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Windows 8 Upgrade Checklist

Summary: Get a full list of things to do before upgrading your computer to Windows 8

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Table of Contents:

  1. See If Your System Supports Windows 8
  2. View General Issues with Windows 8 Upgrade
  3. Software and Device Support
  4. Check Printer Support
  5. Back Up Critical Files
  6. Create Recovery Discs
  7. Update Critical Drivers
  8. Upgrade to Windows 8
  9. Install Updated Drivers
  10. Activate Windows 8

This article discusses the critical steps that you should take before and after Windows 8 upgrade, such as backing up data, updating drivers prior to upgrade, and verifying that the system supports an upgrade to Windows 8.

See If Your System Supports Windows 8

The following pages list Dell computers that have been tested by Dell for support of Windows 8 and, if the computer does support Windows 8 upgrade, what issues may present themselves by upgrading to Windows 8.

Click here to view the System Support and Issues page

View General Issues with Windows 8 Upgrade

Dell has identified several general upgrade issues with Windows 8. These are not platform-specific, but affect all computers upgrading to Windows 8. Please be sure to view these issues before moving forward with Windows 8 upgrade, as they may cause problems with your computer if they are not addressed beforehand.

Click here to view the Windows 8 General Issues page

Software and Device Support

Dell has also tested the software that it ships with computers for support of Windows 8. This document shows the Windows 8 supported version and download link for products that do support Windows 8, and also lists unsupported software that you may need to uninstall prior to upgrade.

Click here to view the Windows 8 Software Support and Issues page

Printer Support

Finally, you want to be sure that your printer will work with Windows 8. Dell has tested many of its printers for support of Windows 8, be sure to check this page to determine if your printer is supported, and if you need to upgrade your printer software or drivers.

Click here to view the Windows 8 Printer Support page

Back Up Critical Files

Although upgrading to a new operating system is usually painless, you should always make a backup of your documents and critical files prior to starting a major procedure on your computer.

Microsoft has developed an easy tool to back up and restore files on your Windows 7 computer called Easy File Transfer.

Or, if you are already using Windows Backup and Restore, remember to do a full backup of your files. Get more information on Backup and Restore.

Dell has also included software on your computer to create backups. To get started with a backup, refer to Dell Knowledge Base article, "Creating a Full System Backup Using Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0"

Create Recovery Discs for Windows 7

Once you upgrade to Windows 8, the recovery partition on your computer that allows you to return to your Windows 7 factory settings may not be available. To make sure that you have a path back to Windows 7 if you so choose, create your recovery discs using DataSafe Local.

To get more information on using DataSafe Local to create your recovery discs, refer to Dell Knowledge Base Article, "Creating Your System Recovery Discs with Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0"

You will need either two (2) DVDs or one (1) 8GB or larger USB key to create the recovery backup.

Update Critical Drivers

Dell strongly recommends that you update the following drivers and firmware before starting an upgrade to Windows 8:

  • System BIOS
  • Video Driver
  • Intel Rapid Storage Technology
  • Wireless LAN
  • Mobile Broadband

In addition, Dell recommends uninstalling the Bluetooth driver on your system before starting the Windows 8 upgrade process. After upgrade is complete you can install the latest Bluetooth driver.

To get started with updating your drivers, visit the Dell Drivers and Downloads website. Be sure to have your system's Service Tag available to get the drivers that are right for your computer.

Upgrade to Windows 8

Now that you have backed up your software, created recovery discs for Windows 7, updated your drivers, patched your software, checked your computer for Windows 8 support, and made sure your printer will work with Windows 8, it's time to upgrade!

Microsoft has developed an electronic delivery system (ESD) for Windows 8 upgrade installation.

Standard Upgrade Customers:

If your computer supports an upgrade to Windows 8.1, click the link below to upgrade to Windows 8.1. Note that Upgrade to Windows 8 is no longer supported by Microsoft.

Visit the Microsoft Website to Start Your Windows 8 Upgrade

Media Installation:

If you are installing Windows 8 using a DVD or USB key, refer to our step-by-step instructions for upgrade and clean installation of Windows 8.

View Step-By-Step Installation Instructions from a DVD or USB Key

Install Updated Drivers After the Upgrade

Once you have finished upgrading your computer to Windows 8, be sure to come back to the Dell Drivers and Downloads website to refresh your critical drivers and to get all of the latest Windows 8 drivers for other components.

Activate Windows 8

If your computer did not activate Windows 8 during the upgrade process, you can start the activation by performing the following steps:

  1. At the Start Screen, press the Windows key to access Desktop view.
  2. In the lower left corner of the screen, right-click and select System.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the System window. In the Windows Activation section, if your computer is not activated click View Details in Windows Activation.
  4. Click Activate to begin the activation process.

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Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021



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