When a computer boots with the Windows 7 installation disc (or USB flash drive), the installation wizard presents three options, as shown in Figure 1:
- Install now - Sets up and installs the Windows 7 OS.
- What to know before installing Windows - Opens a Help and Support window describing the Upgrade and Custom options for installing Windows 7. The window also describes how to prepare for and install Windows 7.
- Repair your computer - Opens the System Recovery Options utility to repair an installation. Select the Windows 7 installation that needs repair and click Next. You can then select from a number of recovery tools, such as Startup Repair. Startup Repair locates and repairs problems with the OS files. If Startup Repair does not solve the problem, additional options, such as System Restore or System Image Recovery, are available.
NOTE: Before performing a repair installation, back up important files to a different physical location, such as a second hard drive, optical disc, or USB storage device.
For this section, select the Install now option. Three options are available:
- Upgrade - Upgrades Windows but keeps your current files, settings, and programs. You can use this option to repair an installation.
- Custom (advanced) - Installs a clean copy of Windows in your choice of location and allows you to change disks and partitions. It is also known as a clean installation. Selecting a custom installation increases the likelihood of a successful installation.
- Quit - Exits Setup.
If existing Windows installations are not found, the Upgrade option is disabled, as shown in Figure 2.
NOTE: Unless you perform a clean installation of Windows 7, the previous Windows folder is kept, along with the Documents and Settings and Program Files folders. During the Windows 7 installation, these folders are moved to a folder named Windows.old. You can copy files from the previous installation to the new installation if you need them.
During an installation, you must provide the following information:
- Language to install
- Standards and formats that define currency and numerals
- Keyboard or input method
- Physical location of the installation
- Username and computer name
- Password for the administrative account
- Product key
- Time and date settings
- Network settings
When configuring initial network settings during installation, you are prompted to select one of the following current locations, as shown in Figure 3:
- Home network
- Work network
- Public network
Depending on the current location of the computer and version of the OS, you are prompted to select a method for organizing computers and sharing resources on a network. The options are Homegroup, Workgroup, and Domain.
If Home network is selected, you are prompted to enter the name of a workgroup, with the option of configuring a homegroup. A workgroup provides a network structure that permits file and printer sharing. All computers in a workgroup must have the same workgroup name. A homegroup allows computers on the same network to automatically share files, such as music and pictures, as well as printers.
If Work network is selected, you can choose to enter the name of a domain or a workgroup. A computer on a domain is governed by a central administrator and must follow the rules and procedures set by the administrator. A domain, like a workgroup, provides users with the ability to share files and devices.