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 …

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Facepalm

Re: Usual MS upgrade stuff then...

Oh, if only were it so easy! Don't you think I'd already thought of that, and tried it. A partner download only allows partner license keys not client (OEM or upgrade) keys.

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Facepalm

Re: Usual MS upgrade stuff then... [ spydasweb]

Ahhhh, observe the Conservative in his natural environment.

Such flair, such grace!

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Re: grace

Yes, Australians do lay into each other with flair and grace.

I've just upvoted him. Full marks for style, downvotes and other comments take care of the technical aspects of his argument.

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No ISO?

Is MSFT actively trying to irritate its users? In the YAC household we have three computers, so (should I feel the urge, which I don't, especially as two are Macs) to update them all I would have to download an incredible 10.5GB of updates. This will stretch the very limits of "unlimited" broadband for many poor souls who want to upgrade.

What's so hard about one iso, or other image that could be burned to DVD/thumbdrive/whatever.

Perhaps it's a slap for daring to say "actually, we don't like this new fangled Metro stuff all that much."

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Squid to the rescue?

Could you install squid on a machine with two network interfaces and use it to cache the download?

http://www.squid-cache.org/

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FAIL

Re: No ISO?

"Is MSFT actively trying to irritate its users?"

You're probably one of several zillion users of any OS or software these days who are asking this question about pretty much every OS or software vendor.

My friends and I used to joke about this several years ago, but nowadays I'm pretty much firmly convinced that yes, Microsoft, Adobe, et. al are actively engaged in a competition to see who can be the biggest pain in the ass to their customers.

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Silver badge

Re: Squid to the rescue?

Maybe. It depends on whether the update one huge 3.5GB file or 3.5GB of smaller files. Squid's default config is set for caching fairly small files. You can change that but I don't know if you can set it to handle 3.5GB.

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Boffin

Re: No ISO?

There are ISO's available for the Windows 8.1 Enterprise and Widows 8.1 Embedded from MSDN.

In fact if you are running Windows 8.0 Enterprise the upgrade does not appears in the Windows Store.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-8/why-can-t-find-update-store

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Re: No ISO?

Absolutely... Google and apple must be choking with laughter...

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Re: Squid to the rescue?

Sure you can. We adjust ours to cache things of up to 1GB since often we download the same updates etc many many times. Its nice when you look at your reports and see you had like 50GB of traffic in a day and only like 30-40% was not from cache.

Also you can use squid with one nic long as it can handle the traffic no need to have two or more if you dont need it.

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Silver badge

Re: No ISO?

> 10.5GB, woo, yeah that's a lot in 2013. </sarcasm>

Way to miss the point there.

On a reasonably performing ADSL2 connection, that is 4 hours. Surely it would have been more efficient to torrent the whole ISO, even if all updates had to download a small app first to check some md5 hashes.

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Silver badge

Re: No ISO?

It's a fine line between conspiracy and incompetence

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Re: No ISO?

You know, I constantly see USAsians acting as if the USA was the whole world. But it's most unusual to see a Brit with the same parochial attitude.

There are a lot of places, and an overwhelming majority of the world's PC users, who are not in the US, UK or South Korea, and who have to get by with vastly slower download rates and teensy monthly caps. For example, I couldn't download even a single install of the update within my cap, and the best download speed I've ever had at home was 200MB/s, and a quarter that is more common.

I really can't understand why you're so determined to claim this is not a big deal, when clearly

1) It is a big deal

2) It could so easily be alleviated by Microsoft not being such big dicks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No ISO?

10.5GB, woo, yeah that's a lot in 2013. </sarcasm>

Living in Italy, my family wanted to see 'Breaking Bad, so I instigated the £40 'standard definition' download of the UK iTunes season-special value-pack. I did this at work at a quiet time, and around 5 mins later my 70 gigs was downloaded - thats seventy gigatubes just for a TV show - admittedly a 5 year wrap-up! [71,403,564,932 bytes (71.4 GB on disk) for 230 items]

If I'd tried that in my rural Italian hamlet - I think I'd still be halfway through episode one, so I tend to agree with the sarcastic commentard about volumes of data in 2013 - but the take away value point is that we'd all like 'fibre to the home' please, along with cheaper energy, if you politicos all want to be re-elected next time

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No ISO?

Absolutely! Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs have a recurring 5$ bet on who can annoy their customers the most and now that Jobs kicked the bucket, there is 7.50 in the pot and the stakes are much higher!

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Re: No ISO?

Yes, it was a typo. And if you read again, you'll see that, as I usually get around 50KB/s, it would take me 20 hours. And if both I and my housemate want to update our machines on our shared line, that's 40 hours. And as I only have a 3GB/m cap, I'm screwed. And yes, this is a "last-decade" connection, but that's also all I can get in my country (which is not the US/UK/SK). And 99% of users are not single-PC-only users in the US/UK/SK.

