How to Install Windows 8

With the release of Windows 8 almost upon us, Microsoft has been generous enough to offer PC users a free previews so that we can get a look at what to expect when the final version arrives in October 2012.

Windows 8 will run on any PC that is running, or is capable of running Windows 7, so if your computer meets the system requirements, you can give it a go.

System requirements

Windows 8 is available to download from the Microsoft Windows website in two versions: 64-bit (64x) and 32-bit (32x). Each version has slightly different requirements, these are as follows:

64-bit –

· 1GHz Processor

· 1GB RAM

· 16GB storage space

· DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

32-bit –

· 1GHz Processor

· 2GB RAM

· 20GB storage space

· DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

It is important that you select the correct version of the OS for your computer.

Installing

When it comes to the installation, you will generally have two options: installing directly on to your PC by using the upgrade installer, or creating a USB or disk installer with the Windows OS installer ISO image.

You must remember that this version of Windows 8 is not the completed version and you don’t want to be using it as your main computer operating system. With all of the hardware combinations available on the OS, installing this early version of Windows 8 as your main OS will leave your computer open to crashing.

It is possible to install Windows 8 without compromising your current OS. This can be done by installing it in a separate partition, or a virtual machine. Windows 8 installer will come with a multi-boot setup, creating a separate partition for you and saving you the hassle of doing so; this will be ideal if you are not an advanced Windows user. What a separate partition installation will do is give you the option of choosing which OS you want the computer to run on start up.

When you are ready to install you will need to head on over to the Microsoft website and click on one of the links to download. Once downloaded, Windows 8 will guide you through the process. First of all it will run the Upgrade Assistant, this will work through your system and create a report of what hardware works and what doesn’t. The Upgrade Assistant will then show the product key which is needed later in the process – you will need to make a note of this.

You will be able to choose one of two installation options: Upgrade, or Custom Install; you should choose the latter if you are looking to create a separate partition and multi-boot set up. Windows 8 will then install itself in your chosen location and give some pre-first run set up personalisation options, such as colour combinations and PC name. You will then need to sign-in to, or create a Windows Live account to access the Windows Store and SkyDrive.

Once this is complete, you will be ready to sample the delights of Windows 8 at your leisure, and there is enough available to keep you satisfied until the finished article is made available in October (2012).