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Microsoft recently released Windows 8.1, an upgrade to Windows 8 which arrived with mixed reviews. Most people see Windows 8.1 as a type of Service Pack. The updates introduced by Windows 8.1, however, are much more pervasive and consequently seem to be causing more trouble than Service Packs in previous Windows versions.

Windows 8.1 can cause several issues during the process of upgrading and even more afterwards. If you’re faced with one of them, read on to see if there’s a potential fix. Alternatively, if you’re considering an upgrade, make sure to prep your computer for Windows 8.1 Upgrading Your PC for Windows 8.1? Prep It First! Upgrading Your PC for Windows 8.1? Prep It First! Windows 8.1 makes significant changes to Windows 8 and it's a worthy upgrade on any device. How you'll upgrade depends on which version of Windows you're upgrading from. This article has all the details. Read More  beforehand.

Hardware Support

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Image Credit: William Hook

An issue that I’ve personally experienced is reduced hardware support. For one reason or another, Windows 8.1 changes something deep in the system that can affect drivers, resulting in unrecognized or malfunctioning hardware. In my case, the backlight of my laptop was no longer controllable — it was ridiculously too dim, and the brightness buttons on my keyboard wouldn’t change the setting.

Ultimately, to fix issues like this, make sure that all of your drivers are up to date via various channels. The best places to look are at the manufacturer’s website or Windows Update Windows Update: Everything You Need to Know Windows Update: Everything You Need to Know Is Windows Update enabled on your PC? Windows Update protects you from security vulnerabilities by keeping Windows, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office up-to-date with the latest security patches and bug fixes. Read More , as sometimes it can deliver driver updates. My personal issue was resolved when Samsung released a “brightness fix patch” via their SW Updater software package. Make sure to check your respective sources as well.

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Bad Drivers

On a related note, Windows may refuse to upgrade to 8.1 if it doesn’t like certain drivers. For example, a select number of people have a specific driver which Windows asks you to remove in order to upgrade. Of course, you’ll need to do so in order to continue. Alternatively, you may be able to just update your drivers Update Windows Drivers For Free With IObit Driver Booster Beta Update Windows Drivers For Free With IObit Driver Booster Beta Without drivers, hardware and software wouldn’t be able to communicate, leaving a system inoperable. Updates to drivers can dramatically improve the stability, speed and features of a computer without any changes to the hardware inside.... Read More to a possibly Windows 8.1-friendly version, so that you don’t have to remove it completely.

SkyDrive Files Gone “Online Only”

If you’re an avid SkyDrive user, you may come across an issue where SkyDrive claims that all of the files that were once downloaded to your computer are now “online only”. This is incorrect, and the files are actually still on your computer as they previously were. All you need to do to resolve this “blemish” is to open Windows Explorer, right click on SkyDrive in the left-hand pane of common folders, and click on “Make available offline”. This should make sure that all your SkyDrive files will be synchronized How To Keep Your Files Synced With SkyDrive In Windows 8.1 How To Keep Your Files Synced With SkyDrive In Windows 8.1 Storing data remotely and syncing them across devices has never been so easy, especially if you're using Windows 8.1. SkyDrive received a significant update, improving its integration with Windows and adding interesting new features. Read More , or just mark them as synchronized if they’re already present.

Make SkyDrive Available Offline

Upgrading from Windows 8.1 Preview

If you were a user of the Windows 8.1 Preview How To Upgrade To Windows 8.1 Preview & What To Expect How To Upgrade To Windows 8.1 Preview & What To Expect Anyone using Windows 8 can now upgrade to a preview version of Windows 8.1 for free. This update refines Windows 8, giving keyboard and mouse users important interface improvements and making the Modern interface more... Read More , you will probably face issues upgrading to the real release. Microsoft already announced the problem ahead of time, stating that you’d most likely be able to upgrade to the final code, but you would have to reinstall all of your desktop and Windows Store apps. If that’s the case, you might as well go ahead and do a complete reinstall when upgrading to the final code, as clean installs are much less buggy than upgrades.

Error Screens

If you received a “Couldn’t update to Windows 8.1” error with a code of 0xC1900101 – 0x40017 or something similar, you can attempt to get around the problem by unplugging all of your peripherals — except the necessary ones like your mouse and keyboard, obviously — and make sure that your graphics card driver is up-to-date How To Safely & Easily Update Your Video Card Drivers How To Safely & Easily Update Your Video Card Drivers Hunting for device drivers isn't such a task anymore, anyway. Most of your Windows drivers will never need to be touched right out of the box. Your video card is in its own sacred territory... Read More before performing the upgrade. The bug still remains at large, but these tips can give you a better chance at beating it. The good thing about this error, at least, is that the installer rolls your system back to Windows 8, so you’re not stuck with a bricked system.

If you receive an error stating “Sorry, it looks like this PC can’t run Windows 8.1. This might be because the Users or Program Files folder is being redirected to another partition.”, and this is actually the case, then you’ll need to move your User or Program Files folder back to the primary system hard drive/partition. Since this error wouldn’t show up without you having changed the location of those folders, just follow the same instructions to move them back.

Secure Boot Watermark

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If, after successfully upgrading to Windows 8.1, you see a watermark in the corner of your desktop saying “Secure Boot isn’t configured correctly”, then you’ll need to head into your computer’s BIOS How to Access the BIOS on a Windows 8 Computer How to Access the BIOS on a Windows 8 Computer Among the many changes coming with Windows 8 and new computers designed for it is a change in the way we access our computers’ BIOS. No longer do we press a certain key during the... Read More and mess with the Secure Boot Windows 8 Branded PCs Could Prevent Other Operating Systems From Being Installed Windows 8 Branded PCs Could Prevent Other Operating Systems From Being Installed "Secure Boot" is a new Windows 8 technology that’s required of OEM computers if they are to feature the Windows 8 Compatibility Logo. It's designed to protect against malware at the boot level by preventing... Read More settings to enable or configure it. Afterwards, Windows should stop complaining.

Conclusion

Windows 8.1 introduces many new and improved features, including the option to boot to the desktop, deep SkyDrive integration, and an updated UI, which now supports dynamic Snap for multiple apps or sharing the desktop wallpaper with the Start screen. Most of the changes, however, are behind-the-scenes, which may be why so many people are having issues. Generally, I’d recommend that you stick with Windows 8, unless you read about a Windows 8.1 feature that you absolutely need. In that case you should prepare to upgrade to Windows 8.1 with the option to roll back How To Upgrade To Windows 8.1 & How To Downgrade Back To Windows 8 How To Upgrade To Windows 8.1 & How To Downgrade Back To Windows 8 The Windows 8.1 update is free, easy, and gives you access to new and improved features. It is, however, impossible to simply downgrade to Windows 8, unless you plan to before updating. Let us show... Read More .

Have you run into issues while upgrading to Windows 8.1? Please share how you were able to fix them! You can also turn to our MakeUseOf Answers community for support.

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