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New rig, confused about Win8 "upgrade offer"

Last response: in Windows 8
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October 14, 2012 1:54:26 AM

Hi everyone. I am very confused. Please help.

I have XP (32-bit) installed on my laptop. I'm about to order parts for a new rig and I want to install Win8 (64-bit) on it, and ideally get it for the $70 promo price. I also want to be able to reformat whenever I want (I usually reformat once or twice a year).

My main question is: what is the easiest, lowest-hassle way to get Windows 8 x64 on my new rig? (I'm assuming the answer is just to get a brand-new Win8 x64 OEM for $100, but I'd rather not spend that $30 (or $40 with Amazon's promo code) if I don't have to.)


Further information:

The product page on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-3UR-00001-Windows-8-Pro...) says that going from 32- to 64-bit is possible, I just won't be able to keep files (not a problem). This contradicts information I heard elsewhere that the "upgrade paths" only allow you to upgrade to the same architecture.

So, if Amazon will be sending me a disc -- which is what it will apparently do (given that there is a "product dimensions" figure) -- what exactly will be on that disc? How will I know whether it's 32 or 64? (There's no option that I see.) Will I have to install XP on my new rig, and THEN use the Win8 disc to upgrade it? I just have no clue what any of this is about at this point.

I also don't see much of anything in the way of helpful information on Microsoft's website; it's mostly just the $15 upgrade-from-recently-bought-Win7 stuff.

I'd just as soon pay the $40 or $70 or whatever to Microsoft to download Win8 and burn it to disc, but because of the conflicting information I'm not sure they'd let me download the 64-version.

Thanks for reading, and any help is appreciated!
October 14, 2012 3:57:33 AM

Upgrade - an inplace upgrade can only be done from the previous generation OS to the next e.g. 7 to 8. Anything older involves a clean install. Also, any architecture changes (32 to 64 or 64 to 32) involve a clean install as well. This can be carried out by an upgrade disc.

Personally - I'm not getting Windows 8 until they fix the Start and hidden menus, even if that means skipping it altogether.
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October 14, 2012 4:02:30 AM

I'm fine with doing a clean install every time, and actually that is what I want.

So let's say I get the upgrade disc. Would I have to install XP on the new rig and THEN use the disc to go to Win8? And would I have to do this every time?

My brother's also getting a rig and has no way of getting his Vista off his laptop onto the new rig. So the only way this can work for him is if you can use the upgrade disc to just install Win8 on the new rig without a preexisting OS on it. Is this the case? (Otherwise it sounds like we'll have to just buy the regular OEM versions.)
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October 14, 2012 4:27:02 AM

I'm no expert as I normally use full retail products but I believe that the upgrade disc checks for an existing install on the computer first, and then asks for your previous install disc, if it cannot find it. So installing XP first should work.

It should be noted that your brother's laptop has an OEM install which would not activate on the new computer, even if you could copy it across.
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October 14, 2012 4:33:57 AM

You do not need to install XP first to do a clean install with the $15 upgrade, HOWEVER you need to have a LEGAL COA with product key. It's not clear whether or not they'll be asking for it during the install process or not, but as with Windows upgrades in the past you still will need to provide it.

The last time I bought an upgrade was from Win98 to WinME. I used my upgrade disc to do many clean installs but it always asked for my Win98 product key during the install process along with the WinME install product key, just to confirm that it was legally done.

Now, since there's tons of illegal keys floating around now, who's to say that the Win8 upgrade won't phone home activation-style to check your Win7/Vista/XP product key? Only time will tell.
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October 14, 2012 6:05:01 AM

Thanks for the replies, it's quite a bit clearer now. I guess I'll try and endure MS customer support to find out about the product keys and such...
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October 14, 2012 6:56:50 AM

Your new rig requires an OEM or FULL version of Win8. You would only qualify for the upgrade version for your laptop, since it already has a licensed version of Windows on it.

Each computer requires its own licensed copy of Windows. This is unlock certain software titles, like Office, that you can install on two computers.

