Windows 10 – Do clean install after the upgrade….

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  • Windows 10 – Do clean install after the upgrade….
  • So, I started out with a windows 8.1 laptop with no install discs, and did the upgrade. All activated etc. Now I want to format the thing and start from scratch, but putting on a clean Windows 10 install.

    Presumably
    a) I can Get at my License key somewhere before I format the drive
    b) I can then download a windows 10 ISO, from somewhere like this:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
    c) Back up my stuff

    Are there any other steps I should carry out before I format the thing?
    Should windows 10 be able to download and install drivers during the process or do I need to work out what they are before I blat the thing?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    You can’t get the license key up front – the upgrade process converts your old key to a W10 one. People have said you need to do the in-place upgrade then reinstall again, to get a clean upgrade, but you don’t. I downloaded the W10 image from the internet, burnt to USB, then simply opened the USB from a running W7 and clicked setup.exe. I got an option to do a clean install there which did it all in one go.

    It downloaded and installed all drivers, within reason (obscure old niche hardware).

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    There is no key – once you’ve done the in-place upgrade the activation servers “know” about your machine.

    Other than that, as you said. I’d record what network card you have first, just in case you lose connectivity.

    IA
    Member

    There is no key – once you’ve done the in-place upgrade the activation servers “know” about your machine.

    I believed that, and did exactly what the OP wants to do, but it does ask for a key. I’d used a tool (google for it) to get the keys out the machine before I removed 8 though so I had it – there were two, a windows one and a bios/machine ones. First one I tried in win10 installed, but then it wouldn’t activate so I picked the wrong one. Changed the key and it activated.

    So even if you install fine, check it’s activated too.

    chewkw
    Member

    I just noticed the Win 10 icon appearing on my task bar to ask me to upgrade.

    No, I am not!

    I am sticking to my Win 7 … 😡

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I did it the ‘proper’ way, upgraded from W7 to W10, then downloaded the ISO to a USB stick and did a clean install on the first day it was released.

    Worked fine if a bit of a faff taking twice as long.

    Still working fine, wouldn’t go back to W7.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I believed that, and did exactly what the OP wants to do, but it does ask for a key. I’d used a tool (google for it) to get the keys out the machine before I removed 8 though so I had it – there were two, a windows one and a bios/machine ones. First one I tried in win10 installed, but then it wouldn’t activate so I picked the wrong one. Changed the key and it activated.

    To be clear,

    For the activation to work, you must start with an activated copy of W7 or W8.1 and do an in-situ upgrade. This registers the BIOS ID with the MS activation servers. Once this is done, you can safely flatten it and reinstall and you do not need a key (just hit Skip if it asks you).

    A Windows 8 key will not work in Windows 10 (obviously as they’re different products) and any key you extract from W10 will be a generic key which cannot be used in isolation to activate a clean install – you must have done the upgrade at least once.

    I’ve no idea what this “machine” key is you’re referring to, but you shouldn’t need to be entering any codes anywhere.

    Premier Icon sas78
    Subscriber

    Can I ask a completely non techie question – why do you want to have, and what is, a “clean” install?

    😳

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    When you install something on Windows, the installer puts the relevant bits of the software in various places in Windows, overwrites bits, updates things, changes stuff and so on. When you buy a device, or plug one in, it looks for drivers which copy themselves into here and there and change settings and whatnot.

    Software is rarely perfectly reliable, so over time crappy bits of software that have bugs, things that take up too much CPU and memory resources, drivers that can crash, stuff you don’t need any more end up all over your system and can make it crash, or in the case of consuming CPU resources they can make your CPU work too hard, your laptop run hot with the fan on all the time and use up battery too quickly.

    Over time this crap builds up and whilst you can unpick it all, it is often much easier to wipe the whole thing, install from scratch and then add the software you want back again, in a fresh state, with original settings.

    Also – the manufacturer probably loaded some of its own software onto the laptop on pretence of making it better, but really because people pay them to put shit on there to promote whatever it is they do, which allows manufacturers to compete on price. A system restore will put it back to the state it was when you got it, which will include all this crap. If you download Windows from Microsoft, it has none of this crap on it and will usually start up three times faster… However you might have to download some drivers from the manufacturer to get everything to work.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    why do you want to have, and what is, a “clean” install?

    Basically, wipe everything off and start again.

