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  1. #1
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    Guidance sought on installing Windows 8 Preview

    Hi,
    My aging XP machine will need replacing soon, so I would like to try Windows 8 Preview whilst itís still possible to purchase W7 if I donít like it.

    The PC wouldnít be able to handle W8, and I need guidance on whether the Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop running Vista is suitable. Is 3 GB RAM sufficient, or will it need more? Never having opened a laptop Iíve no idea how easy it is to access the RAM.

    Then there is the question of the 120 GB hard drive, with only 43.3 GB free. Removing various backups from XP and burning them to DVD would add another 30Gb. Is this enough?

    Iím reluctant to install a larger drive just for a test of W8, being sure it would prove even more troublesome than with the desk top. However, the laptop is only used on holiday, apart from monthly maintenance and a weekly backup of Sharescope in order to keep it up to date in case of mishap with the desktop PC. As we will not be going away again this year drive C could be wiped if necessary, retaining just the Dell recovery drive, thus making 120Gb available.

    Knowing nothing about dual boot, there are a couple more questions. If the C drive is reformatted to install W8, as discussed above, and I decide to remove it, will the PC boot to the recovery drive, or am I up the creek?

    Finally, if W8 will fit on a new partition on the existing HD without removing Vista, how much space should I allocate to W8, and would it be necessary to have Office 2010, etc on both partitions, or would W8 be able to access from the existing C drive?

    TIA and apologies for my ignorance.

  2. #2
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    The hardware requirements are the same as Windows 7, for the preview. 3GB is more than enough, thus. If anything, 8 requires less memory than 7. 8 x86 requires just 20 MB free. As Office doesn't require 23 GB, you should be ok with just 43 GB. That said, you would probably not have much space, both for XP and 8. I would this go with releasing the 30 additional GBs. This being the case, you would not require formatting your drive.

    Of course, this would mean a dual boot scenario. Removing 8, in the future, would probably means some tweaking to your system, which should not be hard to do.

    I would give 8 at least 40 GB, counting with office and all. At the very least, 35 GB.

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    georgelee (2012-08-26)

  4. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Is the PC your contemplating installing Win 8 RP a 32 Bit or 64 Bit capable PC? Either will work with those specs, however the 32 Bit takes less disk space and minimum requirements list 1 GB for 32 Bit and 2 Gb for 64 Bit Ram as minimum.

    If you have an operational XP OS on an aging system, I assume this is not the PC you have Vista on. What I would do is Image the Vista OS in case I needed to reinstall, then Custom (Clean) install Win 8 RP directly over the Vista OS. I would then partition the 120 Gb HD to approx. 40 Gb to 50 Gb for the OS partition and the remainder for a data partition. In this way you keep all your data, including music, pictures, My Documents, mail folder, and app data into the Data Partition. This will allow you room to do whatever you want with the OS partition including installing all your apps that you really need, and keep the data separate. Then when you decide to buy Win 8 Pro at the end of the year (I assume you will like it as I do) you can install it without touching your data at all.

    You would have to install all your apps.
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  6. #4
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    My aging XP machine will need replacing soon, so I would like to try Windows 8 Preview whilst it’s still possible to purchase W7 if I don’t like it.

    The PC wouldn’t be able to handle W8, and I need guidance on whether the Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop running Vista is suitable. Is 3 GB RAM sufficient, or will it need more? Never having opened a laptop I’ve no idea how easy it is to access the RAM.

    Then there is the question of the 120 GB hard drive, with only 43.3 GB free. Removing various backups from XP and burning them to DVD would add another 30Gb. Is this enough?

    I’m reluctant to install a larger drive just for a test of W8, being sure it would prove even more troublesome than with the desk top. However, the laptop is only used on holiday, apart from monthly maintenance and a weekly backup of Sharescope in order to keep it up to date in case of mishap with the desktop PC. As we will not be going away again this year drive C could be wiped if necessary, retaining just the Dell recovery drive, thus making 120Gb available.

    Knowing nothing about dual boot, there are a couple more questions. If the C drive is reformatted to install W8, as discussed above, and I decide to remove it, will the PC boot to the recovery drive, or am I up the creek?

    Finally, if W8 will fit on a new partition on the existing HD without removing Vista, how much space should I allocate to W8, and would it be necessary to have Office 2010, etc on both partitions, or would W8 be able to access from the existing C drive?

