How To Install Microsoft Windows 7

Oct 24, 2009 (03:10 AM EDT)

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Hello, Windows 7.
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Microsoft's long-awaited successor to Vista -- Windows 7 is finally here. The long wait hasn’t stopped early adopters all over the world from grabbing the beta, the release candidate and the RTM code. But if you're just getting your hands on the new operating system, and need help with the installation, we'll walk you through it.

As superior as Windows 7 is to Vista, Windows 7’s setup process is closer to Vista’s than anything else. The installer uses the same accelerated setup system that Vista introduced, which shaves installation time down to as little as fifteen to twenty minutes depending on the system in question. Many of the same procedures and prompts have also been carried over.

If you’re approaching 7 from the XP side of things -- that is, if you chose to skip Vista entirely -- things may be a bit unfamiliar. To that end we’ve created this walkthrough, which provides visual details for both upgrades and fresh installs. This way you can get step-by-step guidance whether you’re starting anew or upgrading an existing copy of Vista.

Before you get started, the usual precautions apply. Back up any user data that’s on the system; make sure you have any device drivers needed for at least the first phase of installation (mass storage controllers, generally); don’t attempt to do this in the middle of a day when you plan on getting other work done.

When you're ready to begin, simply start clicking through our step-by-step visual guide.

More On Windows 7:

Find out when Windows 7 will be right for your enterprise. If you're weighing whether or not to migrate to Microsoft's new operating system, then be sure to check out InformationWeek's Business Case For Windows 7.