back to article Windows 8.1: Read this BEFORE updating - especially you, IT admins

Microsoft is rolling out Windows 8.1 as a free upgrade for all Windows 8 users. But installing the new OS may not be as simple as it sounds, particularly for those with multiple PCs to manage, or those who installed the earlier Windows 8.1 Preview. The basics are simple enough: Windows 8 users can apply the update by downloading …

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Anonymous Coward

At 3.5Gb, it doesn't seem as if you're downloading an upgrade, rather a new OS installer. SP1 it aint.

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...but even so, the arseholes could have made our lives easier by offering it through Windows Update. But then again, why should Microsoft think what might be best for customers,given that they seem intent on persuading them to go away.

Which made me think, there's been a trend over recent years of tech CEO's behaving in ways that are only logically explained by the idea that they work for a different company to the one whose name appears on their business card. Nokia, Blackberry, HTC, HP and so on. Given that they can't even fix Windows 8 properly, nor make the half baked fix easy to install, this tends to suggest to me that Ballmer falls into the "working for the enemy" category.. If Google aren't paying him, shouldn't they at least donate a suitable sum to a charity of his choosing?

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Re: 3.5Gb per PC/VM

Just thing what millions of downloads of this size are going to do to the internet over the coming weeks. about the only good thing is that it should nicely fill NSA's disks ...

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Holmes

Re: 3.5Gb per PC/VM

The NSA can safely ignore all downloads from Microsoft, they are well aware of what is in them.

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"the arseholes could have made our lives easier by offering it through Windows Update. "

They get people used to using the store, next time or the time after they can charge for an update.

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What Microsoft have developed a particular hatred for is power users that were never likely to jump ship to Apple anyway - but are now probably running a lot of Linux gear. So oops.

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Exactly...

Due to my amazing trust in MS I didn't want to go near the store thing, but that way we are forced into it..

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WTF?

Weird, the best hackers (in the noble sense of the word) I know run Mac OS X ... I run Linux, so no fanboyism on my part - don't get me wrong ... At the company I work for, you choose your hw/OS - in fact, you have a budget. Sad thing is, though, that since we only work with big businesses and want to keep hardware consistent, if you choose Linux, you pay the Windows tax ...

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Some places will have to watch out.

Twenty PC's at 3.5GB each - 70GB total.

Fifty PC's at 3.5GB each - 175GB total.

Most broadband connections have a fair use policy and if not careful some places may exceed the allowance and then lose their internet connection.

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Anonymous Coward

If you have 50 pc's...

...I'd hope you not running a domestice broadband service anyway!

If I remember BT business was around 500GB

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Yeah, because somewhere (a business I'm guessing) that is operating FIFTY Windows 8 machines behind it is going to have a limited broadband connection.

And even if they did, 175GB is less than the 300GB per month limit which BT's "unlimited" CONSUMER service had ages ago, and everyone got their knickers twisted over.

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I wonder what SteamOS will clock in at. THAT is the only upgrade to Win8 the I need!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 3.5Gb per PC/VM

It has to be encrypted first for the NSA to take the bait!

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"... the arseholes could have made our lives easier by offering it through Windows Update."

I don't have an account set up with the App Store. The PC is logged in as a default user for anyone to use (its sitting under the TV as a media server (yes I know you can get cheaper ones, but I had my reasons)) so I don't want to tie it to my hotmail account. Guess I'll have to make a new generic account to access the appstore and nothing else.

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@ Ledswinger

Make it a suitable charity of our choosing and you might be onto something. Or maybe the top 5 from a reliable survey.

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@ Timmay

If you are running your business properly your data usage will be well matched to your data plan. So a sudden boost to your data usage will put you outside the plan parameters. It will probably only cost you money not cut off service, but it is still something that MS should have made avoidable. They aren't being good stewards of the internet. But that's nothing new. And while it is true that Gates showed some failures to appreciate small business models ("hard disk space is practically free") it seems to have jumped a magnitude since he left.

