Windows Ain’t

The story of a Windows 8 upgrade that never happened!

With the January 31st, 2013 deadline looming for the chance to get a cheap Windows 8 Pro upgrade I decided to make the leap, hand-over my credit card info, and join the Windows 8 generation.

My joy was short-lived though. Well, I guess if you consider it lasted the entire time it took to download the upgrade and run the installer then it lasted for quite some time. But in the end, Windows 8 refused to install on my computer! Why is not entirely clear, but the message was absolute: Windows 8 installation has failed.

What makes this worse is before selling you the upgrade Microsoft insists on running a compatibility check tool. Now not every piece of software I had on the that computer was compatible – but that was to be expected and something I was prepared to live with. If that was really what prevented Windows 8 from installing then why wasn’t I told to un-install those pieces of software before proceeding?! I was confident my current Windows XP SP3 installation was all set to grow-up, but: Windows 8 installation has failed.

The computer also dual-boots to Arch Linux, but I don’t see why this should be a problem preventing me from installing Windows 8. In fact, I would expect Microsoft to see this as an opportunity to persuade me to rejoin the fold of faithful. I fully expected to have to reset my MBR once Windows 8 was installed, my GParted CD was on-hand and ready to go. But it never came to that: Windows 8 installation has failed.

And what makes this insulting, is googling “Windows 8 installation failed” turns up pages and pages of people with the same experience. Some managed to resolve the issue, most did not. I tried everything from disabling services, running as Administrator, deleting temp files, and even making a Steve Ballmer voodoo doll that I prayed to and sacrificed a chicken to. But to no avail: Windows 8 installation has failed.

As a last resort I supposed I could fire-up the Recovery Partition, re-install Windows XP from scratch, and then try the upgrade to Windows 8. But even then, after so many failed attempts, I’m pretty sure I’ll end up with: Windows 8 installation has failed.

So now my biggest concern is convincing Microsoft to give me my money back!

UPDATE: Windows 8 is now installed and running happily on my home computer! My problems seem to have come from Dell using a custom boot loader for their Dell Restore utility – which my installation of Linux had modified. Once I repaired that and restarted the installation process it went perfectly!

Cross-posted on 2FatDads