Upgrading From Windows XP to Windows 8

Should I Go All The Way With Windows 8?

Does your current Windows XP PC meet Microsoft’s hardware requirements? Test with this download.

Per Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 upgrade page:

To upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows Vista or Windows XP, you’ll need to install it from a Windows 8.1 DVD and perform a clean installation. This means you won’t be able to keep any files, settings, or programs when you upgrade.

Windows 8.1 isn’t designed for installation on PCs running Windows Vista or Windows XP, so we strongly recommend you do the following before buying the Windows 8.1 DVD.

Review system requirements

We recommend that you download and run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant to check if your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 8. The Windows 8.1 system requirements are nearly the same as the Windows 8 system requirements—so if your PC can run Windows 8, in most cases, you can get the free update to Windows 8.1. Upgrade Assistant will also check program and device compatibility, and provide a free compatibility report.

Still be sure to review the system requirements for Windows 8.1 before buying the Windows 8.1 DVD. We also recommend that you visit your PC manufacturer’s website for info about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.

. That’s what Microsoft has to say.

Still not convinced that Win 8 is for you? Heard all the bad press about Win 8’s lack of a Start Button, issues with Metro, tiles, charms,  touchscreens? You can get your Desktop and Start button back easily – see my note about Classic Shell at the bottom of this page. Consider some advantages of Win 8 – faster boots, greater security, 3 extra years of support.  – then go for it.

Further information on compatibility is listed on this page.

Will my PC upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 8?

WinXPMigration Recommends Windows 8!

If your current hardware does not support Win 8, you may opt for Windows 7 or a non-Windows operating system.

If your hardware is compatible with Windows 8, figure out if you need a 32-bit or 64-bit copy of Windows 8.1. How? Click Start , then right-click My Computer. If the new window indicates “x64” anywhere on the page, you have a 64-bit system, If no “x64” you have a 32-bit system. Buy your new version of Windows 8 accordingly. Note that Windows come in different versions at different costs. Starter, Home Premium, Professional, you-name-it.

Go ahead,  buy a copy of Windows 8 32/64-bit from me and get started.

Can you keep programs & data? Check with the Windows Compatibilty Center. Note that you may either type in the name of the software in question, or run a scan of you PC to automatically find & check all your existing programs.

You may be able to move your data with the help of  Windows Easy Transfer, or move both software and data with Laplink’s PCMover. PCMover assists in moving software and data during an upgrade from XP to Win 7 or 8 but be aware, it is not perfect and some of your software may not run on a newer version of Windows. Otherwise, plan on re-installing your applications and data manually.

Is intermediate upgrade to Win 7 required? No, because you are wiping out everything on your existing PC Win XP setup. Ensure that you have plenty of backups of your data and have uninstalled or unregisterd your programs correctly.

Microsoft has a complete Windows XP-to-Windows 8.1 Tutorial here. Best to print a copy for reference during the upgrade procedure.

First off, ensure that Win XP is updated and that your antivirus program is updated.

Then back up your data and setup as shown here.

While those backups are running, make good use of your time. Get out your product manuals and installation media for programs you have purchased and added later such as MS Office, Verify that you have media and product keys for everything.

Are your current programs Win8-friendly? Check at the Win 8 Compatibility Center.

Some programs, especially the really expensive ones, may allow only 1 product activation! These programs may have a special uninstall procedures allowing de-activation/re-activation. You may be expected to contact the manufacturer’s support helpline to complete a special procedure for de-activating and re-installing/re-activating. This may require that you contact software support prior to uninstalling or de-activating the software. Skip this step and you may have to spend hours on the phone with support or worse yet, you may have to pay big bucks for another copy of your software. Ouch! MS Office, Visio, Dragon Naturally Speaking, some Adobe products along with many others may fall into this category. Check the documentation to ensure you are following the correct procedure. Plan for your #WinXPMigration.

Make a list of your PC’s hardware, software and product keys. The free-for-personal-use Belarc Advisor works well for this and there are other similar programs. Store the files externally and make a printed copy. Not only can you save your product keys to a file on an external hard drive, it is a good idea to get a printout from Belarc Advisor – you’ll appreciate it while completing one of the later steps.

After your backups are done and verified, and you have ensured that you have multiple backups of your data, uninstall your programs if required by the manufacturer. Disconnect your backup media.

Now it’s time to do the upgrade.

Insert Your Windows 8 Installation Disc and reboot. You may have to “press any key” to get the PC to boot from the Installation disc.

Follow the installation instructions on the printout you made of this page.

Get the latest security updates: Click Start | Control Panel | Windows Update. This could take a while, you’ll need an Internet connection for the downloads. A reboot may be required.

Copy your data files and settings back to the new setup, manually if required.

Reinstall your programs.

How do I get my older programs to run correctly under Windows 8? See what Microsoft has to say about this.

Classic Shell Button and Help

Classic Shell’s Start Button

Just can’t get excited about that screen full of tiles? I use free Classic Shell to get that Start-Button Feeling. You can set it up to boot directly to the Desktop, then set the Start Menu to look like Win 7 or, yes, even … Win XP. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.

Enjoy your new Windows 8 installation. WinXPMigration is easy to do. #XPocalypseNOW has lost its power.

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