3 replies on How to Upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 Pro

  1. ron says:

    I would add one more step to the “before starting” instructions. Make an image copy backup with a bootable restore disk so you can recover from a failed upgrade attempt. They do happen, and it is a PITA if you are left with a dead computer.

    The instruction to make a list of programs could be enhanced. Instead of making a paper list, there are a number of free/share ware programs that you can run to extract a list of installed programs INCLUDING the product keys / registration numbers they use during installation. You should run more than one of these tools since they don’t recognize the same sets of programs. As well, in that step you MUST make sure you have the installation files/disks you need to re-install the products.

    You already have a page with details on this point, so refer to it! :


    PS: upgrading / installing the OS is also a good time to partition your HD. Most computers now ship with HD’s large enough to support at least 2 partitions, 40-80GB for the C: to hold Windows and Applications and the rest for D: to hold user DATA files




    In that case the process I recommend is:
    1) Image copy backup current setup
    2) defrag (optional) and compress the current partition to new size for C:
    3) image copy again
    4) install / upgrade Windows
    5) do initial install configuration of Windows including Windows Updates
    6) install applications, run “updates” specific to each application, ie Windows Update for MS Office to make sure you have the most current version again
    7) Run Windows 8 “RecImge.EXE” to update the “image” file the “Windows 8 Refresh” utility uses


    8) Image copy AGAIN! Now you have a “restore” backup that includes New Windows and all of your applications. You can use this the same as a “recovery partition” in case of malware infection in the future

    This process seems long and involved, but it provides you with the maximum protection during and after the upgrade. It WILL save you time in the future.

    Doing it this way WILL save you all of the time you invested creating it by eliminating the need to redo the Windows Updates and Application installs and their updates, AND all of the initial configuration you do to all of your software.

    • Ron MVP says:

      Oops, forgot a couple of steps
      3b. Create the new “Data Partition”
      3c. Move data to the new partition (frees up space in the C: drive For windows install!)

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