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Clean disk before clean install?


turboman

Member
Member
Posts
59
#1
hello
I had many problems with BSOD crashes, and decided to make a new clean install (SSD or harddisk).
If I make a new clean install (no upgrade) is it enough to create 1 continuous unallocated disk and then it will make a clean install
Or do I have to "clean up" my old disk first before making a clean install?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 PRO 64bit
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    Intel Core i5-3570
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    Asus P8Z77-V
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    SSD Samsung 840PRO 128Gb
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bobkn

New Member
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Danbury

Posts
465
#2
You can delete all of the partitions on the disk that you're installing Windows to. The installer will automatically create the partitions that it needs (2 for an MBR disk, 3 for GPT), and format them. It takes very little time, at least on an SSD.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Window 8 Pro
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    PC/Desktop
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    homebuilt
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    I7-3930k
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    Asus P9X79 Pro
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    16 GB Gskill DDR3-2133
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    Soundblaster Zx
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    Asus PA246Q
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    Corsair Force GT 120GB
    WD Cavair Black 1.5TB
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    PC Power & cooling Silencer 750
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    Silverstone FT02B-W
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    Noctua NH-D14 w/ PWM fans
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    cheap Logitech USB wired
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    old 5 button Microsoft USB optical
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theog

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#4
You can delete all of the partitions on the disk that you're installing Windows to. The installer will automatically create the partitions that it needs (2 for an MBR disk, 3 for GPT), and format them. It takes very little time, at least on an SSD.
3 for Windows 7.
4 for Windows 8.
 

My Computer

System One

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    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
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turboman

Member
Member
Posts
59
#5
Try Cleaning the HD Drive, using Step one in this tutorial:
SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation - Windows 7 Forums
Than type> convert gpt

As the Asus P8Z77-V has a uEFI/BIOS firmware:
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorial...e-firmware-interface-install-windows-8-a.html
thanks for the replies. I have some more questions:

Is cleaning of the HD drive necessary or just recommended? What are the benefits compared to just making 1 unallocated disk during clean install.

With my motherboard, do you recommend an MBR install or UEFI GPT? As a non-expert, MBR seems easier. I prefer an easy system that is less likely to give BSOD crashes (I had many; that is why I want to do a new clean install).
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 PRO 64bit
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-3570
    Motherboard
    Asus P8Z77-V
    Memory
    2 x 4GB Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600-CL9
    Hard Drives
    SSD Samsung 840PRO 128Gb
    WD 2 x 20EFRX
    PSU
    Seasonic Platinum 660W
    Case
    Lian Li PC-7HXB
    Cooling
    Corsair H80i
    Keyboard
    Logitech 750r
    Mouse
    Logitech Anywhere MX

bobkn

New Member
Member
Danbury

Posts
465
#6
You can delete all of the partitions on the disk that you're installing Windows to. The installer will automatically create the partitions that it needs (2 for an MBR disk, 3 for GPT), and format them. It takes very little time, at least on an SSD.
3 for Windows 7.
4 for Windows 8.
Huh?

My SSD was set up as a GPT drive, on a UEFI motherboard. Win8 gave it 3 partitions: a 300MB recovery partition, a 100 MB EFI system partition, and the rest of the drive in a single partition.

As far as I know, no motherboard with UEFI requires that the boot disk be GPT. MBR seems to be more nearly the default. I went with GPT as an experiment; took me a while to find that I had to format the USB flash drive that I was installing from as FAT32 to get it recognized for the UEFI installation. (NTFS, I could only do an MBR installation.)

Setting the disk to GPT as above seems to be unnecessary; the Win8 installer will take care of that detail, or change it back to MBR if a UEFI installation is not done.