    TIA and apologies for my ignorance.
    I have two aging machines, one a dell Optiplex GX260 aith 2.8Ghz Pentium 4, and COA for Windows XP Professional, and an HP Compaq Evo D510 Convertable Minitower with 2.4 Ghz Pentium 4, and COA for Windows 2000 Professional.

    On the Dell, I upgraded the memory from 512MB to 2GB, and I swapped out the CD-RW for a DVD-Rom, but Windows 8 DP, CP, and RP 32-bit all loaded without any problems. I don't have it running right now, because I switched over the monitor, Keyboard and mouse to the HP Compaq Evo.

    The HP Compaq Evo has been upgraded fro 512MB of memory to 1GB but it still has a CD-RW, so I booted it from a flash drive. It found Windows 8 on the flash drive, and displayed the Windows logo on the screen, but it never did anything after that. And after a while it went to a black screen that instructed me to reboot. Windows 7 Professional does the same thing. I loaded Ubuntu onto a flash drive, and was able to load Ubuntu 12.04 desktop from a USB port, and I can load Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional from the CD-RW.

    If you have 43.3 GB free on a 120GB hard drive, that is enough, and if you can increase that by 30GB that is more than enough.

    I have never dual booted evaluation operating systems, and I don't recommend it. Things can and do get screwed up. One of the big ones is systems overwriting each others Restore points. also as you have pointed out, removing one can get the Boot Director screwed up. Lately I just get an old machine for about $100.00 and install the evaluation system to that. When I was testing Vista, I took the hard drive with my Windows XP system completely out of the computer and installed a different scratch hard drive for Vista.

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    georgelee (2012-08-26)

  8. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I know in my dual boot PC (Win 7 and Win 8), I almost never boot Win 7, plus I have an Up To Date Image in case I have to go back to it. Since I am only using the Win 8 OS, I do not see the problem od overwritten Restore Points.

    That is one of the reasons I suggested Imaging the Vista OS, then installing Win 8 over that partition and setting up a data partition. In this way you can get a true evaluation of Win 8 without worrying about the Vista OS.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  9. #6
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    Medico,
    Thanks for the replies.

    Creating an image of Vista is the ideal, but I don’t think it’s going to be possible. Last December I bought a WD external drive, solely for storing images of the family PCs, but it proved to be useless. It creates images using the WD edition of Acronis, which can only be restored to a WD hard drive. Following advice to delete the WD software, I made an image with Macrium, but when I installed a new HD to test the image XP could not find it. Presumably something from WD was blocking access.

    I’m afraid the same thing might happen with the laptop, and there is no chance to test with a new HD – after removing 18 screws it was only possible to access a small area of the interior, containing nothing but the RAM and a very thick cable.

    Opinions on W8 seem to be very divided – hence my desire to try it out before buying a new PC – but if I use it to overwrite Vista there would presumably be no way back without buying a retail copy of Vista, an extreme step for something that is only used for holidays. Or would a clean install leave the Vista recovery drive in place?

    It certainly looks as though I shall either opt for dual boot or do nothing and take my chance on W8 when the time comes to replace the XP desktop.

    Regarding Prescott’s comment on dual boot systems overwriting each other’s Restore Points, surely each is only accessible to one OS.

    George

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    You can always try install Windows 8 in a virtual machine. I used VirtualBox to install the Developer Preview.
    It's a shame that you are running Vista, because if you were running 7, you could simply install Windows 8 in a VHD.

  11. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I had a bad experience with a WD HD as well and took it back and bought a Seagate Ext USB HD. I use Acronis TIH both versions 2010 and 2011. I could easily Image the Vista HD with this app. Recently I have been testing the Acronis TIH 2013 beta. (I do not know if this is available to all or just previous Acronis users.)

    However you do have to be comfortable doing so. If you are not comfortable then do not install over Vista.
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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    You can always try install Windows 8 in a virtual machine. I used VirtualBox to install the Developer Preview.
    It's a shame that you are running Vista, because if you were running 7, you could simply install Windows 8 in a VHD.
    Thanks for that ruirib. I'll give it a try once I've cleared some space on the laptop.

    I believe that once one closes a virtual box the contents are wiped from the PC, so presumably it will be necessary to download W8 each time it is used - does Microsoft allow that? Is it necessary to install Office in the VB as well, if wishing to give W8 a thorough test, or can it be accessed from the installed copy?

    The only downside to this appears to be that if I like W8 and wish to buy it, a virtual copy would probably not qualify for the very cheap upgrade to the final version that MS are said to intend offering. Certainly I wouldn't be prepared to pay their normal price for retail sales for a laptop only used 2 or 3 weeks a year.

