Windows 8

Step-by-step to a clean Windows 8 installation

The new light blue Windows flag is introduced

This gallery is also available as a post in the Windows and Office Blog.

As I wrote last week in Take advantage of the $15 Windows 8 Pro Upgrade Offer, I purchased a new system back in August, an ASUS CM1740 with an AMD APU A8-3820 (2.5GHz), 8GB RAM and running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit. I decided to download the Windows 8 Pro Upgrade.

When the download was complete, I was contemplating installing Windows 8 in a dual-boot configuration, but decided to sleep on it. After weighing my options, I decided against a dual-boot configuration thinking that if I could easily access Windows 7, it would turn into a crutch and I would find myself frequently returning to the familiar environment just because I could. Instead, I decided to blow away Windows 7 along with all the partitions, and perform a clean install of Windows 8.

As I was formulating my plan, I thought that I would document the entire procedure so that those of you who decide to go the clean install route will have a roadmap to follow and know what to expect.

Backup your data

Of course, before you get started, you should back up your data. You can use Windows 7's Backup and Restore to create a backup or you can simply copy your data files over to an external hard disk. You might even want to do both operations. After all, you really can't have too many backups, can you?

Getting started

After booting from the DVD that I created from my download, the first thing I encountered was the new light blue Windows logo on a black background, as shown in Figure A. This image remained on the screen for a few moments while Setup was initializing. I was kind of hoping that the flag would be animated, but the only animation was the dots spinning in a circle.

Credit: Images by Greg Shultz for TechRepublic

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

5 comments
kedi.elung
kedi.elung

i tried upgrading with this method but when the option comes "where do you want to install windows?", no drives are shown..there's no problem with my hard disk...Could any one help me with this?

grichardt
grichardt

I have a HP Pavillion with an Athalon II x 2 processor, 3 gb of RAM a 2 terrabyte and a 1 terrabyte and an ATI Radeon HD 5450 video card. My try at clean install over Windows 8 RP did not work. It stalled when I was told I needed unspecified drivers to continue. None of the drivers on the HP web site worked with Windows 8. I opened the start screen in Metro and clicked on the install Windows 8 tile. After 8 was installed, there was no sound. On one of the message boards was a link to get the Realtek drivers. I installed the driver, no sound. I dl'd the driver from a different mirror and installed it. On reboot, I got the BSOD with repair suggestions. I tried each repair suggestion with no luck until I tried the "Erase all files and reinstall" option. After over an hour of computer churning, I ended up with what seems to be a fully functional install with working sound. All seemed well and good until I looked at Windows Explorer. A 500 GB partiton on Drive 2 was missing. I cranked up Easus Partition Master and found the lost partition. It had no drive letter and was labeled as a System drive. It was not accesible to me. I was able tor recover all but 180 GB of storage. Now I have WIndows 8 OS on partition C on drive 1 (2TB) and System files and some old backup files in a hidden partition on drive 2 (1 TB). What happens if I remove drive 2 or it fails?? Is there any way to recover the hidden partition? Will a complete format of the System drive recover the hidden partition or is it lost forever? I have ordered the Win 8 DVD and may try to wipe everthing and start over when it arrives.

dlindb9464
dlindb9464

On Oct. 26th, I downloaded Win 8 Pro with the intention of using it on my main desktop machine. I have XP and Windows 7, Home Premium on this machine also, on separate hard drives. The machine runs those 2 operahttp://www.techrepublic.com/forum/discussions/102-396192ting systems very well. After installing Win 8 on a separate hard drive, the machine only ran for short periods of time and rebooting because of errors. If I am reading the messages correctly, they seem to be memory errors. After trying to remedy the problem for several days, I gave up. This machine is a home built computer. I have an Asus P5QSL PRO motherboard in it. I have a Core 2, Quad Core, Extreme processor, 8 GB of ram, and a very good video card. I tried to install the system on an older Dell computer, that I tested extensively for memory errors, with Memtest 86. I tested the machine for over 4 hours and had no memory errors at all. I had the same problems with Win 8 on that machine also. I finally installed the system on an older HP laptop and it runs OK on this machine and I haven't had any problems with it in over a week. I am at at loss as to why Win 8 will not stay running on either one of the other two computers. They crash in moments, or sometimes an hour or so later, but they always crash.

epri307
epri307

Always have good hint and tips on windows 8 which I really like all the hint on the charms as going from 7 to 8 is another ball game Thanks for all your help and support Keep up the great work Ellen 307

prattjo
prattjo

I installed from a flash drive, when the first restart arrives in the process, if you don't change the booting squence in the Bios, and the restart is quick with a SSD, you will boot again from the flash drive. This is somthing you don't want since it'll start the installation from the beginning again.