Posted by: Ed Tittel
One week ago today, I reported on an upgrade install on my production PC from Windows 7 SP1 to the current version of Windows 8, as an experiment in anticipation of the GA release for Windows 8.1 to occur next week on October 17/18. If anything, the system is actually more stable running Windows 8 than it was running Windows 7. It does take a bit longer to boot than it did before (about 35 seconds, by my seat-of-the-pants stopwatch measurements, and about 42 seconds, according to Soluto) but other than that, things seem to be going swimmingly.
Even in looking at the various logs in Event Viewer, I’m not seeing any new errors that weren’t already occurring under the Windows 7 regime. I did, however, notice that I need to resize the volume shadow storage for my boot/system drive (C). I jumped into the System Protection tab in the Control Panel System applet to bump up the allocation from 9 to 18 GB, which should keep me out of trouble for a while. I tend to be pretty conservative on those disk allocations, because I’m using a 180 GB Intel 520 Series SSD on that system, and always try to make I have between 25 and 50% free space on the drive (the zone in which, in my experience, SSDs tend to perform and behave at their best).
A quick gander at the Update History file shows that a whopping 52 updates were applied to the system son Patch Tuesday. At least half of these items are for MS Office 2013, and its numerous components (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and so forth). And the count on prior updates immediately following the install (dated October 3 and 4) is also pretty high: 75 items altogether, including a handful (5) of driver updates after the install, a large number of .NET updates for versions 3.5 and 4.5, and security updates galore. No wonder running the Drive Cleanup with the clean system files option turned on removed over 4 GB of stuff from the system/boot drive when all was said and done! If you do perform any upgrades, you’ll want to exercise this option as soon after working through the process as possible (following a couple of image backups, of course: a total “before” snapshot, and another one just before performing the clean-up).
I am keenly aware that this experience flies in the face of best practices and common belief. I will confess to being both pleasantly surprised by this outcome, and pleased that I apparently will not have to reinstall all of my many applications atop a clean Windows 8 install after all. But wait: all could go kerfluffle in the wake of next week’s upcoming second upgrade to Windows 8.1, so stay tuned for further developments. Could that be the straw that will break this particular camel’s back? We’ll see!