Over the weekend, I upgraded an older Fujitsu tablet PC (model: ST5112, Intel Centrino Duo, 320 GB hard drive, 4 GB of RAM), which had been running Windows XP, to Windows 8. The upgrade price was right -- $39.99 for Windows 8 Pro – and upgrading the tablet meant I wasn’t damaging my main computer if I didn’t like the way things went.
You’ll have to download and run Microsoft’s “upgrade assistant” to see if your system can handle Windows 8. You’ll get a detailed list of what will and won’t work after the upgrade. It’s worth the time to look at that closely and do a bit of research. One of the warnings on my computer turned out not to matter very much, and even so, a solution already existed online.
I bought the upgrade online. Downloading took some time because I used a wireless connection. If I were going to do it again, I’d use a wired machine.
(The upgrade price is good through January of next year, so it’s not like you have to hurry.)
I had to do the install twice. On my first try, for a reason I still don’t understand, I got an error message that has happened often enough to pop up on a Google search: “Windows installation was not successful.”
Rather than try any of the suggestions in the search, I just started again.
The good news after the first attempt was that my old XP system was preserved perfectly, so I hadn’t lost anything by the installation failure. So after watching the first installation and taking notes, I decided that was a waste of time the second time; I just started the process and took a nap.
Naps are wasted on the young.
A warning before I go any further: You should always back up your computer before you upgrade your operating system. This is more of an issue with an upgrade to a machine running Windows XP or Vista; Microsoft says Windows 8 will install over Windows 7 without losing any programs or files. I haven’t tried that yet.
The second time was the charm. The tablet now has Windows 8 up and running.
I'm exploring in my spare time, which was not in great supply this week. I've found a couple things to like and a couple that I'm not crazy about.
The ultimate goal for me is to decide whether to upgrade my primary machine, which is an i5 laptop with 8 gigs of RAM running Windows 7 Home Premium.
The one thing I can say for sure so far is that the claims of increased speed seem to be true, at least for my machine. Booting is faster and the machine reacts quickly.
NEXT: A first look around Windows 8.