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Over here, 200 PCs would break the fair use limits.

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In Canada both Rogers and Bell offer "business" internet service (take home internet, triple price, pretend to give better service) with caps in the 70 GB range with high over use charges.

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Anonymous Coward

The latest Linux kernel in the recent Ubunto release is still slower for gaming graphics than Windows 8....I won't be switching until there is a performance increase in doing so....

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> Which made me think, there's been a trend over recent years of tech CEO's behaving

> in ways that are only logically explained by the idea that they work for a different

> company to the one whose name appears on their business card.

In this case, it could also be explained as a company whose primary concern is for what's good for it (but not so much for their customers). If they believe they can force their customers to go along, then that's all they seem to care about.

Same deal with Adobe lately...

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RE Broadband limits @Timmay

Actually, the size of the update can be an issue to businesses as many broadband packages have relatively low caps. For some of my clients it will be an issue depending on which branch office people decide to drop into to do the update (they have used ADSL for branch offices/drop in centres which normally have only a few users). Get a bunch at the wrong office in the same billing month and ...

Oh and remember the update itself is 3.5GB, the data cost is more likely to be 5GB - so for many home users on BT's entry level 10GB pcm service this could be a problem - hence why many will go into the office...

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Re: RE Broadband limits @Timmay

Ahhh whatever, I can see all your points, I just think it's massively overblown because it's cool to diss Windows 8.

Anyway, it can't be a big issue, because I didn't think anyone was using it? :p

<runs away, beer o'clock>

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Apple AppStore, anyone?

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Re: it's cool to diss Windows 8.

I've never been one to run with the cool crowd. When I find I'm with them I always triple check my assumptions to make sure I haven't done anything wrong.

I'd like to like Windows 8. People upgrading OS systems makes me money, first on the OS upgrade, then on the Apps upgrades that come afterward. But when I recommend something, it's MY reputation on the line. Windows 8 is crap. Windows 8.1 is polished crap, perhaps with a bit of new car scent mixed in. Rolling around in it won't be any better for you than if it wasn't polished and perfumed. Saying anything else will just cost me credibility.

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Re: 3.5Gb per PC/VM

" millions of downloads of this size"

In a sane world, such things would be cached by a proxy server, either your own or your ISP's.

As far as I know, MS updates are usually downloaded through fairly stable http URLs, perhaps because someone at MS intended them to be easily cached. I believe http proxies sort of went out of fashion when the "web designers" discovered the delights of customising every bleedin' page to the precise user it was being sent to. Perhaps we live in the world we deserve.

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Re: 3.5Gb per PC/VM

Um, wouldn't that require millions to be using Windows 8?

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Re: caching

"As far as I know, MS updates are usually downloaded through fairly stable http URLs, perhaps because someone at MS intended them to be easily cached."

The URLs are consistent, but the download is done with ranged chunks which throws various tools into the works. And at 3.5GB, it's likely to include some pretty big files that may exceed the maximum sizes for caching in many common setups.

I'm not looking forward to this at work - computer repair shop. We may have a 200GB monthly limit we only use about 20GB of, but 3.5GB over ~18mbps means a 30 minute download IF things go fast as they can... And during that 30 minutes, no one else can use the internet because the download is chewing it all up. Rinse and repeat for the 10 or so regular customers with Windows 8, and we've basically got ourselves a whole lost work day as far as internet access goes.

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There's a workaround, as always.

Go here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/upgrade-product-key-only

1- Download the setup programs for both 8 and 8.1.

2- Run the setup for 8, put in your valid product key and click next.

3- As soon as it starts downloading the full Windows 8 setup files, quit the installer.

4- Run the 8.1 setup (it might error out the first time, just run it again) and it'll download 8.1.

5- Once it's downloaded, save out an ISO or write it to a USB flash drive.