If you are going to buy Win8 immediately, you just need to be sure your new hardware will have drivers for it. It seems to take up to 6 months for vendors to release stable drivers for a new OS.
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October 14, 2012 7:48:07 AM

Oh, that's a good point -- and I'm still relatively new to homebuilt rigs. What, besides the video card (and I'm assuming audio drivers on the mobo) will I need to look for? It seems my video card already has Win8 drivers but I'm not sure about the rest.
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October 14, 2012 7:53:10 AM

When you buy tech support at Best Buy they'll give you a copy of Windows 8 for free and install it free with the tech support if that floats your boat...of course tech support is still $100 bucks and that's only if you buy a new computer.
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a b * Windows 8
October 14, 2012 2:22:14 PM

OEM versions of Windows 8 are identical to Full License Retail versions except for the following:

- OEM versions do not offer any free Microsoft direct support from Microsoft support personnel

- OEM licenses are tied to the very first computer you install and activate it on

- OEM versions allow all hardware upgrades except for an upgrade to a different model motherboard

- OEM versions cannot be used to directly upgrade from an older Windows operating system


Microsoft.com ^
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a b * Windows 8
October 14, 2012 2:25:52 PM

Reverend_Mason said:
When you buy tech support at Best Buy they'll give you a copy of Windows 8 for free and install it free with the tech support if that floats your boat...of course tech support is still $100 bucks and that's only if you buy a new computer.



Hi :) 

A NEW COMPUTER ...NOT parts...

All the best Brett :) 
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October 14, 2012 2:33:39 PM

Have you tried Windows 8 yet at all? Do you like Windows 7? You may be happier staying with Windows 7, short term, until at least the first service pack is released.
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a b * Windows 8
October 14, 2012 2:34:57 PM

I prefer 7 at this point.
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a b * Windows 8
October 14, 2012 4:14:41 PM

Go with W7 Retail, W8 is fit (just) only for touch sensitive systems.
Give a year when sales fial to go anywhere and M$ will end up having a Vista moment, admitting they cocked up and use the W8 core but with an updated W7 interface.
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October 14, 2012 4:35:05 PM

Reverend_Mason said:
When you buy tech support at Best Buy they'll give you a copy of Windows 8 for free and install it free with the tech support if that floats your boat...of course tech support is still $100 bucks and that's only if you buy a new computer.


Best Buy, tech support, those two never mix...
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October 15, 2012 6:30:51 AM

I've been using Win8 RP 64-bit (on my laptop which isn't optimized for 64) and it's running quite well, only issue is occasional freezeups for 60 seconds or so, but like I said the new rig should be more than enough and it's only the RP anyway.

I know it's heretical but I actually quite like Win8, it's fast even on my 2-3 year old laptop and I don't seem to be missing anything that other users talk about (all I really do is internet, movies, and games, no programming/coding/editing/anything like that).

Thus, Win8 seems to work well for what I want. And I'm looking at keeping my rig for at least 4-5 years (hopefully) and some preliminary benchmarking suggests that performance-wise Win8 is on par with Win7, and apparently drivers only get more efficient with time.

So yes, I'm sorry to say but I think I'll go with 8. Unfortunately it's looking like we'll have to just get a regular OEM copy on the website, I think trying to fiddle with the upgrade paths is too much hassle...
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October 15, 2012 8:17:53 AM

A Bad Day said:
Best Buy, tech support, those two never mix...


99% of the time I agree with you..but every once in awhile you find a store that hire people that actually know what they're talking about...it's very rare though. Like a double rainbow.
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a b * Windows 8
October 15, 2012 8:47:54 AM

das_stig said:
Go with W7 Retail, W8 is fit (just) only for touch sensitive systems.
Give a year when sales fial to go anywhere and M$ will end up having a Vista moment, admitting they cocked up and use the W8 core but with an updated W7 interface.

Windows 8 is great Microsoft does not need to change a thing. And it is no Vista infact Vista was no "Vista". The only problem Vista had was hardware manufactures not getting drivers out in a timely order. Had they done that it would have been completely different.

As far as Windows 8 goes it gives you faster boot times, faster shutdown times, programs and games start faster, it is faster and easier to find and start any program or game you want though the Metro screen. The difference for me is I actually used Windows 8 instead of just listening to the bull *** on the net and never trying it. In all respects it is much better than Windows 7 and that is before any service packs. Microsoft will never change Windows 8 to look like Windows 8 never. So if that is what you are waiting for you are just out of luck! With any luck we will get a good amount of games that run on Windows 8 only and you can sit back and watch everyone else play them!
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a b * Windows 8
October 15, 2012 8:49:34 AM

Reverend_Mason said:
When you buy tech support at Best Buy they'll give you a copy of Windows 8 for free and install it free with the tech support if that floats your boat...of course tech support is still $100 bucks and that's only if you buy a new computer.

