Should I Do A Clean Install of Windows 8?

Dear Computer Lady,

I upgraded from Win 7-64 to Win 8 Pro. It was not a “clean” install.

The cursor does not appear on the Start screen, but it does appear on programs I use.

Also, when I click on a tile on the Start screen, it reverts to my Win 7 home screen – but with the Start orb gone.

I bought a new mouse/keyboard combo because my keyboard would not work in 8, so it’s not likely to be a mouse problem.

Should I do a clean install of 8?


Dear Cliff,

Yes, I would go with a “clean” install of Windows 8. That is when you format (erase) the hard drive before installing Windows 8.

A clean install will probably get rid of the problems you are experiencing, but some of what you have described isn’t a problem, but instead a “Feature” of Windows 8.

The desktop in Windows 8 looks very similar to the Windows 7 desktop, but it does not include the start menu. That is supposed to be replaced by the entire start screen with all the big square icons. This is why your desktop looks like your Window 7 screen minus the start orb.

I always prefer to do a clean install of Windows when upgrading from one Operating System (OS) to another. That way, you are not bringing any corrupted files or settings from the old OS to the new one.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • ailurophile
    • April 27, 2013

    I discovered that the cursor problem was a program called CursorX, which offers a variety of cursors. Unfortunately, it apparently isn’t compatible with Windows 8, because after I uninstalled it, the (default Windows) cursor worked just fine on the Windows 8 Start Screen. I also bought a new laptop with Windows 8, and CursorX presented the same behavior as on my desktop.

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