How To Upgrade Install XP to Windows 8

Previously we reported about Microsoft’s announcement regarding upgrade path to Windows 8 from previous versions of Windows. If you have a machine running XP Pro Service Pack 3, here’s how to do an upgrade install to Windows 8.

Note: When upgrading XP Pro to Windows 8, only your data files will be kept, some of your programs and drivers will need to be reinstalled and / or upgraded.

Prepare XP for Windows 8 Upgrade

Before trying to do an upgrade from XP to Windows 8, make sure your system has the hardware to upgrade. According to Microsoft, you’ll need the following:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • To access Windows Store, you need screen resolution of at least 1024×768. To use the Snap feature for Metro apps, you’ll need a screen with 1366×768 resolution or higher.

Power on your XP System and make sure it’s running Service Pack 3.

XP Pro Service Pack 3

Make sure all of your important data on your XP system is backed up either locally or in “the cloud” with a service like CrashPlan. In case something goes wrong with the install you’ll have all of your data still available. Only your files will be kept, some of your programs will need to be reinstalled.

Then head to the download page for Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant.

Download Win8

Start Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant

After it’s done downloading double click to launch the executable file.

Win 8 Upgrade Assistant

When upgrading XP to Windows 8, the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant starts and checks your system to see what’s compatible for Windows 8 on your current system.

what is Compatible

Then you’re given a general list of what is compatible and not. For more info click See Compatibility Details.

what is found

Review the list of what is compatible with Windows 8 and what isn’t. The first part of the list will display what isn’t compatible. This is an important list to review and print out or save, as you’ll be required to install different drivers and apps.


Keep scrolling down the list to see what is compatible with Windows 8.


Continue the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant wizard and it’ll get a product key automatically – for the Release Preview version.

Product Key Auto

Next, Windows 8 will be downloaded to your computer. You can continue to use it if you need to while the download takes place.

Downloading Win8 Progress

You’ll notice a series of messages while the wizard verifies the download and gets everything ready for the upgrade.

Getting Ready

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Nice article, thanks, should probably mention that Windows XP 64-bit only got Service Pack 2 so this is only possible with 32-bit XP and therefor you can only upgrade to 32-bit Windows 8, which isn’t a big issue since you most likely don’t have more than 4GB of RAM on the previous XP machine

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