Success! Within a few minutes, I was staring at the proper Windows 8 installer. Apparently, running the Windows 8 setup utility from within Windows 7 limits your upgrade options; if you want more control, consider burning the Windows 8 .ISO to a piece of bootable media (a DVD or USB drive) and then booting directly from that. If your BIOS isn't configured to let you try to boot from your optical drive or USB drive before booting from one of your hard drives, you might need to rearrange the boot-load order manually to get this to work; consult our guide on how to enter your BIOS or check your motherboard manufacturer's website for more information.
Booting straight from the Windows 8 install disc gave me two options: install Windows 8, or repair my computer. Curious, I chose to repair my computer, hoping that I could format my XP drive from there. Instead, the installer brought me three new options: 'Refresh your PC', 'Reset your PC', and 'Advanced Options'. The first two appeared to be Windows equivalents of a smartphone's different Factory Reset functions [note that refreshing your PC will reinstall Windows 8 while preserving your files and settings, whereas resetting your PC will restore it to factory defaults and overwrite your settings], neither of which I wanted, so I clicked through to Advanced Options and got the option to run diagnostic utilities, return to the command line, and a few other things. Nothing looked hard drive-related, however, so I clicked back to try to return to the Windows 8 installer, only to discover that I would have to shut down and reboot from the install disc again to do so. This was mildly irritating because I knew it would take the boot disc a few minutes to boot into the Windows 8 installer.
Once I got back into the installer, I clicked through until I reached the two familiar Windows install options: 'Upgrade' (which can keep your files intact), and 'Custom Install'. Choosing the custom install option let me reformat my 100GB drive and start the installation process. Luckily, the actual installation didn't take terribly long; I clicked the button at 5:59 p.m., the first install loop rebooted my PC at 6:06, and the new installation setup process was all ready to go by 6:10. Had I obtained the install options I wanted from the very beginning, I could probably have switched to Windows 8 in half the time.
Using Windows 8