Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Windows 8 install: 10 hours to update and upgrade to 8.1

  1. #1

    Posts : 1
    Windows 8.1

    Windows 8 install: 10 hours to update and upgrade to 8.1

    As has been my practice for many years, back to Windows 3.1, about every six months I wipe my hard drive and reinstall everything. Up to and including version 7, this process usually completed in 2-3 hours.

    Six months ago I installed 8 on my laptop and upgraded to 8.1. Today I wiped my SSD and reinstalled the original version 8. The subsequent update process and upgrade to 8.1 involved 202 downloads for 2.1GB and took 10 hours. After installing application software I went to restart my machine and noticed the desktop "Shutdown" now has no simple "Restart" option only "Update and restart". As I tried to restart my machine, a screen missive appeared: "9 downloads installing. Do not turn off your computer". I did, turn off. This in spite of the fact I have automatic updates switched off. There was no explanation or description regarding the subject downloads.

    Is my experience unique? Is this MS's vision of progress?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64

    I always do what you did but differently and it saves me all those hours. Honestly, I would not blame MS for this. Each month or whenever necessary they come out with a new build of Windows 8/8.1 and they will include all new updates, that would cut down the time to re-install your Windows. It is just you own an old Version of Windows that was built 6 months or earlier ago. In addition, the online updates take a long time depending on the speed of your Internet, yours is just up to 10 MB/s and also depend on how busy their server is then you are not getting 10MB/s download speed. Further more, It also depend on how fast your laptop is etc...

    For future reference, here's what I suggest you to do:
    1. After installation of Windows 8 + 8.1 Updates + Activation.
    2. Defrag and shrink your SSD to 80 GB for Windows and the rest for data storage to keep them separated. From the elevated command prompt, run:
      - dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
      - sfc /scannow
    3. Using Macrium Reflect Free to make a backup image of the 80GB partition to an external HD. For a freshly installation of Windows, it would take about 10GB. Macrium is a good free backup software and never once fails me. The user manual is also here: Macrium User Manual
      Note: make sure to use a USB stick to create a Macrium Rescue disk.
    4. Go ahead and install the rest of your application programs. Clean, tweak, turn off all unnecessary services, registry etc..
      Again, run the 2 commands in step 2 and make another backup.
    5. Repeat step 4 if you install any other applications

      The advantage of doing this is you always have a backup to go back to in case you have a virus attack, ad ware, spy ware ... and in some case, you lose the activation. You just have to restore the Windows partition and that should not take long before you can go back online.
      For me, since I use a desktop and I over clocked it, it only take 4~5 minutes to restore a 30GB image before I finish my coffee.

      Six months from now, if you decide to go back to a fresh install then just restore the first copy of the backup and all you have to do is run Windows updates again to have Windows up to date

      Hope this helps !!!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Ever since Win 7 reinstalling system from scratch every 6 month or even yearly is a bit too radical solution. There are many nice tools to cleanup system built in and even more third party programs for that. Win8 does not "dirty up" almost at all, in any case not even nearly as XP. The furthest I go is to do a clean install, update everything and make Macruim Reflect backup of whole SSD. Next I install all the usual programs and make another backup. Saves a lot of time if anything goes terribly wrong (it happened once) and in less than 15 min. I had super clean system running.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit

    If you clean install to 8.1 with update 1 you'll be back to your normal install time. The download speed/time for the upgrade to 8.1 over the internet though the Windows store is what is killing you. The hard part is getting the 8.1 install media.
    Activate retail Windows 8.1 with Windows 8 Product key.
    Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create < you need a Retail key for this to work.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Windows 8 install: 10 hours to update and upgrade to 8.1
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