|Reasons I've been against in-place*
OS Version** Upgrade since 1990s
published: March 6, 2017
Last Updated: February 2019
Addendum: Oct 30, 2019
Why do people do it then?
- empirical analysis: UNACCEPTABLE results
- 20% no immediately discernible issues [but...]
- 75% minor glitches requiring
- 5% catastrophic show-stoppers
- 0% truly perfect
- does not represent a cost saving: easier upfront - unreliable, risky and costly in the long run.
minimal steps to avert common, clear and present dangers, would
nearly eat up all time savings, relative to fresh install.
post-upgrade "event" occurs, the efforts & costs for subsequent
remedy could be orders-of-magnitude beyond those of proper fresh
install in the first place.
- technical analysis:
- inherently unsound
approach: unlike upgrading applications, where app installer can count
on stable OS foundation to perform its tasks in 1 pass... OS version
upgrade is literally
pulling the rug from under itself, resorting to extremely risky tricks
and numerous re-re-re-re-restart, with lots of KNOWN unanticipated
- many applications have unusual (often, out-right inappropriate) ways of implementing things, and
must be installed after OS is in-place, allowing it to modify it as it
sees fit. Unexpected subsequent re-modification/undoing of the app's mod
to the OS, will result in unstable and unpredictable conditions.
Upgrade, using the existing version OS to install the next version,
overwriting itself in the process, and hopefully arrive at the other
side still intact. Contrast that to Wipe & Clean Install Upgrade +
reinstall of applications. Data must be backed up first in both cases.
- blissful ignorance (no particular reasons, just don't know any better)
- once aware of problems, they still accept the risks, after deliberation:
- incapable of performing from-scratch install
- instead, use press-a-button approach, hope for the best
believe that upgrade is cheaper:
- FALSE - it's actually more expensive than OEM full install package w/ disc
- Full retail package $300
(hardly anybody would ever pay that). Upgrade $165. OEM (discounted
full-only, no upgrade, for sys builders) $149. All MSRP here.
- obscure compatibility glitches, must resort to "carry-over" for ancient peripherals. e.g.:
old Brother personal printer installed on Windows 7, EOL 3 yrs later.
No updated driver for installing on Windows 8 was issued. Printer will
likely (85%) remain functional after in-place upgrade of OS.
ancient (and known insecure) DotNet Framework 1.1 already installed on
w7 and working, upgrade to w10, and it likely will still work. Whereas
fresh install onto w10 is not supported (deprecated).
is relatively new, but extreme low-end specs. Vendor provides zero support
for fresh install (no drivers). Intend to be sold and used as-in,
or discard and buy new. Even some mid-end Ultrabooks are like that.
Upgrade, on the other hand, is perfectly fine. Unlike Version upgrade,
it is not changing the underlying software architecture. It's merely
paying and get a new code, unlocking previously restricted features, or increasing parameters. The same software is already there all along. In-place upgrade to the same version, is also fine (safe, but not ideal), and should be referred to as in-place reinstall (aka Repair Install) / refresh (preserving settings) / reset (destructive).