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  1. #1
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    Is the Win 8.1 Upgrade Worthwhile?

    My 10 mo old Acer laptop came with Win 8.0. It was a heck of a buy (right place, right time), but I wasn't thrilled with Win 8. My old Sony laptop with Win XP had just died. My wife's computer has Win 7. My old desktop PC also had Win XP.

    After a couple of days, I had my new Win 8 machine working like a really stable Win XP, except it's x64 with 6MB of RAM. So it's a really fast, comparatively stable (actually, very stable) Win XP machine. (Only issue: having to re-install Adobe Flash every couple of days, or after a Firefox upgrade.)

    My only encounter with charms is after bootup or wake up, I hit the desktop charm, work from the desktop. Sometimes I get lazy and update Windows Defender from the Charms Bar. Otherwise, it's all desktop.

    My wi-fi service gives me 5MB/mo., which is one reason I haven't pulled the trigger.

    So my questions: are there any good reasons to upgrade? or should I wait for the rumored Win 9?

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    If things are working as you want them, the question you need to ask is whether you want to incur issues with drivers and other quirks that can occur with 8.1. There is nothing incredibly compelling on 8.1, so the risk is probably not worth taking. This is a matter of personal opinion, though.
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    G.B.Davis (2014-03-30)

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    If you decide you want to do it, take a look at:

    http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/update-to-windows81

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    G.B.Davis (2014-04-04)

  6. #4
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I am recommending to my customers and friends that they stay with 8.0 for the time being, and not go to 8.1.

    I have found Windows 8.0, with one of the start menu addins (I use StartIsBack, but there are others), to be like a very efficient version of Windows 7. And so far, all of my software, old and new, works without any problems under Windows 8.0.

    However, the ride got a bit bumpy after I installed the 8.1 update. Windows didn't feel as efficient and smooth; and some things wouldn't work under 8.1. So I restored the backup I made right before doing the 8.1 update, and I immediately returned to the smooth sailing of Windows 8.0.

    (As a disclaimer, I have an old PC which maxes out at 2GB of RAM. Therefore, some of my issues may be because of that.)

    Also, I have observed, or heard about, others who have had problems with 8.1.

    There is no compelling need to go to 8.1, so I recommend that you stay with 8.0.

    If you do choose to go to 8.1, make sure you do a good backup of your system before proceeding, so that you can easily revert back to 8.0 should you decide to do so.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2014-03-31 at 17:29.

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    G.B.Davis (2014-04-04)

  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prescott View Post
    If you decide you want to do it, take a look at:

    http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/update-to-windows81
    Just took a look at that page -- that alone is enough to scare me into staying with 8.0.

    For $100 more, I could have bought an equivalent Windows 7 machine (this was July 2013). I'm wishing I'd gone that way. Live and learn.

    Thank you Prescott, and mrjimphelps.

    --GeorgeB

  9. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G.B.Davis View Post
    My 10 mo old Acer laptop came with Win 8.0. It was a heck of a buy (right place, right time), but I wasn't thrilled with Win 8. My old Sony laptop with Win XP had just died. My wife's computer has Win 7. My old desktop PC also had Win XP.

    After a couple of days, I had my new Win 8 machine working like a really stable Win XP, except it's x64 with 6MB of RAM. So it's a really fast, comparatively stable (actually, very stable) Win XP machine. (Only issue: having to re-install Adobe Flash every couple of days, or after a Firefox upgrade.)

    My only encounter with charms is after bootup or wake up, I hit the desktop charm, work from the desktop. Sometimes I get lazy and update Windows Defender from the Charms Bar. Otherwise, it's all desktop.

    My wi-fi service gives me 5MB/mo., which is one reason I haven't pulled the trigger.

    So my questions: are there any good reasons to upgrade? or should I wait for the rumored Win 9?
    I'd have to say yes (I'm doing a reversal from previous advice), but with one caveat; make an image based backup beforehand in the event of issues.


    Reasons to upgrade:
    *It's free, except for the bandwidth.
    (I've created and performed a flawless clean install from the original 8.1 download detailed in this article: Windows 8.1 ISO Install Test
    Any problems I've had previously with 8.1 evaporated with a clean install.[...and I've done several upgrade installs])
    Upgrade installs are not the most optimal, but the 8.1 upgrade is far superior than any MS upgrade in the past.
    *It's an improvement upon Windows 8 alone.
    *You won't loose any programs or settings, except maybe to WU.
    (I've seen it turn things like system restore and automatic updates back on)
    *It's a tad bit smaller in total size, but more efficient, & more esthetically pleasing to the eye.


    So if you are experienced & capable of making and restoring a hard drive image, then go for it, you'll have nothing to loose, except the time and bandwidth.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
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  10. #7
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G.B.Davis View Post
    Just took a look at that page -- that alone is enough to scare me into staying with 8.0.

    For $100 more, I could have bought an equivalent Windows 7 machine (this was July 2013). I'm wishing I'd gone that way. Live and learn.

    Thank you Prescott, and mrjimphelps.

    --GeorgeB
    I'm with Clint. I didn't see anything particularly scary on that page. I've upgraded at least 5 different systems from Windows 8 to 8.1 and haven't had a single problem including my Acer laptop that originally came with Windows 7. As Clint says, I would definitely make an image based backup before starting as I would for any major Windows update including Windows 7 Service packs. Windows 8.1 has a noticeable speed up from Windows 7. Remember, people only post when they have problems, not when everything works. The vast majority of windows 8.1 upgrades have no problems. The older your equipment is, the more likely you are to experience issues.

    Jerry

  11. #8
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    When I am doing something like this, I always start with a scratch disk drive. Then I clone the old operating system to the scratch disk, and then pull out the original hard drive, install the scratch disk with the clone copy on it, and then let it rip.

    No matter how badly it gets hosed, all you have to do is pull out the scratch drive, and re-install the original drive, and you are 100% back to where you were.

    One thing, the scratch drive has to be bigger than the boot partition on the original drive. So, for instance, if the original drive is 500GB and the scratch drive is 250GB, you have to be able to shrink the "C" partition on the original drive to less than 250GB in order to make a clone copy to the scratch drive. And sometimes it is hard to get the "C" partition to shrink down enough.

    Sometimes when I'm going to do this, and I'm sure that I want it to be a permanent upgrade, I spring for a new drive to clone to, and then I make sure the new drive is bigger than the old drive.

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