Performing a new installation of Windows Vista

Mark Minasi provides the information you need to install Windows Vista will on your system. This chapter is an excerpt from Minasi's book, "Mastering Windows Vista for Business Professionals."

SP1 and R2

Mastering Windows Vista for Business Professionals
By Mark Minasi and John Paul Mueller

The following excerpt is from chapter two of Mastering Windows Vista for Business Professionals, entitled "Installing Vista."


Check out the rest of this chapter, Installing Vista.

Performing a New Installation of Vista

You need to perform a new installation of Vista when you don't have one of the supported update versions or your hard drive doesn't have the required space on the boot drive. A new installation begins like an update, but requires that you perform a number of additional configuration tasks as described in the following steps.

  1. Insert the DVD in a DVD drive. If AutoPlay is enabled on your computer, Windows displays the introductory screen. If not, open an Explorer window and double-click the DVD. This should trigger the AutoPlay action. If it doesn't, double-click the setup.exe file on the DVD to run it.

  2. Click the Install Now link. Setup asks whether you want to obtain important updates before you begin the installation process. Generally, it's a good idea to update your system. You want to be sure that everything on your system is ready for the installation process, including essential system files. Notice that this window also contains a check box that asks whether you want Microsoft to know about your installation experience.

  3. Check or clear the I Want to Help Make Windows Installation Better option.

  4. Click Go Online to Get the Latest Updates for Installation. You must remain connected to the Internet while Setup updates your system. After Setup completes the update process, you'll need to enter your product key. This setup screen also contains an automatic activation option that you should keep checked unless you're installing Vista on a machine that lacks an Internet connection.

  5. Type your product key and click Next. Setup displays the licensing agreement next.

  6. Read the licensing agreement, check I Accept the License Terms, and click Next. Setup asks whether you want to perform an upgrade installation or a custom installation. Normally, you'll perform the upgrade installation to use existing settings for your machine. The only time you need to perform a custom installation is when you want to modify your setup with Vista in mind. For example, you might choose to add Vista features immediately, rather than simply install the feature set that Microsoft thinks you need. Most savvy computer users perform a custom installation, but a custom installation isn't absolutely required.

  7. Click Custom. Setup asks where you want to install Vista. It shows you a listing of available partitions. Normally, you won't have any problem seeing the partitions, but you can load any required drivers as part of this step by clicking Load Driver. For example, you may need to load a driver to support a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) drive setup.

  8. Choose a partition and click Next. If the partition you choose contains a previous version of Windows (likely in this case), Setup displays a warning message. Click OK to close this message box. Follow any remaining prompts to perform setups for your unique machine configuration.

  9. Complete the setup using the steps in the "The Installation Paths Converge" section of the chapter.

Continue to Performing a clean installation of Windows Vista.

Mark Minasi is a best-selling author, commentator and all-around alpha geek. Mark is best known for his books in the Mastering Windows series. What separates him from others is that he knows how to explain technical things to normal humans, and make them laugh while doing it. Mark's firm, MR&D, is based in Pungo, a town in Virginia's Tidewater area that is distinguished by having one -- and only one -- traffic light.
Copyright 2007 TechTarget
This was first published in March 2007

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