Windows 7 Professional Installation

Step by step guide to installing Windows 7 Professional from DVD

Warning: This guide is for a complete installation from scratch onto a blank hard disk and WILL delete all data on the disk during the installation.  Ensure any existing data has been backed up BEFORE installing Windows 7 in this way.

NOTE: It is preferable to perform the basic installation WITHOUT an Internet connection present - i.e. Do NOT connect a network cable.  This prevents Windows from downloading updates until after the supplied drivers for the system or motherboard have been installed and updated as required.  It is possible for Windows update to install generic drivers that will then be hard to update or replace with customised drivers for the motherboard or other installed hardware.

Check the system BIOS settings to ensure it is configured to boot from the Optical Drive prior to the Hard disk, to allow the system to boot from the installation disc.

Reset or power off and restart the system  The initial boot screen should be displayed:

NOTE: If prompted to press any key to boot from the CD/DVD drive, do so within 3 seconds.  This indicates there is a windows installation already present on the hard disk.

Windows 7 loading files

After the “Loading files” screen, the “Starting Windows” screen should be displayed:

Windows 7 loading windows

The system them prompts for the correct Language, Time and Keyboard layouts to use for the installation.  Choose according to your requirements and click <Next>

Windows 7 select language

The option to Install Windows – or to “Repair your computer” is then displayed.  The repair option is usually only used when the system is unable to boot normally.

Click Install Now” to proceed:

Windows 7 install or repair

The Windows 7 installation process starts as shown below:

Windows 7 setup is starting

Accept the Microsoft software license terms by tivking the check box:

Windows 7 Agree to license

To install windows from scratch - or to completely overwrite an existing installation, choose the "Custom (Advanced)" option:

Windows 7 upgrade or custom installation

The installer will then display the disks it recognises as possible installation locations:

Windows 7 where to install windows

Click the "Drive options (advanced)" option shown above to display additional options at this point:

windows 7 drive options

When installing Windows, it is generally best to partition the hard disk into two partitions, a large main partition for Windows and data files and a smaller partition for temporary files and installation files use to setup and configure the system.

To do this, select "New" to allow a partition to be created with a specified size:

Windows 7 Create boot partition

Enter a size about 10,000 - 15,000MB (Approx 10 - 15GB) smaller than the whole disk to leave a 10-15GB spare area at the end of the disk.  This will be the temporary partition we will use later.  Click "Apply" to create the partition.

Windows 7 additional boot partitions

 A warning is displayed that Windows will create an additional partition. Click OK to continue:

windows 7 new system partition

We can now create the temporary partition.  Click on the "Unallocated Space" to select the remainder of the disk and then click "New"

Windows 7 create temp partition

The size shown in the text box is the remaining area left on the disk.  Click "Apply" to create the partition:

Windows 7 set temp partition

NOTE: Take care NOT to click "Next" with the small partition selected as shown below as this would use the 12.4GB partition as the Windows "C:" drive which would NOT be usable.

Windows 7 new partitions

Select the 307GB partition by clicking on it and then click "Next":

Windows 7 - Select Boot (C:) Partition

Clicking "Next" above starts the main part of the installation process:

Windows 7 installing - 1

The Windows installer will then proceed through a number of screens displaying it's progress as it installs the operating system.

Windows 7 - Installing 2

After one or possibly more reboots, the following screen is displayed:

Windows 7 - Installing 3

A local login username and system name must be configured for the computer:

Enter a username and a unique name for this computer on the network.  These can be changed later if required.

Windows 7 - Create local user

Enter a password for the newly configured user account.  Make a note of the password!

Windows 7 - Set local user password

Now enter the Windows product key from the sticker provided with the software license - or on the outside of the system case if it has been previously installed.

For testing, it is possible to skip this step by clicking "Next" and entering the product key later.  As standard, you have up to 30 days from installation to enter the product key and activate Windows on-line or by telephone.

Windows 7 - Enter product key

Automatic updates protect the system from newly discovered security issues and should be installed.  Click on "Use recommended settings" to proceed:

Windows 7 - Configure automatic updates

Check the system Time Zone, Date and Time settings.  These are important and if incorrect, may result in the system not being able to download and install updates - or other obscure issues:

Windows 7 - Set date and time

The network location is then configured.

If this system is being used on a shared public network, then choose the "Public" option to restrict external access to the system.  Otherwise, generally select the "Work" option to allow file sharing between all versions of windows to be configured by username and password:

Windows 7 - Set network location

The configured settings are then saved as the Windows installer completes:

Windows 7 - finalising settings

Windows 7 Professional then initialises in the same manner as when the system is started normally.

First, the Windows "Welcome" screen is displayed:

Windows 7 - Welcome Screen

The first time a login is used, windows created the folders and settings required for the new user:

Windows 7 - Preparing Desktop

If there is only one user configured with a blank password, the login screen is skipped and the Windows desktop is displayed:

Windows 7 - Initial Desktop Display

This completes the basic installation of Windows 7.

Now continue by installing the drivers for the system hardware and Windows updates...