Should You Upgrade Your Existing Laptop to Windows 8?

Paul Reynolds asks:

I am thinking of getting Windows 8 on my laptop; these are my results. Could you please tell me if it is OK for me to upgrade my laptop from Windows 7 to Windows 8?

Upgrade AssistantUpgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 on an existing machine is a choice being weighed by users across the world right now. There are plenty of reasons to like Windows 8, and if you’ve made that decision the best first step would be to visit the Microsoft Compatibility Center and make sure your peripherals and favorite applications will work on the new OS. Additionally, you can run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant to determine whether or not your computer is ready for a Windows 8 upgrade.

In this case, you provided me with the information your upgrade assistant gave you. Let’s take a look at these.

Install an app to play DVDs
You may need to install an app to play DVDs in Windows 8.

You will need to install software capable of playing DVDs once you upgrade to Windows 8. The reason for this is that Microsoft decided not to license the DVD codecs on Windows 8 itself. Media Player is not included in the initial installation of Windows 8, sorry. VLC is a good alternative, though.

Sidebar gadgets aren’t supported in Windows 8
You won’t be able to use the sidebar gadgets that are installed on your PC in Windows 8.

You’ll need to say goodbye to your beloved sidebar gadgets. They’re no longer supported in Windows 8.

Secure Boot isn’t compatible with your PC
Your PC’s firmware doesn’t support Secure Boot, so you won’t be able to use it in Windows 8.

If you want to use Secure Boot, you’ll need a firmware upgrade. Secure boot requires firmware that supports UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B and has the Microsoft Windows Certification Authority in the UEFI signature database. This update may or may not be available for your system. Secure Boot isn’t a required feature.

Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver
Intel Corporation, Version
Not compatible

Good old driver issues. It happens. This might not kill USB 3.0 entirely once you actually have Windows 8 installed, but it’s better to consult the manufacturer to see if drivers are available for your particular controller. The motherboard manufacturer might have this information, but Intel is another company to check with.

Apple Inc., Version
Remove authorized PCs

Remember to remove your current PC as an authorized PC. You have a limit of five with iTunes and this can only be reset once per year. I’ve been burned by forgetting to deauthorize in the past.

PlayMemories Home
Sony Corporation, Version
Update available

Check the link for the update. You should be good to go. Remember to back up everything. If you can do an image of your drive, do it. This will help you recover if the upgrade doesn’t go well.

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Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.