It is widely agreed that a clean install is better to perform than an upgrade install. A clean install will replace all of the system files and requires that everything on your system be reloaded (including documents, programs, and any customizations you made). Upgrades are much easier but are messier because they replace and add crucial system files. Driver incompatibilities are also much more common because of the nature of the NT based operating systems (NT 4, 2000, and XP) compared to the old 9x code.
Clean installs are not limited to so called experts and are pretty easy to do. Some patience is required for a clean install since it can take anywhere from 30-70 minutes to just install the operating system and then possibly several more hours to reload all of the programs and documents. A clean install is preferable since it gives your computer a fresh start and eliminates much of the junk that a computer will accumulate over time.
Upgrades are much more convenient and are ideal for people that do not have any means of backing up the data on their system. New computer users may also be intimidated by the clean install so the Upgrade is a much easier method for them. After the Upgrade install, you may have to do some troubleshooting since not all upgrades go smoothly.
If you read through the FAQ about the steps of a clean install but need help or troubleshooting, feel free to post in the Microsoft Forum
by slash edited by MSeng
last modified: 2003-02-11 21:22:21