[FAQ] Things to Know Before Downloading or Installing Windows 8.1 Preview

We told you yesterday about the release of Free Public Preview of Windows 8.1 which is an update for Windows 8 and Windows RT. Windows 8.1 brings many new features and fixes various issues present in Windows 8 OS.

I have already replaced Windows 8 with the new Windows 8.1 Preview in my personal laptop. Its working fine for me but I would like to share a few things which you should know if you are also planning to install Windows 8.1 Preview in your computer system.


1. Windows 8.1 Preview is a testing version not the final version and you might face problems while using the OS. So its better to install Windows 8.1 Preview in a separate partition on your computer system for testing purposes. You can also install it in a virtualization software such as Virtual Box or VMware as described here.

If you want to use Windows 8.1 Preview as your primary OS, sure go ahead. I'm also using it as my main OS but install it on a different partition and don't remove or upgrade your existing OS. Why? Because if something goes wrong in Windows 8.1 Preview or if you don't like it in future, you can go back to your previous OS.

2. You should not upgrade Windows 8 or other Windows versions to Windows 8.1 Preview for 2 reasons:

First reason is that if you upgrade your existing Windows version to Windows 8.1 Preview, you'll not be able to uninstall the Preview version in future. You'll need to reinstall previous Windows version using setup or recovery disc.

Second reason is that when Windows 8.1 final version will release and you decide to upgrade Windows 8.1 Preview to final version, you'll not be able to keep your 3rd party software and apps which you installed in the OS. You'll need to reinstall them.

3. If you are using Windows 8 Pro with Media Center in your computer system and you download and install Windows 8.1 Preview from Windows Store, you'll be able to keep Windows Media Center.

But if you are going to install Windows 8.1 Preview using ISO file, Windows Media Center will be removed and you'll need to reinstall it using Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 Media Center product key.

4. If you are going to upgrade Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 Preview, you'll be able to keep your files, apps and settings. Same thing applies to Windows RT.

But if you are planning to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 Preview, you'll only be able to keep your files.

If you want to upgrade Windows XP or Windows Vista to Windows 8.1 Preview, you are out of luck. You can't upgrade Windows XP or Vista with Windows 8.1 Preview. You'll need to perform a clean installation of Windows 8.1 Preview using ISO files.

5. Windows 8 Enterprise users can't upgrade to Windows 8.1 Preview. They'll need to install Windows 8.1 Preview in a separate partition using ISO file.

6. If you remove Windows 8 from your PC and install Windows 8.1 Preview using ISO file, make sure to note down your Windows 8 product key because you'll need this product key to install final version of Windows 8.1. It'll allow you to use the same product key.

So the bottom line is that if you want to test new features of Windows 8.1 Preview, either install it in a virtualization software or install it on a separate partition and dual boot between Windows 8.1 Preview and your already installed Windows OS.

And if you are like me who love to install Windows frequently in computers and don't get frustrated in reinstalling software, customizing settings, etc, go ahead and upgrade your existing OS to Windows 8.1 Preview.

Now if you are ready to download and install Windows 8.1 Preview, check out following tutorial:

How to Download and Install Windows 8.1 Free Preview?

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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1

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