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Migrating from Vista to Windows 7 : Installing Windows 7

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12/23/2011 11:25:29 AM
Follow these steps to install Windows 7:
1.
Insert the Windows 7 installation disc into the computer’s DVD drive, turn on your computer, and then do one of the following:

  • If you want to replace your computer’s existing operating system with Windows 7 and you don’t need to adjust your disk partitions, go to step 2.

  • If your computer doesn’t have an operating system installed, or you want to install Windows 7 on another disk partition, restart your computer with the installation disc inserted in your CD or DVD drive. If you’re asked to press a key to boot from DVD or CD, press any key. If the Install Windows page appears as shown in Figure 1, go to step 2.

Figure 1. This screen appears after you’ve booted your PC with the Windows 7 installation disc.



Forcing Windows to Boot from the Windows 7 DVD

If the Install Windows page doesn’t appear and you’re not asked to press a key to start from DVD, you might have to specify that your computer use its DVD drive as the startup device. You’ll need to restart your computer, press the indicated key to enter your system BIOS (usually either F2 or DEL), find the appropriate section in the BIOS to specify your system’s boot order, and then specify your DVD drive as the startup device. Unless you know what you are doing, do not change any other settings while doing this—this is a surefire way to render your system unusable. Once you have changed the boot order setting to allow you to boot from your DVD drive, save the settings and exit BIOS. This will restart your system again, and you should then be able to start Windows from the Windows 7 installation DVD as described previously. See your computer’s documentation for entering the BIOS setup (this varies from computer to computer). Or, watch closely while your computer is booting. Before the Windows 7 splash screen appears, several lines of text appear quickly on your screen. In the text, you should see directions, such as “Press F2 to Enter BIOS Setup.” Press whatever key is specified. Once the BIOS Setup appears, you will need to scan around and look for boot drive options and set yours to look in your DVD drive first for a bootable DVD. Be careful with the BIOS settings and if you make changes that you are certain aren’t correct, exit the BIOS without saving. If you are sure that you have changed the boot order correctly, be sure to choose the exit and save option. It’s nearly impossible to give specific directions for this procedure because it varies from BIOS to BIOS. If you are uncertain what to do, we suggest contacting your computer’s manufacturer.




About Partitions

Computer hard disks are defined both by their physical capabilities and by the logical breakdown of those capabilities. The logical breakdown is referred to as partitioning and involves creating logical “drives” that your computer recognizes as separate disk drives. The best analogy is to think of your house—the physical drive is the building, while each logical drive would be a separate room.

That being said, for almost all normal users, there is no real reason to create multiple partitions on your hard disk, other than those that your Windows 7 system installation requires (such as a separate recovery partition). The reason for this is that virtually anything that can be done with a partition, you can also do with folders, which are less of an issue to manage. Thus, using the default partitioning scheme that the Windows 7 installer creates is probably your best approach.

If, however, you know what you are doing with regard to disk partitioning, feel free to adjust the partition tables as appropriate to your system requirements. Some more advanced users do create separate partitions for their Windows operating system and data files (music, photos, documents, and so on). Doing so allows you to reinstall a good Windows installation gone bad without needing to back up and restore all of your data files.

For a short discussion of disk partitioning, and some of its benefits, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_partitioning.


2.
When the Install Windows page appears, click Install Now.

3.
When the Get Important Updates for Installation page appears, click Get the Latest Updates (as shown in Figure 2). Among other things, the latest updates help protect your computer from recently detected security problems.

Figure 2. Be sure to download any available updates from Microsoft during the installation process.

4.
After the updates are complete, resume the Windows 7 installation by clicking the Continue button. Click I Accept the License Terms (you must accept to continue the installation) and click Next.

How to Perform a Custom (Clean) Installation

Use the following steps to perform a clean installation:

1.
When the Which Type of Installation Do You Want? page appears, click Custom.

2.
When the Where Do You Want to Install Windows? page appears, choose one of the following options:

  • If you don’t want to specify a specific partition where you want to install Windows or to create partitions on your hard disk, click Next.

  • If you already have an existing partition where you want to install Windows 7 to create a multiple boot configuration (meaning that you want to be able to run Windows Vista or Windows 7), select that partition and click Next to begin the installation. (Be sure to install Windows 7 on a different partition from where your current version of Windows Vista is installed.)

  • If you want to create, extend, delete, or format a partition, click Drive Options (Advanced), select the option you want, and follow the instructions. Click Next to begin the installation.

Note

If the Drive Options (Advanced) option is disabled, it means that you started the installation of Windows 7 while your current version of Windows Vista was running; to alter partitions, you need to stop the installation, power down your computer, insert the Windows 7 disc into the drive, and restart using the Windows 7 disc.

Tip

You might see a window that indicates the partition you selected contains files from a previous Windows installation. If you want to proceed, these files will be moved to a folder called Windows.old and will be accessible but not used to run Windows 7.

3.
After you are done setting up partitions, click OK.

How to Perform an Upgrade Installation

Use the following steps to upgrade your existing Windows Vista installation to Windows 7.

