News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Win 8.1 Pro fresh install advice

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 8.1 Questions: Win 8.1 (and Win 8) Win 8.1 Pro fresh install advice

    • This topic has 10 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 2 months ago.
    Viewing 1 reply thread
    • Author
      Posts
      • #2209256 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Hello. As I currently have some time on my hands, I have decided to upgrade two laptops from Win 7 Pro to Win 8.1 Pro. Before anyone asks or recommends, I have previously sampled multiple Linux distros, Win 8.1, and Win 10 as Win 7 was approaching EOL, leading me to conclude that Win 8.1 (with Open Shell) is the best option for me at this time.

        I will note that I was a “Group B” Win 7 user, and hope to follow the same path with Win 8.1. However, if someone can convince me that telemetry is not bad, or can be killed, it would be easier to just use the monthly rollups in “Group A.” I have read through AKB2000012 multiple times, but it feels more advanced than my comfort level when messing around under the hood of my OS.

        I have the appropriate Win 8.1 Pro product keys and a Win 8.1 Pro ISO file I downloaded using the Windows ISO downloader tool. However, while reading through many AskWoody threads to figure out the best approach for upgrading my laptops I learned (and have confirmed) that this ISO includes the telemetry KB2976978, and it can not be removed as far as I can tell.

        Question 1: Can I obtain a Win 8.1 Pro 64-bit ISO without KB2976978? If not, is KB2976978 a big deal if I take steps to shut down telemetry? Would that require a full implementation of AKB2000012?

        Question 2: Back a few years ago, when Win 7 updating deviated into Groups A and B, I was pretty comfortable with following the monthly assistance I found here (e.g. AKB2000003) for doing Security Only updating of my laptops. It’s a bit more daunting when attempting to start from scratch with Win 8.1. I have found bits and pieces of advice in many different threads, but haven’t seen a single reference to help organize (or put into order) that information for someone in my position. Assuming I want to stick with Group B, what steps do I need to take before starting to install the Win 8.1 Security Only updates beginning in October 2016?

        That’s probably enough for now. If anyone can offer advice I will be very appreciative of your help.

        Thanks.

        Andy

      • #2209274 Reply
        PKCano
        Da Boss

        It is almost impossible to avoid the telemetry now. You can use Group B updating, but MS has included the telemetry in multiple patches in the last year, and by not installing them you are missing security fixes that you need. Given that, I would recommend using the Rollups and neutralizing the telemetry as described in AKB2000012. I have set mine up as a Scheduled Task at startup, and it has worked fine. The instructions are in the AKB article.

        Here is a walk-through for a Group A install I did several months ago. You can get an idea of the procedure from this. I chose points along the way where MS had solved some problems and since the patches are cumulative, you don’t have to install all of them.

        If you would like to use this type of procedure, and you have questions, please post them here.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2209549 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          Thanks PKCano.

          I will take a look at your install instructions and review AKB2000012 again and then see what I can do.

          Quick question. When doing a fresh OS install, is it preferable to do all of the OS updates and then install the software you use (e.g., MS Office, GIS, PDF readers, etc). Or, should you get your computer set up with OS + your chosen software and then proceed with updating?

          Thanks,

          Andy

          • #2209551 Reply
            PKCano
            Da Boss

            I would get the OS updated first and be sure everything is OK. Then install the third-party programs. That way, you should have a stable OS, and installing the updates won’t mess up the programs (unless there is a compatibility anyway).

            • #2270554 Reply
              anonymous
              Guest

              Hello again, PKCano.

              Not sure if you’ll see this question, but since originally creating this post a few major world events delayed my Win8.1 install (on laptops currently running Win 7 Pro). I’m now back at it. I have reviewed several relevant discussions here, including #2009697 and understand the general framework I want to follow. Before I begin, do you have any additional advice to extend from the endpoint of those instructions (Oct 2019; post #2011287) to today?

              Thank you for all your help.

              Andy

              • #2270561 Reply
                PKCano
                Da Boss

                If you are sitting on 2014 updates, then start here. Download those two files and manually install them.

