Lee Computer Services : freelance computer/web services

Repair News Articles from the Tech Industry

March 13, 2010

Windows 7 Installation Guide

In this guide I will explain how to install Windows 7 in a maximum of 40 minutes by both DVD and USB. This guide is for any version of Windows 7 and both x86 and x64 are installed the same way. To start you will need an ISO image of the version of Windows 7 you have chosen and either a DVD or USB Drive.

Preparing the DVD from the ISO image

You will need a DVD Burner, a DVD burning software and a blank DVD-R or DVD-RW to prepare the installation disk. You can use any of the popular burner programs out there but I prefer PowerISO. Here is a link to CDBurnerXP -http://cdburnerxp.se/ which is a free alternative. 

Using the DVD burning software of your choice, burn the Windows 7 ISO image to the DVD. Make sure you choose a very low burning speed, 4x or 8x, for better results.

Preparing the USB from the ISO image

Here are the five simple steps that you need to follow to create a bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 7 from USB device:

Note: You need a USB flash drive with a minimum of 4 GB of free space. And also please backup your data from USB first.

1. Download Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool and install it.

2. Run the program, browse to your Windows 7 ISO image using the Browse button.

3. In this step, you need to select your media type. As we are here to create a bootable USB, simply click on USB Device button.

4. Select your USB flash drive from the drop down box and click on Begin copying button.

5. The Windows 7 USB/DVD tool will take a few minutes to complete the procedure.

Boot from Windows 7 DVD/USB

Now that you have created your installation media it is time to start the installation. The first step is to place your Windows 7 DVD into the DVD tray or insert the USB into a free USB port and boot the machine. Your computer needs to be configured to boot from DVD/USB. This is done via BIOS. On most computers, the BIOS menu can be accessed by pressing either the F2 or Del keys while the machine is booting. If you are booting from your DVD select your DVD drive and if USB select the USB drive (It should be an item by itself in the menu but if not select Removable Devices). Image 1

After your selection press any key if you see “Press any key to continue message” to continue. Next a "Windows is loading files” window will appear. This is loading any drivers needed for installation and copying any needed files into memory. Image 2

Then you will see the Starting Windows Animation appear. Image 3

After a few moments, you will reach the installation menu. Your first step is to choose the Language, Time and currency format, and Keyboard layout. Make your selections by using the pull down menus and press the Next button.Image 4

Here we have the option of repairing a previous installation or Install Now. Since this is a clean installation of Windows 7 and not a repair, Install Now is the proper choice. Highlight the Install Now button to continue to the next screen. Image 5

Windows 7 is working in the background. This may take several minutes depending on the system.Image 6

Here we see the License Agreement you must accept before continuing. After reading the agreement, check the box next to I accept the license terms and select Next button. Image 7

Here we would be able to choose an Upgradeinstall (if running setup from a previous version of Windows, such as Vista) or a Custom (clean) install. Select the whole box containing Custom (advanced) to continue to the next screen.Image 8

This is the important step as you need to select the drive which you have already prepared for the Windows 7 installation. Note that selecting a wrong partition will wipe out the data. Also note that the installation creates another small partition of 200 MB if you are installing on an empty hard drive. Don’t worry as the 200MB partition will not be shown in explorer. Image 9

Inexperienced users can simply highlight the unallocated space and click Next. The partitioning layout will be created for them. However, we want to explore additional features. To this end, we need to expand the Drive options (advanced).Image 10

You now have the option to create new partitions, format them with a desired filesystem, change the size of existing or newly created partition (Extend), or delete them. The Load Driver function is usually necessary if you want to create more complex setups like RAID. According to official system requirements, Windows 7 needs 16 GB of free space. However, you can do with less. The minimum recommended space for a partition where you want to place Windows 7 is 10350MB. Eventually, the installation itself will take approx. 7 GB.

Just for your information, here's a snippet of what would happen if you try to install Windows 7 on a partition that does not meet the minimum expected size limit: Image 11

After finishing your particular partition configuration that you desire, select the Nextbutton to continue. Windows may restart many times during the installation and you need not to worry about that. This process can take 10 to 60 minutes depending on the system. Image 12

Here we see the system needing to reboot to continue installation tasks. You can hit theRestart Now button or just allow the reboot to happen automatically after several seconds. Image 13

First Restart

Here we see progress as Windows 7 updates the registry settings. This process may take several minutes before going to the next screen. Image 14

Windows 7 starts up required services at this point in the setup process. Image 15

Windows 7 continues to install at this screen.Image 16

After initial setup is complete, another reboot is required with no user input. Image 17

Second Restart

This is the screen you will be greeted with upon each boot. Windows 7 is starting up! Image 18

Setup is now preparing the system for initial booting. Unlike the previous screen capture, you will not see this on each boot. Image 19

Here is where Windows 7 tests the systems video performance to see if Aero will be enabled or not. This test will only last a few minutes. Image 20

Here is where the initial account creation happens. This user will have full administrator privileges and automatically be logged in after setup is completed. Enter in your user name and computer name as you would like it to be identified on the network and then select the Next button. Image 21

This screen prompts you to enter a password for the account that you just created. I highly recommend that you password your account. Enter it twice, and then include a "password hint" to help remind you of what it is if you misplace or forget it. You, of course, should not enter in your actual password in this field, but a subtle reminder to jog your memory. After this information is entered, select the Next button. Image 22

The next step is to activate your Windows. Grab your key and type it here. Uncheck Automatically Activate Windows, especially if you have embedded Windows Loader by Daz into the installation media. If you have installed the loader do not enter a key. Image 23

This screen asks you to configure your Automatic Updates settings. I recommend to most users toUse Recommended Settings here. These options can always be changed later. Make your selection to continue to the next screen. Image 24

Ensure that your time zone is entered correctly and that the correct date and time is selected. After this information is verified, select the Nextbutton. Image 25

If you are currently connected to the internet the following screen will display. Your location will determine the firewall settings for your newly installed Windows 7. You have three choices: home, work or public network. Home and work networks are supposed to be trusted, so you should not experience any problems adding other machines to your group or sharing data with them. However, the public network is meant to be untrusted. So if you have installed Windows 7 in, let's say, Internet cafe, then you should choose the third option. Image 26

Windows 7 is now connecting to the network. This is where your initial IP address is acquired and internet connectivity is verified. Image 27

Windows 7 is finally... finalizing settings. This should only take a few moments to complete. (If you have embedded Windows Loader by Daz into the installation media after a few seconds a bar will appear at the top of the window stating that the loader is installing.) Image 28

Not much to say here. Just wait some more.
Your initial desktop is setup here. This process will take a few moments, but only happen once. Image 30

Windows 7 is now finished being installed and are greeted with the desktop. It is worth noting that you did not need to log in this time, but after rebooting (or logging off), you will see the login screen and you must enter the user name and password created earlier to return to this point. (If you have embedded Windows Loader by Daz into the installation media you would have had to login on reboot.) Image 31

Post Install

After installation I suggest that you install all available updates via Windows Update and install anti-virus software. I suggest using Microsoft Security Essentials or Avast.



more... »