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Windows 7 Installation - the installation time has been reduced but updates are twice as long...

Welcome to my series of Windows 7 Installation tutorials.

Some of the things that I will cover are:

  • Hardware - What Microsoft recommends.
  • What you can expect for your money.
  • What you can or can not do with Windows 7 /Windows 8

So lets look at the hardware - MS says:

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Windows 7 hardware specifications...

So you have the hardware, now do you have the Operating System?

Preparation -

You need to consider your resources, do you have a computer to load it on by itself or will you be doing a Dual Boot, or maybe in a emulation such as Virtual Machine by VM Ware?

Your first step is make sure the minimum hardware requirements are met.

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At first Microsoft was saying that Windows 7 (Win 7) would need a platform (processor) that was at least 2 GHz and two gigs of memory. As you can see from the list above  1 GHz processor and 1 Gig of ram will do. I have installed this on my T-30 Laptop, it has a P4 2.5GHz processor and 1.5 Gig of ram. It will run but the computer struggles until the Operating System is optimized.

The screen shots are from a fresh install on a VM Ware emulator, the VM (Virtual Machine) has two 2.4 GHz processors and 1 Gig of ram, 16 Gig of hard drive space, network, and sound card.

Windows Seven /Windows 8 Installation -

Then you start the computer (system) with the DVD in the drive.

You will see -

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Windows 7 Installation - The first screen of the Windows 7 install.

Pick you Language, time, currency, and location -

Pick your language, regional currency, and region.

Then press the install button.

Press the Install Button to get the show under way!

And away we go... My install on a SSD and in to a VM (Virtual Machine) took about 20 minutes, a lot better than the previous versions of Windows when installing.

Now the setup starts.

Next the EULA, you have to agree to or the install will just sit at this screen.

The EULA - End User License Agreement.

Next pick you installation either normal or custom, I have done both and the actual install time was close to the same, 20 or so minutes.

Pick the type of installation you want to do.

Next pick you drive and set the partition size, this install was

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on a VM and I had set the drive size to 16 Gig - which is the minimum install size, I would recommend that the actual partition be at least 30 gig, if you have the room 45 would be better.

Set the size of your Operating System partition, 30 to 45 gig should suffice.

Then the install program starts the file transfer and decompression...

The installation begins, note the progress bar.

Moving along, if you notice there are 22 screen shots, this is about one item per minute.

The copy file and decompress process.

Just about complete, notice the green bar, about 75% done. You will also notice the screen flash a couple of times while the installation process tests different video drivers. I had my speakers off and didn't notice any sound, next time I will turn them on.

After about seventeen minutes the installation is about 75% complete.

First of two restarts, long ways from the Win 98 days of multiple restarts! (More tips and techniques in the Windows 7 Ultimate Guide this guide is useful for Windows 8 also.)

About ninteen minutes and at the first restart.

Getting close to being done.

Doing all the registy work,

Setting up the services.

Windows 7 has about twice the number of services that XP had, increased security is the better part of these services.

Continuing the installation.

Almost done with the installation a few more items to take care of.

Enter the name of the primary user and name your computer.

Enter the primary user id and name your computer.

Enter a password and a hint.

Enter you password and hint. The hint is new for Microsoft.

Enter the Product key.

The product key, normally on the DVD jewel case.

Select your level of protection provided by Microsoft.

Pick your level of secutiy and protection.

Set you time zone, adjust the time and date if needed.

Set your time zone, don't for get to set the correct time and date.

Select your type of network, Home, Work, or Public.

Pick your network type, home, work, or public network.

Second restart.

Second restart.

Windows 7 Installation complete ready to use.

The Windows 7 default desktop background. Very nice.

As I said the install took a little over 20 minutes from the DVD start to the last screen you see. As I work through the OS customizing and tweaking the way I like the desktop look and the underlying functions to work the way I am used to you can follow along.

After upgrading my T-30 IBM Laptop (see How to upgrade your Laptop) I decided to retry the Dual Boot for XP and Windows 7. The Win 7 OS is very responsive and fast. Not bad for a six year old laptop.

You will find more information about your Windows 7 Installation in the Windows 7 Ultimate Guide.

Update 11/02/13

A few notes:

Why does Windows 7 and 8 install so much faster than previous versions of Windows? Because the installer program makes a RAM drive with any memory over 1 GB, the more memory you have in your computer the larger the RAM drive, thus making the install that much faster.

When you update your new Operating System do it the first time before turning off any services. Once you turn off any service the update program will try to update that service even though it is disabled, then it will go through the "Updating your system" procedure and will fail on those services that are disabled, then it will "roll back" those updates that failed. It will do this THREE times before it gets the hint that the services are disabled.

Update 07/16/14

One of your first tasks is to create a backup image of your Windows 7 Installation. To this you can use the built in kludge Microsoft gives you (I tested it, sometimes it works - sometime it doesn't) or you can use an alternative such as the Microsoft discontinued Ghost program or something like True Image, the problem is you have to have a way to start the computer with out using the internal mass storage (the hard drive or SSD - Solid State Drive). Normally you would use an ERD (Emergency Repair Disk) however the Microsoft ERD does not have a program to create an image. You can have the program you would use on another mass storage device but why go through that hassle when you can make your own custom ERD with the program on it?

Update  03/19/15

At this time I have loaded Windows 8 on two computers and two VM Ware virtual computers. Other than the "touch screen menu" that comes with Windows 8 standard and is a choice in Windows 8.1 (upgrade version) it is basically the same as Win 7. With that said if you have a computer that has less than a Core 2 DUO Intel processor and less than 2 GB of memory Windows 8 will not load let alone run. My current philosophy is to wait for Windows 10 (which is now in Beta testing) and see what MS brings to the table. I wonder if it will be as easy as the Windows 7 Installation...

Update  04/01/16

Well Windows 10 is out, some computer manufactures are offering it with a downgrade to Windows 7, numerous people I have contacted do not like Windows 10 (ok for their phone but not their computer, eh?) and most have already gone back to Windows 7 or plan to in the near future. I have a copy and have loaded it on my laptop, not a very user friendly Operating System, customization of the OS took almost four hours searching for each setting I use to get the maximum memory for programs and the minimum for the OS. Time will tell but as far as I am concerned this is strike five... Yer OUT MS!

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Repair Disk

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