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  1. #1
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    Windows 8 upgrade -or- Windows 7 fresh install?

    Microsoft are offering a discount on Win8 upgrades until the end of January. Here's the dilemma. I have a quick PC (Windows experience around 7) but things are slowing down.

    Do I do a fresh install of Win7 on it? Or will an upgrade to Win8 on it instead be a better choice?

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Whether or not to choose Windows 8 is a separate discussion, and plenty of posts here on the forum to read through for various opinions.

    So just for your question, if you are having difficulties with your Windows 7 installation, many would advise against an upgrade, as it has the possibility of carrying over some of those difficulties into the upgraded OS. A straight upgrade would preserve most of your programs and settings, though, so that's something to consider.

    You can actually do a clean install with Windows 8 Pro Upgrade. There are instructive posts for that here, as well. You will have to reinstall all your programs (those that are compatible with Windows 8, which many are).

    Hopefully you have your data backed up. If you don't have your data backed up, you most definitely should do so as soon as practical, and certainly before you upgrade or clean install, because there is always a possibility for something to go wrong, and you want to protect your data.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
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  4. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    The Custom Install of Win 8 using the Upgrade Media is easy. You simply choose the Install by Creating Media option when it is presented. This allows you to burn a bootable DVD or Flash Drive to boot to. You would then choose Custom Install and follow the prompts. For even further cleaning you can choose Advanced Disk Options on the next screen, choose the partition to install to and choose Format. As bbearren advised, make a data backup first. I would also create a full system Image prior to the Win 8 installation.

    As far as the remainder of your question, this will be personal choice. Win 7 is also a very fine OS. During the beta period of Win 8 I dual booted Win 7 and Win 8 betas. When Win 8 was finally released I deleted Win 7 (after making an Image of course) and went with Win 8 Pro. I'm glad I did. You will have to read through the various threads and make up your mind. I believe Win 8 is the way to go. You can customize your Win 8 installation to make it look and feel like Win 7, and still get the advantages I feel Win 8 has to offer. We have discussed all this in other threads and I will not rehash them here.

    You can always reinstall your Win 7, then dual boot Win 8 as bbearren does. This will allow you to continue to use a fresh install of Win 7, while starting down the road to Win 8. In this case Win 8 can actually be installed first, then create a partition and clean install Win 7.

    I went further and have a separate partition for data and moved all data to this new partition using this method. Afterward you can change the data pointers to point to the data drive from both OSs. This allows the data to remain synced no matter which OS you are using. Plus this keeps the data safe no matter what happens to the data. Plus it makes it easy to back up your data using File History in Win 8.
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  5. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsam View Post
    Microsoft are offering a discount on Win8 upgrades until the end of January. Here's the dilemma. I have a quick PC (Windows experience around 7) but things are slowing down.

    Do I do a fresh install of Win7 on it? Or will an upgrade to Win8 on it instead be a better choice?
    Possibly the very worst reasons to ever consider an upgrade, "because my computer is slowing down".
    Fix the operating system that you currently have.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Possibly the very worst reasons to ever consider an upgrade, "because my computer is slowing down".
    Fix the operating system that you currently have.
    A different viewpoint (which I think may be the OP's) is that if you're considering going through all the house-cleaning required to bring a system back to its original performance, then IF the new system is something you want (for its features, because it offers longer support, etc.) it may make more sense to put the effort into upgrading instead.

    But I'd agree that if you're going to go that route you should perform a clean install (formating the original system's partition during the upgrade installation after, of course, taking an image of it just in case) rather than try to upgrade preserving the original system's contents (which would be just as disorganized and slow in the new system as they were in the old one).

    As far as personal recommendations go, I find aspects of Win 8's 'improved' user interface objectionable and the disappearance of Windows Media Center annoying (though you can get that for free from Microsoft to add to Win 8 Pro until the end of this month) but other areas (boot speed, length of support, and current upgrade pricing stand out for me) attractive. There are a few substantial new technical features that some people may find useful as well (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8 is a good starting point for an overview).