6- Search for a MSDN 8.1 product key to install 8.1.

7- After install, activate it with your legit product key.

8- Profit

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There's a workaround, as always.

You forgot ????

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16 downvotes for expressing an opinion based on fact?

Looks like the Linux fanbois are in bed with the Apple fanbois. Seems like there is more than one coalition in Blighty...

I will be downgrading my non touch screen Win8 laptop back to Win7. 3.5gb for "sp1" is retarded!

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Not Funny!

Start Menu!?!?! I have upgraded. what they call a start menu is just a link that takes you to Metro (or whatever they call it)

If this is a joke, I am not laughing.... I use the windows key for that function.

Here's a tip:

On your task bar right click -- Tool bars -- New Tool bar

select the start menu folder located in programdata\windows\start menu

done like dinner and no 3rd party app required.

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Re: Not Funny!

Everything I read on both TechNet and MSDN made it clear by calling it a start button. Maybe you're just a victim of tech journos' seeming inability to sweat the details (like writing Windows Mobile, instead of Windows Phone).

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Re: Not Funny!

I found it extremely funny when I sure it. I am sure the weeks of moans will make me laugh even more.

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Re: Not Funny!

I can't decide if you're reacting to this having only just found out or reacting to it in general. It's been known for quite a while that this is all the Start button would do when you go to Windows 8.1 but I do like your solution.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not Funny!

Mac Users know of that solution, that is how you get a start menu in the dock on Mac OS X ... shit, they are copying everything ...

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Re: Not Funny!

I'm not trying to be funny or a a**.

But to be fair Microsoft did clearly call the button the "Start Button" they never mentioned changing the interface.

But granted it is misleading.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not Funny!

"what they call a start menu is just a link that takes you to Metro (or whatever they call it)"

They didn't call it start-menu but start-button.

MSFT restored the start-button which is ridiculous because going to the outer left o/t screen also showed that metro-button.

They don't want to restore the start-MENU. Which is actually what people want. This is just a simple mis-communication between "custormers" and Microsoft. People ask for MENU, Balmer gives us BUTTON.

You wonder how on earth those morons became so rich?

Your tip is very welcome, thanks.

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FAIL

Usual MS upgrade stuff then...

Upgrages on top of upgrades on top of .....

Then there is the personal and SME users. 3.5Gb per machine to download. Yet they could have used the other method for all saving a lot of internet bandwith.

Now just how many shares in the US Internet Companies do Microsoft have?

Come of Redmond sort your act out and don't make the famil and SME's suffer because you can't sort out your lefthand from the other one...

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Re: Usual MS upgrade stuff then...

Upgrades and updates are part of having a device, my android phone updates OS periodically, pretty certain Apple users get the same.

The SME question is a crappy one though, there goes the bandwidth cap!

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Re: Usual MS upgrade stuff then...

Ok then. Download the .NET V4 kit from Microsoft.

Then start applying update on top of update on top of update, all with a reboot inbetween.

There comes a time when this method of patching gets rather silly.

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Re: Usual MS upgrade stuff then...

I've just downloaded my Windows 8.1 - boy what an effort! I live in a rural town only 60km from Melbourne in Australia where the new federal government has canned FTTP and is going with FTTN (along with other wireless technologies). This download update has taken a whopping 10 hours to get the full 3.5G of data onto my computer. Admittedly, my house should have been located closer to the exchange. How silly of me to purchase a place that is 5km from the exchange. Perhaps I should move to Korea where they have better access to the Internet than most places.

It's seemed appropriate that in the bottom right hand corner of the original page for putting up this post, there was a picture of the Federal Communications Minister for Australia - Malcom Turnbull, along with the caption "Cabinet to be targeted with FTTP ads".

