Here’s to a comprehensive “howto” guide for Windows 8 installation on your computer.
Now, some of you will know that a developer preview release of Windows 8 has been floating around the net for a while now, and a few of you will probably have tried it. There are several ways to install it including a straight upgrade install, a dual-boot install alongside Windows 7 (or whatever OS you currently use), a live USB install and a virtual machine environment installed within a window running within your current OS.
For the time being I will give instructions on how to install directly and how to dual boot, however, if there are enough requests I may post instructions on how to create a liveUSB or how to virtualise Windows 8 at a later date.
Method : 1
Step 1 : You can download the ISO from here and at the bottom of the page you will find a link to an ISO burning program if you need it. All you need other than that are one blank DVD and a little bit of time (on my i3 laptop it took just short of 30 minutes to install, however a friend of mine with an i5 powered mean machine managed to go from inserting his DVD to having the full OS installed in 9 minutes – FAST!).
Step 2 : With your DVD ready, a direct install is easy, just load the disc and follow the on screen instructions, choose upgrade (unless you are sure you want a totally clean install and have backed up all of your files), wait for the computer to install and restart a few times and… Viola!
Method : 2
On the other hand, if you want to preserve your original Windows 7, and I would advise that you do, things get a little more complicated.
Step 1 : The first thing that you will need to do, after burning your disc, is to partition your hard drive. With XP or Vista there are several programs out there in Google that will help you do this, If you are using Win7 here is Microsoft’s official guide and a YouTube video to help you out.
Step 2 : The next step, once you have an NTFS partition of… I would recommend at least 40GB… is to reset your computer and to press your button that brings up the BIOS settings menu (usually the DEL key, F2 or F10 depending on your hardware). Find your boot options in the BIOS, being careful not to change anything that you don’t understand (adjusting things in the BIOS is like performing brain surgery, slice a scalpel through the wrong place and your computer might not ever wake up) and set your DVD drive as the top priority to boot from.
Step 3 : If you are SURE that you haven’t changed ANYTHING else in your BIOS, select “Save and Exit” or your computer’s equivalent option, and the computer will boot from the DVD and you will get a Win8 installation screen… And at this point you will breathe a sigh of relief and wipe the sweat from your brow.
But before you break out a bottle of vintage 1884 to celebrate, you must realise that the pressure isn’t off yet. If the next steps aren’t completed correctly you could still wipe your previous OS, so make sure that you follow these next instructions carefully.
Step 4 : While installing, you will come to a screen with options, and what you choose here is VITAL if you want to dual-boot. It is imperative that you choose “CUSTOM” when prompted, and then choose the newly created partition on your drive for it to install to.
At this point you are welcome to pour yourself a glass. No, wait, neck it straight from the bottle, you have done yourself proud.
Enjoy Windows 8!
Please comment on here if you have any problems, suggestions or general comments!
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