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Windows 8 Thread, Windows 8.1 Upgrade in Technical; Hey guys, I'm looking to deploy 8.1 during the holidays on all machines, laptops and notebooks. We have 32 iMacs ...
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    Windows 8.1 Upgrade

    Hey guys,
    I'm looking to deploy 8.1 during the holidays on all machines, laptops and notebooks.
    We have 32 iMacs dual booted with windows 7 (no issues).
    25 staff laptops Dell Inspiron m101s
    120 Acer Aspire One AOD255-1203 netbooks.

    Are there any problems i am overlooking?
    I am hoping to roll out the images over night / during the day via a network install.
    I haven't used 8.1 before, but im assuming its like all other windows operating systems...takes about 30 seconds to get used to etc.

    Thanks.

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    w-clarke101's Avatar
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    Have you tested 8.1 on your network??? Put on some PC's, Laptop, Notebooks for staff and student to use and see if all is ok?

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    Michael's Avatar
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    If you're using Windows 7 on your network then leave it alone!

    If you still have XP/Vista clients, I'd focus on upgrading those to Windows 7.

    Windows 8 or 8.1 are OK but not brilliant. There are a lot of hoops to jump through to get it consistent across your network.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Hardware-wise, your most likely problem will be graphics drivers. If the graphics chipset in each machine has manufacturer-provided drivers for Windows 8.1, you should be fine. If not, there may be an in-box driver provided from Microsoft. This might work, but might not (as we have found to our detriment).

    Some other gotchas/tips I have documented are as follows:

    1. The Start Screen takes some getting used to, and it takes a little bit longer than going from XP to 7 (for example). No doubt there will be plenty of people coming any minute now to tell you that you'll need to deploy a 3rd party Start Menu replacement and that you absolutely have to boot to the desktop rather than the Start Screen. Just yesterday I did training with half our staff and found that neither of these things are true if you just train them for 20 minutes on how the Start Screen works.

    2. I recommend disabling access to the Windows Store by GPO (at least for pupils) until you decide you need it. ("Turn off the Store appplication" under "User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Store") You may want to block Microsoft accounts entirely if you are that way inclined, but this could frustrate staff who like using SkyDrive ("Accounts: Block Microsoft accounts" under "Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options".

    3. Deploying a default Start Screen layout is better done this way than the official Microsoft way.

    4. .NET 3.5 is not installed by default. You will almost certainly have programs that need it. If you are using an automated deployment tool, make sure you add the .NET feature to your master image.

    5. While we're on the subject of imaging, if you want to use WDS you will need to deploy a new WDS server running Server 2012 R2. Your existing WDS server will not do it.

    6. If you want to strip out some of the rubbish apps that come bundled (Bing Food and Drink, Finance, etc), you can remove them from your master image too.

    7. You can set a default lock screen image via the group policy named "Force a specific default lock screen image", found in "Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Personalization".

    8. Add the ADMX files for Windows 8.1 to your Group Policy Central Store as soon as you can.
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 28th January 2014 at 03:16 PM.

  5. Thanks to AngryTechnician from:

    simpsonj (25th February 2014)

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    Thanks guys, from what i've seen, the new layout doesn't look fun to me.
    We have windows 7 at the moment.
    I think i will dedicate a room for 8.1 and let people give me there thoughts.
    Im not in the habit of rocking the boat xD

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    8.1 also has certain CPU hardware requirements.

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    Just don't do it!

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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    The fact I had to disable/remove/fight with so many options put me off deploying our latest suite as Win8, so 7 went in instead.

    If Microsoft can't provide management tools that work properly for the likes of the Start Screen and Metro apps, then why would a school or business want to deploy it yet?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheridan View Post
    The fact I had to disable/remove/fight with so many options put me off deploying our latest suite as Win8, so 7 went in instead.

    If Microsoft can't provide management tools that work properly for the likes of the Start Screen and Metro apps, then why would a school or business want to deploy it yet?
    You can manage the start screen now by exporting and enforcing an XML layout. There are more GPO options that handle most things like all new versions of Windows. They still have not sorted out the metro store for management yet though. It is faster at everything though which is why some people are deploying it.

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    I agree with that. It feels like you have to fight to set up Windows 8 how you want it. (Removing gestures and install a start menu) You shouldn't have to! 7 is pretty much ready out of the box.

    Get a new user to find how to shutdown for example!
    Last edited by jamwatn; 25th February 2014 at 04:20 PM.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamwatn View Post
    It feels like you have to fight to set up Windows 8 how you want it. (Removing gestures and install a start menu)
    Not everyone wants to do that. I didn't do either of those things for our deployment and it's working out just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamwatn View Post
    Get a new user to find how to shutdown for example!
    Not everyone is obsessed with shutting computers down either. I've been telling my users not to do it for years, in fact. All our workstations automatically transition to Sleep and then Hibernate on a timer. Hibernate uses practically no additional power compared to a shutdown on modern PCs, and they turn on faster as a result (last time I checked, users were somewhat fond of faster startup times).

    If you are determined to make everything work like Windows 7, then of course you are going to have an uphill struggle. If, on the other hand, you are interested in providing a modern computing experience, it's not as hard as most people are making out. Windows 8 has its issues, but it also has a lot of non-issues that many people are fixating on for no good reason.
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 25th February 2014 at 04:32 PM.

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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    That's the problem with windows 8, it's not a modern OS. It's windows 7 with bits stuck on the top and some of those bits don't work.

    If Microsoft had properly committed to the metro interface and supported it's deployment properly and with actual management tools (not stupid XML bodges and third party stuff) then I would game for a deployment. I wan to define the start menu and apps for the PC, not faff about with individual user settings etc.

    As it is, most people who use 8 here wonder why the start tiles are even there as it continually flips to the windows 7 style desktop for nearly all of the applications they use.



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