Should I Upgrade to Windows 8.1 Instead of Windows 10?


After reading the most recent article about Windows 7 support updates ending in 2020, what are your thoughts about moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 versus switching to Windows 10?

I have been very content with Windows 7, even more so than with Windows XP, but my adult-daughter told me several years ago that I might not be happy with Windows 10 and should remain where I am at.

My strong recommendation is that if you switch, you switch to Windows 10.

There are several reasons, not the least of which is often referred to as the informal “every other version” rule for Windows.

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Where Can I Download Windows?

I’ve lost my Windows 7 installation disk, but I possess the product key. What should I do if I want to reinstall Windows on my computer? Can I download Windows somewhere?

First: take a full system-image backup as soon as possible, and use that as a fallback. You can always restore to that image in lieu of a reinstall, and you’ll be back to where you were at the time the backup was taken.

You could also get in touch with the vendor who sold you the computer. They provided you with a copy once; perhaps they’ll be willing to get you a replacement copy.

You could, I suppose, go buy a new copy. Most people aren’t interested in doing that, because they don’t want to pay for something they feel they’ve already purchased.

That’s when most people resort to finding a place from which to download Windows. Depending on the version of Windows and where you find it, it might even be legal.

Or it might not.

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Windows 8 Backup: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I’m in the process of finishing up my Windows 8.1 backup book, Saved! Backing Up With Windows 8 Backup. It’s in editing as I type this, and I’ll soon be putting the finishing touches on the companion videos. I hope to have it available within a couple of weeks.

It’s an important book because I know that many people don’t want to shell out more money for my standard recommendation for backing up, Macrium Reflect. If there’s backup software already in Windows they’d prefer to just use that … for free.

The problem is I learned quite a bit about Windows 8.1’s backup as I researched and wrote the book.

And not all of it was good.

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How Do I Get the Required Windows 8.1 Update?

I received a question that pointed me to an article on a reputable mainstream press site discussing the Windows 8.1 Update that Microsoft recently rolled out. The update will become the new baseline for Windows 8 and within a month or so, it’ll be required in order to receive continued updates.

Their article’s  headline compared getting the update to the way Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP and it insisted that people need to take action now.

While  there are some similarities, the headline was pure hyperbole.

In reality, you may not have to take any action at all. If you do, you’ll probably want to take that action sooner rather than later, but it’s not the end of the world if you’re late.

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Can I ignore Windows 8.1 and stick with Windows 8?


I have an Asus all in one purchased in August 2013 with Windows 8. I had a few issues after updating it to Windows 8.1 which I was not able to solve even with the help the Asus technicians, who I might say are pretty much useless, so I reinstalled Windows 8 and all is fine now. My question is this:  Can I stay with Windows 8 and ignore the update message for 8.1?

Yes, you can stay with Windows 8 but I’d rather you didn’t. And I think in the long run, you’d rather upgrade too.

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