In the past, users who upgraded to a new operating system were forced to wipe their slate clean: all of their files and programs would be deleted as the new operating system installed.
With the recent release of Windows 8, users now have more than just one option available to them. Instead of being forced to delete all data from the hard drive, prospective Windows 8 users now have to choose between upgrading or performing a clean install.
So which option is right for you? Which option should you choose if you want a fast and optimized PC? Today, we’re going to help you answer that question.

Advantages of a clean install

For most PC users, a clean install is the best way to go. Most people like the ‘feel’ of playing around with a brand new computer, and you just don’t get that feel when you move all of your old programs and software to a new installation.
A clean install wipes all of the data from the old operating system (like Windows 7) from your hard drive, which means you’re left with a bare bones Windows installation – nothing more, nothing less. That means your hard drive is in its most optimized state and your Windows computer should be running just about as fast as it will ever go.
To recap, here are the advantages of performing a clean install:
-The feeling of a fresh new PC
-No crapware or low-quality software gets transferred
-Maximize hard drive space and PC performance
-You have to transfer your old files and install old programs
-Depending on which software you use, you may have to purchase a new license key (although most software companies are flexible about allowing multiple installations on a new operating system)

Advantages of an upgrade installation

In the past, upgrade installations were only available when moving from Windows Vista to Windows 7 – and even then, they weren’t that useful, since only a small number of personal files actually transferred. With the Windows 8 upgrade package, Microsoft has made user-friendliness a priority.
From the Windows 8 installation screen, users only have to press a few buttons in order for their programs and files to transfer to the new installation. The only major disadvantage of the upgrade option is the fact that it takes signiifcnatly longer to install than the clean install option. Prepare to press ‘Enter’ a few times before walking away from your computer for half an hour to an hour while Windows installs and moves your files around.
During the upgrade installation, Microsoft will automatically find and install Windows 8 updates to all of your old programs and drivers, which means that all of the things you use and love on previous versions of Windows should flawlessly transfer to the new OS. In most cases, this is true, and if Windows 8 can’t transfer an old program for whatever reason, then it will notify users through an unusually helpful dialogue box (no more vague error messages!).
Here are the most important advantages of Windows 8’s upgrade option:
-You don’t have to spend time reinstalling all your old programs
-Your old files and personal documents transfer without issue
-Microsoft has designed the process to be as simple and easy as possible. Just press ‘Enter’ a few times and away you go.

Conclusion – which one is right for you?

We’ll boil this argument down into its most basic form:
-If you’ve already backed up your files and don’t mind re-installing your software programs, then a clean install will provide a fast, optimized computer from day one
-If you don’t want to mess around with backup files or reinstall old programs, then Microsoft has made upgrading to Windows 8 as easy as possible, which makes upgrading a perfect choice for non tech-savvy users who just want their PCs to work like they did with Windows 7

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