I am a self-proclaimed MOOS - Master of Operating Systems. I like to install, reinstall, uninstall, and break operating systems. Eventually, I would like to build my own OS, for some reason or another. . .
Anyway, recently (almost a year ago), my sister gave me her laptop to fix, because she had FUBAR'd it with viruses. I went through great pains (finding a USB FLOPPY drive to install SATA drivers) to put Windows XP back on it, but she preferred Vista, oddly. Vista never acted right, so she ended up giving it right back after I did that. Instead of fooling around with either of those, or torturing her with OSX86 or Linux, I just decided to wait on Windows 7 to become available.
I have my 100% legal copy of Windows 7 now (via MSDNAA!), and it has JUST finished burning. Now I can get to the install process. I'm going to go through a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate on a hard drive. Let's go!
Formatting the hard drive.
I have traditionally preferred using a separate disk editing tool than the one included in the Windows installer. For this task, I generally use GPartEd (Gnome Partition Editor) Live CD. Download it and burn it to a disk. I won't go over how to do that here. But here are the steps for using it.
- Start up the laptop which you want to install Windows.
- While booting, enter the BIOS. On the Acer Aspire, just press F2 when prompted during the boot process.
- Once in the BIOS, move over to the "Boot" menu and ensure that your CD/ DVD drive has higher boot precedence than your hard drive. Otherwise, the system will try to boot from the hard drive first. If there is a current operating system on there, it will start that up. If the drive is blank, you will receive an error message. To change boot priority order, highlight the desired drive, and press the appropriate key to move it up or down in the list. In my BIOS, it is F6 to move up, and F5 to move down. Press F10 to Save and Exit. **Note - I like to keep my boot options where the computer boots from the CD/ DVD drive whenever a bootable disk is present. If you prefer, you can change it back to HDD first after the install is complete.
- You can usually roll with the default settings with Linux Live CDs. If you're not familiar with terminals, don't be intimidated. Just read the prompts, Live CDs are generally pretty user-friendly.
- Think. . . are there any files on there that you really want? There's no turning back after this; they're about to disappear forever.
- Select any unwanted partitions and press "Delete."
- Think some more. There's still time before you send all your files into oblivion.
- Hit "Apply" to make it official.
- Double click "Exit" and press OK to restart the computer
- Remove the GPartED disk when prompted.
- Your boot order should still be CD/ DVD drive first, so insert the Windows disk right after removing GPartED, but before restarting.
- Press Enter to restart (as prompted by the GPartED live CD)
- After the installer loads, select your Language, Time and currency format, and Keyboard format.
- Click "Install Now"
- Read and accept the software license. Check "I accept the license terms." Click Next
- Click "Custom (Advanced)" since we're installing a fresh copy of Windows, and not upgrading.
- Select your hard drive or partition from the list.
- (It looks a lot like Vista, but don't worry; it's definitely not. . . . I hope)
- From this point on, it's pretty much auto-pilot, until it's time to fill in your user details.
- After the system reboots, type in your user information.
- Type in product key (this may be the last step for some of you posers out there heh heh heh)
- Finish the rest of the options using your own preferences and common sense. I'm done here.
P.S - I recommend antivirus software. Avast is wonderful, and I don't just say that because it's free. . . . OK yes I do. No, it's really wonderful. I use it every time someone asks me to "fix their computer" cuz they downloaded a virus. Home version is 100% free. Professional is a free trial. Home is perfectly good, even if you're a professional.