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How to reformat your computer with windows se7en

Discussion in 'Tech, Gadgets & Science Forum' started by MziziMkavu, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    Sep 30, 2010
    Joined: Feb 3, 2009
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    :lol:By Datech​

    Windows 7 is just around the corner; do you know what you are going to do with it? I do! You are going to get rid of XP, Vista, Mint, Snow Leopard, Knoppix, and all the rest and install 7! Why? Because Bill Gat- er, Datech, said so!

    Honestly though, this is the best version of Windows to date. I am currently running a legal copy of Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit on my laptop and I love it. To any of those naysayers who will be happy to point out 7 won't be released until October and these are screenshots from a cracked RTM, you are wrong. So, if you are in the position to upgrade your OS, do so, and follow my helpful guide!

    This how to guide is a detailed, step by step instructional process for reformatting your personal computer with Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system. This guide is constructed in such a way that every single step represents almost every single click you will need to make through the install process. This guide is intended for basic users who have never reformatted a computer before, or for experienced users who may want a clean or thorough process to follow.

    I have included pictures in the majority of these steps to aid users in recognizing each step, and this has made the document quite large. Do not be daunted by the length of this guide as the process included in it flows very quickly.

    For any of you who read my How To: Reformat a Computer With Windows XP you will notice that much of the wording is the same. That is because much of the process is the same, and therefore simple.

    In later revisions I will include links to a glossary of terms, as well as other information explaining reasons why one would want to or need to reformat. For now, only follow this guide if you know you need or want to reformat your computer with Windows 7. So, we’ll start from here:

    1. Find your computer’s Make and Model. Write down any service tags or ID’s associated with the physical computer.
    2. Find the disc you will use to reformat the computer and locate the product key you will be using for the install.
    3. If you haven’t made any hardware changes to the computer, find your manufacturer’s website and figure out how to download all the necessary drivers. As an example, all Dell computers can navigate to to download all the drivers associated with Dell hardware.
    4. If you have made hardware changes to the computer locate the changed hardware and identify the driver used for that hardware. As an example, anyone with an Asus motherboard can navigate to to download all the drivers associated with an Asus motherboard.
    5. Download the Windows Vista or Windows 7 network driver for your computer and store it on a flash drive, just in case.
    6. Print the rest of this guide off if you only have one computer.
    7. Insert the Windows 7 installation CD into your computer; ignore any prompts that are displayed.
    8. Restart your computer and follow the instruction to enter setup or the boot menu. As an example, on all Dell computers you can press F12 during POST to access the boot menu (Fig 1)
      Figure 1​
    9. Select Boot from CD/DVD or similar option, press any key to enter the setup (Fig 2)
      Figure 2​
    10. As the system boots you will see the Setup is Loading files and Starting Windows Screen (Fig 3). When you reach the Windows 7 'Install Windows' screen (Fig 4) configure the Language, Time and Currency, and Keyboard settings for your computer. Click Next.

      Figure 3​


      Figure 4​
    11. At the next screen, simply click 'Install now' (Fig 5)

      Figure 5​
    12. This will take you to a 'Setup is starting…' screen (Fig 6), and will eventually produce the 'License Agreement' screen (Fig 7). At the 'License Agreement' screen, accept the terms and click Next.
      Figure 6​


      Figure 7​
    13. You will then be asked what type of installation you want (Fig [​IMG]. I always recommend that users do a full reformat rather than an upgrade, so select the 'Custom (advanced)' option.

      Figure 8​
    14. At the 'Where do you want to install Windows?' Screen (Fig 9) you will see a list of the current partitions on your computer. Select the partitions one by one and select the 'Delete' option.

      Figure 9​
    15. When the screen only shows 'Unallocated Space', click Next (Fig 10).

      Figure 10​
    16. Now the computer will begin to do all of the automatic functions of the setup like 'Copying Windows Files', 'Expanding Windows Files', and 'Installing Features' (Fig 11). The computer may restart on its own once or twice before you see the 'Installing updates' screen (Fig 12). You may also see boot screens that say 'Starting Windows' (Fig 13), 'Completing Installation' (Fig 14), and ‘Setup is preparing your computer for first use’ (Fig 15).