    If you're considering a multi-boot system with data sharing as described by Medico you should verify that Restore Point and Volume Shadow Copy management does not differ between the two systems such that one or both may destroy the other's protective mechanisms on any volume to which they both have access (this definitely was a problem when sharing volumes between Windows XP and later Windows systems, but while I think I've heard of similar problems when sharing between Windows 7 and Windows 8 I have no experience myself with this). Using Windows 8 File History to back up shared data of course requires that Windows 8 be run in a timely manner to accomplish that (the mechanism reportedly uses the volume's 'USN Journal' to track changes, so as long as Windows 8 polls this whenever it runs it should catch changes that would otherwise be unknown to it).

  7. #6
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    CLiNT's advice is spot on. You can still take advantage of the discount pricing, download Windows 8 and early in the process choose the option to install from media. Then Windows 8 will create an ISO image for you, or copy the contents to a USB stick and make it bootable. Then just halt the process, and put your DVD/USB stick aside in a safe place.

    The 90 days of free support from Microsoft for Windows 8 Pro Upgrade doesn't start until the OS is installed and activated, so you won't miss a thing.

    If your Windows Experience Index is 7, it is highly unlikely that you would gain any measurable speed improvement. I certainly didn't (and my WEI isn't as high as yours), and I dual boot Windows 7/8. The only thing of note in my circumstance is the difference in UI - nothing more. And there are plenty of threads here that offer opinions on both sides of that issue.

    But you can get your Windows 7 OS back up to speed by following the advice of a number of articles in Windows Secrets (and threads here in the lounge) aimed at just that objective.

    You wouldn't be able to dual boot Windows 7/8 in your case unless you have a second, Retail Windows 7 that is not installed on a PC. The Windows 8 Pro Upgrade is just that, an upgrade. The Windows 8 Pro Upgrade license replaces the license of the OS being upgraded, and that old OS is no longer usable in any way.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2013-01-11 at 08:52. Reason: clarity
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    CLiNT's advice is spot on.
    As I noted earlier, that's correct ONLY if the OP has no OTHER reasons to upgrade (e.g., wanting some of the new features which Win 8 provides) and/or would not want to perform a 'clean install' to accomplish the upgrade. I understand that you have no use for this 'upgrade', but that's a personal judgment about value rather than a piece of objective technical advice.

    You wouldn't be able to dual boot Windows 7/8 in your case unless you have a second, Retail Windows 7 that is not installed on a PC. The Windows 8 Pro Upgrade is just that, an upgrade. The Windows 8 Pro Upgrade license replaces the license of the OS being upgraded, and that old OS is no longer usable in any way.
    I'm kind of a stickler for accuracy, so I'll ask you the same question I asked Medico earlier: have you actually tried this and found that one indeed is not ABLE to dual-boot Win 7 and Win 8 after installing the upgrade into a new partition (i.e., not over-writing the Win 7 installation), or should you have merely said that the EULA does not permit this (even if the software actually may)?

    This is in no way an endorsement of violating the EULA in that manner, but I'm curious whether Microsoft is actually enforcing this in software (which my impression is would be a change from much of its previous behavior in this area).

  9. #8
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    Bill,
    I attempted to install the upgrade into an empty ntfs formatted partition on my laptop. It would not install. The message was that windows could not find a supported os or something to that effect. I then installed the free enterprise evaluation to that partition and then installed the update on top of that. I did have legitimate copies of vista and win7 on 2 other partitions but that did not matter on the empty partition. It appears microsoft is watching but not that closely if it can be installed over the free evaluation.

    Rich
    Last edited by rlfvt; 2013-01-11 at 14:33.

  10. #9
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by - bill View Post
    As I noted earlier, that's correct ONLY if the OP has no OTHER reasons to upgrade (e.g., wanting some of the new features which Win 8 provides) and/or would not want to perform a 'clean install' to accomplish the upgrade. I understand that you have no use for this 'upgrade', but that's a personal judgment about value rather than a piece of objective technical advice.
    Well, there's this from post #2:
    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    Whether or not to choose Windows 8 is a separate discussion, and plenty of posts here on the forum to read through for various opinions.

