After the Windows installation copies all the necessary OS files to the hard drive, the computer reboots and prompts you to create a user account.
Windows 7 must be registered. As shown in Figure 1, you must also complete the verification that ensures that you are using a legal copy. Doing so enables you to download individual updates called patches. A service pack is just several patches grouped together.
Depending on the age of the media at the time of your installation, there might be updates to install. As shown in Figure 2, you can use the Microsoft Update Manager from the Start Menu to scan for new software, as well as install service packs and patches.
To install patches and service packs in Windows 7 or Windows Vista, use the following path:
Start > All Programs > Windows Update
To install patches and service packs in Windows XP, use the following path:
Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Windows Update
After installation, verify that all hardware is installed correctly. As shown in Figure 3, you can use Device Manager to locate problems and to install the correct or updated drivers in Windows 7 and Windows Vista using the following path:
Start > Control Panel > Device Manager
In Windows XP, use the following path:
Start > Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager
In Device Manager for Windows 7 and Windows Vista, a yellow triangle with an exclamation point indicates a problem with a device. To view the problem description, right-click the device and select Properties. A gray circle with a downward pointing arrow means that a device is disabled. To enable the device, right-click the device and select Enable. To expand a device category, click the right pointing triangle next to the category.
NOTE: In Windows XP, a red circle with a white X indicates a disabled device.
NOTE: When Windows detects a system error, a dialog box is displayed. If you choose to send the report, Microsoft Windows Error Reporting (WER) collects information about the application involved in the error and sends the information to Microsoft.