For those lucky enough to have been in areas where the previous governments FTTP rollout occurred, this download would have been a mere "blip" (what do mean it will take 15 minutes to download the update - I WANT IT STARTED NOW!) in their download schedule. At least you are warned once the update has started that your PC will restart several times and that it might "take a while". Certainly in my case, a while was a whole LOT shorter than the download time! It took 30 minutes (5% of the download time), along with 3 reboots, on an Intel i7-3440K 16G RAM machine. After the third reboot I was politely informed that windows was "Setting up a few more things" - how many more "things" are there other than devices and the PC itself? Oh maybe they mean the registry - that must be it. One never ceases to wonder.

As for having to download it multiple times for multiple devices, Microsoft really needs to rethink this dastardly download method. Gone are the days of a friendly neighbour or family member who has fast Internet access downloading it for others to share! Mind you, they are taking a leaf out of Apple's iDevice book in this regard, what with it's hefty 1G+ download for iOS 7 (BTW - I'm STILL running my iPad 2 on iOS 5, there's been no imperative to update as I don't have any Apps that rely on it).

As an M$ partner, fortunately I only needed to download it once for my 5 computers. Imagine how long it would have taken if I had to do them all? Imagine what will happen when I visit one of my small business clients and say "The update for Windows 8.1 is available for you to download, but don't expect it to install anytime soon. I know roughly how far from the exchange you are and it could take anywhere up to 12 hours to download and that's if you leave the machine running all night! Then of course you'll have to do it again on every machine in your office. Oh, by the way, how much is the download limit from your ISP? That little huh! Better stagger it over a few weeks to avoid a hefty financial penalty for downloading so much." Having said that, that's if you're lucky to HAVE a reliable ADSL2 connection! With the aging infrastructure (and don't I know it) there might be a break in the line which is not known about and slow the Internet down even more.

I also know peolpe with slow satellite connections (so much for wireless being heralded as the panacea for a replacement for FTTP) where it will take a couple of days for the download to complete, so I don't think they'll be updating any time soon.

Any way, that's my 2 cents worth.

Happy updating...

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Re: Usual MS upgrade stuff then...

While I am feeling for your download speed, why don't you download it once, burn it to a DVD then install it on your clients computers?

They all have legit W8 correct? So, there is no sweat, and they don't have to wait 12h to download...

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Re: burn it to a DVD

Probably would be of no use. I suspect that, even if you did manage to intercept the download and set it aside before the install kicks in, you wouldn't find an executable to launch, maybe not even an msi file.

This is coming through the store, not Windows Update. As such, I suspect that Microsoft deliberately made everything so that it could only be auto-launched from some process in Windows 8 that knows where to get the data. That would mean that you have to download in order for the process to kick in.

Remember : Microsoft is no longer concerned with service to the public, only to its customers. You and I are NOT Microsot customers, the Fortune 500 companies are. We're just the chaff on the side that have next to no choice on what OS we buy our computers with.

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Re: Usual MS upgrade stuff then...

You are a complete fool to make a post about broadband in Australia and downloading windows 8.1 You left a few things out as someone of your lack of objectivity would.

Firstly the last pathetic Government of Australia wanted to spend upwards of $60 Billion to achieve your precious FTTP.

Secondly, Their roll out was so good it had a take up of 10000 out of a total of 200k connections which took 4

Years to do with over 13 million still to do.

Thirdly, wireless broadband is the future and on the basis of downloads of up to 40mps in parts of Australia is very much the present in part. Mind you 25mps is what the previous Government's broadband was slated to be in its first 3 years of full operation.

I could go on but I think those interested would get the point.

Stuart 24, you are a toss! Get over the fact your beloved lefty Labor mates lost the election so much so only 34% of Australians(Tossers like you) voted for them.

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Re: Usual MS upgrade stuff then...

"why don't you download it once, burn it to a DVD"

I imagine that the thing you download is a small app that then examines your system and pulls the other 3.5GB down during execution. Burning the small app to a CD doesn't help, the locations of the other bits would have to be sniffed or reverse engineered, and the resulting pile of poo would probably only work properly for the exact configuration of the machine you started on.

