The tale of two upgrades to Windows 8.1

Ok. Here are two interesting cases in trying to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1.

If you upgrade through the Microsoft Store it is free of charge. The downside is that you need to download about 3.6GB of data [if using a 64-bit version of Windows 8] or 2.6GB of data [if using a 32-bit version of Windows 8].

Note: If you attempt to upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8, you will need a Windows 8.1 license. That sucks. Unsure why Microsoft did that.

So, a friend, who has a Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop [obviously not much more than a year old], upgraded his laptop on his own. It went through fine but he had a stack of issues that had to be updated. Certain features wouldn’t work unless you actually removed the drivers and then re-install the same drivers [unless there was something new].

I decided to upgrade this past weekend to Windows 8.1 as well. Unlike the Dell laptop, mine is a brand name but technically not supported by the manufacturer for Windows 8 but was supported for Windows 7. So mine is a fresh installation with no garbage. It is using the same or Windows 8 upgraded drivers as Windows 7.

So there I started downloading the 2.6GB [it is a 32-bit version] and then I got the error “Your Windows 8.1 install couldn’t be completed”. So luckily I had just posted [by coincidence!] an entry regarding this issue here. [I am sure glad the error occurs as you begin to download and not at the end.]

Sure enough, the download started. The Internet must have been slow. It took a while. Then after a few reboots and those opening screens as if you first opened a new computer with Windows 8, you were in Windows 8.1.

But there is a catch: Unlike Windows 8, Windows 8.1 wanted you to sign in with a Microsoft ID [i.e. Hotmail,, etc.] account. You still log in with your local account [if you configured Windows 8 that way].

In all, the upgrade including downloading the installation files took about 2.5 hours. I was told that is roughly in line with most installations. I then had the recent batch of security updates to do.

The interesting thing is that the installation would have been shorter if the media was available for “offline” installations. Probably wouldn’t have taken much more than 45 minutes.



About ebraiter
computer guy

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