Review – Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Windows 8 Setup

Windows 8 sports a new setup routine. Previously, the Windows Upgrade Advisor was a separate download and provided information that you might need when actually running setup, but wasn’t there; or wasn’t usable by setup as it ran. Windows 8 Setup now includes an Upgrade Advisor.

The Upgrade Advisor presents you with detailed, actionable information.  When it completes, you’re left with solid information on what will work, and what needs to be done to your system before you install Windows 8.

When you download the 5MB Windows 8 Setup file, the product key is embedded into the installation for you, and you won’t have to manually type or enter it in.  This makes it easy to install and eliminates installation errors.

When you click NEXT, Windows 8 downloads all of the setup files that it needs to install the new OS on your PC.  This may take a while, depending on the speed of your internet connection, so its probably ok if you need to step away for a moment.

How long can you be away..?  Windows 8 let’s you know.  Time remaining in the download (about 2.5GB) will display on the setup screen.  I’ve got a decent pipe down and this particular evening, I was getting about 22Mbits down.

After the download completes, it runs all of the files through a verification check, just to make certain that the files came down clean and aren’t corrupted.

After the files are verified corruption free, Windows expands them and creates the actual installation directory.

After the files are expanded into the WindowsESD folder on your C:\ drive, Windows 8 Setup checks for any last minute updates.

Once its done downloading any available, last minute updates, Windows 8 Setup asks how you want to proceed.  If you install now, your current OS will be overwritten. If you install on another partition, you’ll be given the opportunity to choose and format the appropriate partition. You can also save the installation for implementation at a later time.

When you do run the actual install, this “please hold” screen is displayed while files are opened and data is retrieved.

In order to install Windows 8, you must accept its licensing terms. Click the check box and click the Accept button to continue.

Regardless of where and when you install Windows 8, you get the opportunity to upgrade the entire PC, just keep your data (effectively wiping out all of your installed apps) or performing a completely clean installation of the OS.  I chose to keep everything, as there were some Asus supplied apps that I wanted to keep.

Based on your decision, Windows 8 Setup does a quick check of your system to insure that it can be upgraded in place, or if you have any actions you need to complete.

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