A clean install of Windows is the way to go when all other software troubleshooting has been unsuccessful and you want to install or reinstall a “clean” copy of Windows back on your computer. A clean install will return your computer to pretty much the same state as the day you purchased it.

A clean install should be reserved for the most serious of Windows operating system problems since all the data on your primary hard drive partition is destroyed in the process. ALL DATA on your PC will be erased so you must backup anything you wish to save before you begin the clean install process.

Gather the original installation discs and downloaded program setups to any program you wish to put back on your computer. No program outside of those that come bundled with an original Windows setup will be on your computer after the lean install is complete.

Back Up Your Important Data

So the first thing to do, if you can, is to backup whatever data you’d like to keep like your saved documents, downloaded music and videos, etc. Backing up your actual programs isn’t usually possible, so locate all the installation media and downloaded installation files that you used to install the programs so they’re available to reinstall once the Windows 8 clean install is done.

Be sure also to backup any data files from your programs, assuming they have any, that might not be located with your other saved files.

Locate Your Product Key

Your next concern should your product key. This 25-digit code is required during the Windows 8 clean install process. If you’ve purchased Windows 8 yourself, the product key should be included with the DVD media you received or in the email confirmation you received when you purchased Windows 8 for download. If Windows 8 came preinstalled on your computer, look for a sticker with the product key somewhere on your desktop, laptop, or tablet device.

Start the Windows 8  Install

Insert the Windows installation and press F12 to enter the boot menu. Once you’ve entered the Boot Menu, choose the DVD drive where you insert the installation disc. You will then see the Windows 8 installation page. Follow the instructions then click “install now.” Enter your product key when prompted and you’re finished!

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