70-689 Windows 8 MCSA Part 1 – Install & upgrade to Windows 8.1

So this is part 1 of my blog posts series which covers preparation to 70-689 exam. This post entirely dedicated to 1st exam domain  “Install & upgrade to Windows 8.1” and its respective subdomains: Evaluation of hardware readiness and compatibility, Installation, Migration and configuration of users’ data.

Evaluate hardware readiness and compatibility

Choose between an upgrade and a clean installation. This choice means that you have to know from which editions of Windows you can do an in place upgrade.

I guess before delving to editions it makes sense to be aware about overall system requirements for Windows 8.1 installation.

Win 8.1 Requirements

This slide gives you basic idea about official bare minimum in terms of hardware you need (you going to need more in real world), but you may want to delve into system requirements details which you may find at microsoft.com (there you may find per feature requirements for example).

Determine which SKU to use, including Windows RT. Luckily enough Microsoft demonstrates more sanity with number of editions when it comes to Windows 8.1 (remember 6 editions of Windows Vista? 🙂 ): there is 4 editions in total:

Windows 8.1 (retail only)

Windows 8.1 Pro (retail and volume license)

Windows 8.1 Enterprise (volume license only)

All of above mentioned editions available both in 32 and 64 bit versions. 64 bit versions support more memory (512 GB), client Hyper-V and have improved security. Please pay attention to 2 last points, more memory supported by 64 bit versions is obvious, other things not so.

Windows 8.1 RT (think about Surface tablet) – the same Windows 8.1 GUI, runs Windows Store apps but not desktop apps.

Chances are high that you will be quizzed on choosing right edition. As certain features are Enterprise only it is strongly recommended to obtain trial version of Windows 8.1 Enterprise and play around/touch those features.

Windows 8.1 Editions

So to reiterate you mast know that AppLocker, Windows To Go and Direct Access available only in Enterprise. Hyper-V only in x64 Pro and Enterprise. And inbound RDP connections possible only for Pro & Enterprise, 8.1/RT have client only RDP capabilities.

You may find more detailed drop down of features supported by differen editions here: Windows 8.1 Editions (SKUs) and features

Determine requirements for particular features, including Hyper-V, Miracast display, pervasive device encryption, virtual smart cards, and Secure Boot.

Hyper-V – as you may see from the table above it available in Pro and Enterprise and in x64 editions only.

Miracast display. Support for Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) Miracast wireless display specification was introduced in Windows 8.1. Miracast is a wireless technology your PC can use to project your screen to TVs, projectors, and streaming media players that also support Miracast. Wireless display is available in new Windows 8.1 PCs – laptops, tablets, and all-in-ones — allowing you to display your full Windows 8.1 experience (up to 1080p) to large wireless display-enabled screens at home and work.

When you use wireless display, you have a source and a receiver: your Windows 8.1 device is the source, while your TV or projector is the receiver. If your display already has Miracast support, you are ready to go. If not, Miracast adapters provide an economical way to add wireless display to your existing TV or projector.

If your computer came with Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, it should support Miracast. If you’ve upgraded an old PC to Windows 8.1, it may or may not support Miracast. The way to check if your PC support it is go to Win + P menu (Project) and I see if you have an option “Add a wireless display” on the bottom there.

Pervasive device encryption

Virtual smart cards

Secure boot

Install Windows 8.1\n– Install as Windows To Go, migrate from previous versions of Windows to Windows 8.1, upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, install to VHD, install additional Windows features, configure Windows for additional languages

Migrate and configure user data\n– Migrate user profiles; configure folder location; configure profiles, including profile version, local, roaming, and mandatory

P.S. I’m editing this as I go/do my preparation work, so you may return to this post from to time to see if something was updated.

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