I wanted to clone because it seemed like the most hassle-free way to "install" Windows on the new drive, but it did not work. Rather than try to troubleshoot the disk-cloning process, I figured it would just be easier to do a clean install. I had to remove an absurd amount of bloatware when I first got this computer (5 months old), so it's probably for the best.
So what should I do to prepare this drive for a fresh Windows 8 install (I don't care about preserving any of the data currently on the SSD)? Would it be as simple as going into Disk Management, deleting the current partitions and quick formatting the entire disk? Or can I just start the install from a USB stick and format the drive as part of the reinstallation process? Mainly I just want to avoid a full format/secure erase process that purportedly reduces the lifespan of a SSD.