I'm sorry, but your feigned lack of comprehension skills has just landed you firmly in the shill/troll camp, as far as I'm concerned.

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Facepalm

Re: given the UK's average broadband speed

and you call us crazy 'Merkins "Provincial"?

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Re: who are not in the US, UK or South Korea

truth be told, even in the US once you get outside of the major metropolitan areas you are likely to see consumers with very slow connections. I know I'm fortunate in that respect because I have at least three major competitors who offer high speed broadband in my region. There are places where your best option is wireless 3G, even for your desktop.

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Re: No ISO?

What you mean the same Apple who made mountain lion only accessible through the Apple store?

They set the precedent, Microsoft are just copying it.

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Re: given the UK's average broadband speed

This is a British website. The hint is the TLD.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No ISO?

Except you only have to download the mountain lion update to once. You can then extract the upgrade image for use on other machines.

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Re: No ISO?

"10.5GB, woo, yeah that's a lot in 2013. </sarcasm>"

@Timmay

As William Gibson put it

"The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed"

In the case of the UK, bandwidth appears to be fractally dusted on our ageing Brunelian infrastructure on the whim of Openreach.

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Re: No ISO?

The big question anyone should ask is this:

Why is a program that moves the icons slightly to the right to make space for a button 3,5GB in size?

I thought 8.1 was an "upgrade" to 8.0? Shouldn't that be no more than... say...a CD (700MB) max.?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No ISO?

"Is MSFT actively trying to irritate its users?"

Yes.

"are actively engaged in a competition to see who can be the biggest pain in the ass to their customers."

I reckon Nokia won!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/09/nokia_shuts_symbian_meego_stores_early/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No ISO?

"Sure, Microsoft could have maybe made the update smaller, say down to maybe 1.5GB, "

COULD? How long have these apes been in the business? An upgrade should be no more 640KB!

Anyway if S. Elop gets at the helm of MSFT than it won't last for more than 2 or 3 years. So there's plenty of time to get familiar with say Ubuntu, Slackware, Chrome OS or perhaps even firefox OS.

So why upgrade? Soon it'll be all over anyway.

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Re: who are not in the US, UK or South Korea

I am in a major metro area (Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY) where somehow Verizon have thus far refused to install FIOS. I had ADSL until recently, which is not remotely broadband. I had originally installed it to do remote server maintenance. I replaced it with wireless from CLEAR. I did not want to go with my cable TV provider because I can't afford to be without internet for a week or two, waiting for the cable guy.

The wireless is four times faster than the ADSL, and only $10 a month more. Still, a good-sized download can take a while. We are currently all Mac here. An iPad update can take from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on what else is running, of course. It works best if I turn off the ATT connection and just use my wireless LAN connected to CLEAR.

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Re: No ISO?

Heh, there is always someone oblivious to the whole world except for his immediate surroundings, who chooses to measure everything by a standard he is used to. Time to wake up - most of the world does not have high limit broadband on every corner. The world means more then just US/UK ;)

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Re: No ISO?

quote: "Heh, there is always someone oblivious to the whole world except for his immediate surroundings, who chooses to measure everything by a standard he is used to. Time to wake up - most of the world does not have high limit broadband on every corner. The world means more then just US/UK ;)"

I spot a business opportunity there; check which carriers in your area can actually do a business class connection (uncontended, high / unlimited bandwidth) and see if there is a business case for getting one for a month or 2 and selling time for people to use it to update their PCs. I'm sure you'll find some consumers (and even a proportion of SMEs) that would cough up to use someone else's bandwidth to do their updates ;)

You could say Microsoft are just trying to annoy their customers, but it would appear that they are simultaneously creating opportunities for local business at the same time... probably unintentional, but you take 'em where you get 'em IMO :)

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Unhappy

Microsoft Partner Downloads

I've been trying to download Windows 8.1 all afternoon from the partner portal, cancels after 500MB.

Anyone else having that issue?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft Partner Downloads

PS this includes the Volume Licensing Center / Centre too.

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Silver badge

Re: Microsoft Partner Downloads

Yep same problem, I have tried from both work and from home, the downloads interupts after a certain amount of time and it is impossible to continue without the download corrupting.

Have tried with IE and with Chrome, no difference, same problem. I have also tried different languages French and English and also 32bit and 64bit , no differencc

The most that I have managed so far is 1.76 Gb.... download interupts, continue download...... download finishes but each time it finishes incomplete...

MS servers must be in a semi panic state.......

....