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Re: Usual MS upgrade stuff then...

"wireless broadband is the future"

Wireless is not the future for any wide-area networks. The shared medium is not a problem for PANs and household LANs, but on any larger scale the shared medium is a bottleneck. That's the great thing about cables. You get your own private 1D universe to propogate EM waves down. If you want double the bandwidth, laying a new cable is a whole lot easier than constructing a parallel universe.

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Re: Usual MS upgrade stuff then...

"Thirdly, wireless broadband is the future and on the basis of downloads of up to 40mps in parts of Australia is very much the present in part. Mind you 25mps is what the previous Government's broadband was slated to be in its first 3 years of full operation."

Whatever revelatory substance it is that they put in Alan Jones' coffee at the 2GB studios, apparently it is being served at your local cafe too.

If you take a second to look at your preferred NBN implementer's choice of technology, as released in the Coalition's NBN policy in April 2013, you will find that there is absolutely no mention of magic wireless that will replace wired deployments in metro areas. Ze-ro mention of magical unicorn+rainbow radio technology to serve city users, just 4G/LTE for rural areas, with lower contention ratios than are designed for city 4G deployments. That is because 4G/LTE, like all the wireless broadband technologies that came before, is subject to the laws of physics, which kind of tie you down to using a crapton of radio spectrum if you want to serve a lot of concurrent users in a given area.

This is why mobile telcos are actually clamping down hard on download limits. Telstra's rate card: http://www.telstra.com.au/broadband/mobile-broadband/plans/ - shows a breathtaking $95/mo for 15GB. But everyone knows *they're* a rip-off, [that was guaranteed by the monopoly status they inherited when the Coalition privatised them, cough]... so surely overseas it's all roses and endless video streaming over 4G? Okay, here's what Singtel has to offer for it's 4G mobile PC-oriented broadband plans:

http://info.singtel.com/business/products-and-services/internet/broadband-laptops-and-tablets

Mmmm, AUD$34 for 10GB of download, with excess data at ~ AUD$9/GB. That's the future, right there! (Assuming you meant the future to be just expensive, instead of very expensive.)

4G will work really well for the things businesspeople want to do when they're on the road. It will not be a magical replacement for wired broadband in metro areas. Nor will whatever follows it. Wired deployments have their own contention issues, but they actually exist in the other direction - there is much more total potential downstream bandwidth than you can afford to carry/switch upstream. But if the business case emerges, you can upgrade the backhaul or switching gear on your wired deployment after the fact; whereas 4G radio technology will stay pretty much set in stone - for a certain amount of spectrum, you'll get a fixed Gbit/sec of total usable bandwidth.

Meanwhile, over in the 2GB part of the collective delusion/bile tank that is Australian commercial talkback radio, Alan Jones will politely refrain from calling his Coalition pals idiots for not heeding the same sage advice about magic radios being the future of broadband that the Labor hacks were so stupid to ignore. Funny about that.

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Re: Usual MS upgrade stuff then...

"yet they could have used the other method for all saving a lot of internet bandwith."

I reckon Balmer's out of shares of Verbatim :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Usual MS upgrade stuff then...

"This download update has taken a whopping 10 hours to get the full 3.5G of data onto my computer. "

Yeah sometimes I too wonder if this really is 2013? As sometimes sending text-messages by pigeons is faster then the proclaimed 3G networks that telco's advertise so vigorously :-)

Instead of making 3G globally available in EVERY corner o/t outback or rural regions they're already advertising this fucking 4G which is only available for 3 or 5 blocks in the city!

I hate them! Hate them all!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Usual MS upgrade stuff then...

"so surely overseas it's all roses and endless video streaming over 4G?"

Yeps, 3G isn't even properly implemented yet 3 blocks of 5 major cities in this fucking shithole of a country have 4G. What a wundefull world!

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