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  1.    27 Aug 2015 #1
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 4

    New Laptop: Upgrade or Clean Install Windows 10?

    I'm planning to get a new laptop, and it would come pre-installed with Windows 8.1 (an OS which I have no experience with as my current one is a Windows 7). I'm thinking that since it's a new laptop, I'd want to use Windows 10 on it. The question is, should I just upgrade it (since it's brand new and there's no old data to backup nor do I plan to transfer any data from the old laptop to the new one) or do I do a clean install after the upgrade?

    I've been looking around in the forums and people seem to be having issue with the clean install so I want to be sure (honestly I'm also not really knowledgeable about partitions and stuff so I'm wary of attempting one at all).

    All advice/help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2.    27 Aug 2015 #2
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 38

    Clean install will be way much better since it will remove all the bloatware/crapware comes with new laptop these days. or You can upgrade using media creation tool and select the option "nothing will stay" when upgrading.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3.    27 Aug 2015 #3
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    N Calif
    Posts : 624
    W10 Pro (desktop), W10 (laptop), W10 (laptop), W10Pro (tablet)

    Either way you would need to do an upgrade first. The way it works is that you upgrade first which then IDs your computer to MS as having a Win 10 license. After the upgrade, you can then go back and do a clean install and skip over when it prompts for license key. In order to do a clean install without upgrading first, you would need to buy a retail copy of Win 10 which would come with a license key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4.    27 Aug 2015 #4
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    I'm in the ghetto
    Posts : 705
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    And even though it's new and there won't be any user data on the system, you should create an image of the pre-installed Win8.1 just in case it all goes totally wrong. That way are guaranteed to able to recover quickly and easily.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    27 Aug 2015 #5
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 4

    So it would seem that a clean install is the preferred option.

    (sorry but I'm really dumb about this sort of thing) but does a clean install require reinstalling drivers as well? And what does installing with UEFI or with Legacy mean?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6.    27 Aug 2015 #6
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 111
    windows 8.1

    Step 1, do an upgrade using your pc with microsoft media either create an usb or dvd, MS make sure you have the license to upgrade to windows 10. What others are saying make a back up on external drive.
    Step 2, using same media windows 10, clean install to your pc, usually when you boot up the media attached to the PC, press F2 key means you want to boot up with your OS in the media. Then you will be asked to key license info, skip it. Because you have already informed MS your OS is legit. Then when everything is done, enjoy your new PC.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7.    27 Aug 2015 #7
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 826
    Windows 8.1, Win10Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by dash View Post
    So it would seem that a clean install is the preferred option.
    NOT -- as the first thing you do. You MUST do an in-place Upgrade first, otherwise, Win10 will never activate -- as it does that when the Upgrade is done.

    does a clean install require reinstalling drivers as well?
    Clean install requires installing everything from scratch. You will lose all your settings, data, and applications. You'll probably get all your drivers through Windows Update, unless the laptop supplier has Win10 drivers, and in that case, I would use those.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8.    27 Aug 2015 #8
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 4

    So, after some looking around the forums, I should:

    1) Create a system image backup on external hard disk
    2) Create a bootable Windows 10 installation USB using Media Creation Tool
    3) Upgrade the laptop using the 'Upgrade This PC Now' option (using the Windows Product Key)
    4) Check that it's a permanent activation.
    5) Boot from the USB flash drive
    6) Clean install (I need to skip if they ask for product key)

    (how do I decide which partition to install it in? I referred to the tutorial and there're steps for installing with and without UEFI - which one do I choose? What do they even mean and what are the differences?)

    7) Reinstall drivers (if I get them through Windows Update, does that mean they would be automatically installed?)

    I might have missed some crucial steps along the way so I'd appreciate it if anyone would point them out.

    This is actually my first time ever attempting a clean install but I'm trying to learn something new so thank you all for your patience.

    EDIT: Keeping in mind that this is a new laptop (without any extra programmes installed), wouldn't a system reset using 'Keep Nothing' after the upgrade to Win 10 be equivalent to a clean install? Then I wouldn't need to go through the hassle of creating a bootable USB flash drive. Correct me if I'm wrong?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9.    27 Aug 2015 #9
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 111
    windows 8.1

    it is about time to do it. Do not worry about the partition, it will take care by system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10.    28 Aug 2015 #10
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 14
    Windows 7 & Windows 10

    Is the Windows 7 Key now the new Win 10 Key?

    I am a little confused how the whole license validation thing is working with the "Upgrade" process.
    I am due to do a clean install of Windows 7. "Upgrading" to Win 10 it will check/re-check??? for a valid key.

    As others have mentioned, and I'd agree with, I'd prefer to do a Clean install of Win 10.
    As I understand it, in order to get Win 10 for "Free" you have to do the upgrade process first - I got that part.

    What has me a little unclear is that after the upgrade I am able to do a clean install of of Win 10 on my machine . . . all I have to do is "Skip" the part that asks me for the license key for Win 10 when it asks because, . . . "MS has already ID'd" my machine as having a valid Win 7 license!?

    ummm, how? What's MS using to Id me during a Win 10 install post Win 7 upgrade if it's NOT the Win 7 Key?

    I just want to be clear on this because in the future I will be doing a clean install again (I do so every couple of years to keep things snappy) and I am sure Win 10 will be no different.

    That being the case, I want to be sure that I can do so with Win 10 in a couple of years.

    I don't want at that time to be fighting to "Prove" that I have a valid claim to the "Free" upgrade.

    So, that's why I am asking.

    1. What is Windows using to "ID" my machine if it is NOT using my Win 7 Key for the "Clean Install"?
    2. Is it some sort of "Hash" of the equipment on board that I have now, and will upgrading my HDD to an SSD in the future screw that 'future clean Win 10 Install if that is the case?
    3. Will the upgrade process rewrite the "Recovery Partition" with the Win 10 files, or will they still be the Win 7 partition files?
    4. Can I burn a "Recovery USB" key for my Win 10 install after Upgrading? How about After a "Clean" install? Would they be the same?

    Thanks again for your assistance on this everyone.
    Looking forward to the responses.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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