Windows 8.1 preview is the new version of windows operating system built on Windows 8. It includes many enhancements on previous windows 8 and the preview version is available for free to its users at the moment. The feedback given by the users based on the usage of this free version will be used in making the final release version better. The Windows 8.1 preview can be installed in two ways. One is by getting it from the windows store and the second way is from the ISO image file that is available on the Microsoft windows 8.1 download page.
You can read about the changes that are coming in Windows 8.1 here.
Download Windows 8.1 [link]
You need to check the configuration of your PC before deciding to install Windows 8.1 preview on your computer. Windows 8.1 preview requires the following configuration on your computer.
- Processor with processing speed of 1 GHz or more
- RAM with 1 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
- Empty hard disk space of 16 GB for 32-bit or 20 GB for 64-bit
- Graphics card with Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device and WDDM driver
The ISO image installer is around 4 gb for the 64 bit version and 3 gb for the 32 bit version. Downloading this ISO image installer might take a while depending on the speed of your Internet connection. Once you have downloaded the ISO file and checked the configuration of your computer, you are ready to install the Windows 8.1 preview on your PC.
The ISO image has to be mounted in order to perform the installation. If you are installing on windows 8, you can run the setup file from the ISO image directly. But in case if you are installing it on Windows 7, Windows vista or Windows XP, then you must boot from the media containing this ISO image and perform a clean install. This means that all your files and documents that you had on your previous operating system will be wiped. To create a boot-able USB from the ISO file you have to use the third party software’s such as Windows7-USB-DVD-tool.exe or others.
The installation is fairly simple once you mount the ISO or extract the files from ISO image. The installation can be started by double clicking the setup.exe file and then you just have to follow the on screen steps as directed by the wizard to complete the installation.
Windows 8.1 comes with a product key and it has to be used in order to activate the operating system. As mentioned above, this is for the users who are running windows 8. For those users who are running older versions of windows, they should download an ISO image and use it to create a bootable DVD or USB flash drive to perform the installation by booting your PC/Laptop from the bootable device. The product key information can be found on the download page of Windows 8.1 preview. It is necessary to write it down or take print outs of this information, as it will be required during the installation process.
Windows 8.1 Product Key
Uninstalling the preview is not supported. But it may be possible to restore the PC/Laptop to its factory condition.
If your PC/Laptop comes with Windows 8 you may be able to restore it back to Windows 8 by using PC refresh. The personal files in your computer will not be affected, but apps that that you have installed need to be reinstalled and the apps that you installed in the PC/Laptop while using the windows 8.1 preview may not be available through the Windows 8 Store.
In case you want to uninstall the preview and you are using Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, you wont be able to do that. You will have to install the previous system from the recovery or the other installation medium that came with your computer in order to go back to your previous operating system (typically DVD media).
In the event you don’t have the recovery media available with you, you can create it before you do the update. Using the recovery software provided by the PC manufacturer from the recovery partition can do this. The support section on you PC manufacturer’s page has all the required information related to this. Once you have installed the Windows 8.1 preview you cannot go back to using your previous versions of windows using the recovery partitions.
If you need more information on the windows 8.1 preview, you can visit the FAQs section for the windows 8.1 preview on the Microsoft website. The link provided below will take you to the FAQ section for windows 8.1 preview.