I would not let Best Buy tech support touch my 10 year old alarm clock let alone any of my Computers as I would actually want them to work!
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October 15, 2012 9:28:16 AM

bryonhowley said:
I would not let Best Buy tech support touch my 10 year old alarm clock let alone any of my Computers as I would actually want them to work!


Everyone hates where I work...we aren't all bad at our jobs...actually the store I work at gets many a compliment for our work. The other stores in our district though? .....well put it this way, any question more complicated than a "What cable do I plug here" comes to us.
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October 15, 2012 2:43:12 PM

Regarding best buy, some guys are good at what they do I'm sure. I interviewed at one a couple years back, the guy who would have been my boss looked younger than me, I have a 4 year degree for IT, had worked in a school system for 2.5 years(was getting laid off and needed some type of work). I was also even Mac Certified at the time, they didn't even call me back. Just tells me that they don't want to pay their people much, which means some of the people they get may have no clue of what they are doing. Though some are probably very good techs.
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a b * Windows 8
October 15, 2012 4:01:56 PM

First, on using an UPGRADE version. The requirement is Must have a qualifying version on windows for the Computer that you are using the installing the Upgrade OS to. For Vista and Windows 7, DOES NOT have to be installed. Secondly, MS does NOT require validation of previous version; they are relying on individual integrity. To do this you must select custom install, then either use the double install method, or the preferred method which involves a simple registry edit plus running a dos cmd (also simple). YOU can NOT legally use an upgrade version if YOU do NOT own (as stated does not have to be installed) if you do NOT own the qualifying OS for that machine.
DO NOT know if this will be carried over to win 8, Think it will be. PS you can not put the UPgrade key in during the install, it can ONly be put in (1) first method - on the 2nd instal, and 92) in the Edit method the key is use AFTER the registry edit and the Does Rearm cmd.

Your friend moving to 1 computer with vista on it to a new machine does NOT qualify unless his old Machine is pitched into the trash, or sold WITOUT vista installed and he keeps the Vista Disk. MOST “store Bought systems are an OEM version which mean the OLD machine must DIE.

2nd. On your laptop that you are going from XP 32 bit -> 64 bit OS. I’m guessing that you are planning on increasing your laptop memory to more than 4 gigs of ram. There is NO real benefit for 64 bit OS over 32 bit if Memory (RAM) is 4 or less gigs.

3rd. On windows 8, Tried it removed from laptop and pitched the disk in the trash. Windows 8 is great for tablets and laptops used as if they were a tablet. The verdict is still out as to if Windows 8 will join Windows ME and Vista. MS generates most of their sales from three groups; (1) OEM versions sold with New systems – No change here, good or Bad as for store bought you get what is being sold. (2) The business community. Here my impression (reading financial articles) is NOT good and looks like the Business community will skip this for laptops/desktops but will use for tablets. Problem here is that tablets are NOT a replacement for Laptops. (3) From upgrade sales, but this is highly dependent on perceptions. The average Joe Blow is not going to upgrade their “store” bought system. This leaves the “Roll Your Own” which is a rather much smaller segment. However; recent Polls done here on Tom’s seem to favor keeping Windows 7.

4th. On OEM versions – Only real drawback is it can NOT be transferred to a New system (or upgraded MB). The OLD system, or MB must Die inorder to transfer. On re-installing the OS on the Orginal system – NO PROBLEM. If you do it to frequently (ie around the 5th time, You may have to call MS – But outside of calling NOT an issue. Have done it several times and NOT had to even call.
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October 16, 2012 8:51:03 AM

RetiredChief said:
First, on using an UPGRADE version. The requirement is Must have a qualifying version on windows for the Computer that you are using the installing the Upgrade OS to. For Vista and Windows 7, DOES NOT have to be installed.


Sources? What do you mean by "on windows"? How do you know that W8 Upgrade does NOT require a previous install? Are you making an exception for XP, that is, if your previous Windows version is XP, is *does* need to be pre-installed?


