Clean installs are one of the best maintenance strategies you can perform on a computer. The problem is, many users don’t want to go through the hassle because it’s time-consuming and can be frustrating getting a computer back to the way you’re used to. In Windows 8, it’s become a tad bit more difficult to do a clean install from an upgrade disc because of the streaming process involved.

We’re going to show you how to clean install Windows 8 with an upgrade disc so you know how to do this without running into the frustration that the streaming installation process adds.

Clean Install Windows 8 With An Upgrade Disc

The only way to use the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant is if you’re actually upgrading from an earlier version of Windows. Without an ISO disc or recovery media, you can’t use what Windows provides to perform a clean install. This can be a pain for some who just want the process to be easy, so here’s how to do it.

Use the “Windows Key + R” shortcut to open the Run command.

Type in:



This will open the Registry Editor.


From there, navigate to the following area of your registry:



In the OOBE folder, look for the MediabootInstall key.

Right-click on it and click “Modify.”


Change the key value to 0.

Now, exit the Registry Editor and head to the Start Screen.

Search for “CMD.”


Right-click on the Command Prompt result and choose “Run as administrator.”


Now, type:

slmgr / rearm

Click “Enter.”

Finally, reboot Windows.

Once you make it that far, you can run the upgrade assistant and follow the general steps in our guide to clean installing Windows 8 here to finish the process.

Now that you’ve performed a clean install, you’ll find your PC faster, more responsive and ready to go. All you need to do is install your programs, update Windows and your drivers and away you go. This may seem like a time-consuming practice but a clean install is one of the best things you can for any computer, regardless of operating system, especially if you frequently install and uninstall software and apps.

Hat tip to Lifehacker user uncommoner for finding this highly useful workaround.


We recommend performing a clean install once a year. We know that seems like overkill, but you’d be surprised by how much performance you get back by starting from scratch.

With more consumers moving to the cloud, backing up your files is easy to do and creating a software-prepped USB drive of your everyday software can be a quick way to reinstall and get back to normal after taking a day to perform a clean install of Windows 8 with an upgrade disc.

Further Reading:

How to Find and Delete Windows 8 or 8.1 Installation Data to Free Up Space on Your PC