MBR may be the safest choice. I dimly recall suggestions that some disk utilities aren't ready for GPT.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Window 8 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    homebuilt
    CPU
    I7-3930k
    Motherboard
    Asus P9X79 Pro
    Memory
    16 GB Gskill DDR3-2133
    Graphics Card(s)
    eVGA GTX 680
    Sound Card
    Soundblaster Zx
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus PA246Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920X1200
    Hard Drives
    Corsair Force GT 120GB
    WD Cavair Black 1.5TB
    PSU
    PC Power & cooling Silencer 750
    Case
    Silverstone FT02B-W
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D14 w/ PWM fans
    Keyboard
    cheap Logitech USB wired
    Mouse
    old 5 button Microsoft USB optical
    Internet Speed
    6Mb cable

theog

VIP Member
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Gold Member
Posts
5,591
#7
Try Cleaning the HD Drive, using Step one in this tutorial:
SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation - Windows 7 Forums
Than type> convert gpt

As the Asus P8Z77-V has a uEFI/BIOS firmware:
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorial...e-firmware-interface-install-windows-8-a.html
thanks for the replies. I have some more questions:

Is cleaning of the HD drive necessary or just recommended? What are the benefits compared to just making 1 unallocated disk during clean install.

With my motherboard, do you recommend an MBR install or UEFI GPT? As a non-expert, MBR seems easier. I prefer an easy system that is less likely to give BSOD crashes (I had many; that is why I want to do a new clean install).

On a HD Drive you can write zero's to the drive by using CLEAN ALL, to delete all DATA, this not recommended for SSD's.


For uEFI/BIOS firmware, GPT recommended.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

theog

VIP Member
VIP Member
Gold Member
Posts
5,591
#8
You can delete all of the partitions on the disk that you're installing Windows to. The installer will automatically create the partitions that it needs (2 for an MBR disk, 3 for GPT), and format them. It takes very little time, at least on an SSD.
3 for Windows 7.
4 for Windows 8.
Huh?

My SSD was set up as a GPT drive, on a UEFI motherboard. Win8 gave it 3 partitions: a 300MB recovery partition, a 100 MB EFI system partition, and the rest of the drive in a single partition.

As far as I know, no motherboard with UEFI requires that the boot disk be GPT. MBR seems to be more nearly the default. I went with GPT as an experiment; took me a while to find that I had to format the USB flash drive that I was installing from as FAT32 to get it recognized for the UEFI installation. (NTFS, I could only do an MBR installation.)

Setting the disk to GPT as above seems to be unnecessary; the Win8 installer will take care of that detail, or change it back to MBR if a UEFI installation is not done.

MBR may be the safest choice. I dimly recall suggestions that some disk utilities aren't ready for GPT.
Windows 7.
Windows 8 Downgrade-012 SB.PNG

Windows 8.
Windows 8 Downgrade-007 SB.PNG
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

turboman

Member
Member
Posts
59
#9
hello bobkn, theog,
Thanks for the answers.
I am a non-expert and getting confused. bobkn recommends MBR, theog GPT.
I looked at the cleaning disk instructions. Looks very complicated. Also, is my understanding correct that this whole procedure is not recommended for SSD, or should only parts of the procedure be left out?
The GPT installation instructions seem complicated. Is it possible and/or easier to go back to a normal BIOS and to a non-UEFI installations?
Sorry for the many questions.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 PRO 64bit
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-3570
    Motherboard
    Asus P8Z77-V
    Memory
    2 x 4GB Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600-CL9
    Hard Drives
    SSD Samsung 840PRO 128Gb
    WD 2 x 20EFRX
    PSU
    Seasonic Platinum 660W
    Case
    Lian Li PC-7HXB
    Cooling
    Corsair H80i
    Keyboard
    Logitech 750r
    Mouse
    Logitech Anywhere MX

theog

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#10
is my understanding correct that this whole procedure is not recommended for SSD
You can use CLEAN or CLEAN ALL on HD Drive's,

CLEAN ALL is not recommended for SSD's.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
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    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

turboman

Member
Member
Posts
59
#11
thanks theog
I understand now the part with CLEAN and CLEAN ALL.
What about the difference between MBR and GPT. My priorities are to avoid complexity for the installation, and an installation that is less likely to cause BSOD.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 PRO 64bit
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-3570
    Motherboard
    Asus P8Z77-V
    Memory
    2 x 4GB Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600-CL9
    Hard Drives
    SSD Samsung 840PRO 128Gb
    WD 2 x 20EFRX
    PSU
    Seasonic Platinum 660W
    Case
    Lian Li PC-7HXB
    Cooling
    Corsair H80i
    Keyboard
    Logitech 750r
    Mouse
    Logitech Anywhere MX

theog

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#12
I personally would stay with GPT.


