How to Upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 step by step

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Since the recent release of the Windows 8 Customer Preview ISO, it left us thinking how well the upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 would work.  So we decided to give it a try.  We are using a fresh install of Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit w/SP1 on a Virtual box virtual machine.  We are using the Windows 8 Customer Preview ISO to run the upgrade and see what happens.  Microsoft, has really learned from past mistakes and has tried to build a lot of failsafe’s into the upgrade wizard with tons of checks and balances.  First things first, we get the ISO mounted in VMware for the Windows 7 workstation to see the media.

Navigate to your Computer and double click the DVD or virtual media drive, whichever one you are using.  The upgrade process will begin.

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We are prompted to let the installer go online and grab the latest updates for the install process

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The product key shown below is readily available on the Windows 8 Customer Preview Download page and is the same one for everyone

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License agreement

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Here we have the choice to keep user files….this can definitely be important if there are a lot of items you do not want to lose.

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The install wizard checks your computer for the required prerequisites.  One thing is for sure, you will definitely need free disk space.  Our first VM we created had minimal space for testing.  The installer let us know quickly that we did not meet the 20GB free requirement

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So it tells us the install is ready to proceed after we pass all the prereq’s

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Files are copied and expanded

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The below sequence is familiar as it starts the same setup that you would see if you did a clean install

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We chose express settings here for the purposes of the test, however, you can customize certain setup aspects such as updates and such

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Notice we are taken to the login screen with our user that we had created in Windows 7

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Setup informs us that all our settings associated with this user have been copied over.  Notice however the new aspect of setup asking us to associate this user with a Windows Live ID.  We skipped this section.

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At last, our upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7 has completed!

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Final Thoughts

I have to say this upgrade was extremely painless!  This was basically a hands off process with just a few simple clicks here and there.  The upgrade process did most of the work for us.  The upgrade time in our Virtual box machine was just over 30 minutes from a clean Windows 7 install.  Please take into consideration the fact though if you have TONs of user data, which most do, from your Windows 7 machine, the upgrade time is going to take a considerable amount of time.