      Figure 11​


      Figure 12​

      Figure 13​


      Figure 14​

      Figure 15​
    17. You will finally be prompted with a ‘Set Up Windows’ screen (Fig 16). Here you should enter both a User Name and Computer Name for the computer. For Computer Name, I prefer to use a naming convention for all my computers similar to LT-DVANBEEK. I.E. that computer is now LapTop- D. VanBeek. When you are ready, click Next.

      Figure 16​
    18. To note: the next section of setup screens will vary depending on the version of Windows you are installing, as well as things like wireless availability and other hardware factors. If you do not encounter a screen listed here, do not worry about it. If you encounter a screen not listed here, do your best to summarize it and let me know what I missed. Thanks!
    19. At the next screen it is recommended that you enter a password for the computer (Fig 17). If you enter a password at this screen you must also retype the password and enter a password hint. Click Next.

      Figure 17​
    20. On the next page enter your Product Key for this version of Microsoft Windows 7. Also, ensure that the ‘Automatically activate’ option is selected. Click Next.
    21. When the setup asks you about protecting your computer automatically you should choose ‘Use Recommended Settings’ for automatic updates (Fig 1[​IMG]. Click Next.

      Figure 18​
    22. At the 'Date and Time Settings' screen, configure the settings for your location and click Next.
    23. Whether or not you have to do this next step depends entirely on your computer’s wireless adapter or lack thereof. If you have a recent wireless adapter installed on your computer Windows 7 will present a screen for joining a Wireless Network. If you see this screen Windows 7 has already identified the proper driver for your wireless adapter as well as detected all of the wireless networks around you. If you have access to a network around you go ahead and configure the network for your home, work, or public use.
    24. After this Windows 7 will begin ‘Finalizing Settings’ and eventually take you to the new Windows 7 Desktop (Fig 19). Get used to it, as it is a bit different but utterly incredible!

      Figure 19​
    25. Your new installation of Windows 7 is now complete! However, now it is time to start configuring the system for your own use. To begin, click the new Start Icon and select All Programs (Fig 20), then select Windows Update (Fig 21).

      Figure 20​

      Figure 21​
    26. When the Windows Update window opens, click ‘Find out more’ where it says ‘Get updates for other Microsoft Products.’ (Fig 22)

      Figure 22​
    27. This will open up a browser window in Internet Explorer 8 for configuration settings. If this is your first time opening IE8 it will prompt you to configure some things. Read through all the options it gives you and configure it to your personal liking.
    28. When you get to the Microsoft Update screen (Fig 23), select Agree to Terms of Use, click Install, and click Yes for User Account Control.

      Figure 23​
    29. The computer will then begin Checking for Updates (Fig 24). When the check finishes click on the optional updates and determine if you would like any of these updates. When you are satisfied click Install Updates (Fig 25). Depending on the system some of the updates might fail the first time around, don’t worry though as they will be installed in due time.

      Figure 24​


      Figure 25​
    30. It is recommended that you run Microsoft Update multiple times, and use it at least once a month. The updates will install programs that require your input from time to time, so pay attention and know what you are agreeing to.
    31. Hopefully by now you have noticed that your computer probably already has sound, wireless connectivity, wired connectivity, and may even be displaying everything in the proper resolution. This is due to the fact that Windows 7 has already identified the majority of the drivers your computer needs, and has already implemented them. However, you still need to search your manufacturer’s website for all other applicable drivers for your computer. Many companies, like Dell, already offer both 32 and 64 bit drivers for Windows 7. If you can’t find a Windows 7 driver that works, search for a Windows Vista driver for the same equipment instead as it will probably work just the same.
    32. Now you need to get a few plug-ins and extra software that will allow you to view a plethora of common content.
    33. Now it’s time to get some useful software on that computer of yours! Below I have provided a list of useful software and their download locations. I would recommend getting the majority of the programs listed below as they will provide you untold benefit in times to come.

    And there you have it, your fresh and clean install of Windows 7 should be up and running. Feel free to contact me if you have any problems or questions.

    SOURCE: How to: Reformat a computer with Windows 7 by Datech - TBCS