You’ve downloaded your Windows 8 RTM, shoved it on a bootable USB key or a DVD and you’ve backed up everything. Now what’s next? Here are four things I’ve learnt while installing Microsoft’s latest OS.
Make sure you rehearse first
I’d advise that you keep a written plan of what you intend to do. If you are planning to perform a clean install of Windows 8 and replace your existing operating system, make sure you remember which keyboard key to press to enter your boot set-up. That was the single most important aspect of the whole installation process that I neglected.
Also make sure you’re clear about your partition(s). Ideally, you’d have a system partition (that hosts the applications) and a data partition (that houses your personal data).
Make sure you have your product key handy
Windows 8 RTM will ask for the product key during the installation process itself rather than afterwards. This means that you need to have written it down physically if you obtained it online (via Technet for most of us).
One of the major USPs of Windows 8 is that users can sync their profile and personal details to the web. Therefore it’s worth deciding whether you want this functionality to be enabled (otherwise you will create a local account stored directly on the PC). If you opt for the web sync, then decide now which email account is to be associated with your device(s) backups.
Have a plan B
What if things go wrong? When I installed Windows 8 RTM, one of the issues I encountered was that our USB monitors were not compatible. I decided to keep Windows 8 and ditch the monitors instead. There's always a slim chance that Windows 8 is not compatible with one or more exotic pieces of hardware/software. In which case, it is always worth checking out manufacturer websites for any updates (drivers, applications) or possible tweaks.
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