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  1. #1
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    A clean-slate reinstall for Windows 8




    TOP STORY

    A clean-slate reinstall for Windows 8


    By Fred Langa

    Windows 8's built-in, automated 'Remove everything and reinstall' option provides a fast way to give systems a totally fresh start. Used properly, it can clear up even the worst types of software trouble and malware infections it can even help improve your privacy and data security.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/a-clean-slate-reinstall-for-windows-8 (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    Hi,

    Is this a forum for users or for system administrators?

    What I need is the guide for upgrading without loosing everything, not the neutron bomb. I have my win 8 licence sins 6 months and haven't upgraded yet because, despit promises, there's no way to upgrade and keep my programs.

    Perhaps reinstalling adaptations, shortcuts, programs etc gives you shivers of pleasure. NOT ME.

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    A bit of a palaver . . .

    I am one of those who "upgraded" to Windows 8 when it first came out. Right from the start there were problems not all of which I can now remember, but one recurrent one was that programmes would freeze (all and any programmes) and the caption "(Progamme Name) Not Responding" would appear. I did two resets where my personal data was saved, but all programmes were wiped but there was no improvement. I attempted a third reset and was told it could not proceed without a disc of some sort. Fortunately I remembered that I had ordered a Windows 8 disc at the time of the original upgrade - and even more amazingly - I found it - and even more amazingly it was what was wanted !

    The reinstall went ahead and was a total wipe clean. I keep my "documents"and "pictures" backed up regularly on a separate hard disc, so I just restored everything from that and so far things have been better.

    My own subjective feeling is that (leaving aside moans and groans about start buttons etc) Windows 8 is not as customer friendly as Windows 7 though I would be hard put to explain why.

    For anyone attempting any of the above, be prepared for it all to take a long time, with long periods of apparent inactivity. Drink lots of tea, have a good book on the go, and be very patient.

    I hope this may help some other lost soul.
    Septuagent

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    Alternative to imaging

    In this week's issue (and generally in the past) you advised Jim McCartney to image his C: drive in order to restore it to a larger disk. There's one possible caveat readers should be aware of.

    I don't know if Dell still does this or if it's across all model lines, but my old Inspiron desktop had a peculiar boot procedure. Before mounting the C: partition the machine looked at a separate, hidden boot table for boot information, which then directed it to the C: partition. When I was restoring just the C: image to a larger drive (thank goodness not a failed drive) it didn't work. I got a "No bootable media" message. It took some research to determine the cause, but it was because I couldn't image and restore the hidden lookup table in any way that worked.

    The only way I found to reliably back up the whole disk with the C: partition was not to image it, but to clone it. This has the advantage of not having to resize the OS partition once the clone is used as the boot disk, but works as soon as the disk is connected. (At least, that's how my preferred cloning program, True Image Home, works. I'm sure there are free programs that will clone disks if Windows doesn't have cloning built in.) And cloning should work for all computers, whether or not they have hidden boot tables. In addition, if the boot disk has several partitions they're all cloned at the same time. Now I only image my secondary hard drive and always clone my boot drive, both for my two desktops and my laptop.

    The down sides to cloning are that it doesn't take place while Windows is running but is a separate procedure working during a required reboot, meaning that you'll be without your computer for a while, and it needs a bare hard disk connected to an adapter, for example a common, inexpensive USB to SATA device.

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    Quote Originally Posted by metramo View Post
    Hi,

    Is this a forum for users or for system administrators?
    Both.


    Quote Originally Posted by metramo View Post
    What I need is the guide for upgrading without loosing everything, not the neutron bomb. I have my win 8 licence sins 6 months and haven't upgraded yet because, despit promises, there's no way to upgrade and keep my programs.
    Difficult to comment unless you tell us what you want to upgrade FROM.

    What promises? Got a link?

    Bruce

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    So I foolishly (in hindsight) installed Windows 8 32-bit update over my Windows 7 32-bit system I was running for at least a couple years. It became unstable, with frequent lockups. I created another partition, and did a clean install with a new Windows 8 64-bit as my system had 8GB RAM. I have VMWare running on the Windows 8 64-bit partition. Can I get a clean copy of the 32-bit partition into the VMWare or I would have to wipe that buggy 32-bit clean? I thought I read somewhere that software could convert a Win 8 install to a VMWare system.

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    A quote from Fred's article 2013 09 12 on Clean Slate install for Win 8
    Don't forget the updates! As you continue to set up and customize your new Win8 system, allow Windows Update to download and install whatever patches and updates the operating system requires. You can let this happen in the background, but it might take days to complete. If you'd rather get updating over with as soon as possible, run Windows Update (Control Panel/System and Security/Windows Update) manually. Click Check for updates to get all patches more or less at once.
    It is important that you should continue to run update until no more patches and updates are available. Some updates don't become available until others are installed.
    Bob
    Win 8.1 Pro - IE11, Office Pro 2013, Acronis TIH 2014
    Win 10 Pro preview 10162

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    Good story. One question, how do I do a re-install on a laptop purchased with Windows 8 already loaded? I do not have a product key on the laptop, do you know how I find it? It is a legal copy of Win8 I assume it is an OEM version.
    Kind regards
    samali

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