                Then basically follow the instructions. When you get to the end of the step-by-step instructions, which was quite a while ago, just run Windows Update and bring it up to date. Win8.1 has had no serious problems lately, and you should be fine.

                If you have any questions, come back and ask.

              • #2270930 Reply
                anonymous
                Guest

                Thanks again.

                One procedural question before I begin. Both laptops have an SSD (OS/software) + HDD in DVD drive caddy (user data). I make regular backups of both the SSD and HDD.

                I was planning to swap in an old HDD in place of the SSD for the install of Win8.1. That way, if there’s some major issue I can go back to the Win7 SSD and be operational again. Conversely, if everything seems good after a few days, I can clone the Win8.1 HDD to the SSD.

                OK, my question: is there any (extra) risk to the user data on the DVD caddy HDD when doing the Win8.1 install? In other words, should I pull the user data HDD and then put it back in once I get Win8.1 up and running successfully? I don’t see why there would be any risk, but it’s also not hard to pull the HDD caddy out.

                Thanks,

                Andy

              • #2270933 Reply
                PKCano
                Da Boss

                I would think a SATA connection is a SATA connection and it wouldn’t matter.
                May not be necessary, but I would make the install drive the default first boot device in the BIOS for the duration.

              • #2271227 Reply
                anonymous
                Guest

                Hi again.

                I just want to make sure I’m clear on one point. In the Win8.1 install instructions you linked to, you say to “Hide the Security Monthly Quality Rollups… back to and including the 2018-01 Security Monthly Quality Rollup” and then proceed forward from there.

                In your similar Win7 install posts I looked at the instruction was to hide Security Monthly Quality Rollups back to and including the October 2016 Monthly Rollup before starting.

                Is this just a Win7 vs Win8.1 difference?

                Thanks,

                Andy

              • #2271232 Reply
                PKCano
                Da Boss

                October 2016 is the first of the update Rollups when MS moved from individual patches to a single Cumulative patch. It is a critical point for Group B patching, as it is the last one without telemetry, but it contains a critical update..

                If you’re Doing Group A patching, Dec 2017 is the critical point after which MS started the Meltdown/Spectre patches that casued so much trouble (first one was in Jan 2018, hence 2018-01).

                By hiding the Rollups back to those points, you can see and install some of the updates you would miss if you just started with the Rollups, because each Rollup you allow in the WU queue hides some of the older patches. As you hide the Rollups, you will see more patches appear in the WU queue.

              • #2271707 Reply
                anonymous
                Guest

                Hi again.

                Another procedural question. As I mentioned in my original post, with Win7 I was doing Group B updates. It got tedious, but wasn’t too bad most of the time. From what I have read in different posts, Group A is okay with Win 8.1 after employing methods (e.g., AKB2000012) to kill telemetry. Makes sense.

                When I was doing Group B, in Windows Update I UNCHECKED the box “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates.”

                In your instructions for installing Win 8.1 you say to CHECK this box. Is the idea here that when you install a ““Security Monthly Quality ROLLUP” you’re getting both Important and Recommended updates, so you might as well get both Important and Recommended updates in the earlier steps of the install process when you’re patching from 2014 (the Win 8.1 ISO I have) up to the point where you start installing Rollups?

                I guess what I’m really asking is what is the difference between an Important and Recommended update, or what happens if you don’t install Recommended updates? Is there a cost; does it outweigh the benefits. Or, is any unwanted stuff from Recommended updates controlled by the AKB2000012 method so it doesn’t matter anyway?

                Sorry for the stupid questions, but this can be a bit confusing for someone who just wants a stable, secure OS for their old laptops.

                Thanks,

                Andy

              • #2271736 Reply
                PKCano
                Da Boss

                AKB2000004 is the Knowledge Base for Group A. The justification is in Step 1.

                I do Group A and have never had a problem with that being checked.

    Viewing 1 reply thread

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Win 8.1 Pro fresh install advice

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.