Not Yet Upgraded To Windows 8.1? Beware!


Microsoft released Windows 8.1 a few months ago as a free upgrade for those who had already switched to 8.0.  Earlier this month, a further update to 8.1 was issued.  We still don't have the old-fashioned Start button back as it was, but rumours suggest that it may make a welcome return around August.

If you're one of the original Windows 8 users and you haven't yet succumbed to the free offer of an upgrade to 8.1, beware.  This is no minor cosmetic update.  I decided to bite the bullet yesterday and update my main PC (which, against my better judgement, was running Windows 8 rather than 7).  

After the update to 8.1, the first thing I noticed was that I could no longer drag icons around my desktop.  They were securely fixed in place.  It turned out to be a problem with a utility that I use called Fences, which allows me to organise my icons into titled groups.  Fences prior to version 2.11 doesn't like Windows 8.1, and the immoveable icons bug manifests itself.  

The second program I tried to use after the update is a specialist VPN (virtual private network) app which sets up an encrypted connection between my PC and the university where I work, so I can work securely from home instead of always being in the office.  This didn't work either, and it took me almost an entire afternoon of Googling to find out why.

No doubt there are other problems too, which I have yet to discover.

Therefore, if you're currently using Windows 8 and you've not yet switched to 8.1, check before you upgrade that all your critical apps are supported by the new OS.  You may find that they are not yet known to work correctly.




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DONT DO IT. Had 2 computers now that totally got screwed up. Printers stopped working, Network was screwed up, Restore points were gone. Missing applications. Operating system totally screwed up. Had to do reinstalls on both computers could not get them back to Widows 8. Very frustrating.

Problem is specific to your system. Many many people have performed the upgrade without any issues. I am personally running Windows 8.1 since a long time.

Hi, yep, 1 program made a number of programs from certain converters to shellex, unlocker and defraggler appear to cause the desktop in Safe Mode to fail (non responsive, no charms bar, explorer crashed...).

After installing 100+ programs I realised I had forgotten to check SAFE MODE.

Restore point, disk images... every couple of programs I installed. Restart and test (Shift restart) Safe Mode. It took me a month of repeating and trials before I finally discovered one program, listed as compatible, was the cause.

Advanced Uninstaller Pro.

Without that, after a month of utter frustration and backtracking, all is well. Point about Fences noted, thanks.

Any clues how to diagnose that sort of failure, out of interest?

For somebody working in IT you just made a fool of yourself :-) What is all this fuzz about 'Win 8 is sooooo bad, it sucks'? One day we all have to swap. I had my 'day' when the new laptop came with Win8 and after a few days of the usual swearing guess what... you get used to it. I'm on Win7 at work and now Win8.1 at home and both is absolutely doable. If you feel nostalgic get Classic Shell and you are back to the old days in an instant (and you can swap back and forth)have a beer if that doesn't work for you.

Win 8 feels, to me, like a "change for the sake of change", OS-- at least on the desktop. True, you can type & search from the metro screen- but only if you know what it is you want. Likewise, MS made it cumbersome to access F8 (safe mode) at boot time, as well.

And the biggest gripe of all is that the average user only ever went through the "start" button- which MS simply removed-- & eff-off if you didn't/don't like it...not a very good way to treat your customers.

Lastly- an OS for a tablet doesn't work on a desktop as well.

If MS stops crossing arms & digging heels, they might be able to fix this fiasco.

RE: XP & safety- be sure to run as a limited/standard user- not admin.

Cheers, from a Linux Mint fan! :)

All this time later I still have no interest in 'upgrading' to win 8 or 8.1, and the more I read about it the more I think thanks but I'll stick with 7 :)

Thanks Rob for the Windows update information

I think its a universal law - only upgrade your OS if the benefit outweighs the significant risk that some of your programs will no longer function

Why the compelling need to upgrade from Windows 8.0 to 8.1 by the way ? (both which are no improvement to productivity compared to Windows 7 or even Windows XP).

Lets face it, Microsoft has deliberately crippled the OS by removing the Start button, meaning users have to unnecessarily have to download/install a 3rd party utility for what is an important feature of a Windows OS

I am running Windows XP, and have so since 2001, and have stopped using Internet Explorer due to its significant flaws. (I mainly use Firefox) I also update Adobe Flash regularly, as I learnt from techsupportalert : )

Even though Microsoft support for Windows XP has ended, I have shut off the update function, so I dont get any 'sabotage updates' that cause part/all of Windows XP to be sabotaged by Microsoft

Very happy with Windows XP, which has a very good start menu !

As far I am am concerned, as long as you have your main computer not visit any dodgy sites, and since I have antivirus and an uptodate web browser, I have essentially been very happy and virus free for 13 years, with very few Windows updates thank you

As a computer user you generally have to expect an issue or two with applications anytime you switch to a new OS or browser version. Usually a fix or acceptable alternative can be found. Kudos to Geek for providing some useful links. The importance of setting restore points and backing up data before making significant changes to a computer can't be stressed enough.