What to be Aware of Installing Windows 8.1 Preview

It has been 24 hours since Microsoft released Windows 8.1 Preview and while many have successfully installed it, some have not. I want to share with you my experiences so that it may hopefully save you some time this week.

Immediately after the preview.windows.com link was released, I started downloading on my primary notebook, the Dell XPS 12.  I got an error message that said, “Your Windows 8.1 Preview install couldn’t be completed. Something happened and the Windows 8.1 Preview can’t be completed.”  I get the choice to “try again” or “cancel”  My expectation was that there was a lot of traffic hitting the servers and I tried again… and again, and finally connected t the store.  At the end of the 20 minute download an error message appeared.  The message said, “Something happened and the Windows 8.1 Preview couldn’t be installed.  Please try again. Error code: 0x80240031.”  I was given the chance to “Try again” or “cancel”.  I tried and tried again.  Then I searched on the error message but no information was available.  So I figured it was a bad machine or Windows 8 load.  Time to try another.

So I tried a system builder constructed new Intel Haswell machine.  Same problem.  Then a Lenovo Yoga 13.  Then Microsoft Surface Pro. Same issue.  I contacted the helpful folks at Microsoft who said they would look into it and get back to me.  They did ask some clarifying questions about what I had, because there are some issues they have found and shared on a blog post.  Users cannot upgrade yet Atom processor-based systems or those with Windows 8 Enterprise.

So I then decided it had to be an overwhelmed server issue so I waited  till the next morning.  I tried all four systems again and then, because I had seen someone from Nvidia talk about Yoga 11 success, I tried it on that.  Same result.  No joy.  I am currently in the process of reimaging the Yoga 11 and I will keep you updated along the way.

My message to you: Don’t waste your time like I have on 5 different systems…. move on, do something different for a few days and come back until they’ve sorted out the issues.



Published by

Patrick Moorhead

Patrick Moorhead was ranked the #1 technology industry analyst by Apollo Research for the U.S. and EMEA in May, 2013.. He is President and Principal Analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy, a high tech analyst firm focused on the ecosystem intersections of the phone, tablet, PC, TV, datacenter and cloud. Moorhead departed AMD in 2011 where he served as Corporate Vice President and Corporate Fellow in the strategy group. There, he developed long-term strategies for mobile computing devices and personal computers. In his 11 years at AMD he also led product management, business planning, product marketing, regional marketing, channel marketing, and corporate marketing. Moorhead worked at Compaq Computer Corp. during their run to the #1 market share leader position in personal computers. Moorhead also served as an executive at AltaVista E-commerce during their peak and pioneered cost per click e-commerce models.

3 thoughts on “What to be Aware of Installing Windows 8.1 Preview”

  1. I installed 8.1 on a ThinkPad Helix on the first try. though I’m a little bummed that I can’t load it on an HP Envy x2. It’s definitely a major improvement over 8.0, but it still has a ways to go before I would really want to use it on a main production system.

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