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I use Boot Camp and rEFIt to dual boot between Mac OS X 10.8 and Windows 7. How hard is it to upgrade my Windows to Windows 8? Is it even an option, or will I have to essentially wipe Windows and install Windows 8 from scratch?

Additional Info:

My school provides a free MSDN copy of the Windows 8 installer disc. Can this be used to upgrade, or would I have to use something else, like an upgrade assistant?

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3 Answers 3

I suggest, to err on the side of no problems, that you download the upgrade assistant for your version of Windows. As long as it's Windows XP SP3, Vista, or 7, then you can download the upgrade assistant for Windows 8 Pro while you're using Windows, and the upgrade assistant shouldn't cause any problems. The upgrade assistant will keep your files, documents, and settings for Windows 7 and documents and settings for Vista and XP. The upgrade is also cheaper than buying the disk of it.

There should be no problems in upgrading Windows on Bootcamp.

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See Additional Info. –  mcandre Oct 28 '12 at 12:54
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If you have Windows 7, you can upgrade to Windows 8 without losing any data. Select Keep Windows settings, personal files and applications on the "Choose what to keep" screen near the beginning of the install process.

If you don't have Windows 7 already, then you will have to overwrite with Windows 8 and add your stuff back later.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Windows 8 is not without hiccups, especially with Boot Camp / Apple hardware.

I needed a nonWindows program for burning DVDs, such as Mac OS X's Disk Utility. For some reason, Windows fails at burning ISOs correctly (and failed to do so for Windows 7, and for Windows Vista).

Update: Installing the Boot Camp 4.0 drivers helps fix a lot of problems.

Boot Camp drivers mostly work, though trackpad functionality was completely absent in Windows 8--you'll have to temporarily plug in an external USB mouse so that you can fix the trackpad drivers.

My MacBook Pro keyboard also fails to work exactly every-other-boot, and whenever my physical keyboard fails, strangely so does the On-Screen Keyboard. To work around this, simply reboot by holding down the power button. The next boot always works.

Google Chrome and Noogra Nuts completely freeze up my Windows 8, so you'll want to save often and consider using alternative software.

The first ten times I tried to open Maps, it stuck at the purple loading screen.

Other than these strange bugs, Windows 8 runs quite smoothly overall. I really like the new Start menu and Metro apps. Microsoft clearly gets how important social software is these days, offering built-in apps for IM, email, news, and the free SkyDrive cloud service. And finally there's a standard way to search for, download, install, and update Windows software: the Windows Store.

Windows 8 is not ready for public use, especially for Boot Camp / Mac users. But if you've got the technical skills and perseverance to break and then slowly fix your computer, I think it's worth it.

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