A complete installation guide for trying out the latest version of Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows OS. There are 3 versions of Windows 8 currently available to try. In order of release, with the product keys, they are:
Windows 8 Developer Preview
Windows 8 Consumer Preview
Windows 8 Release Preview
To install Windows 8, you will usually have the following options at your disposal:
Before you begin, make sure your PC meets the minimum requirements laid down by Microsoft. These are not set in stone and you can install Windows 8 on PCs which do not meet these requirements, but your experience may not be as fluid on such a system.
The minimum system requirements are as follows:
Windows 8 x86 (32-bit version)
Windows 8 x86_64 (64-bit version)
Installation media for Windows 8 Installation
- Windows 8 is available as a Web installer or an ISO from here.
- The Consumer Preview has been bundled with our June issue DVD and the Release Preview has been bundled with the July issue.
Creating a Windows 8 USB/DVD installer
- Download the Windows 8 ISO.
- Download the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool from here.
- Install the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool using default options.
- Run the program.
- Hit “Browse”, navigate to your Windows 8 (or Windows 7) iso file and select it.
- Insert a USB drive (at least 4GB) or a blank DVD.
- Hit “Next”.
- Select “USB device” or “DVD” depending on what method of installation you want.
- If you selected “USB device”, make sure you choose the right one as the drive will be formatted completely. You will get two prompts confirming that you want to erase the data on the drive.
- Click “Begin Copying”
- Your drive will be formatted and the contents of the Windows 8 ISO will be transferred to it.
Installation instructions (default)
- When booting from the Windows 8 installation media, first choose the language, format, etc. that you want to use. The defaults are fine for normal users.
- Click on “Install now”
- Enter the product key in the box that pops up. Product keys are specified above, make sure you choose the right one for the version of Windows that you have and hit “Next”.
- Accept the license agreement and hit “Next”
- For the installation type, choose “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)”.
- Choose the drive or partition that you want to install Windows 8 on, note that the drive or partition you selected will be completely formatted and all data on it will be lost and if you do not want that, exit the installation right now (by clicking on the red “x’ button) and clear up a partition/drive for your installation.
- You can create a new partition by selecting the drive you want partitioned and hit “New”. Specify a size and hit “Apply”. Make sure that the partition size is at least that which Microsoft recommended (16GB or 20GB) as specified in the system requirements above.
- Click “Next”. The installation process will begin. Wait for it to finish, depending on your PC, this should take anywhere between 15minutes to an hour.
- The PC will restart automatically after the above step, you can hit “Restart now” at this point if you can’t wait.
- Your PC (or VM) will reboot and Windows will start getting your devices ready. This should only take a few minutes.
- Now you start Personalizing your Windows 8 installation. Choose a theme colour and enter a name for your PC (Digit-PC in this case) and click “Next”.
- You are now at the Settings screen, you can click on “Use express settings” if you don’t want to mess with the settings or “Customize” if you so desire. If you clicked customize, you are presented with the following options.
- Next you have to sign in to your PC. Enter an email ID if you want or create a new account or use a local account. To create a local account, click on “Sign in without a Microsoft account”.
- To sign in directly just enter your email ID and click “Next”. Windows 8 will sync all your email and calendar details, etc. with your Windows installation. A local account will only store the settings locally and you will not be able to access your email and calendar via the Metro apps unless you configure them later.
- To create a local account, just enter your User name and password at the “Sign in to your PC screen” and click “Finish”.
- Windows will finalize your settings and then boot you into the Start screen of Windows 8. That’s it! Your Windows 8 installation is ready.
The above installation procedure is common for almost all methods of installation you want to use.
For a fresh Windows 8 Installation
For dual-booting Windows 8 with another OS
Upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 (Not recommended)