I have a Windows 7 Home Premium computer which over the last two years, has
accumulated quite a few errors. And I will have to reinstall Windows 7 soon. I
was wondering if you could tell me if I upgrade to Windows 8, would this
correct all the errors or would they be maintained? If the errors are
duplicated in Windows 8, could I use the new Windows Refresh to correct the
In this excerpt from
Answercast #53, I look at the difference between upgrading and installing.
An upgrade won’t result in a clean system and may not fix software
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
Upgrading to Windows 8
Unfortunately, there’s no way for me to answer this because it really
depends on the specific errors that you’re encountering.
Certainly, reinstalling Windows 7 will remove or take care of the errors
that are the result of Windows itself. But errors that are the result of
applications or drivers (or other things) could reappear as you reinstall or
reconfigure your machine to the way that it was.
It’s almost impossible for me to give you a yes or no, “this will fix all
your problems,” because there are just too many different kinds of problems
that you could have.
Clean before upgrading
Now, if your machine has errors, I don’t recommend that you just install
another version of the operating system in the hopes of correcting those
errors. By “installing” another version, I mean “upgrading” to
another version such as Windows 8.
In the past, it’s been my experience that upgrades specifically (be it from
Windows 7 to Windows 8, Windows XP to Windows Vista, or installation of service
packs – which in many ways are themselves kind of mini-upgrades) have problems
when the machine that they are being installed on is itself already having
In other words, one of the first things we recommend before you upgrade
your computer in any way is to make sure that the base operating system you
have is operating properly and without error to being with.
Upgrade vs. new installation
Now, this is specifically for upgrades.
So, if you’re upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8, it’s attempting to
preserve the installation that’s already there. That often means preserving the
errors that are there. It can also interact negatively with the actual
installation process. So, long story short, I don’t recommend you do that.
If you’re going to install an operating system from scratch, now is the
time to decide whether or not you actually want Windows 7 or Windows 8.
Windows 8 will be out in a couple of months and you can then go ahead and
start using Windows 8 installed clean.
That’s not an upgrade.
I really do mean reformatting and reinstalling – from scratch – the
If you do that with Windows 7 or Windows 8, that will at least get rid of
the errors that are related to the operating system.
So I’d have you at least go down that road as a place to start and maybe use
this as opportunity to upgrade to Windows 8. But I would not perform an upgrade
installation of Windows 8 with the expectation that it will make your problems
In reality, not only will it probably not make the problems go away, the
problems themselves may negatively impact your ability to actually perform the
Next from Answercast 53 – My computer won’t boot and I’m being advised to reformat, but that will erase my
data. What do I do?
1 thought on “Will installing Windows 8 clear up the errors I’m having in Windows 7?”
You hit the high point, do an OS install rather than upgrade from current buggy installation.
I though you could have placed more emphasis on the driver issue. If you have an older or obscure make of hardware there is a chance the Windows 8 will NOT have a driver for it. Again, making things worse.
Finally, right NOW, only the Windows 8 BETA is available. Since it is incomplete, even installing (vs upgrading from) it could even make things worse.