And that's what this article is all about: Revealing the secrets to clean-installing Windows 7 with Upgrade media. In older versions of Windows, Microsoft would actually prompt you to insert an install floppy or CD from a previous Windows version, to prove that you qualified for the upgrade version.But beginning with Windows XP, PC makers were able to dramatically change the Windows install disc, so much so that, in some cases, those discs weren't even identifiable as valid install media to Windows Setup. In Windows Vista, Microsoft supported in-place upgrades from Windows XP, but if you wanted to use an Upgrade version of the Windows Vista Setup disc to do a clean install, you had to perform a weird double install trick.
Windows 10 is the best PC operating system yet, with a powerful new Start menu, a UI that switches between and touch and mouse-friendly modes, the Cortana digital assistant and a host of other improvements. You also have the option of doing a clean install or running the upgrade a second time if you run into problems later. Before you begin, make sure to insert your flash drive into one of your USB ports. For example, you might be attempting to install Windows 10 Home over your existing Windows 8.1 Pro or vice versa. The software takes a couple of minutes to check your system.
But now, thanks to numerous reader reports, my own hands-on experience, and a briefing with the team at Microsoft responsible for this technology, I think we have some answers.