machine.
4. Insert the Windows 8 DVD into the CD drive of your computer.
5. Click Installer disc, select your CD drive and click Next.
6. Select Guest Operating System as Microsoft Windows and version as Windows 8.
7. Key in the Windows 8 product key and your name, then click Next.
8. Click Next.
9. Ensure that the Maximum disk size is 100GB and store virtual disk as a single file is selected, then click Next.
10. Click Finish.
11. VMWare will automatically install Windows 8. Follow the on-screen instructions on continue. About 30 minutes is needed to install Windows 8.
12. After Windows 8 has finished installing, the virtual machine will automatically turn on.
13. On the bottom, there should be a bar about VMWare Tools. Connect to the internet and click Download Tools or Update Tools.
14. Wait for the download of VMWare Tools to complete.
15. In the virtual machine, open My Computer and double-click the CD drive with the name of VMWare Tools.
16. Install VMWare Tools in the virtual computer.
17. You have successfully installed Windows 8 in VMWare Player.
Method 4: Dual-boot
The process to set up dual-boot is rather complicated and can destroy the current version of Windows and all data on your computer if done incorrectly. It involves creating a new hard disk partition for Windows 8. Note that a hard disk can have a maximum of only 4 partitions. If you create a 5th partition, your hard disk will be converted from Basic disk to Dynamic disk. This can cause serious problems to your computer and Windows 8 cannot be installed on Dynamic disk . Additionally, Windows 8 must be installed AFTER the earlier version of Windows has been installed, not the other way round, otherwise it can cause your computer to be unusable. I have tried to set up dual-boot before but it failed, so I won't write about the steps to set up dual boot here. If you want to know more, you can search on the internet.
Whatever method you use, you may have to activate Windows 8 after installing. You will be notified by Windows to activate it. To activate Windows 8, just follow the instructions given at the notification windows. Activation is completely free, but requires internet connection. If you install Windows 8 on more than 1 computer using the same product key, you can only activate it successfully on either 1 computer. If you do not activate Windows 8, certain features such as Personalization will be disabled and you will be periodically notified to activate. Unlike Windows Vista and Windows 7, there is no 30 days grace period for Windows 8 and Windows 8 will not enter Reduced Functionality Mode if you do not activate it.