Windows XP needed a reinstall, so I thought I’d try Windows 8 Developer Preview instead

It’s that time of year when Windows is slowing down, dragging its feet, bogged down with Windows updates and patches and a registry that’s filled with more old junk than my parents’ garage. I couldn’t stand it anymore, boot up time was more than it takes to make a cup of tea and shutdown time often involved Comodo Firewall crashing and holding things up too. So it was time for a reinstall.
I kept meaning to upgrade my PC (add more RAM at the very least) and buy and install Windows 7, but until now my Windows XP Professional has served me well and I’ve run virtual machines (including Windows 8 Developer Preview) in it recently without any problems (once Windows is loaded it’s not that bad).
So I thought, what the heck, I’ll just install Windows 8 Developer Preview as my main Operating System, see how it runs with only 2GB of RAM, I can upgrade if I need to later. I’m not running anything major, no intensive games, just normal desktop and internet applications, but Windows 8 is running fine, Internet Explorer 10 seems good too. Naturally only time (plus updates) will degrade the performance 🙂
Feeling like I should show something, here’s a screenshot of Task Manager whilst I’ve been writing this post:

You can see my weeny Pentium Dual-Core E2180 (2GHz) processor is speedstepped down to only 1.2GHz and it’s not using much memory, so Windows 8 is looking to be a lean Operating System thus far and I’m starting to wonder if I need to upgrade?

Right, now to give some details of how I got up and running:

1: Download Windows 8 Developer Preview from Microsoft. I chose to go for the smaller 32bit version because I wanted to install it in a Virtual Machine inside 32bit Windows XP first – see my other post about those first impressions after install here

2: Burn to a DVD using Imgburn (it’s free)

3: Shutdown and turn off

4: Swap main hard drive for a spare (admittedly only a tiny 80GB drive just to try it out)

5: Insert the DVD, turn on, boot from DVD and follow the instructions

Windows created a 350MB partition for it’s own purposes, whatever they are, so I wouldn’t want to install on top of an install of a different version of windows because you may lose everything in the repartitioning (that’s why I used a spare drive).

6: Installed ZoneAlarm Firewall (Free)

7: Installed Google Chrome (free) – not that the included Internet Explorer 10 Developer Preview isn’t working fine other than I can’t upload to WordPress using it (could be a security setting, who cares anyway, either will do)

I might install Antivirus software sometime soon too, but I haven’t see a virus recently, but still, better to be safe than the victim of crime. If pictures of willies start appearing in my blog posts you’ll know what happened.

If you have spare hard drive and a blank DVD give it a try, it’s free, you have nothing to lose and it might lead to that motivation needed to buy the latest Windows (7 or 8 when it comes out). If I get stuck or it stops working I’ll just swap my drives back and I’m in Windows XP again (after several cups of tea).

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