    Historically (ie, back in Windows 98 days) it was common to do a clean install as a panacea when Windows inevitably ground itself into bits, had a virus, got filled up with crap software, or was otherwise Not Right. Conventional wisdom was that it was good practice to do a clean install periodically to keep the computer running in tip-top condition.

    The other reason was, in-place upgrades (eg, taking Windows 95 and installing Windows 98 over the top of it) were prone to failure and general weirdness, despite Microsoft’s bold claims to the contrary.

    These days it’s almost certainly unnecessary unless you’ve got underlying problems, but old habits and preconceptions die hard (as evidenced in posts made by anyone who still thinks “Windoze” is hilarious wordplay).

    stevehine
    Member

    There’s an easier way in Windows 10

    Do the upgrade; then after it’s completed; go to Settings -> Update & Security -> Recovery and use the “Reset this PC” option.

    No need to faff around with downloads / creating usb sticks.

    Thanks for all the replies
    stevehine – will that format the c: / all drives first?

    stevehine
    Member

    It’ll let you choose whether you want to do it destructively (flatten and re-install) or just re-install Win 10 over the top (which keeps your user folders; but not your installed programs I’m led to believe) – whether it formats or not is kindof a moot point; I’m guessing it probably does because there wasn’t a trace of anything that had been on before when I used it on my sons laptop….

    stevehine
    Member

    Yeah:

    Keep my files:

    This reinstalls Windows 10, but keeps your personal files and any apps that came with your PC. It removes:
    Changes you’ve made to settings
    Apps and drivers that you’ve installed

    vs

    Remove everything:

    This reinstalls Windows 10 and any apps that came with your PC. It removes:
    Personal files
    Changes you’ve made to settings
    Apps and drivers that you’ve installed

    Well, after a “remove everything” it all went swimmingly well. Didn’t need to download anything. Shame all computer related stuff cant be that easy really 🙂

    Thanks for the help.

    Solo
    Member

    A question if I may.

    Windows 10; Yes or No?

    Reason I ask (to avoid any misunderstanding) I’ve switched the damn laptop on this evening and immediately got a window appear asking me if I wanted W10.

    I’m running a Lenovo (yeah, flame me I don’t care) which has W8.1.
    I appear to getting along OK with W8.1, I’ve recently been migrating data from my previous laptop to this one, I’ve installed a few things, etc.

    After reading the previous posts here. In Dumb-ass so that I can understand. Am I going to have to reinstall the 20-30 programs I’ve just managed to convince to work for me on my latest laptop. If I accept W10.

    If I stay with W8.1 is that really going to bite me in the ass, later on?

    Ta.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Member

    I’m firmly in the “not yet” camp*, but then I’m not running 8.1 😉 I did actually quite like the feel of W10 when I was running it, but that wasn’t sufficient to make up for the issues I was getting with driver support – if you have less need than I do to keep older and more niche HW running then you may not have the same issues. I’m expecting to move at some point, well before W7 goes out of support (for which I’m reckoning on another 4 or 5 years yet) – but after people have had a chance to catch up with driver support for less common stuff. Whilst this does seem to be an OS MS have got right (hence some of the rush to jump from 8.1), I do feel that there’s a bit of upgraditis going on, with no tangible benefit from doing so.

    No you shouldn’t have to remove the programs you’ve got if you do an in-place upgrade as discussed above. Assuming that is they work with W10, but if they work with 8.1 you stand a good chance. No it won’t bite you in the ass later on, not if 8.1 works for you and not until it goes out of support, for which you’ve probably got at least 6 years. What I have done here is a W10 upgrade before reverting, hence my machine is registered on the W10 license servers and should still work as a free upgrade in 5 years time.

    * for my everyday laptop, already running it in VMs.

    Solo
    Member

    Thanks for the reply.

    In the time elapsed between my post and yours, I have managed to find all the “spyware” stuff about W10, out there.

    If I’ve understood you correctly, you’ve kind of “reserved” your W10 license, but you haven’t installed it?

    I think for me, the Jury is still out. A long time ago, I purchased a computer which came with Vista (shudders) it was so awful I installed my genuine copy of XP and that machine has served me very well.
    However, I remember still, the mare of finding and installing drivers for the computer and all the stuff built into it.
    That isn’t something I’d want to go through again, in this lifetime.

    Perhaps I’m a relatively basic computer user, but I’m doing ok with W8.1, a few short cuts and I can go straight to what I want, etc.

