Windows 7 is one of Microsoft’s most popular operating systems. In this video, you’ll learn what to do before, during, and after an installation of Windows 7.
Before you do anything as drastic as installing an operating system, you want to be sure to back up your data. If you have anything that you’ll need to keep for later, you’ll want to be sure you have a copy of it somewhere else. Even if you’re performing an in-place upgrade, you still want to be sure you don’t run into problems during the installation process.
Also, check the minimum requirements for the operating system you’re installing, and make sure your existing computer can handle those requirements. You might also want to run Microsoft’s Upgrade Advisor. That’s something you could download directly from Microsoft, and there’s also an option to run this during the Windows setup. You might also want to have the answer to the questions you’ll get during the installation, such as the file system you might want to use, where your license keys are, and you may want to be sure you know the regional settings that will be in use for this computer.
Here’s a reminder of the minimum requirements for Windows 7. For both the 32-bit and the 64-bit version, we need a one-gigahertz processor. The 32-bit version uses one gigabyte of RAM and a minimum of 16 gigabytes of hard drive space. The 64-bit version requires two gigabytes of RAM and 20 gigabytes of hard drive space, and both of these versions require a DirectX 9 graphics device with the Windows Display Driver Model 1.0 or higher.
I’m going to install this version of Windows 7 into a virtual machine that I’m running on my desktop using VirtualBox. You can download VirtualBox from virtualbox.org. You also need a Windows 7 installation media to be able to perform this installation. On a physical computer, I simply install the CD-ROM or the DVD-ROM, and I click the Start button.
But in the virtual world, I need to create a computer, so I’m going to click the New button in VirtualBox. It’s going to ask me for a name. We’ll call this Windows 7. I’m going to choose the type of Microsoft Windows, and I’m going to install a 32-bit version of Windows 7 on the system. And I’ll click Continue.
VirtualBox asks me how much memory I would like to allocate for this virtual machine, and I know that for this version of Windows 7, the 32-bit version, I need at least one gigabyte of memory. And I’ll click Continue. Now it asks the hard drive size I would like to use. The recommended size is 25 gig, which is fine. That gives us plenty of room to install Windows.
I’ll click to create the hard disk now. I’m going to choose the default of the VirtualBox disk image, and then I’m going to choose exactly how I would like to allocate this space. I can allocate the entire 25 gig now, or I can allocate it as I use it. I’m going to use that Dynamically Allocated as I use it option.
Now I can choose the file location and the size of the drive. If I’d like to make any changes, I can do that here, but in this case, I’m going to simply choose Create. And now we’ve built a virtual computer. The only change I’m going to make here is that I don’t have a physical copy of the installation media. I’ve created an image file from my system, so I’m going to choose Settings, choose my storage option, and in this empty CD-ROM drive, I’m going to simply choose the file that includes the installation ISO file. We’re going to boot from that when we start up our system.
Now to begin the installation process, we’ll simply start this virtual machine by clicking the green Start button. The first prompt we get during the startup is to choose the language we would like, the time and currency format, and the keyboard format. In this case, all of these are exactly what I would like, so I’ll click Next. I have the option to install now. I can also choose what to know before installing Windows to get a help message, and there’s a Repair Your Computer selection where you have additional options for installing Windows. In our case, we want to install now.
We’re first presented with the software license terms for the Windows 7 Professional that I’m installing. Make sure you read through all of the license terms, and if you agree to those, you’ll need to click I accept the license terms, and you’ll click the Next button. In this case, I have the option to perform an upgrade to the existing Windows that’s on this system, or I can choose Custom.
Well, I have nothing installed on this system so far, so I’m going to choose Custom Advanced and go to the next screen. Now I’m presented with a selection of where I would like to install Windows. I only have a single drive with a single partition on the system. I could partition it differently and add other changes to this, but in my case, I’m going to use the entire drive for the install, so I’m going to click Next.
Now we’ll go through the process of copying files that may need to restart a number of times, and the entire process now gets all of the files from the installation media onto the drive of my system. Now that the main part of the installation is complete, it’s prompting us for a username. We’ll use Professor, and the computer name is Professor-PC. We can, of course, make this anything we’d like. When we click Next, it asks us for a password. I’ll put one in and retype it. And then it wants a password hint. It’s a secret. Let’s click Next.
And now we want our product key, so make sure you have your product key available for your Windows installation. Add it to this list here. Then you can click Next to continue. Now we’re prompted for the security options we’d like to use. In my case, I’ll choose Recommended Settings. And now I need to change the date and time. I’m in the Eastern time zone, so let’s choose Eastern. There we go. And I need to make sure the time and the date look OK. Those are correct, so we’ll click Next.
I’m working on a work network. I, of course, have the choice between home, work, and public. This is my work network, and now it’s finalizing the settings and getting us ready to log into Windows 7 for the first time. Now we’ve got our Windows 7 desktop, so we’re up and running. Now we need to go through our post-installation tasks. In our case, Windows 7 installed just fine, but if you’re having problems with your installation, you may want to look at the install logs, or try running this in your lab with different configurations to see where the problem might be.
Now that Windows is up and running, we need to perform additional tasks, such as making sure we’re running the latest service pack, that we have the latest security patches. We want to be sure that we have applications that are installed for security, such as antivirus, anti-malware. We want to make sure we have the latest drivers for our hardware, and of course, there’s going to be applications that we need to install into this operating system, and we’ll be up and running and ready to use our brand new Windows 7 system.