    I don't believe my reply in post #6 closed any doors.
    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    You can still take advantage of the discount pricing, download Windows 8 and early in the process choose the option to install from media. Then Windows 8 will create an ISO image for you, or copy the contents to a USB stick and make it bootable. Then just halt the process, and put your DVD/USB stick aside in a safe place.

    The 90 days of free support from Microsoft for Windows 8 Pro Upgrade doesn't start until the OS is installed and activated, so you won't miss a thing.
    And I thought that I made it clear that what followed was not objective, but my subjective evaluation.
    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    If your Windows Experience Index is 7, it is highly unlikely that you would gain any measurable speed improvement. I certainly didn't (and my WEI isn't as high as yours), and I dual boot Windows 7/8. The only thing of note in my circumstance is the difference in UI - nothing more. And there are plenty of threads here that offer opinions on both sides of that issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by - bill View Post
    I'm kind of a stickler for accuracy, so I'll ask you the same question I asked Medico earlier: have you actually tried this and found that one indeed is not ABLE to dual-boot Win 7 and Win 8 after installing the upgrade into a new partition (i.e., not over-writing the Win 7 installation), or should you have merely said that the EULA does not permit this (even if the software actually may)?

    This is in no way an endorsement of violating the EULA in that manner, but I'm curious whether Microsoft is actually enforcing this in software (which my impression is would be a change from much of its previous behavior in this area).
    My reference to dual boot is strictly in terms of licensing, not possibility.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2013-01-11 at 16:30. Reason: clarity
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    I don't believe my reply closed any doors.
    I'm afraid that I can't agree. CLiNT made a brief, unambiguous, and unqualified assertion (to which I then added an appropriate qualification). You then expressed unqualified agreement with CLiNT's unqualified assertion (effectively reiterating its erroneous over-generality after I had taken specific exception to it).

    And I thought that I made it clear that what followed was not objective, but my subjective evaluation.
    'What followed' was not what I was responding to: it was to your unqualified agreement that it was inappropriate to consider upgrading to a new system because your existing system was becoming sluggish (which to me sounds more like a technical judgment than the sort of personal preference which your later comments expressed).

    In real life (rather than in some purist utopia) people make such decisions all the time, e.g., when they decide whether to repair a car that's becoming a bit problematic or trade up. They're very seldom as black-and-white as CLiNT suggested: even for people like me, who are heavily inclined to make use of things far, far past the point where most people would consider their utility completely depreciated, when I encounter a situation where SOMETHING should be done and I have the option to start fresh with a new, longer-lived replacement at a good price (something which I'd most likely eventually want/have to do anyway) I'll seriously consider that option even though, absent the initial precipitating problem, I'd have held off (and then possibly come to regret 'holding off' later when I have an immediate need to take action and conditions are not as favorable to the replacement option as they were earlier).

    Unless you're one of those people (and I am) who finds fixing things so personally satisfying that this preference may sometimes dominate such decisions, trading up if other conditions are favorable to it can turn out to be a very appropriate solution to an existing problem as long as it's economically practical and no significant down-sides exist - especially with immaterial items like software where recycling issues do not enter into the equation.

    All the above seems so obvious to me that I was sufficiently taken aback by CLiNT's flat assertion to the contrary (and then by your unqualified agreement with it) that I now seem to have gotten carried away in responding. That's the kind of thing that can happen when reasonable people suddenly discover that they seem to disagree on fairly basic life issues: they tend to try to find out whether the disagreement is substantive or merely accidental.

    My reference to dual boot is strictly in terms of licensing, not possibility.
    Thanks. That's what I suspected, but I since I tend to interpret statements very literally I wanted to check (for my own edification if what I thought was the case was in fact not).

