Knowledge Base

Windows 8.1 Upgrade and Installation Instructions


Table of Contents:

  1. Perform a Clean Installation of Windows 8
  2. Upgrade to Windows 8 From a Retail DVD or USB Key
  3. Windows 8 Post-Installation Actions

This article provides a step-by-step guide for performing a clean install of Windows 8 on a computer, as well as retail DVD/USB upgrade installation instructions and post-installation setup and personalization.


1: Perform a Clean Installation of Windows 8

  1. Insert the Windows 8.1 DVD into your optical drive and restart your computer. Select from the option that best fits your computer:
    Option 1

    For computers that do not have UEFI BIOS, at the Dell logo screen, tap the F12 key repeatedly until the Please Select Boot Device: menu appears. Select CD/DVD/CD-RW Device and press Enter.

    Option 2

    For computers that do have UEFI BIOS, At the Dell logo screen, tap the F2 key repeatedly until the System Setup menu appears. Then perform the following steps:

    1. Depending on the type of BIOS, you will need to find the Boot section using the Up and Down arrow keys. Ensure the following:
      • The boot mode is set to UEFI
      • The setting for Secure Boot is Disabled
      • In the order of boot devices, either CD/DVD/CDRW or Internal ODD Device is the first item in the list
    2. Save the changes and exit System Setup to restart the computer.
    The Windows 8 Setup appears.
  2. Select Language to install, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method and select Next.
  3. Select Install Now.
    The Product Key screen appears.
  4. Locate your Product Key and type it into the box provided, then click Next to continue.
    The Product Key is a 25 character sequence, separated by dashes.
  5. Accept the license terms described in the License Terms screen. Click the checkbox at the bottom of the screen to accept and click Accept to continue.
  6. At the Which Type of Installation do you Want screen, select Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).
  7. At Where do you want to Install Windows? screen, select Drive options (advanced). Remember that the next step will delete all existing information on your computer so be sure to back up what you want to keep. For a clean installation, delete all partitions that are shown by highlighting them one at a time and selecting Delete. After you have deleted all partitions selectUnallocated Space and then select New. Click Apply to create your new Windows 8 partitions, then click Next.
  8. Windows will now be freshly installed on your computer.
  9. Your computer will restart several times. This may take some time to complete installation.
  10. Once you have reinstalled Windows, you will need to perform the original Windows setup. Refer to Dell Knowledge Base article, "How to Set Up Your New Dell Windows 8 Computer" for more information

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2: Upgrade to Windows 8.1 From a Retail DVD or USB Key

  1. Insert the Windows 8.1 DVD into your optical drive. If you are using a USB key, open the USB key folder in Windows Explorer and select Setup.exe
    The Windows 8 Setup will automatically appear on your screen.
  2. Select Go online to install updates now (recommended) and click Next.
    The Product Key screen appears.
  3. Locate your Product Key and type it into the box provided, then click Next to continue.
    The Product Key is a 25 character sequence, separated by dashes.
    If a correct key is typed into the box, the line below the box will state, "Your product key works! Continue when you're ready
    If an incorrect key is typed into the box, the line will say, "This product key didn't work. Please check it and try again, or try a different key"

  4. Accept the license terms described in the License Terms screen. Click the checkbox at the bottom of the screen to accept and click Accept to continue.
  5. At the Choose What to Keep screen, select the desired level of retention for settings and files. For more information, click Help Me Decide at the bottom of the screen to get details on what will and will not be kept with each selection. When you have made your selection, click Next to continue."
  6. The Making sure you're ready to install screen will check your hardware and software for compatibility with Windows 8.1.
  7. When finished, you will get a list of items that may be affected by Windows 8.1 upgrade on the What needs your attention page. Be sure to visit our Windows 8.1 Upgrade Checklist for information on your specific computer's support of Windows 8 and drivers and software that may need to be updated or uninstalled before upgrading to Windows 8.1.
    To proceed, you may need to uninstall or restart some applications. Proceed through the list from top to bottom, until the Refresh button at the bottom of the screen has changed to Next. ClickNext to continue.
    You may need to restart the installation of Windows 8 multiple times to proceed past the "What needs your attention" page.
    If you have uninstalled software manually but it is still listed as needing to be manually uninstalled, restart your computer and restart the Windows 8 installation.
  8. At the Ready to install window, click the Install button in the bottom right to begin installation.
  9. Your computer will restart several times. This may take some time to complete installation.
  10. Windows 8.1 will boot up for the first time. Proceed to Windows 8 Post-Install Setup.

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3: Windows 8.1 Post-Installation Actions

  1. Personalize - select a color to set your color theme for Windows 8.1. This setting can be modified later.
  2. Wireless - Connect to a wireless network to start updating your Windows files. If your network is not broadcasting its network name (SSID), click Connect to a hidden wireless network at the bottom of the screen. If your wireless network is not shown, click Connect to a wireless network later.
    When you have selected your wireless network, click Connect at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Settings - Dell recommends using the Express Settings to automatically set up Windows Updates and set automated controls to protect your PC.
  4. Sign in to your PC - Sign in with a Microsoft Account or use a local account to sign in.
  5. Be sure to watch the instructional video while setup completes to learn more about using the Windows 8 user interface.

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Article ID: SLN127863

Last Date Modified: 04/20/2017 07:52 AM


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