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  1. #1
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    Is there a painless way to upgrade from Win 7 to Win 8?

    I support a small office with a half dozen PC's all running Win7. The users are not interested or skilled in modifying or customizing the Windows file system or user interface. They are only interested in using the system to get their work done. So my question is: is there/will there be a simple painless way to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 where all user files/programs remain intact, AND the user interface for Windows 8 is reasonably close to the user interface on Windows 7? And if so, where are the best clear, detailed instructions for how to accomplish this upgrade? What I hope is that I can buy the $40 upgrade, take a CD to each PC and run it, then return an hour later, and Windows 8 is done and working on that PC. Is this a possibility, or is this too much to hope for? Thanks for any comments from persons who have experience with upgrading to Windows 8.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Supposedly the upgrade process for Win 8 is the best ever. See this thread for information. Even doing this, I believe you will have to do some customizing for each PC to allow users to get into the Desktop UI. Or perhaps a simple training program. I put together a simple tutorial on Taking the Scary out of this OS.

    I would also look through some others of these threads as there is a lot of information on how to use Win 8. The 3 sticky threads contain much of this info.

    note: I said supposedly because I have not personally done this.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-09-20 at 08:35.
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  3. #3
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    I have used the upgrade process (to go from CP to RP) and it was fast and painless.

    Even so, you should do a complete backup first, because with millions of people upgrading, it is a virtual certainty that some will go wrong. It also couldn't hurt to have a UPS to plug the computer into before starting.

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    If all your users are happy with Windows 7, then why are you thinking of going to Windows 8?
    Mainstream support for Windows 7 will extend until 12 January 2015 and extended support until 14 January 2020.
    BATcher

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    Use of any OS in an work-place environment requires careful planing and preparation. In even a small office there should be a business plan that indicates what the return on investment will be, what the implementation risks are and what mitigating steps have been taken. For a small office, the plan does not need to be a hundred page document: a simple plan indicating to the boss that you have covered all reasonable bases.

    OK, so upgrading 6 boxes would only cost $240, but if the upgrade breaks something, that cost could suddenly be 10 or 100 times greater. For example, your current backup strategy may very easily be broken by adopting Windows 8. To fix that would incur additional costs, which might come as a rather unpleasant surprise.

    If you feel that Windows 8 offers something that could improve productivity etc, I would buy a spare PC or two, create multiple images, then test various upgrade paths, plus software and hardware compatibility. Based on the results from those tests, you could develop a business plan to upgrade.

    There are free 90-day evaluation versions of Windows 8 Enterprise RTM available to the general public for exactly this purpose. Download from MSDN here
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    I'm with BATcher if Windows 7 is working and the users aren't into customizing then why bother going to Windows 8? Is there anything in Windows 8 you specifically need? From what I see in many places it seems like Windows upgrades frequently have problems and rarely work that great. A clean install is really the best choice.
    Joe

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    2012 09 21
    Thanks to everybody for your comments. Here are some of my responses:
    My main reason for upgrading to Windows 8 at this time is the relatively low cost and the expectation that upgrading will become necessary at some point in the future anyway, possibly at higher cost then. Might as well do it now and get it over with. I have also been impressed with the reported ease of upgrading, although I haven’t done it myself. It seems that the ease of this upgrade is significantly better from previous ones which were often plagued with problems.

    I do have the impression that Windows 8 is somewhat faster and has some other desirable new features, although probably nothing that is essential for our current operations.

    I agree with Tinto Tech that something in the upgrade likely won’t work, incurring additional cost, and that Windows 8 backup features are apparently inferior to Windows 7. The extended support termination dates for Windows 7 are another reason to hesitate to upgrade. I have heard of Windows 8 Enterprise RTM, but I’m not familiar with it, and I’m not sure how or whether it is different from the “regular” Windows 8 version, so I hesitate to spend a lot of time trying to figure that out.

    So I remain somewhat uncertain about whether upgrading is advisable right now, but I do want upgrading to be as painless and transparent as possible whenever I do have to do it.

    Any further comments gratefully received. Thanks !!!!

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Actually, the Win 7 backup features seem better than Win 7. File History appears to be an ideal backup feature for automatic data backups. I have heard and read very good comments about it. I have not tried it myself until I actually install Win 8 Pro on our PC's. File History has been discussed in other threads in the Lounge as well.