Caution

IMPORTANT: Before you begin the upgrade process, you must have downloaded and installed either Vista Service Pack 1 and Service Pack 2. The upgrade software will not work unless the Service Pack has been installed.


1.
With your current version of Windows Vista running, insert the Windows 7 installation disk into your computer’s DVD drive.

2.
The Install Windows page appears; click Install Now.

3.
The screen displays questions about running Setup; click the Setup option.

4.
The Get Important Updates for Installation page appears; click Get the Latest Updates. This may take a while. Note that if you have not included the Service Pack 1 or 2 upgrades, you’ll be directed to download and install the upgrades. If you don’t do it now, the installer program will bug you again shortly, so you might as well do it now. It’s important!

5.
The Please Read the License Terms page appears. Click I Accept the License Terms (you must accept to continue the installation) and click Next.

6.
The Which Type of Installation Do You Want? page appears; click Upgrade.

7.
If you haven’t upgraded your version of Vista to include Service Pack 1, you’ll see a compatibility report and a request to use Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. Click the Download button.

8.
Double-click the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor button to open the program (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Use the Windows Upgrade Advisor to check for any compatibility issues with your new Windows 7 installation.

9.
When asked to check if your PC is ready for Windows 7, click the Start Check button. The Upgrade Advisor will check for compatibility issues. The Upgrade Advisor will report any unmet system requirements or incompatibility issues. This report will list both mandated and optional upgrades, such as upgrading your copy of Windows 7 to Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise (see Figure 4). Click the appropriate links to deal with these issues.

Figure 4. The Windows Upgrade Advisor will help you sort out any incompatibilities.

Tip

If the Upgrade Advisor reports multiple optional issues—meaning issues that won’t prevent you from running Windows 7, but could affect your overall usability or enjoyment—click the Save Report icon to store the report so you can go back later and deal with the reported items.

10.
Click the Close button to continue. If you minimized the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, maximize it again. When asked if you want to continue, click the Continue button.

Note

If you have paused (for instance, overnight) in your upgrade of Vista to include Service Pack 1 or 2, you might be asked to check again for recent upgrades. Follow the instructions to download and install the upgrades. Your computer might need to shut down and restart during this process. DO NOT turn off your computer during this process. The activity LEDs on your computer will tell you that your machine is still running, even if the screen is black.

11.
When asked if you want to Run or Save the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, click Run unless you want to save the Advisor and run it later. (You might want to do an installation now and get back later to the non-critical items identified by the Upgrade Advisor, in which case you will want to click the Save the Windows 7 Upgrade option.)

Finishing the Installation

If you’ve gotten past the Upgrade Advisor, you’re now ready to finish installing Windows 7.

If you’ve clicked the Run button, your computer will begin installing the Windows 7 files and might stop and restart several times (see Figure 5). You can see that the system is busy when an ellipse (...) appears after the phrase describing its current action. This step can take a long time (25 minutes is not unreasonable for certain configurations) and depends on the speed of your CPU, the speed of your DVD reader, and several other factors.

Figure 5. Windows will keep you posted on its progress during the installation process.

When installation has completed, you’ll see the new Windows 7 desktop. Your desktop will appear with the defaults you selected:

1.
When the Installation Complete window appears, click the Close button.

2.
Eventually your computer will begin installing the Windows 7 files and may stop and start several times. You can see that the system is busy when an ellipse (...) appears after the phrase describing its current action.

Note

The installation of Windows 7 can take a long time (25 minutes is not unreasonable for certain configurations) and depends on the speed of your CPU, the speed of your DVD reader, and several other factors.

3.
When prompted, enter your Windows Product Key. This will either be in the product box or on the case in which the DVD came. You will need to enter a combination of letters and numbers like this:

XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX

4.
When asked, choose the security setting option you want. To get started immediately, select Ask Me Later. If you want to set your security options now, click one of the buttons shown in Figure 6:

  • Use Recommended Settings— Choose this option if you want to use the default security settings. These settings are ones that most users will want. You can change your security settings later after installation.

  • Install Important Updates Only— Choose this option if you want to install only the most important updates from the list that the Upgrade Advisor identified. These can affect system performance and might include critical updates to your system software. Other updates will be identified as not as critical, meaning that you can install them later, if you choose.

  • Ask Me Later— Choose this option if you feel it’s important to proceed with installation immediately.

    Figure 6. Setting up security is an important step of the installation process.

Caution

Choose this option only if you’ve already looked at the list of updates from Upgrade Advisor and have determined that none of them are critical. If there are critical updates and you don’t install them, you might leave your system open to attack from the outside during the installation process.

15.
When asked about what kind of network you are using, choose either Home or Work. The difference is largely related to what servers and other devices are expected to be available as you use Windows 7.

  • Home— A home network generally consists of one or two computers connected to a printer.

  • Work— A work network generally means that there are one or more servers to which one or more computers are connected. These servers are usually responsible for files not stored on the individual computers, for handling printing, or for handling email.

16.
Finally, you’ll see a message indicating Windows 7 is ready for you to use, and to tailor as you see fit. Your screen will look something like that shown in Figure 7.



Figure 7. The finished Windows 7 installation (though your desktop background might be different).
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