Note: Testing of Windows 8.1 Preview (Warning)

It has come light that testing the Windows 8.1 preview will not be as straightforward and will involve some prerequisites.

 

Do not install it on a production machine or boot drive.

 

Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager Michael Niehaus reiterated that message in the RT in the Enterprise session on Tuesday. When the 8.1 preview is available, Windows 8 and Windows RT users will receive a Windows Update notification. That update will trigger the new bits to show up in the Windows Store, where potential testers will be able to read the description and choose whether or not to install.

 

Once the final versions of Windows 8.1 are available, after their release to manufacturing, those who have downloaded the preview will get the same Windows Update plus Windows Store notification. While their data and accounts will be preserved if and when they choose to install the free, final 8.1 release, all their apps must be reinstalled, Niehaus said.

 

Even if testers opt instead to roll their devices back to Windows 8 after installing the preview bits, they still will have to reinstall their apps once they move to the RTM version of Windows 8.1.

 

Windows 8 users who do not install the preview build and opt instead to go straight from Windows 8/Windows RT to Windows 8.1 will not have to reinstall their apps. All settings, data and apps will carry over, a spokesperson said when I asked. Users will be able to decide when and if they want to move from Windows 8 and Windows RT to the 8.1 versions, officials stressed.

 

Source:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57587794-75/how-windows-8.1-upgrades-will-get-to-you/

 

How to prepare:

Backup your system before:

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

 

Check out the following article by Microsoft MVP JW Stuart about how to backup a Windows XP installation here using Acronis True Image here

Another solution you can use for backing up Windows XP is Easeus To Do Backup, JW Stuart also has an article about it here

 

These same principles should work for persons running Windows Vista.

 

If you are running editions such as Windows Vista Business, Enterprise or Ultimate editions, you can use the built in Complete PC Backup of your Vista installation. This can be very handy in case your Windows 8 installation fails. For instructions about how to use Complete PC Backup, see the following article here. Of course, you will need an external hard disk for this task.

 

Create a partition:

http://notebooks.com/2011/02/25/how-to-create-a-simple-partition-in-windows-7-quick-tip/

 

Dual boot:

See instructions for dual booting based on installing the Windows 8 Previews, same principles will work for the Windows 8.1 preview:

How to dual boot Windows XP and Windows 8

How to dual boot Windows Vista/7 and Windows 8

Use Virtual Machine software:

This is recommended if you have a powerful enough processor and lots of memory.

You can use alternatives such as Oracle VirtualBox or VMWare Player.

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

VMware Player;

http://downloads.vmware.com/d/details/player_401/dGpkYnRwd3didGRwQA==

 

If you are running Windows 8 Pro on a computer with SLAT support Second Layer Address Translation, you can use the built in Hyper-V that comes with Windows 8 Pro edition.

 

Will update this article with relevant content.

 

Hi,

To add to Andre's tips here is some release information for Windows 8.1 :

What's New in Windows 8.1
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dn140266

Microsoft - First look at Windows 8.1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQb5caeSo00


Microsoft - Windows Client
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/default.aspx?ocid=wc-mscom-win

With ANY pre-release (Preview) software ALWAYS have backups off the main drive, Be
prepared to have to do a clean install or take other major restorative action to revert back
to the previous version or to install the "RTM = Release To Market" version.

Hope this helps.

Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP <- profile - Windows Expert - Consumer : Bicycle <- Mark Twain said it right!

Rob Brown - past Microsoft MVP - Windows Insider MVP 2016 - 2021
Microsoft MVP Windows and Devices for IT 2009 - 2020

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Why you should not install the Windows 8.1 preview on a PC you depend on for everyday use

Original date and time of post: 6/26/13 12:36:23 PM
Last Revision: 6/28/2013
 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure:
As with any beta or preview there could be bugs. In addition when the final release becomes available those who have downloaded the preview will get the same Windows Update plus Windows Store notification. While their data and accounts will be preserved if and when they choose to install the free, final 8.1 release, all their apps must be reinstalled. As stated by Microsoft's Senior Product Marketing Manager; Michael Niehaus.

 

Worth repeating: Once the final versions of Windows 8.1 are available, after their release to manufacturing, those who have downloaded the preview will get the same Windows Update plus Windows Store notification. While their data and accounts will be preserved if and when they choose to install the free, final 8.1 release, all their apps must be reinstalled, Niehaus

said.

 

Download links: http://prev.windows.microsoft.com/en-001/windows-8/preview-download

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?linkid=301772

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/preview

Links may not be active yet.

 

Note: If you use the .ISO file to upgrade to Windows 8.1 your existing Windows 8 product key will be replaced by the 8.1 product key you entered when prompted during the upgrade process.
 

