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Performing a clean install of the Upgrade version of Windows 8
If I’m performing a an upgrade to Windows 8, do I have to have the previous version installed, or is just having the key enough?

Does Windows 8 support upgrading from a clean install. For example, buying the upgrade key and entering it on a clear install?

Or is it functionally necissary to have the version you are upgrading from installed on the computer.

The former was the case with Windows 7, but I recal Windows 2000 needed the an installed copy before an update would proceed.

I currently have a linux setup and I have the liceanse for Windows 7, but I don't want to have to downoad two 4 GB isos.

marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Indrek, Diogo, ChrisF, Journeyman Geek Oct 29 '12 at 12:21

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • @Misha - You must have an existing Windows installation already installed unless you are using a System Builder OEM Windows 8 installer. – Ramhound Oct 29 '12 at 11:53
  • @Ramhound is this a question of the media or the liceanse? – Mikhail Oct 29 '12 at 11:55


Selecting Nothing when the upgrade assistant asks you to choose what to keep will let you do a clean install.

The upgrade assistant will then let you download the ISO file which contains the Windows 8 installer. You can burn the ISO file to a DVD or create a bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 8.

Also, you can use the Windows Upgrade Assistant to buy an upgrade license on one PC and use the product key on a different PC.

  • He still needs an eligible Windows installation installed the installer will check. Only the system builder oem doesn't require a previous installation. – Ramhound Oct 29 '12 at 11:53
  • Updated answer. – Elmo Oct 29 '12 at 12:04

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