RetiredChief said:
Secondly, MS does NOT require validation of previous version; they are relying on individual integrity. To do this you must select custom install, then either use the double install method, or the preferred method which involves a simple registry edit plus running a dos cmd (also simple). YOU can NOT legally use an upgrade version if YOU do NOT own (as stated does not have to be installed) if you do NOT own the qualifying OS for that machine.
DO NOT know if this will be carried over to win 8, Think it will be. PS you can not put the UPgrade key in during the install, it can ONly be put in (1) first method - on the 2nd instal, and 92) in the Edit method the key is use AFTER the registry edit and the Does Rearm cmd.


From what I understand, W8 upgrades are an entirely different animal from W7. The information here may apply to W7 upgrades, but do you know if any of that applies to a W8 upgrade, and why do you suspect it will be similar?
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October 16, 2012 8:58:58 AM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
OEM versions of Windows 8 are identical to Full License Retail versions except for the following:

- OEM versions do not offer any free Microsoft direct support from Microsoft support personnel

- OEM licenses are tied to the very first computer you install and activate it on

- OEM versions allow all hardware upgrades except for an upgrade to a different model motherboard

- OEM versions cannot be used to directly upgrade from an older Windows operating system


Microsoft.com ^



Is the first line above accurate? I'm currently under the assumption from various blogs that there are NO "Full License Retail" versions. Anything you can find in the store will ALWAYS be an "upgrade" version requiring a previous install of W7 or prior OS. The only way to obtain a "full version" is to get the OEM/System Builders version from various sources online at a higher cost.

And, the only differences between the hard copy in the stores of the upgrade version and that which can be purchased/downloaded from MS are 1.) price ($70 and $40, respectively) and 2.) slipstreaming of the license key, which allows you to avoid having to enter the key. Whether that will be slipstreamed onto the actual DVD you can burn at home with the downloaded upgrade remains to be seen, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it WILL be. In other words, what I burn at home will be a slightly different ISO from someone else who downloads the upgrade, differing only in the key burned to the disc.
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a b * Windows 8
October 16, 2012 1:51:04 PM

@ floepie
1) On source - Just google "using windows 7 upgrade to do a clean install.
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=les%3B&gs_nf=3&cp=1...

On "on windows " should have read "of windows" - will change.

On windows XP exception. Using the "clean Install" there is no difference if previous version was windows XP or Vista" There is a difference between doing an upgrade to an existing windows XP vs Vista. Windows 7 did an upgrade to vista, but for win XP it replaced XP and saved some of win XP to a seperate directory.

On Why I think they will retain ability to use Windows 8 Upgrade to allow for a Clean Install. - Just an educated guess, so they may not. Reason I feel they will retain.
1) They (MS) have allowed for a clean install using Upgrade media. Previous to Vista/Win 7 If the Qualifying OS was not found on the HD, it would prompt you to insert the Qualifying DVD. They dropped that requirement starting with Vista. My guess is that it was because a large Number of NEW "store bought" systems do not provide the "installation DVD" and requires the user to make their OWN back-up restore DVDs. This created a problem if 1) the users HDD dies and he/she decided to upgrade in addition to getting a new HDD. And 2) Often downstream a user would need to RE-Install windows - OPPS they would then have to RELOAD OLD OS. I'm sure MS knew that there would be a small segment that would "illegally" take advantage of this, but considered it an acceptable loses ($$$).
Also, there are instances that a "Clean" install is preferred over an "upgrade". In this case, as long as you qualify for an upgrade version" you should not be penalized (ie your Old OS may be buggy). Personally I only use the Upgrade method if for some reason I cannot do a clean install (Like wife's system due to programs that she has lost Installation disks and some programs that VERY difficult to re-install).
Bottom Line is YES I think they will still allow for a clean install using the upgrade version.

"From what I understand, W8 upgrades are an entirely different animal from W7."
That is my understanding also. But this was also true for W7 verse Windows XP and was the reason you could not do a Upgrade from Win xp to Win 7 (ie win XP used several dot ini files, vista and Win 7 used a registry and problem of migrating Win XP drivers to Win 7). So yes Win 8 is completely diff from Win 7 - There was very little diff between Vista and windows 7. BUT this has Nothing to do with using the Upgrade Disk to do a clean install. In fact Windows 7 was more a Service pac to Visa - BUT MS had to get rid of the word VISTA - VISTA had the same connotations as Windows ME.