    Yes, think I’ll sit this out for now.

    Thank you.
    🙂

    Premier Icon aracer
    Member

    solo wrote:

    If I’ve understood you correctly, you’ve kind of “reserved” your W10 license, but you haven’t installed it?

    If I’ve understood correctly the way the licensing works (it was a new to me s/h laptop, was going to re-install W7 from scratch anyway and thought I might as well do the W10 upgrade first to try it out and register with the servers – sadly I forgot to Clonezilla W10). Given a suitable backup disk and some time to spare I’d be tempted to register any computer I had that way, by doing a Clonezilla backup first so I could easily go back to pre-W10.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I purchased a computer which came with Vista (shudders) it was so awful I installed my genuine copy of XP and that machine has served me very well.
    However, I remember still, the mare of finding and installing drivers for the computer and all the stuff built into it.
    That isn’t something I’d want to go through again, in this lifetime.

    Yes, but that was, what, 8 years ago and you were installing XP onto hardware that was five years newer than the OS. You’re comparing apples with oranges.

    From 8.1 to 10, I’d do it without thinking twice. Definitely much better.

    If I’ve understood you correctly, you’ve kind of “reserved” your W10 license, but you haven’t installed it?

    It seemed like it should work that way, but I think that was just to control a phased download. The licence is activated as part of the initial upgrade process, it isn’t ‘reserved’ beforehand.

    Given a suitable backup disk and some time to spare I’d be tempted to register any computer I had that way, by doing a Clonezilla backup first so I could easily go back to pre-W10.

    You have a month to revert back to the previous OS post-install, I believe.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Member

    Cougar wrote:

    You have a month to revert back to the previous OS post-install, I believe.

    Yeah, but using Clonezilla is likely to be a lot easier.

    I note that I have actually installed W10 on here before reverting to W7 in order to “register”, not just started the upgrade process. You need to get to the stage where you can click on “skip” if you do a clean install (I’ve also downloaded the ISOs for a clean install – I get what Cougar is saying up there about that no longer being necessary, but as molgrips says you still get upgrade creep with lots of rubbish left behind over time).

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Clonezilla will bring a lot of benefits, but I doubt “easier” is one of them. I know which I’d rather talk someone through.

    I note that I have actually installed W10 on here before reverting to W7 in order to “register”, not just started the upgrade process.

    Hang on. By register you mean the GWX process (‘reserve my copy’) or just an in-place upgrade allowing it to authenticate / activate itself? I didn’t think that was a mandatory step?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Member

    Cougar wrote:

    Clonezilla will bring a lot of benefits, but I doubt “easier” is one of them. I know which I’d rather talk someone through.

    Really? I find it works fine using the default options for most stuff – the only things I have to put any thought at all into are selecting the correct backup disk which takes about 5 seconds, choosing between backup and restore and picking a name for my backup. I got worried it was all too easy recently and that I’d got over familiar, so actually paused and read the warnings before committing to a restore, but was just being overly cautious. Maybe reverting the official way is easier, but it would have to be incredibly easy!

    I did an in place upgrade – I thought that was necessary in order to register on the servers so you can select “skip” when asked for a licence key on a clean install? What isn’t a mandatory step? Ah, are you thinking I’m talking about reserving the download for the in place upgrade?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Yeah, exactly. You must do an initial in-place upgrade, and you must skip the key entry. After that you can do what you like with formatting / reinstalling. (I too found that out the hard way.)

    As far as I’m aware though the “reserve my upgrade” routine (aka GWX) was purely to allow MS to provide a phased rollout rather than have the entire world all downloading it at once; I wasn’t sure if you were suggesting that this too was a required step, hence the question.

    And yeah, Clonezilla is relatively straight-forward if you’ve got a degree of confidence with computers of course, but it’s definitely more complex then clicking a “reset” icon from within the OS itself.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    if you’ve a load of crap on your computer slowing it down, use latency mon, find out what is slowing you down and un-install it/turn it off. You don’t really need re-install to get an OS running smoothly.

    Alot of what people think is crap clogging up their computer is just sitting there not doing very much, nor affecting performance.

    Premier Icon white101
    Subscriber

    Do I have to go fetch this upgrade from somewhere?

    I ‘reserved’ it free when invited by microsoft back in June(?) but have seen nothing yet, is there any point in paying the £99 for my plodding PC as well?

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)

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