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How to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview

What better way to celebrate the leap year than with the release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview? It was just announced today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and it boasts over 100,000 major code changes. Here are a few things to know before installing or upgrading this on your computer.

 

Can your computer run it? Here are the minimum specs as published by Microsoft:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or higher

It's also interesting to note that Microsoft posted the set of PC's they have been testing Windows 8 on internally, so if you own one of these, upgrading should be buttery smooth.

  • HP Elitebook 2760p convertible (Note: This PC is 1280×800 and so does not support snap.)
  • ASUS EP121 tablet (Note: his PC is 1280×800 and so does not support snap.)
  • Dell Inspiron Duo convertible
  • Lenovo x220t convertible
  • 3M M2256PW 22” display (Note: The raised bezel can make it harder to swipe along the edges)
  • Samsung Series 7 slate

 

What will you lose? Depending on what operating system you are running, you might lose some data,

so make sure you backup your computer before upgrading!

If you're currently on...                                     ...you'll keep...

Windows XP                                                   User accounts and files

Windows Vista                                               Windows settings, user accounts and files 

Windows 7                                                     Programs, Window's Settings, user accounts and files

Windows 8 Developer Preview                        User accounts and files

Of course, if you do a clean install, you won't keep anything at all.

 

When everything's all backed up and ready to go, you can download the installer files here. This will download an installer that checks for compatability issues and is extremely easy to use. If you're not very good with computers, go this route. If you're more experienced with computers, I still recommend the easy-to-use installer, but if you really need to, here are the ISO files.

Just a quick note (because I ran into this issue): when installing the consumer preview on multiple computers from one flash drive, it does not work because, unlike the developer preview, you need a product key for each installation. It's a slight pain because I had to download the installer twice which downloaded 3.3 gb twice. When installing on multiple computers, just use the ISO files.

After downloading and running the installer, read the instructions closely and just follow them. If you want to make a partition, it's quite easy. Open "Run", type in diskmgmt.msc, and then hit enter. Now you can just right click the partition you want to split, hit "Shrink volume", follow the wizard, right click the new partition, hit "New Simple Volume", follow the wizard, and then you have a partition!

Once we get to know the Consumer Preview a bit better, we'll install it on our outdated but still powerful JooJoo and show you guys what it looks like!

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