This is a detailed tutorial on how to install windows 8.1 on Acer laptop.
I’ll try my level best to make this tutorial as much general as possible and not confined to any specific model.
Although I’ve an Acer Aspire V7 481P model, which I’ll be using for taking screenshots, but the options will not vary much for almost all Acer laptop’s and OS(Operating System).
Though this article is titled installing windows 8.1, the steps are valid for any windows OS.
What You Will Require to install windows 8.1 on Acer laptop
- Windows product key finder to have your key at hand to use during installation
- An USB drive of capacity greater than 15 GB
- A software for ISO image creation
Step 1 – Know About Your Laptop First
First of all you should know whether you should install windows 8/8.1 as a Fresh Install or Upgrade From Current Windows Operating System.
To know that, head on to Acer support. Scroll down a bit and you’ll find these links.
Click on the Windows 8.1 Clean Install, you’ll be directed to a page which contains the list of models that can clean install windows 8.1. Now if your model is not listed don’t be disheartened. Your model should be able to Upgrade to windows 8.1. And do remember you should Upgrade to windows 8.1 from window 8. Probably upgrading to windows 8.1 from any previous version not supported, but you can always try for yourself.
Now, those who can clean install windows 8.1, that page will contain the procedure and it is simple enough. But for those whose model isn’t listed it going to be rough a bit. Okay… let’s make the transition smooth.
Step 2 – Getting Your System Ready For Windows 8.1
Following are the steps which you must go through before you install windows 8.1 on acer laptop.
Now, click on the Update to windows 8.1 flow and note down the steps somewhere for your future reference.
Press Win + C and go to search , type Acer , and it will bring up all the Acer apps.
In this step, I’m assuming you haven’t changed or re-installed any OS (Windows) on your laptop from the date of purchase, that is, the laptop is still with factory settings. Else you may not find any Acer apps. Otherwise you should have some Acer recovery management app.
Since my laptop is an Ultrabook, so there is no optical disk drive (DVD drive) built in. But if you are having one, then you must be having a driver CD supplied with your laptop, keep the disk ready, as we’ll be needing the disc after upgrading or fresh installing.
Open the recovery management application. Insert a USB drive of capacity greater than 15 GB. Yes, it going to be big, because it will contain your complete OS (with default settings) that came pre-loaded from factory. You’ll be using this when you run into any problem with your laptop.
Insert your USB drive. Click on “Create Factory Default” and it should automatically detect will drive and ask you to make a factory default backup.
Note – Any data on that USB drive will be erased and the drive will be made bootable.
Now, it will take some 15-20 minutes to complete the process. After the process is completed. Eject the USB Drive one and re-insert.
Note – Try not doing any activities that may interrupt this process.
Boot using the USB drive to make sure that the USB drive contains the Factory default recovery OS. You just need to make sure you can boot from the USB drive.
If you are unable to boot from USB drive then make sure you have Boot from removable disk enabled in your bios. Also do enable boot optiosns menu from the bios. Acer laptops can access bios by pressing one of the key – F2 or F1 or DEL or CTRL+ALT+DEL or any other…refer your manual.
Now once you are in the bios menu. Check what type of bios is enabled. There will be two type’s of bios modes
- Legacy Mode (OLD)
- UEFI (Latest Version)
If you do not want to re-install leave this unchanged. Make sure the option Secure Boot is disabled. Else use this simple trick to disable secure boot.
- Set a supervisor password
- Now you’ll be able to change the secure boot option, change it to disabled
- Now, again go to set supervisor password or change supervisor password
- Give your current password but for the new password do not type anything, press enter for new password, you’ll have to do same for re-type password
If you have made up your mid to clean install windows 8.1 you must use UEFI bios. Do not change the bios type now, we’ll be changing it later.
Log into windows again. We have to take the backup of Driver’s and Applications . As you can see from the screenshot above the second optionswill help us backup the applications and driver’s. Do it.
Now, if you have a driver CD/DVD. You need not have to backup anything, just keep your OS (windows 8.1) disc and Driver Disc ready.
Note :- Make your driver’s backed-up to the same USB drive, we’ll be creating a single image of that USB drive , so that we can have an ISO image of everything (Factory default OS + Drivers + Applications)
Once backing up of drivers and applications are finished, Install ISO creator and launch ISO Creator.
Use your USB drive content’s to make a image. The size will be very big almost less than or equal to 15 GB. The image will be bootable, for sure. If in doubt you may verify by writing the image to any USB drive and booting using it.
Now the ISO image will contain the factory default recovery OS and the driver’s plus applications. You can always use the image to restore your laptop to factory default state any time.
Do remember that above mentioned steps are must before you advance to install windows 8.1 on acer laptop
Step 3 – Installing Or Upgrading To Windows 8.1
Make sure all your data on your hard disk is backed up somewhere safe, preferable a portable drive. Get your windows installation media, USB drive or OS disc. For making USB windows installation media you may use Zotac WinUSB Maker.
Upgrading is simple, just boot from the installation media and click on upgrade when prompted and it’ll be done.
Now, for those who want to fresh install, make double sure you have already done these things :
- Backed up all data’s in hard disk, we’ll be wiping the disk completely, in case of changing to UEFI bios mode
- Have your factory default setting + drivers + applications image kept somewhere safe (not in hard disk, since you may need to format your drive)
- Have your windows installation media and your driver CD if present
Step By Step Instruction For Clean Install Of Windows 8.1
- Enter bios and change bios mode to UEFI
- Disable Secure Boot
- Make sure your windows installation media (Containing Windows 8.1) is attached to your laptop (USB or DVD). Press F10 to save the changes in bios and exit.
- Once you boot from the installation media, proceed till the partition window.
- Now carefully Delete All existing partitions one by one
- Make your first partition – this will be C:
- Now, two different will be created automatically, one of them will be EFI partition. You wont have to do any thing with them.
- Since your C: is created you can proceed with your installation without creating other partitions, since you can always create them from Disk Management Tool inside windows.
- Proceed with installation.
- After successful installation, use the driver CD or the ISO image you had created to install the drivers. If you using CD then go for auto installation instead of manually searching for driver’s and installing. In that way there wont be any problem afterwards lest you may face some problem if you miss out on any driver or any important component which you may not find. Let’s be on safe side. Restart your laptop.
Enjoy your fresh installed windows 8.1 on acer laptop.
For Aspire range of ultra-book user’s. Do not worry about the key, the key is embedded within the bios. Otherwise you always have the key using the software (produkey) that I’ve mentioned at the starting of the tutorial
A bit of housekeeping after you install windows 8.1 on acer laptop
You should go back to BIOS and enable the secureboot , only for security purposes, so that you never get affected by root kit viruses that affect the boot of the windows. Use a good antivirus or internet security software.
If you face any trouble, let me know in comments below.