IN THIS APPENDIX
Gearing up for a clean installation
Doing the clean installation
Completing the installation
If you've just built a new computer from scratch, or if you've replaced your old drive
C: with a new hard drive, you'll have to do a clean install of Windows 8.1. From a purely technological standpoint, this is really your best option. You don't have to bring any of the old “baggage” with you, but therein lies an issue.
You can opt to do a clean install even if you already have a version of Windows installed on the hard drive; however, you must realize that doing so is very serious business. When you do a clean install, you wipe out everything on your hard drive. And we do mean everything — all programs, documents, settings, Internet account information, everything. There's no getting any of that stuff back, either. Just to make sure nobody misses this important fact, let us say it with a big Caution.
The procedures described in this chapter are for advanced users only. You should know your hardware; your system's BIOS setup, all your Internet account information; how to export, back up, and restore messages, contacts, favorites, and the like; and how to find technical information about your hardware components on your own before attempting any of the techniques described in this chapter. Don't confuse a “clean install” with a “clean boot.”
Most experts prefer to do a clean install ...