A fresh install is when you install any operating system on an unused partitions. I typically do fresh installs, because my last system got corrupted or I am upgrading from an older version of Windows and I want to have a fresh install.
Maybe you are having problems with a past installation of a Windows operating system, or you have a new version of Windows and you want to downgrade to Windows 7.
This guide will walk you through every part of a Fresh Install.
If you are doing a fresh install you will not be backing up anything. This is why you want a fresh install, because anything on that partition is going to be erased (not reversible!).
Requirements for Windows 7:
Processor: 1. GHz with 32 or 64-bit processor
Ram: 1 GB for 32 or 2 GB for 64 bit. (Recommended 4 GB)
Disk Space: 16 GB for 32 or 20 GB for 64
Beginning of Windows 7 Fresh Install
Boot From the Windows 7 Disk or USB Device
The first install process you will have to do is locating a Windows 7 disk. If you don’t have a Windows 7 disk you can use a flash drive ISO image.
This is what the Windows 7 disk will look like
The following steps are for the DVD/disk method (flash drive or other form of USB you will want to scroll down the page.)
- Turn on the computer and open the optical drive.
- Place the disk within the optical drive
- Restart the computer by pressing the restart. If you can’t find the restart, you can turn the machine off.
- When the machine boots back up you will have a message on the screen that states “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD. . .” It will look like this image
- At this time you can hit any letter on the keyboard, but I usually hit the return/enter key.
a. If you didn’t press a key on the keyboard you will get an error that will say “NTLDR is Missing” or “No Operating System Found”. If you see this message you will want to change the boot order in BIOS or UEFI.
History Lesson on the Any Key
The history behind this phrase comes from the late 1970’s when personal computers didn’t have a GUI (Graphic User Interface) in place. To reach the next line of text or part of the program you would have to hit any key. This caused confusion, because nobody could find the “Any Key”. The theory behind the “Any Key” is that it was the “Super Key” which is now referred to as the Windows Key. Before Windows was created the keyboard had a “Super Key”.
- If it was successful you will be presented this screen, which loads the windows install files.
a. This could take a few minutes and don’t have to do anything well this is loading. This is just loading temporary files onto your person computer.
Choosing the Language and other Preferences
- Once the files get done loading you will be presented with the Windows 7 splash screen. You do not need to do anything at this point.
- The Install Windows screen will appear. This screen will ask you what language, time format, and keyboard method. For this guide we will be using English and US. You can change this after the install is completed.
a. You see the “e” with the “_” under it “e”. This is for people who don’t want to use a mouse or that don’t have a mouse at the time of install. If you do a lot of these like I have, you can cut your time in half by pressing that letter with the underscore and picking your options.
- After the Language screen the Install now screen appears. Click Install now.
a. If you have a broken system and want do try to fix it before you do a fresh install. You can try the “Repair your computer” option. If you click this and don’t have a OS (Operating System) you will have to do the above steps over.
- The Windows 7 setup process is starting.
- This screen is the Windows 7 Software License agreement. Accept the Windows 7 License Terms or hit “a”, which will add the check in the box. You will also notice the progress bar at the bottom.
a. Windows OS have a 3 limit install on a computer. This means you shouldn’t install the license on another computer if it is was meant for another one.
b. Doing a fresh install is not breaking any laws or contracts with Windows. License Terms are a pain, but I will go over that with another guide.
- The “Which type of installation do you want” screen appears. You have two options, Upgrade, and Custom (advanced). We will pick the Custom (advanced) option.
a. Upgrade is used when upgrading from a previous version of Windows, but I always suggest to do a fresh install, because most programs will not work from an older version to a new version.
b. Custom (advanced) is not as advanced as it states. This just allows you to have more control and customization.
- Partition screen is the next screen you will encounter. If you don’t see your HD or SSD from the option below you may want to check your connection inside of your computer. Things get loose when moving your computer around. We will now be formatting your drive or drives. I always have two HD or SSD when I build a computer. This allows for you to have a OS drive and a data drive. That will be in another guide. On the Partition screen, click the “Drive options (advanced)“.
- You should be on the same screen still, but with more options. If you have multiple drives you will see them listed as Disk 0, Disk 1, Disk 2, etc. You want to delete your Partitions so that you only have one Disk 0 or Disk 1 left. If it doesn’t allow you to Delete you can press the Format option. If you have two drives and one is your data drive. You do not need to Delete or Format the data drive.
- After selecting Delete you will be promoted a message to confirm you want to delete this partition. You can click the OK button
a. The message says “The partition might contain recovery files, system files, or important software from your computer manufacturer. If you delete this partition, any data stored on it will be lost.”
b. You will have to do this for each of your partitions. This is the time to do that
- Choosing the location to Install Windows 7 On. Pick the partition you want your OS on.
a. As you can see the Hard Drive is unallocated. The system is free of any past installations.
- Windows 7 installation is started wait till it finishes.
a. It will reboot after configuring the computer
- After the reboot you will see the Windows 7 splash screen. This is just getting everything setup
- Type your user account and computer name. After that click Next.
- Next step is to insert your username and password. Password hint to help if you forget the password in the future. Click Next.
- Next screen is your Windows Product key. You can bypass this by unchecking the automatically activate Windows when I’m online If you have it this is good time to insert it. Click Next.
- Choose how to protect your Windows 7. Recommended settings is the best to choose here. Click Next.
- Set up your Time Zone, and click Next.
- The last screen for this guide is the network setup screen. Depending on if you have wireless or wired connection you will see this scree.
Hope this helped you install Windows 7. Share and give feedback.