The Windows 7 install process isn't that bad. It's a lot more compatible with hardware than Vista was. It still may run you for a loop if you live and die by XP though.

Here is a quick, checklist style guide on how I installed WIndows 7:

Go into BIOS – ‘Del' on my motherboard

– Go to Advanced BIOS features

– Change 1st boot device to CD

– ‘F10' to save, press ‘y' for yes

Bios

– Press any key to boot from CD

– Select option

Windows Setup From CD

– You will see the text Windows is loading files

– Then you will see the Starting Windows animation

– Click Next

Install Windows

– Click Install now

Install Now

– You will see Setup is starting…

– Accept the License terms by clicking the box

– Click Next

Accept License Terms

– Select task

Select Installation

– Select your hard drive

– Click Next

Select Hard Drive

– Click on Drive options (advanced)

– Click Format

Format Selected Drive

– Click Ok

– Click Next

Confirmation Install on Hard Drive

– Now you will see the Installing windows… window

– Go grab a beer

Installing Windows

– Once the install is done, the PC will restart

– There is no need to boot from CD again, so let Windows start naturally

– You will then see Starting Windows

– You will then see Setup is updating registry

– Next screen will be Completing installation

– The Setup will continue after restart

– The PC should automatically restart

– You will see the Starting Windows screen again

– Next item is Setup is preparing for first use

– Next item is Setup is checking video performance

– Create an account name and a computer name

– Click Next

Create Admin Account

– Enter your password and verify it

– Enter a password hint

– Click Next

Enter Password

– Either enter your product key now or wait until later

– Click Next

Enter Product Key

– Choose your preferred setting

Select Settings

– Set your time and time zone, verify date

– Click Next

Review Time and Date Settings

– Finally, you will see Preparing your desktop

Fresh Desktop

You have finished the clean Windows 7 install! Some other things to consider after this Windows 7 install process:

  • Change user account picture
  • Run Windows updates, especially critical updates
  • Consider installing Windows live
  • Consider installing Silverlight if you use sites that are Silverlight powered (there are rumors that Silverlight will be phased away)
  • Install Windows Powershell if you have a use for it
  • Install .NET framework
  • Install C++ redistributable
  • Install AV protection (MSE, Avast, Kaperspy, AVG, Macafee, Norton)
  • Install optimization/anti-mare utilities (Spybot, Adaware, Ccleaner)
  • Install drivers (Motherboard, Graphics card, Sound card, NIC, Keyboard, Mouse, Printer, various input devices)
  • Install necessary programs (Adobe reader/flash, 7zip, Filezilla, Notepad++, Mozilla Firefox / Google chrome)
  • Configure customizations and quirks (Organize start menu, Organize taskbar, Desktop icons, Themes, Gadgets, RDP)
  • Configure network (Name network, setup Homegroup, make sure network is set to home)
  • Setup entertainment (music players, game clients, etc.)

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