Windows 10: upgrade vs clean install

If your computer came with windows pre-installed, Upgrade first! You can clean install later, once your windows license key is registered as receiving the windows 10 upgrade. You can do a clean install immediately, but you will need to enter your windows product license key (not your product ID).

When I upgraded my laptop to windows 10, it went very smoothly, and windows performed well immediately.

Later I did a clean install. I did this because my installation of windows 10 was upgraded from an already messy windows 8.1 installation, with gigabytes of stuff leftover from installing and uninstalling software over a year or two. It was taking up 20 to 30 gb more than it really needed to. About half of the usable space on my drive.

Doing a clean install was quite different than doing an upgrade. It went easily with the USB I made using the media creation tool (for windows 10). Theres a separate media creation tool for windows 8 etc, but ive also seen screen shots of a media creation tool that has all versions in the list.

Once it first booted into windows 10 after the clean install, it went really slow. Not like the upgrade at all. Yet, after doing a lot of stuff that it was obviously very busy with, it sped up to what was expected. So, what was going on? On initial startup, a lot of stuff needed to be done…

  • Each software package had to be setup for the individual machine, which includes creating a cache of settings and content that is required for something to start quickly.
  • System components have to go through the same setup process.
  • Windows downloaded and installed updates.
  • Windows downloaded and installed the default windows apps (including bloatware such as soda crush saga or whatever its called)
  • And probably other things I don’t know about.

One example on my computer is the sleep function. After the clean install, my shutdown menu didn’t have sleep. Yet, after a while, it appeared in the menu. Its just a matter of noticing that windows is extremely busy, and accepting it will be unresponsive. It just needs to be left alone for a while to get all of the things on its list done. On my laptop it took about half an hour for it to become usable.

Once all the updating was done, my laptop worked just as well as after the upgrade – without GB of whatever it was. its hard to tell the difference in performance. But i have a lot more space. I have a copy of the pre-upgrade system, just in case i need to get something from it, such as fonts or drivers. I recommend keeping a copy of the pre-upgrade system.


Windows 10: upgrade vs clean install

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