More threads by Retired


Having upgraded the OS on systems dating back to Windows 3.1, I was surprised to see the hoops MS had me jump through to install the "Free" Windows 8.1 upgrade on a computer that had a factory installed Windows 8.0 system.

The upgrade, only available from the Windows Store, insisted on using the Metro interface.

When the download was complete, the installation began automatically. The entire process took about four hours, with the download taking about half that time.

The installation went through numerous cycles of 0% to 100% always displaying cutsey messages telling me "we're almost there"

When the installation ended, the Metro interface appeared, asking for approval of the terms of service, then wanted me to sign in with a Microsoft account. They make it sound like there's no alternative, but that step can be bypassed by ignoring the sign in. Then MS would like me to accept their "Recommended Settings" but I chose to customize the settings. By doing so I eliminated all of Microsoft's default settings to make Bing my search engine and various settings that would favor MS (sending info etc)

When I finally got through all the settings, the computer defaulted to the Metro screen, even though this computer has Classic Shell installed for the start button and for the classic menu on the desktop interface.

Interestingly MS chose to disable Classic Shell, and put their own "Start Button" that toggles between Metro and Desktop, but I lost the Classic menu.

Even if I started Classic Shell manually, on a restart, Classic Shell was disabled. I needed to run the Classic Shell installation using the "Repair" utility to correct the registry that MS disabled and now it works just fine, thank you.

In addition, Microsoft chose to corrupt another utility I need to communicate with my Linksys router, that needed to be re-installed.

Bottom line, the Windows 8.1 upgrade is not a clean as should be expected, and anyone doing it should be vigilant throughout the operation, and be ready to make some "corrections" once it is installed.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Thanks. I may need to do an upgrade for a family member soon so the forewarning is appreciated.

Reading your post, I found myself thinking, "This is Windows ME all over again. Force 'idiot proof mode' even when the installer isn't an idiot, doesn't need idiot-proofing, and wants the damn thing to work better."


If you happen to be unfamiliar with the Metro interface, as I am, after initiating thedownload for the upgrade from the MS Store App, if you want to keep working on the machine during the download, you need to shrink the app window.

Do not, as I did, remove it by dragging it down, which closes the app, but rather shrink it a curtain, to one side or the other.

According to my limited Metro understanding, that keeps the app active, allowing you to check on its progress by returning the window to a full screen view and hovering your mouse over the download progress bar to see the percentage of download.

The installation process will periodically provide a progress report, although there is a blank screen at times...which comes without warning.

Can be anxiety provoking when you don't know if it's still working or if the installation has crashed...:rolleyes:


Following the installation of the 8.1 operating system, Disk Cleanup should be run, specifically selecting "Cleanup System Files" at the bottom of the Disk Clean window, in addition to the usual disk clean operations. The 8.1 installation leaves behind about 130 mb of temporary files that are removed by the "System Files Cleanup".
Replying is not possible. This forum is only available as an archive.