aNewDomain.net — If you’re looking to do a clean install of Microsoft Windows 8, you’re at the right place. This is necessary if you are moving from Windows XP to Windows 8 or moving from a 32-bit version to a 64-bit version of Windows 8. Even if you don’t have to perform a clean install, this type of installation will give you the best results.
It will, however, wipe everything off your hard drive. So the first step in the process is to back up all of your data and make sure you have the download files or original disks to reinstall all of your programs.
If you are upgrading, you can start the process at the this Windows 8 website. You can also purchase an upgrade DVD or full version DVD. If you choose Microsoft’s upgrade page, it will walk you through getting ready, including running the Microsoft Upgrade Assistant that will give you a compatibility list.
SPECIAL NOTE: The computer will reboot several times during the installation. Several additional screens not shown here will appear. Many screens will give the approximate time it will take for completion. To put it bluntly, these are almost always inaccurate. So just be patient and wait for the computer to complete each task.
To begin the installation, follow the instructions on the Microsoft website or, if you are installing from a DVD, boot from the DVD drive. You may be asked your location, language and type of keyboard.
If you are downloading the files from the Microsoft website, you will see a downloading screen along with the time estimate.
Then several getting-ready screens will appear.
You will then be presented with a screen where you will choose Install. This screen may look different than the one below, but you will see the install button somewhere on the screen.
The next screen will have three installation choices:
- Install Now which will start the install immediately.
- Install by creating media which will allow you to create an ISO image on a DVD.
- Install later from your desktop which will let you click on an icon on your desktop to start the install at a later time.
During the installation you will see several screens for settings and systems preparation. Here’s an example of one, below.
When the installation is complete the following screen to start the personalization of your computer will appear.
Once this stage is finished, the system will prompt you to sign in.
If you use your Microsoft Live account you will be able to access your personalized Windows 8 settings from any computer and download apps from the Microsoft store. There will also be an option to create a new Microsoft account or to sign in without creating a Microsoft account if you just want a local installation.
Once installation is complete you will see the typical Windows 8 Start screen — tiles and all.
That’s it! Retrieve your data from your backup and reinstall your programs and you can start enjoying Windows 8.
Based in Pinehurst, N.C., Sandy Berger is a veteran tech journalist and senior features editor at aNewDomain.net covering tech tips and tricks, apps and gadgets in general. Email her at Sandy@aNewDomain.net. Follow her on Twitter @sandyberger, +SandyBerger on Google+ and on Facebook.