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Request: A Guide on clean-installing Windows 8.1


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12 replies to this topic

#1 awesomearc

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 11:50 PM

The time has come... It is time for me to say good bye to my Windows 7 (Dear Windows 7, I will miss you :( ).

 

On my PC, I have Windows 7 (dual-booting with Ubuntu 15.10) installed. The current Windows has started giving me a lot of trouble recently (example: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/595226/windows-explorer-has-stopped-working/). I was wondering what to do when suddenly this idea came to me. I looked at a Windows 7/ 8/ 8.1/ 10 comparison chart and found that 8.1 would be best for me.

 

I searched for a lot of guides on clean-installing Windows 8.1, but nothing was good enough for me.

 

I have already planned what I want to do, but I just need a guide to ensure that it goes smoothly.

 

This is what I want to do:

 

1. Back up all my programs on my C:\ drive (for example, the programs on the 'Program Files' and 'Program Files x86' folders).

2. Format the Windows Partition (C:\ ).

3. Install Windows 8.1.

4. Do some driver updates (if they are needed).

5. Install applications.

6. Copy the backed up files.

 

So, can anyone please give me a detailed guide of how I can accomplish this, and whether this is a good idea or not? If you can, please try to improve upon these ideas.

 

Also, check the speccy link in my signature for more details about my PC.

 

Thank you.

 

EDIT: Minor edits in this post.


Edited by awesomearc, 19 December 2015 - 12:09 AM.

Usually, I do not get online before 1:00 PM or after 10:00 PM (my local time).

 

So, if I do not reply to a thread where I am currently active, make sure you check my local time to see if it's time for me to be online or not. :)


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#2 Jaycan

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 12:08 AM

Hello ..

First do you have the full correct Dell install media for Windows 8, and what is that it, If not what are you using ?

 

You still have "Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit" installed (from your Speccy), and what is wrong with that ??



Acer Computer with LG Monitor and Toshiba Laptop with Windows 7.1

Windows 64bit  8.1 - Always fully updated

Firefox / Google Chrome / Internet Explorer Browsers

Usually a home helper here or with friends and nimble fingered ladies who would rather sew or dust, but not clean the bugs out of a computer ...


#3 awesomearc

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 12:30 AM

do you have the full correct Dell install media for Windows 8...?

 

Yes, I have the official Windows 8 install media (both 32-Bit and 64-Bit).

 

what is wrong with that ??

 

If I start with the list of "what is wrong with that", it is going to be endless!


Edited by awesomearc, 19 December 2015 - 12:31 AM.

Usually, I do not get online before 1:00 PM or after 10:00 PM (my local time).

 

So, if I do not reply to a thread where I am currently active, make sure you check my local time to see if it's time for me to be online or not. :)


#4 richcbro

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 06:35 AM

Hi:

 

You cannot backup the Program Files and Program Files (x86) folder, some applications will not work afterward because of missing registry key or files created by the setup in other folders. The best way is to copy the list of applications and their product keys (if you buy them) then reinstall them afterward. You can backup your documents, pictures, etc. (not entire users folder)

 

I only install chipset, graphics and printer drivers after reinstall OS and let Windows take care of the rest. Unless you need to use the extra features of the device that is only available if you install manufacturer driver, it is best to let Windows install it. But I recommend you install chipset and graphics driver.

 

Here is a good tutorial on how to clean install Windows 8.1 in Windows 8 Forums by Brink:

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2299-clean-install-windows-8-a.html


CPU: Intel i7-8700K 5.3 GHz ------ RAM: 32GB TridentZ 3600 MHz CL16 ----- Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus X Formula ----- GPU: Zotac GTX 1080 Ti Amp! Extreme ----- Storage: Samsung 960 Pro 1TB -- Samsung 850 Pro 2TB x4


#5 awesomearc

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 11:52 AM

...some applications will not work afterward because of missing registry key or files created by the setup in other folders.

I keep track of every single program I install, and I know which folders and registry keys are associated with the program.

 

 

The best way is to copy the list of applications and their product keys (if you buy them) then reinstall them afterward.

Yes, I had thought of that...

 

 

I only install chipset, graphics and printer drivers after reinstall OS and let Windows take care of the rest.

If you think it will be better to let Windows take care of it, then it's alright for me.

 

 

Here is a good tutorial on how to clean install Windows 8.1 in Windows 8 Forums by Brink:

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2299-clean-install-windows-8-a.html

Thanks.

 

EDIT: I looked at the guide, and I liked it, but, it is missing something. Actually, I wanted to ask how I can correctly uninstall Windows 7 and then install Windows 8.1.

 

I read somewhere that formatting the Windows partition will do the work, but, what about the System Reserved Partition? Will I have to format that too?


Edited by awesomearc, 19 December 2015 - 12:05 PM.

Usually, I do not get online before 1:00 PM or after 10:00 PM (my local time).

 

So, if I do not reply to a thread where I am currently active, make sure you check my local time to see if it's time for me to be online or not. :)


#6 richcbro

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 12:45 AM

 

...some applications will not work afterward because of missing registry key or files created by the setup in other folders.

I keep track of every single program I install, and I know which folders and registry keys are associated with the program.

I still not recommend that you do this, because I did this before and some apps give me errors, I end up reinstalling them.

 

Thanks.

 

 

EDIT: I looked at the guide, and I liked it, but, it is missing something. Actually, I wanted to ask how I can correctly uninstall Windows 7 and then install Windows 8.1.

 

I read somewhere that formatting the Windows partition will do the work, but, what about the System Reserved Partition? Will I have to format that too?