    Edit: I think you were editing your previous post while I was replying to it, but it does not seem to have made significant differences in what I replied to.
    Last edited by - bill; 2013-01-11 at 17:27.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlfvt View Post
    Bill,
    I attempted to install the upgrade into an empty ntfs formatted partition on my laptop. It would not install. The message was that windows could not find a supported os or something to that effect. I then installed the free enterprise evaluation to that partition and then installed the update on top of that. I did have legitimate copies of vista and win7 on 2 other partitions but that did not matter on the empty partition. It appears microsoft is watching but not that closely if it can be installed over the free evaluation.
    Thanks - that's good to know. I have only installed the upgrade over an existing system and had assumed (obviously incorrectly) that I could have instead specified a different partition and installed alongside said existing system. Microsoft employees also stated publicly that the upgrade could be installed to upgrade the Release Preview, and I have done that successfully as well (but, again, installing over it rather than along-side). I've even seen claims that the upgrade could be installed (and then activated) successfully on an empty disk (without resorting to any additional 'tricks' afterward to get it to activate), but your experience suggests otherwise (and also suggests that one need not worry about installing it on a disk that has multiple different system instances eligible to be upgraded, since it appears that you have to choose explicitly which one to over-write - my worry had been that it might just pick one and that it might not be the system you actually were willing to give up access to, assuming that Microsoft actually tracked the upgraded system in some way).

  13. #12
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by - bill View Post
    I'm afraid that I can't agree. CLiNT made a brief, unambiguous, and unqualified assertion (to which I then added an appropriate qualification). You then expressed unqualified agreement with CLiNT's unqualified assertion (effectively reiterating its erroneous over-generality after I had taken specific exception to it).
    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Possibly the very worst reasons to ever consider an upgrade, "because my computer is slowing down".
    Fix the operating system that you currently have.
    I've highlighted the first word in CLiNT's post.

    From Dictionary.com:

    pos·si·bly [pos-uh-blee] adverb
    1. perhaps; maybe: It may possibly rain today.
    2. in a possible manner: She has all the money she can possibly use.
    3. by any possibility: Could you possibly check this information for me?

    Sounds like beginning a sentence using a qualifying adverb to me, but I was born and raised in the south.

    And I did indeed express unqualified agreement with CLiNT's qualified statement.

    And the OP did, after all, ask an either/or question.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsam View Post
    Here's the dilemma. I have a quick PC but things are slowing down.

    Do I do a fresh install of Win7 on it? Or will an upgrade to Win8 on it instead be a better choice?
    CLiNT's reply was a qualified answer to that either/or question.
    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Fix the operating system that you currently have.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  14. #13
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I'll stand by my original comment;
    Possibly the very worst reasons to ever consider an upgrade, "because my computer is slowing down".
    Fix the operating system that you currently have.
    Performing an upgrade because of the sole reason being, ones computer is slowing down, shows incredible
    ignorance and naiveté imo when it comes to computers. It has very little to do with choice, let alone a positive one.
    Learn how to fix what you've got, then make an informed decision on whether to upgrade or not.
    There are many reasons behind the above and I don't feel a need to elaborate.

    Bill, I don't require that you agree. I'm OK with it.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    Sounds like beginning a sentence using a qualifying adverb to me, but I was born and raised in the south.
    Selective analysis can demonstrate just about anything, I guess. Instead of concentrating on a single word in the quote I suggest that you interpret it as a whole, and in particular the completely unambiguous concluding sentence (which I'll suggest makes the intent of what precedes it entirely clear as well).

    And the OP did, after all, ask an either/or question.
    Indeed s/he did, and both you and Medico initially responded appropriately by observing that multiple factors would go into providing a sensible answer. By contrast, CLiNT dashed off a simplistic, off-the-cuff response and is now doubling down on it: I'm happy to leave it to each reader here to decide whether such advice should be considered a useful response to the initial post.

  16. #15
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Bill, are you ever going to come up with original responses of your own to posts, or are you just going to nick pick the responses others?
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

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