Windows 8 is here. Microsoft doesn’t quite have it on shelves yet, but anybody can download it from the web site and install it. Though some users will actually format the hard drive, erasing all data before installing,
Most users will simply upgrade the computer, keeping data and other files. Here are ten useful tips to a safe upgrade.
1. Backup Your Data
It’s been said before, so we won’t dwell on it, but you should always have a backup of important data. With external USB hard drives available cheap, and windows 7’s backup abilities, it is easier than ever.
2. Update Software
Windows 8 will likely be able to upgrade with whatever software you have installed in tact, but you can help it along by making sure everything is up to date. Most programs update automatically, but for programs which have this feature disabled, activate the program, then try to find an option to check for updates. Usually this is in the
tools or help menus.
3. Update Device Drivers
Update non-standard drivers. If you had to install any drivers for devices on your computer, such as a monitor or printer, use your favorite search engine to find the manufacturer’s home page, then search that page for the latest driver for your device. This ensures that windows 8 can use your device with no problems.
4. Remove Unwanted data
Clearing out unwanted data frees up disk space, eliminates clutter, and just makes the computer run better. To do this, click start, then click your name on the right side of the screen. Clear out unwanted files from the “downloads”, “my documents”, and other folders. You should do this for each user name on the system.
5. Remove Unwanted Software
From the start menu, type “remove programs” in the search box. Click the “add and remove programs” icon. This window shows the currently installed software on your PC. Remove any programs you don’t want.
6. Clean And De fragment The hard Drive
Windows 8 will be moving lots of data around. The more data on the disk, and the more fragmented the hard drive, the slower the upgrade process. This will also help with slow boot times. To begin, simply open windows explorer from the task bar, then right-click on your hard drive and click “properties.” Click on “disk cleanup”, and follow the prompts, d electing everything available. Next, from the tools tab, choose “defragment”.” This makes sure all the data on your hard drive is compacted together on one end of the drive, not scattered here and there throughout. Note that this changes how the data is stored on the drive, not how you have it organized, this is quite safe.
7. Disable Security Software
Windows 8 does all the things viruses like to do, accesses restricted files and folders, rewrites parts of the hard drive, etc. For best results, disable any security software you have installed. You can enable it again after the upgrade.
8. Use An External Mouse
Windows 8 is very new, so not all drivers are available yet. For best results with laptops and netbooks, use a USB mouse, just in case your touch-pad doesn’t work. It didn’t with mine until I installed the latest driver.
9. Retry Before Retreat
Sometimes when installing windows 8, errors crop up. Rather than giving up, or spending time resolving the error, try the install again. Usually the error resolves itself and the installation continues happily on its way. If problems should arise, you can always restore from backup. You did backup, right?
10. Delete Old Files
Windows 8 moves old files into a folder called “windows.old.” Deleting this folder will save tuns of hard drive space, so feel free to do so.