It would as good idea to Check the hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostic tools.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

bobkn

New Member
Member
Danbury

Posts
465
#13
thanks theog
I understand now the part with CLEAN and CLEAN ALL.
What about the difference between MBR and GPT. My priorities are to avoid complexity for the installation, and an installation that is less likely to cause BSOD.
As far as I know, stability is not an issue with MBR or GPT.

I'm using GPT, but I see no major advantage to it.

You must use GPT on a drive larger than 2TB. You can only boot from a GPT drive if you have an EFI system rather than a BIOS.

Apple has been using UEFI on their Intel based Macs far longer than it has been common on Windows machines. A vote of confidence, I suppose.

Does that confuse things further for you?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Window 8 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    homebuilt
    CPU
    I7-3930k
    Motherboard
    Asus P9X79 Pro
    Memory
    16 GB Gskill DDR3-2133
    Graphics Card(s)
    eVGA GTX 680
    Sound Card
    Soundblaster Zx
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus PA246Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920X1200
    Hard Drives
    Corsair Force GT 120GB
    WD Cavair Black 1.5TB
    PSU
    PC Power & cooling Silencer 750
    Case
    Silverstone FT02B-W
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D14 w/ PWM fans
    Keyboard
    cheap Logitech USB wired
    Mouse
    old 5 button Microsoft USB optical
    Internet Speed
    6Mb cable

usasma

Mr. Cranky Pants
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5,139
#14
I have done limited work with GPT and don't find any immediate advantages unless you're booting from a disk larger than 2tB.
IMO it's best to stick with the "tried and true" technology if you're concerned with stability.
Additionally, you'll find more experience on the forums with MBR than you will with GPT.

As for BSOD's - I'd suggest that you don't worry about them. They aren't that common (despite your experience) and they are relatively easy to fix in most cases. At work we infrequently get a machine with BSOD's, and it's even more rare to get one that requires my expertise - and I've been doing this for many years (about 25 years of hands on and 10 on the forums)

Cleaning disks is a choice that you have to make, but in many cases it isn't necessary. If you're happy with the boot process until it gets to Windows - then there's usually no need to clean the disk when reinstalling Windows. BUT, if there's something hidden on the MBR (I'm not that familiar with GPT in this case), then there would be a need to "wipe" the drive with a program that writes 0's on every place on the drive (such as KillDisk or DBAN - both free with a Google search).

At work we don't wipe disks unless the system has been giving us unexplained problems, and even then we usually just de-allocate the space on the partitions using the Windows installation routine (we delete the partitions). It takes a long time to write 0's across the entire disk, so it's usually reserved for extremely challenging cases.

Finally, as long as you have the recovery disks, there's no harm in wiping the hard drive prior to installing Windows.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Samsung/NP780
    CPU
    Came with the laptop (i7 of some sort)
    Motherboard
    Pretty sure that it has one, but haven't checked inside the case!
    Memory
    upgraded to 12 gB from 8 gB
    Graphics Card(s)
    has switchable - Intel/ATI - Used wrong drivers, now ATI card is inop :( Will have to fix it soon!
    Sound Card
    I'm nearly deaf, so this isn't used often
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Touchscreen on laptop/32" Toshiba on HDMI (laid the Sharp TV on a mouse and cracked the screen!)
    Screen Resolution
    800x600
    Hard Drives
    One Samsung 1tB drive - 5400 rpm. Gonna switch to a 7200/10000 rpm or an SSD (if I can find $500 for a 1tB SSD!)
    - Switched to 500 gB Samsung 840 series SSD - WOW!!!
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    Why do we ask this for laptops?
    Case
    Silver with a neat Samsung logo
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    sub-par, gotta get around to working on it soon Worked on it - still sub-par! :(
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    no Mouse - Trackball!!!!
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    I'm handsome and a snappy dresser :0)

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