Should I upgrade to Windows 8? OH, NO -- Read this before you lose all of your programs!

This past week, I upgraded my Windows Vista computer to the new Windows 8 OS.

OMG, I lost everything -- no, not really, not everything, but ...

Beware, you will lose all of your programs, all of those program settings, and all of the saved passwords and installation.

I would recommend making a bootable copy of your entire drive to a new drive. Then upgrading only on that drive, so you have your old stuff saved.

OR, if you have enough cash, just buy an new computer with Windows 8 already installed.

The Windows 8 experience is very different, and is more of an experiment in touch-screen development than it is ready to improve most users' current workflow.

Do the upgrade wisely if you are adventurous, but I think you are better off just buying a new separate computer than upgrading.


The process of upgrading went through successfully and it took a couple of hours to download and install.

All of my files were transferred.
All of my programs disappeared.
Seriously, all of them.

I have to REINSTALL all of these important productivity programs:

Windows Office 2007 -- Word, Access, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote,
Adobe CS3 Suite -- Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash.
Filezilla FTP -- and all of its site settings and passwords.
Google Chome, Opera, Firefox (It did install I.E.)
Google Drive
Sony Vegas Movie Studio
Notepad ++
... and on and on.

I read the instructions, and the notifications during installation, so if I did something wrong, please correct me. But upgrading over top of your existing system is not worth the hassle.

And so should you.

What you'll need.
  • 1 hard drive (as big or bigger than you already have -- I got a 1 TB from Best Buy for not too much, to replace my 700GB drive).
  • 1 program to make a bootable duplicate (this came with the Seagate hard drive that I purchased).
  • A couple of spare hours (you can walk away from it during the process and do other things).
  • Ability to open your computer and know how to hook up a second drive.
If you feel confident and competent enough to do this, then you should make the duplicate to the larger drive. 
Then turn off the computer, unhook the old drive so it won't be accidentally messed up.
Hook up the new bootable copy and restart your machine.
It may need to do a long Check Disk proceedure.
After it boots....

  • Go to Microsoft Store (if you're doing a digital download).
  • Order the Windows 8 upgrade.
  • Fill in the purchase info.
  • Download the software (took a couple of hours).
  • Choose to upgrade later from the desktop.
  • You'll get an email or notice at some point verifying your purchase with an activation code.
  • When you're ready, click on the icon on your desktop to upgrade.
  • Go for it ... 
This is no small adventure, so again, not only will you have a strange new operating system when you're done, you will have to reinstall many important programs. But in the end, Windows 8 seems faster and it's always fun to try something new. I do not recommend or not recommend the new OS at this point. It is simply different and many of the ways to get around are confusing because they are not obvious. 

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