How to Install Windows 7? (Custom Installation)

Filed Under: Windows 7, Windows XP

The following tutorial explains the step to install Windows 7 on a computer running Windows XP or Vista. If you are running XP on your PC, you must choose the Windows 7 Custom Installation and not the Upgrade option. The upgrade option may be used only when you already have a version of Windows 7 (i.e. windows 7 Beta or Windows 7 RC), running on your PC or if you are on Windows Vista.

Get ready to install Windows 7:

  • The Windows 7 package has installation discs for both 32-bit and 64-bit windows 7. You may choose an appropriate disc to install the OS. Before making a choice, you may read this article that will help you determine whether your computer is capable of running 32 bit/64 bit Windows 7 on your PC.
  • Since you will be doing a clean install of windows 7, you may have to first back up all files and settings to an external device (or another computer) before starting the installation. You can use Windows Easy Transfer to transfer the files and settings. It will be even better if you run a good antivirus program before making the transfer. This is to ensure that the files being backed up are clean of viruses or any other threats. Though this step is optional, it is highly recommended to carry out this extra step, as these files and settings will be restored after installing Windows 7.
  • After backing up files and settings, if any, make sure that you have the 25-character Windows product key for the purchased Windows 7 package. You can find the windows 7 product key on the installation disc holder inside the package. If you had purchased Windows 7 online from an authorized reseller or from the Microsoft store, you can find this key in the confirmation email.

How to Install Windows 7?

The following are the steps to install Windows 7.

  • Power on the computer and boot into the windows OS that is currently running on the computer. This could either be Windows XP or Vista. Then, connect the PC to the Internet. This will ensure that during the installation, all the latest Windows 7 updates are automatically downloaded and installed.
  • Then, insert the Windows 7 DVD installer into the DVD drive. You can alternatively use a Windows 7 USB installer, if you have one. The computer should automatically detect and start the windows 7 installation automatically. If it doesn’t, click Start => My Computer and open the Windows 7 setup on the DVD or the USB drive, as the case may be. Next, double click the executable file named “setup.exe” on the DVD or USB drive. If you had purchased Windows 7 online, you will have to download the Windows 7 ISO file and create a bootable DVD or USB installer. You may refer any of these guide for creating a DVD or USB installer
  • To start with, you will find a page titled “Install Windows“. You may click the “Install now” button to begin the installation.
Install windows 7 on the PC
  • You will then be prompted to download the latest Windows 7 updates. Under “Get important updates for installation“, you may either choose to go online to download the latest updates or not to download them. It is however highly recommended to get the latest Windows 7 updates.
Get online updates for Windows 7
  • Then, read and accept the license terms and click the “Next” button.
windows 7 license terms
  • You will then be prompted to either choose “Upgrade” or “Custom (advanced)” under “Which type of installation do you want?“. Click “Custom (advanced)” as the “Upgrade” option is meant only for Windows Vista.
Custom install Windows 7
  • To do the Custom Install, which is sometimes referred to as a “Clean Install”, select the partition containing Windows XP or Vista. This is usually the C drive on the computer. Then, click Next. You will then receive a warning stating “The chosen partition might contain files from a previous windows installation and these will be moved to a folder named Windows.old”. Click OK to Continue.
select partition to install windows 7
  • Follow the instructions on the wizard to complete the Windows 7 installation. The wizard will even guide you to name the computer and set up an initial user account. Note that you can use the same names you used in Windows XP or choose new ones.

That is all folks!

If you are looking for a detailed guide to get started with Windows 7, download the free Windows 7 Guide from Microsoft.Enjoy using Windows 7.

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