Lesson 2: How to install Windows 7 and 8


In lesson 2 we’ll show how to install Windows 7 and 8, partitioning and formating the primary hard drive. The installation is mostly waiting for files to install and Windows to configure itself. We’ll let you know when the long waits happen. Make yourself a snack between the screens.

We turned the computer on and it’s asking us to reboot and select a proper boot device or inserted boot media. What this means is that it doesn’t see an operating system on either the SSD or the hard drive which is correct because right now they are both blank.  It then tried to boot to the disk in the DVD drive and right now there is no disk in the drive.  We’ll put in the Windows 7 install disk and press a key on the keyboard.

What it’s doing now is loading the initial files it needs to start the install. This usually takes about five minute.

If you’re installing Windows 8 the install process is almost exactly the same as Windows 7. We will show the differences throughout this video.  If you need to install Windows XP on your computer the XP installation video is available for free online at www.homepcbuilder.com/xp

We’ll select English and click next and click Install Now.

The retail versions of Windows 7 will ask if you want to install the x86 version or the x64 version of 7. x86 is 32-bit and x64 is 64-bit. If you buy the cheaper system builder version of Windows 7 or 8 you make the choice of 32 bit or 64 bit when you buy the disc. If you buy the retail versions of Windows 8 it comes with separate 32bit and 64bit install discs. If your computer has more than 3.5 GB of RAM or you might upgrade to more than 3.5GB of RAM in the near future you should choose the 64-bit version. Unless you have some older software that won’t run on a 64-bit operating system we recommend installing the 64-bit version.

Also the processor has to support 64-bit code. Just about every processor made in the last seven years has 64-bit support. On this computer were going to choose the 64-bit version.

Well accept the licensing terms. We’re given two options here, Upgrade and Custom. If you have a previous install of Windows on your hard drive you can choose Upgrade. This generally isn’t recommended because of the time it takes to upgrade and you will have a much smoother install and a cleaner computer if you choose the custom install option .If you do have a previous install of Windows and you choose Clean install the previous Windows, Program Files and Users folder will be moved to a Windows.old folder on the so you can move over your files to the new installation but you will have to reinstall your programs. We don’t have a previous version of Windows on either drive so Upgrade wouldn’t work anyway. I’ll click Custom and we can see our two drives. There’s the 240GB SSD and the 1TB hard drive.

If your drives don’t show up here it is probably because you set up a RAID array. If this is the case you will need to download the RAID drivers from the motherboard makers website and copy them to a USB thumb drive. You can then click Options and load the drivers from the USB thumb drive. We didn’t set up a RAID array so we don’t need to load the drivers. RAID arrays are covered in a separate set of videos available on the website and on DVD.

We want to install Windows on the 240GB SSD and we could leave it highlighted and click next and it would partition the drive and format it.

But we’re going to do it manually here under drive options. We’ll click new. It defaults to using the entire capacity for the partition. You can change the size of this first partition to be smaller, say, if you want to install more than one operating system on the drive. Making the partition you install Windows and your programs on smaller can make it easier to back up that drive and restore the operating system and programs in case of drive failure or if you just want to restore your system to a previous state. I’m going to let the partition use all of the available space on the drive. We’ll click apply and we’ll format it and for the hard drive we could partition and format it here but we will wait until we’re in Windows so we can show how to do it after Windows is installed.

We’ll highlight the 240GB SSD and it will become our C drive in Windows. We’ll click next to install onto the 240GB SSD. It’s telling us that Windows will install a utility partition. We’ll click OK. At this point it will be about 20 minutes, when installing onto a hard drive or about 10 minutes if you’re installing onto an SSD, until Windows needs your attention again so it’s a good time to take a break. We’ll step through it quickly.

If you are installing onto an SSD after the Expanding is finished the process will go much quicker.

The computer is going to restart. It’s restarting the computer again. On Windows 7 it’s asking for a username. When we filled that in it automatically filled in the computer name with the username dash pc which is fine. We’ll click next. We’re not going to put a password and click next. We can either enter the product key now or wait until after the install. Windows will prompt you for it after a few days. I’ll skip it for now.

We’ll use the recommended settings for Windows update. We’ll select our time zone. The date and the time and click next. It looks like it detected the wireless network adapter we installed into the computer and loaded a driver for it. I’m not going to connect to the Internet at this point. We connect to the Internet in the next lesson. For the computer’s location we’re going to set it as Home network which will make it so this computer can be seen by other computers on the home network.

I’m going to skip the creation of a home group. Home groups allow you share files between computers running Windows 7 and 8 however home groups can not be accessed by Windows XP or Vista computers. It can be set up later. It’s restarting the computer again. Preparing the desktop usually takes about 5 minutes on a hard drive and about a minute on a SSD.

That’s it. Windows 7 is installed. With Windows 8 it will ask for the computer name first and then the user name on the next screen. It will give you the option to change the default settings but we find the defaults are fine so we’ll click Use Express Settings. It then asks for the user name, we won’t put a password and we’ll click Finish

If you’ve installed Windows 8 you will be taken to the new Windows interface. This new interface was built for tablets and computers with touch screen monitors. If you, like most other people, find it cumbersome there is a free program that changes the interface to be much more like Windows 7. After you get your computer online go to Google and search for Start Menu 8. It is made by IObit and you can download it most easily at Download.com. The install is pretty straight forward. Just remember to uncheck the System Care option at the end. It gives you options for the appearance of the Start Button and the other settings are fine at default. This makes Windows 8 much easier to use on a desktop computer. In the next lesson we’ll install updated drivers for the hardware and we’ll create a partition on the hard drive and format it, so it shows up in Computer.