The best way to evaluate the 8.1 preview is on a separate PC:
Failing that you should at least create an image backup of Windows 8 to an external USB drive before you install the preview as this will save you from reinstalling all your apps. Then periodically backup your data to the USB drive as well.
 

EaseUS Todo Backup Home V6.0 http://www.todo-backup.com/
 Free version: http://www.todo-backup.com/products/home/free-backup-software-features.htm
 (Note: Install Todo and then create an "Emergency Disk" before you start creating your first image backup)
 Version 5.8 supports XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8
 

Acronis True Image 2013 - has a 30 day trial version available, trial Key send via Email.
 Note: Cloning and drive initialization (creating a MBR) are not supported in the trial version.
 For the trial version, only recovering is available when booting from an Acronis Bootable Media.
 Install Acronis and then create a bootable Restore/Rescue Media CD before you start creating your first image backup
 http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/
 30 day trial : http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/#tryorbuy
 True Image User Guides and documentation:
 http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/#resources
 2013 supports XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8
 

Additional information (Credit Andre Da Costa - Microsoft MVP)
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-windows_install/note-testing-of-windows-81-preview-
warning/1276b0ba-ba66-4d08-9d3f-156fa18916b4
 
 
The information listed below was published by Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet:
http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-goes-public-with-windows-8-1-upgrade-policies-7000016419/
 

Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager Michael Niehaus reiterated that message in the RT in the Enterprise session on June 4. When the 8.1 preview is available, Windows 8 and Windows RT users will receive a Windows Update notification. That
update will trigger the new bits to show up in the Windows Store, where potential testers will be able to read the description and choose whether or not to install.
 

Once the final versions of Windows 8.1 are available, after their release to manufacturing, those who have downloaded the preview will get the same Windows Update plus Windows Store notification. While their data and accounts will be preserved if and when they choose to install the free, final 8.1 release, all their apps must be reinstalled, Niehaus said.
 

Windows 8 users who do not install the preview build and opt instead to go straight from Windows 8/Windows RT to Windows 8.1 will not have to reinstall their apps. All settings, data and apps will carry over, a spokesperson said when I asked.

Users will be able to decide when and if they want to move from Windows 8 and Windows RT to the 8.1 versions, officials stressed.
 

Update: For those wondering exactly which apps will need to be reinstalled, it depends whether the tester is running Windows on ARM or x86. On Windows RT devices, it's the Windows Store/Metro-Style apps that will have to be reinstalled; for x86-based Windows 8 systems, testers will need to reinstall both their Windows Store/Metro-Style and Desktop apps, a Microsoft spokesperson said.

 

 

Before you atremp to install using the Online download: Reset the Microsoft Store Cache
 

a. Press Windows key + Q.
b. In the Search box type WSReset.exe and hit enter.
 
That should reset your cache for the store.


Now open the store and then exit from the store.
 
 
Now try the download: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/preview
 

 

J W Stuart: http://www.pagestart.com

 

 

Never be afraid to ask. This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.

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I'm finding all sorts of bugs and problems with applications that worked fine in Windows 8.

I have already removed the 8.1 preview from 2 machines and probably will remove it from my Surface Pro.

This preview was not ready for public scrutiny.

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I agree.  The install (Upgrade from W8 Pro) has failed on two machines - multiple times.  I could never get x64 to install - kept erroring out, even after a re-format of the installation drive.  Finally got x86 to install but it is the buggiest and most unstable piece of ALPHA software I've ever seen.  There is no way this should be considered a 'public preview' or even close to a final version. 

Few of the apps work reliably, IE 10 consumers 150MB or MORE of RAM, with only ONE web page open (www.live.com, just to make it more ironic), Office 2013 crashes, my company's applications crash (work fine on Windows 8).  

What IS working seems nice - I think it's completely silly that Microsoft put a 'Start' button on the desktop that simply opens the Start page...  I like the Windows 8 Start Page, I think people who are crying about the change should be happy that Microsoft is TRYING to make a more intuitive, user-friendly OS, that cannot be said for competitors. 

Microsoft needs to regression test this for about 2 more weeks before releasing it as a Beta.  And they should have some sort of mechanism in the preview/beta for reporting issues - and not directing us to this useless, black-hole of a forum. 

DW

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Why won't they let those of us who download the preview keep our apps later? I'm sure the proper encoding can be included with the final release. Besides, not having to re-install our apps would be an appropriate way to say thank you for testing the product. 

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Thanks frnd, I found maximum help from your answers in several issues.. But :( for Windows 8.1 being MSSupp could not. Please helps us with the correct helpful resolution. Thanks

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Last updated January 15, 2014 Views 3,982 Applies to: