Sunday, October 28, 2012

Upgrading Windows 8

Readers that were with us in the middle of summer would remember that we were forced to purchase another lap top in Santa Fe when my older machine took a nose dive to the floor in the motor home as we were driving...

That laptop came with windows 7 home edition, but...  it was assured with that purchase that windows could be updated for a minimal amount when the new version came out...  That amount turns out to be $14.95.

Its kind of interesting how you go about doing that, as you have to go out on the internet and fill out an application with your name and email address....  Also they want your purchase date and place as well as the make and model number of the computer.  They didn't want any other info from your receipt, so if you can remember where and when and what you purchased your good to go..

What they do is send you a promo code via email to use when purchasing  the upgrade...  Sign on to the upgrade site and follow along like you were going to pay the $39.95, and at the last moment you have a box to enter the promo code..  Suddenly the price has a promotion discount that reduces it to the $14.95.

After paying the bill with your credit card or paypal, you are immediately downloading the software...  It took me about 30 minutes...  And then it goes into the unpack and install which took most of another hour.  I went to Wendy's and the car wash place while it was working...

It reboots your computer several times as it is working.  I had chosen to save all my applications and personal files so it did not reformat my hard drive..  I was warned that some of my programs will need to be reinstalled with W8 versions and I was allowed to print out a list....

The install seemed seamless  as I entered my personal information to start a Microsoft Account..  This is mandatory now and you have to have an email address and a password....  Apple is doing this as well in their iTunes account that everyone has to have in order to have the Apple iOS...  Microsoft is now following suit...

Be careful what you type in as your Microsoft Password for their account, as this becomes the password for your entire windows 8 experience...  When you start up the computer you must now type in this password...  Forget it and you are mostly scr#wed..  The password has to include a Capital letter and a number and a punctuation mark to be valid...

I didn't understand how all important this password would be and just tossed anything at it.. Just to make it go away...  Then upon rebooting and needing this same password, it took me a couple of tries to get it right again....  BEWARE..

The software asks you to make a password key disk.... But it turns out that they want a thumb USB drive and not a physical disk..  I didn't have a spare drive, so that will have to be purchased.  Evidently the presence of this USB drive will get you past a forgotten password...

I found quite an explanation of what to do if you forget in this article .   I don't understand all of it yet, but perhaps tomorrow when I am not as tired it will make more sense....

We have the older laptop that I normally use everyday to update as well, and it is three years old so I will have to pay the full $39.95 for it...  Perhaps I will have used the new software for a while by then and all of this will seem like old hat...

This upgrade needs to be completed by January 31st, as the price will go up on that date, but it wasn't clear by how much....  Windows 7 Pro was $199 so the increase could be quite large...  Also they gave you a new product code for your install so the code on the bottom of the machine must be now defunct.

This way each upgrade will require another $40, and will not be validated by your old product code...  I read that the physical retail disc copy will be $69.95 and I do not know if it will come with a singe install product code.... But my bet would be affirmative...  The days of using these disks to upgrade multiple machines with older product codes seems to be gone .....

We had the big Halloween party here tonight, so my upgrade fun came to an abrupt end, but we were using the W8 machine looking things up as we talked, and also finding the different way that the new start menus worked...  Just try and find control panel!!!  But perhaps that will be for another blog.....LOL

Retired Rod          See the next post for more on Windows 8......


  1. Rod, good call on that Microsoft signon thing - it gave me a problem too at first. Luckily, there is an easy way around it to go back to the way we used to sign on without the Microsoft Account hassle.

    To do this go to PC Settings (click in bottom right hand corner), Users and then Switch to Local Account.

    Just follow the prompts to setup a 'local account' i.e. 'Rod' and leave the password blank and you'll end up with the exact same signon process as you had under Windows 7.

    1. Rick I had figured this out with the Local Account, but it turns off many of the features of the start menu where you are sync ed with Microsoft... I want to understand what being on their network will provide along with the 7Gb of free network drive... Wouldn't this be the main reason to use W8 and put up with its designed for touch menus?

    2. Rod, I thought you'd probably figure it out yourself!

      Signing on with a Microsoft account is mostly for folks with multiple devices who want to sync app settings and passwords; Internet Explorer 10 history, preferences, and bookmarks; desktop options such as log-in, lock screen, and colors; search preferences; language preferences; and keyboard and mouse settings.

      For me, I don't care about any of those things as I already am synced through Google Chrome for most of that. Also, I use LastPass for passwords. Also, my main email is Gmail - again Google.

      I really don't need anything from Microsoft right now except Windows 8 and I much prefer the simple 'local account' setup as I'm pretty much on Google for everything else.

      It's a trade-off for sure and depends entirely on an individuals preferences.

  2. Just not going to do it. When I have to buy a new computer I'll have to deal with it but not going to do it now. No way, no how. Absolutely not. Never. NO. No. NO.

    1. You are a wise woman, Sandie. Unless you have a compelling reason to, or are computer curious, experienced and adventuresome like Rod, I'd heartily recommend waiting a bit until the dust settles a bit on Windows 8. I don't expect any real problems as this version has been the most tested in Microsoft's history. But, stuff happens.

  3. I didn't realize that there was a January 31st promo deadline, that could change things for me.

  4. In my opinion, if I buy a piece of software, it is mine and I should be able to install it on any computers I own. We have 3 computers, and I refuse to buy Microsoft Office for all 3. I don't care how Bill Gates gets richer, as long as it is not off me.

    Be careful on the road,

    1. Rex download and try Open Office for your office productivity suite... Its free and can do almost any of the things that MS office can do.. This has been around for many years and runs under a number of operating systems including Linux where I became aware of it...

      Windows version download....

    2. Rex, the Home and Student edition of Microsoft Office is licensed for installation on up to three machines, all other versions of Microsoft Office are in fact licensed for installation on two machines.

      This is pretty much standard software policy with any manufacturer and is designed to prevent rampant piracy.

  5. After my setup (I used my regular e-mail, not a Microsoft one), I changed the sign-on password to the photo password. You pick one of your photos, and choose three circles, lines, or clicks to apply to the photo. Each time you sign on, you just use the same thing and it opens the program. Like if you had a photo of a group of people, circle three faces, or click on three noses, or draw three lines from one to another, etc., and do the same each time. No one would be able to figure it out.

    Your control panel, in fact everything, is under the Apps section. At first I was thinking Apps, like the fun things on my phone. But obviously apps is short for applications, and they are all there. I put everything I used on a regular basis in sections on the home screen. BTW, it took me a while to realize they are configured two columns at a time, even if you have more columns showing in the same section. You can move them around to put similar items in the same column sections, or group together the apps you use most of the time.

    Good luck! This will be a good learning experience for us. :)


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