    The Imaging capabilities of Windows have never been good in my opinion. I much prefer 3rd party apps over Win 7's Backup and Restore app. I do not know what the Imaging ramifications are in a business scenario.
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  9. #9
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    Medico, did you mean that Win *8* backup features seem better than Win 7? I agree that Windows backup features have always been problematic, and it's a mystery to me why Microsoft can't get it right. In addition, Dell adds their own backup features to their PC's which seem to damage the Windows 7 backup features in all of the Windows 7 PC's that I have bought. But if Win 8 backup is actually better than Win 7, that would be good to know for sure.

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Yes that is exactly what I'm saying. File History is an automatic Backup app included with Win 8 has that gotten great press. I would think for someone with extensive data backup requirements this would be ideal.

    The Imaging in Win 8 is no better than Win 7, but data backup does indeed seem to be.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  11. #11
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    Regardless, you should evaluate the product in your environment and decide if it meets your needs - what improvements in productivity, or technical capabilities overcome the outlay in time and material. There are simply too many things in business environment that could affect the decision, it's impossible for us to accurately advise you on all aspects here.

    At present all we know is that you have six PC's on Windows 7. What I can say though is that given your comment about Windows 7 backup, it sounds like you have a peer-to-peer network running standalone workstations in a workgroup rather than a centrally managed domain joined Server-Client network. That being the case, it does get easier, but there are still lots of things to consider, a sub set of which might include:

    Backup - central or client based
    Disaster recovery - imaging or local recovery consoles
    Power supply protection - UPS hardware and software compatibility
    Hardware compliance and compatibility - printers, scanners, faxes, etc...
    Physical security - of hardware if you already use a physical solution...
    Data security - vpn access, encryption, privacy, etc...
    Email clients - IMAP or POP (a big issue in the native email program in Win8), or desktop clients such Outlook, thunderbird etc...
    Data migration - you will want to get your business data off a box that is being upgraded and then re-import it. Taking a chance is dangerous.
    Legal requirements for data segregation - a possibility, for example in a legal partnership. Local file encryption compatibility if employed should be thought about.

    My recommendation remains to get at least one new (or unused) Win 7 machine on your network and run the upgrade evaluation. Only then will you be able to make a rational decision.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

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  12. #12
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    Since Windows 7 is supported until 2020 you'll probably replace your PC's before that.
    Joe

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    4 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    Of interest: A clean installation of Windows 8 does not offer an image backup in its backup utility. However, If you install Widows 8 over an existing Windows 7 installation, not only are all programs, files and settings incorporated into Windows 8, but also the backup options of Windows 7 (including image backup). One wonders if the retail version of Windows 8 will offer this later in October?
    (My Setup: 3,70GHz Intel Core i7-4820K CPU; MSI Military Class iii X79A-GD45 Plus Motherboard; Win 8.1 Pro (64 bit); 16GB RAM; SAMSUNG SD840 PRO SSD (6GB/SATA III); Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; GeForceGTX 760 2GB Graphics Card; Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2014 Premium, NIS 2014, etc). (UEFI-booted). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive)

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    Quote Originally Posted by adelejukerberg View Post
    I still can not understand that why all users which are happy with Windows 7, are thinking of going to Windows 8? Windows 7 is supported until 2020, so if you do not have any problem then why this switch?
    Because Windows 8 is a better Windows 7? Better performance, faster boot times, faster file operations, better OS tools in general terms (Task Manager, for example).

    The reason people seem to loath Windows 8 (the UI changes) is, actually, a minor nuisance. This statement is being made by someone working everyday on a laptop running Windows 8 RTM. I think people will be missing out on a great OS because of reasons that can easily be overcome, if they do not upgrade to avoid the UI changes. Plus, the upgrade cost will be just $40, if done before the end of January 2013.

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to ruirib For This Useful Post:

    petesmst (2012-09-26)

  16. #15
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Rui once again. In addition to the different reasons he mentions you can customize Win 8 so that you will not generally realize you are not on Win 7 and yet gain the various things Rui mentions.

    I do not go to the Modern UI very often, but the Free Cell and Mahjong games from the app Store are quite nice. You can remove everything from the Modern UI if your wish. Just leave the Desktop Tile. This will allow you to easily switch to the Desktop UI.

    I spend most of my working time on the Desktop and play time on the Modern UI.
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