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Silver badge

Re: Microsoft Partner Downloads

"The most that I have managed so far is 1.76 Gb.... download interupts, continue download...... download finishes but each time it finishes incomplete..."

Judgement upon those rushing to download the latest Windows crud. I suspect Richard Dawkins might struggle with a better scientific explanation.

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Devil

Re: Microsoft Partner Downloads

Windows Servers running Windows Server?

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Silver badge

Re: Microsoft Partner Downloads

I am not sure that it would be Richard Dawkins that talked about judgement from a higher power......n'est-ce pas.

I will wait to try it before proclaiming that it is crud.... ( Ok I already have a good idea but I will wait and try it all the same).

I want to see how much I control the Enterprise version really gives over TIFKAM. W8 runs on relatively small machines so I am interested in the system but I am not overly hot about TIFKAM and the Store.

I am at the stage where upgrading users means moving to W7 or W8, W9 will be too far away before refresh comes up. I know and use W7 so it's definately an option but I really would like to see if W8.1 could also be an option..

We can't run linux because of various in-house applications....most of the Oracle owned ones......

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Re: Microsoft Partner Downloads

Yep. Average transfer speed in Kilobytes on a VDSL Line, and a stack of failed partial files are littering up my disk right now.

Honestly? Don't expect to get it until next week.

Of course if they RELEASED IT TO PARTNERS early, we wouldn't be in this FlusterCluck now.

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Coat

Re: Microsoft Partner Downloads

MS servers must be in a semi panic state.......

Maybe they should dust off those old FreeBSD boxes they used to host Hotmail with…

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft Partner Downloads

"MS servers must be in a semi panic state.......

...."

I guess someone at the NSA switched of the light in the office?

The office next to the server room... oh ooh!

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from the Windows Store

You don't think they would miss the opertunity to force users into using their Windows store do you?

They don't give a shit about people having extra 3.5GB downloads because as with the rest of Win 8 it is all about what Microsoft wants users to do not what users want users to do.

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Re: from the Windows Store

There are still households running with 2 gb limit broadband... and bought a new laptop for their son or daughter last Xmas... I cry for them when heir downloads get interrupted twice or more and then finally they get updated.. the cost 10p per mb with BT... face palm...

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Re: from the Windows Store

@Lying Man - Just time the download so that midnight on the last day of the billing cycle strikes halfway through. Easy peasy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: from the Windows Store

Not to mention, when reinstall time comes round in 2-3 years time the only option for an "original 8" consumer machine will be to restore to ex-factory Win8, then download the 3.5GB all over again, then apply the other boatload of patches that will have been issued between now and then.

Whereas with prior Microsoft OSes, one could generally reinstall a consumer machine from OEM media incorporating the latest service packs, as long as it was for the same SKU (XP) - even more flexibility with 7.

As for me, after "upgrading" to Windows 8 in Feb, I added dual-boot into Linux Mint because some hardware did not have drivers for Win8. Although that was supposed to be for occasional use, Linux has become my everyday OS and I haven't booted into Windows for 6 months.

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Gold badge

Re: from the Windows Store

"Not to mention, when reinstall time comes round in 2-3 years time the only option for an "original 8" consumer machine will be to restore to ex-factory Win8, then download the 3.5GB all over again, then apply the other boatload of patches that will have been issued between now and then."

Well, if MS start producing a point release every 6 months, in two years time you'll either have just the latest 3.5GB to download or you'll have five separate 3.5GB downloads to pull in succession. The really scary thing is, right now I'm not sure that my second scenario is beyond the realms of possibility. Microsoft currently *are* that stupid. Unless Ballmer's replacement has a clue, it may not be practical to re-install Windows in years to come.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: from the Windows Store

"Not to mention, when reinstall time comes round in 2-3 years time the only option for an "original 8" consumer machine will be to restore to ex-factory Win8, then download the 3.5GB all over again, then apply the other boatload of patches that will have been issued between now and then."

... and yet they wonder why people keep using Windows XP?

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Re: from the Windows Store

Oh Jeebus. I forgot the /s and now I'm a pariah. You all couldn't figure that out?

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Upgrading?

"upgrading from Windows 7"... You're kidding right?

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Re: Upgrading?

Too right. They will have to prise Windows 7 from my cold dead hands.

No company which believed that their customers' loyalty had to be earned would behave as Microsoft has done over this Windows 8 debacle.

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Anonymous Coward

No ISO/Offline install for those without MSDN/Volume licensing?

Translates as 'fuck you, SMBs who can't afford to throw cash at enterprise licensing solutions'.

Gobsmacking arrogance from Microsoft. I havea couple of sites with 25-50 win8 machines each, they'll take weeks to update rather than a few days tops if I could do ten at a time with a USB installer.

Bastards.

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