    George
    Last edited by georgelee; 2012-08-28 at 07:48. Reason: grammar

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    Quote Originally Posted by georgelee View Post
    Thanks for that ruirib. I'll give it a try once I've cleared some space on the laptop.

    I believe that once one closes a virtual box the contents are wiped from the PC, so presumably it will be necessary to download W8 each time it is used - does Microsoft allow that? Is it necessary to install Office in the VB as well, if wishing to give W8 a thorough test, or can it be accessed from the installed copy?

    The only downside to this appears to be that if I like W8 and wish to buy it, a virtual copy would probably not qualify for the very cheap upgrade to the final version that MS are said to intend offering. Certainly I wouldn't be prepared to pay their normal price for retail sales for a laptop only used 2 or 3 weeks a year.

    George
    A virtual machine is just like a computer. Whatever you install is there until you remove it, or delete the virtual machine. You can also install whatever you want.

    Any Windows version will serve as an upgrade candidate, for the special price: http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b...for-39-99.aspx

  14. #11
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    Ruirib,

    Thanks for the clarification: it seems I was completely wrong on both counts.

    I was under the impression that VB was something temporary and completely separate from the rest of the PC, hence the greater safety when browsing. I have believed this for many years, so have no idea where it came from.

    As for the offer on W8 Pro, when I first saw it mentioned it was said to apply to upgrades from the preview versions, which first gave me the idea of testing it on the laptop, with the aim of deciding whether my new machine should be Windows 7 or 8, and if the latter, having W8 on the laptop should enable the laptop and desktop to connect without a cable.

    PS. Now have 68GB free on the laptop, tomorrow I will install a virtual machine.
    Last edited by georgelee; 2012-08-29 at 14:58. Reason: added PS

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    Quote Originally Posted by georgelee View Post
    Ruirib,
    I was under the impression that VB was something temporary and completely separate from the rest of the PC, hence the greater safety when browsing. I have believed this for many years, so have no idea where it came from.
    It is very much independent. It resides in a file, a virtual disk. which is then run by a VM manager of sorts. Being a virtual computer, you can configure it so that it behaves like other computers, that is communicating with them through a network and such. You can simply delete a VM and it's gone, no lasting effects. It can be totally self contained, so it can be used to test something without messing with your own computer.

  16. #13
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    Just understand George that you might take a slight performance hit in the VM. You are sharing resources between the Client OS (Win 8) and the host OS (Win 7).

    I also had problems connecting to the internet and to other PC's on my network. I could do one or the other but not both.

    I have successfully been using Win 7 (C Drive), Win 8 (D Drive) and a data drive on my PC in a dual boot scenario. I spend almost all my time in Win 8, just going to Win 7 on patch Tuesday. When the time comes, I will Image Win 7 one last time, then Custom Install Win 8 Pro in the Win 7 partition. Once Win 8 Pro is running the way I want I will delete the Win 8 Ent. Eval. OS I am presently using and combine both partitions into one so that I will have just Win 8 Pro and the Data Drive on my laptop.

    The upgrade from Win 8 RP to Win 8 Pro does qualify for the $40 price if you installed Win 8 RP in place of a qualifying OS. In my case my Win 7 will be the qualifying OS and I will eliminate Win 8 (beta or evaluation version from my PC)

    When I finally but a new PC it will be Win 8 Pro. It might be some sort of touch tablet, but will be powerful enough to run Win 8 Pro, not Win 8 RT.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-08-29 at 16:36.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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    Regarding Prescott’s comment on dual boot systems overwriting each other’s Restore Points, surely each is only accessible to one OS.
    When I was previewing Vista this was a big problem between XP and Vista. I didn't have the problem, because I didn't dual boot, but some other people did.

    I don't know about other pairs of operating systems, such as Windows XP and Windows 8 or Windows Vista and Windows 8 or Window 7 and Windows 8, but I wouldn't try it on my system, until I was sure it was not still a problem.

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  19. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medico View Post
    Just understand George that you might take a slight performance hit in the VM. You are sharing resources between the Client OS (Win 8) and the host OS (Win 7).

    I also had problems connecting to the internet and to other PC's on my network. I could do one or the other but not both.
    Thanks Ted (I've just discovered who you are). Neither of the above reservations bothers me, as the laptop is not used other than holidays and major problems with the desktop.

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