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At the Win8 logon screen, it says there are essential updates to install; login and install them. How, though? I googled "Microsoft Update" which led me to the "beta.update.Microsoft" site, which simply continuously spins its wheel without getting anywhere.

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What Windows 8 preview release are you using exactly? There is no such thing as "Windows 8 RC" I think you mean Release Preview. – Ramhound Aug 3 '12 at 15:48
He's using Windows 8 RC. As far as I know, it is the latest version before RTM (Release to Manufacturing) which is not available for consumers yet – Oztaco Aug 3 '12 at 15:50
@leaf68 - Except its not called Windows 8 RC, Microsoft actually calls it Release Preview, there is a difference. – Ramhound Aug 3 '12 at 15:52
Oh you're right, maybe it's a typo and he meant to write RP? – Oztaco Aug 3 '12 at 15:54
@leaf68 - I don't know. This is the reason I asked. At this point I would just wait and install RTM, sort of pointless, to install a beta product. – Ramhound Aug 3 '12 at 15:57
up vote 2 down vote accepted
  1. Type Win+X OR right-click the bottom left of the screen
  2. Select "System"
  3. In the bottom left of the new window, select "Windows Update"
  4. You Win!

Alternative for 1 and 2:

  1. Type Win+Pause

Another alternative:

  1. Control Panel \ System and Security \ Windows Update, (on the address bar of windows) explorer
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Thanks; the last option is what worked for me. – B. Clay Shannon Aug 4 '12 at 4:08

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