When you boot from USB/DVD to clean install Windows, the drive will be formatted and all data will be destroyed. There is no need to do anything, just delete all partition on the drive, making it unallocated space, install Windows on the unallocated space, Windows Setup will do its job.


Edited by batman1234, 20 December 2015 - 12:47 AM.

CPU: Intel i7-8700K 5.3 GHz ------ RAM: 32GB TridentZ 3600 MHz CL16 ----- Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus X Formula ----- GPU: Zotac GTX 1080 Ti Amp! Extreme ----- Storage: Samsung 960 Pro 1TB -- Samsung 850 Pro 2TB x4


#7 awesomearc

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 07:04 AM

I'm afraid you did not read the first few lines I wrote:

 

On my PC, I have Windows 7 (dual-booting with Ubuntu 15.10) installed.

As I have Ubuntu 15.10 installed alongside Windows, I will lose it if I delete all partitions during the setup.

 

There is no need to do anything, just delete all partition on the drive, making it unallocated space, install Windows on the unallocated space, Windows Setup will do its job. <= This will get me into trouble.

 


Usually, I do not get online before 1:00 PM or after 10:00 PM (my local time).

 

So, if I do not reply to a thread where I am currently active, make sure you check my local time to see if it's time for me to be online or not. :)


#8 richcbro

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 07:31 AM

 

I'm afraid you did not read the first few lines I wrote:

 

On my PC, I have Windows 7 (dual-booting with Ubuntu 15.10) installed.

As I have Ubuntu 15.10 installed alongside Windows, I will lose it if I delete all partitions during the setup.

 

There is no need to do anything, just delete all partition on the drive, making it unallocated space, install Windows on the unallocated space, Windows Setup will do its job. <= This will get me into trouble.

 

 

In this case, just delete the Windows partition, system reserved partition and any related to Windows, making a unallocated space on HDD, then install Windows on the unallocated space. Don't format or delete partition that contains Ubuntu, or other partitions that are not related to Windows.


Edited by batman1234, 20 December 2015 - 07:32 AM.

CPU: Intel i7-8700K 5.3 GHz ------ RAM: 32GB TridentZ 3600 MHz CL16 ----- Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus X Formula ----- GPU: Zotac GTX 1080 Ti Amp! Extreme ----- Storage: Samsung 960 Pro 1TB -- Samsung 850 Pro 2TB x4


#9 awesomearc

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 08:46 AM

Well, thank you very much! Now my good ol' Windows 7 can rest in peace.

Usually, I do not get online before 1:00 PM or after 10:00 PM (my local time).

 

So, if I do not reply to a thread where I am currently active, make sure you check my local time to see if it's time for me to be online or not. :)


#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 09:10 AM

Just to point out. I you delete and reinstall Windows you will most likely need to reinstall Grub. 

 

http://howtoubuntu.org/how-to-repair-restore-reinstall-grub-2-with-a-ubuntu-live-cd



#11 rp88

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 01:13 PM

Backing up programs (some call them applications) can be done if you're making a system image, but gven that you are wanting to change from windows 7 to 8.1 that isn't relevant here. Backup of programs, in a way that could help here, can also be done, if you kept the installer exe file after downloading/installing the program, by copying the installer exe file to a cd/dvd/usb and then, after you've installed your new OS, plugging in this removable media with the exe files on it, copying the exe files into a folder on the computer and then running them. This only works if you have the installer exe files for programs, these might be lying around in your downloads folder, or you might have kept them deliberately, this method will NOT work if you copy the exe files out of C:\program files\ because the exe files there are not INSTALLER exe files. If you have the installer exe files lying around this should work fine, after you've installed the new OS you shouldn't need to go hunting online for the programs again, you'll have the installers already saved, if you haven't got the installer exe files now then atleast consider saving those installer exe files when you download programs in future, so you will be able to use this method in future even if you can't use it right now. Also, another thing for your list, make sure to backup all your personal files (documents/images/pdf files/audio/video/zip archives...) to an external drive before beggining, you want to make sure you have a copy of those safely stored on external media so that they won't be lost whatever happens.
Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

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#12 awesomearc

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 04:08 AM

I have successfully installed and configured Windows 8.1! I had no idea that the installation will go so smoothly... Perhaps I keep forgetting that this is the 21st century where everything is easy. :)

 

...you will most likely need to reinstall Grub. 

Yes, I know. :)

 

I've already asked about it in this thread: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/599687/how-to-re-install-grub-after-re-installing-windows/

 

@rp88: Thanks for your reply. At the last moment, I decided that I wouldn't backup the programs. Always better to re-install them!

 

A big thanks to @Jaycan, @batman1234, @JohnC_21 and @rp88 for helping me out! :)


Usually, I do not get online before 1:00 PM or after 10:00 PM (my local time).

 

So, if I do not reply to a thread where I am currently active, make sure you check my local time to see if it's time for me to be online or not. :)


#13 richcbro

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 06:00 AM

I have successfully installed and configured Windows 8.1! I had no idea that the installation will go so smoothly... Perhaps I keep forgetting that this is the 21st century where everything is easy. :)

Reinstall Windows has always been very easy, you just need to click "next" several times and setup will do its job for you automatically. :)


CPU: Intel i7-8700K 5.3 GHz ------ RAM: 32GB TridentZ 3600 MHz CL16 ----- Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus X Formula ----- GPU: Zotac GTX 1080 Ti Amp! Extreme ----- Storage: Samsung 960 Pro 1TB -- Samsung 850 Pro 2TB x4





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