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

By Greg Shultz

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.