For what it's worth, My feeling is that from a corporate standpoint win 8 may very well join Windows ME and Vista. Windows 7 had a much larger acceptance for beta release than windows 8. I liked, and used windows 7 beta for several months prior to it's release - NOT so with Windows 8, it lasted about three days on my laptop (daul boot windows 7 and windows 8). I removed it and threw the Win 8 disk in the trash. And Yes Boot time was great, But when My Win 7 SSD boots in 12-> 15 sec this was NOT a real biggy and did not offset loss of functionally or the fact that it kept screw#$% up my windows 7 OS (and THIS was the Killer for me). The other thing, I'm sure they filed in the RTM, but the beta required a internet connection.
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October 16, 2012 2:11:20 PM

Reverend_Mason said:
99% of the time I agree with you..but every once in awhile you find a store that hire people that actually know what they're talking about...it's very rare though. Like a double rainbow.


We had one of those stores here... once upon a time. The staff there now, however, went from "double rainbow" to "ermahgerd mah fravrit berks" when all the intelligent Geek Squad staff got better jobs with actual IT companies.
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a b * Windows 8
October 16, 2012 2:23:11 PM

Added, the subject of Re-installing an OS downstream - SO OLD HAT.
Starting with Windows 7 (HOPEFULLY will retain in windows 8)

Using Windows 7 back-up located in control panel. This allowed for creating an image file for later re-installs.

After windows 7 was installed, all windows updates installed, all drivers loaded, and all programs installed, then tested and found to work fine.
You could create an image of your OS saved to a 2nd internal drive (I also copied to an external drive). Once the image was completed it would prompt you to create a Restore disk (Not needed if you had an installation disk).

6 months later you want to do a "Clean install". You whip out your restore disk (or installaion disk), stick it in your DVD drive and boot to it. Select repair, then repair using an image file. 10->15 Minutes latter, walla bang thank you ___, you reboot to exactly the state your machine was the day you made the image - NO MORE re-install OS, No waiting for Windows updates, NO reload all drivers and no re-install all the programs.

Yes you would have to do 1) any windows updates done after image was installed, 2) update any drivers that were updated after image, and 3) re-install NEW programs. - Or you could periodically re-do the image.
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October 16, 2012 9:31:07 PM

RetiredChief said:
@ floepie

On Why I think they will retain ability to use Windows 8 Upgrade to allow for a Clean Install. - Just an educated guess, so they may not. Reason I feel they will retain.

...

Also, there are instances that a "Clean" install is preferred over an "upgrade". In this case, as long as you qualify for an upgrade version" you should not be penalized (ie your Old OS may be buggy). Personally I only use the Upgrade method if for some reason I cannot do a clean install (Like wife's system due to programs that she has lost Installation disks and some programs that VERY difficult to re-install).
Bottom Line is YES I think they will still allow for a clean install using the upgrade version.


With all respect, you are using the term "clean install" to describe two different activities. In the first part of your post, you use the term "clean install" to describe using the upgrade media to perform a clean install on a system with no pre-installed OS. This involves the simple "tricks" you mention. That is not the intention of the upgrade media, and it's far from the case that MS "allowed" it.

However, in the quote above, you use the term "clean install" in the more generic sense, that is, "clean install" versus an in-place upgrade. In the case of an existing, prior OS on the system, MS has always given the option to format the drive and perform a clean install and still does with W8 upgrade media. So, you can't use this reasoning "On Why I think they will retain ability to use Windows 8 Upgrade to allow for a Clean Install." because they already do allow for this type of clean install. And, there is no penalty of an in-place upgrade, because one always has the option for a clean install, provided a previous OS exists.

Whether they close this "loophole" of a clean install in the other more restrictive sense remains to be seen. But, I doubt it too because of the headaches it would create for them.
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a b * Windows 8
October 16, 2012 10:26:08 PM

Quote
the simple "tricks" you mention. That is not the intention of the upgrade media, and it's far from the case that MS "allowed" it.
Quote
Method came From MS.
(1) Let's say you do the Upgrade method on an OEM machine that you purchased - WITH no supplied installation disk, Only a Sticker on it with the KEY. Your HDD dies and you replace it - OPPS.
(2) your OEM machine HDD dies and you replace it, but upto upgrade OS. The Upgrade version is still a valid option - OOP

Both OOPs reason the method is what MS will till you to do.

As to Windows 8. Just got home so 1st checked the News (Foxnews) and low and behold a article on Windows 8
Can You Ignore Windows 8? Link: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/10/16/why-can-ignore-w...
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