This guide is for a Clean install (NOT an Upgrade) and
is the easiest of all possible Windows Vista installations. Regardless of
which Version of Vista you are installing or whether it is a 32 or 64-bit
Edition, the steps listed here are the same. Ensure that you backup all of
your important files (documents, music, etc) to CD/DVD/USB or another hard
drive before following these steps, this procedure will remove ALL data off
the Hard Drive (HDD). You can only install the same version your Product Key
is assigned, all which is usually found on a Microsoft Sticker on the bottom
or in the battery case of a laptop or on the tower of a desktop.
This can easily be
installed on your existing HDD or even a new one. Below is a suggested list of
precautions that should be done before you start your installation; though
most consider these steps a nuisance and redundant...they could save you hours
- Check that all power cables and plug sources are
secure and that you are plugged in if you have a battery.
- Disconnect all unnecessary external devices and USBs.
- If using a USB, be sure you plug into a BLACK port
and not a BLUE
port (2.0 vs. 3.0).
- Not sure about your HDD? Do a CHKDSK scan
for errors or bad sectors using the Command Prompt
available on the DVD/USB. It's still possible for a bad HDD to have a
successful install of a new OS; however things will continue to worsen till
eventually at some point your HDD will crash and you could lose everything
on the drive. HDDs are easy enough to replace and you can get a 500gb SATA
HDD for about $50.
- Verify that the Memory is sound. Even Microsoft
recommends using their Memory Diagnostic Tool (on the
DVD/USB) prior to installation.
- Make note of your Product Key.
Let's get started
- You will boot from the Vista installation recovery
- Insert the DVD/USB into the PC. Then turn-off the PC,
now turn it back on. If you're using a DVD a message of Press any key to
boot from CD/DVD will appear as seen in the picture below...press any key on
the keyboard before the screen changes, if you miss the timing and it does
not boot, you must start over. If you are booting from a USB, the next image
down is what you will see first. If your system does not boot from the
DVD/USB you'll have to enter the BIOS setup utility and make that
- If you
pressed a key in-time on the last screen (when booting from a DVD)...you
will be here.
If you do not see this screen, then you failed to 'tap any
key' in-time; turn-off and try again
for booting from
the DVD. This is the first screen you will see if you booted a USB
- Next up is
the window showing the Microsoft Corp. Loading bar buying time
background processes are completed.
- Here you can
change the Language (this is only an English version by default),
Time and Currency
and Keyboard method then press Next when you are
- On this
screen click on Install now as shown below.
This is also the page you will come to if you need to
make any Repair
if something goes wrong; the Repair Computer button is in the
bottom left corner.
- This is the important screen-> the Product Key
Activation screen. You can skip
for up to 30 days...but why if you have your key? Usually found on a
on the bottom or in the battery case of a laptop, or on
the tower of a desktop.
Keep the box ticked for automatic online Activation.
- Declining to enter the product key in the previous
step brings you here where
you must select the edition of Windows your
PK is associated with. This screen
is a two step process; selecting the
appropriate version and then certifying you
have selected the version of
Vista by using the check box. Once those two items
have been completed the NEXT
button is activated.
Choose your Vista flavor and then click
- Here you are presented with two choices: Accept
the license terms and
move on toward completion or click the red 'X' at upper right and enjoy your day -
enjoy it without Vista.
- It's now time to pick the type of installation
that will be performed;
Choose Custom (advanced) to continue (UPGRADE has been
disabled by Default).
This option lets you pick where Win7 will be
installed. You will also have the opportunity
make changes to disks and partitions.
- Here you'll see a list of partitions that are
currently on your HDD;
most will only have one. But regardless how many
you see listed,
it is not important since we are doing a clean install.
all the partitions we are also wiping it of all data giving
us a fresh
clean HDD to install to.
DO NOT CLICK NEXT.
First click Drive Options
(advanced) as seen below .
Warning: This will wipe the ENTIRE
drive; if you have reason to
SAVE and NOT change the other partition(s)
(then do not DELETE them)
only delete the Primary partition and install
on it...leaving the others alone.
Otherwise continue following the
instructions here. Unlike the pic below...
yours will NOT say UNALLOCATED SPACE...yet.
- Highlight/choose a partition then click DELETE.
Continue by clicking OK for each warning and/or dialogue
box that pops-up.
- Repeat & Delete each and every partition. Yes...even that one...lol.
All of them!
An unallocated space partition will replace
and absorb the deleted partition(s).
When only the one partition named
unallocated space is listed then click NEW
(near the bottom
right corner) and (agree to any terms presented) then click APPLY
to agree to the default size shown in the
box. This is usually your entire drives size, so were good to go.
Now you can click NEXT in the very bottom right corner to continue
- That's it for now. Just sit back and wait while
the green check-marks appear.
Depending on your hardware this can take
anywhere from 20 minutes to 4 hours.
In most cases the installation
process takes an average of 40 minutes. Be patient;
each item will load leaving a green check mark. At
Installing Updates the PC will go into the first restart.
- This is the first Restart.
NOTE: If you are using a USB; it is generally a good idea to
remove it at this point.
If you set your BIOS rather than a Quick Menu
to set your USB to boot first...
the PC will
reboot the USB first automatically if left in and the installation will
If this accidentally
happens...don't worry; simply remove the USB then just close
the Window's Install screen. Then
agree to QUIT on the pop up box and let it
automatically, it will boot right back to where it left off on the
- If you are installing from a DVD, it is very
likely you will see the screen below appear again:
DO NOT touch the keyboard... or you will be
starting all over. HANDS-OFF is safest!
If it appears again further-on...continue to Ignore it!
- A variety of screens will now quickly cycle
through; 'Preparing Windows to
boot' screens, 'boot' pages, 'Window's
loading bar'... each telling you what is
happening. You will then see
the green-check page appear doing
Completing Installation stage.
Once this stage is complete it will most
likely restart once more.
ignore the 'HIT ANY KEY...' screen!
- Here we set up your User account for the PC.
Choose a user name for yourself
and a profile picture. You can change the picture later if you so choose.
- On this
screen you give your PC a name. Whatever user name you chose
previous step, will be automatically entered in the 'Computer Name'
stripped of any spaces and with a '-PC' appended to the end for
identification purposes. You don't have to accept what is
Feel free to change it to something appropriate to fit your
if necessary. This cannot
be changed later.
- How you handle this is up to you; the easiest way
is to just click the top choice-
unless you have real cause not
- Set the clock and date if they aren't already correct and click NEXT
- That's it. Your fresh Vista has been installed.
Now click the START
at the bottom.
- These two screens will appear while your new Vista sets up your desk
top. This will take a few minutes...but nothing excessive.
- Your fresh Vista install is now complete. Good job. Remember to remove the DVD/USB.
Now, the first thing you need to do is to get your
hardware drivers so your PC operates properly with the newer softwares. Included on
the DVD/USB that you purchased from FIXED (fixedbyfixed.com, amazon.com or bonanza.com) are Ethernet drivers to help you get online immediately (assuming you have internet
service), this has 99% of all Ethernet drivers so that you can easily get online and then go to the company website of whomever
manufactured your PC (dell.com, hp.com, asus.com, etc....) and then download the rest of your needed drivers usually for free. Go here to get instructions how to utilize
the included Drivers.
all your drivers are installed it will be
necessary and tedious...but you now need to update your Windows. There will
be many updates and it can take up to 24 hours or more to download and
install them all. I know it is allot...but Vista is pretty old folks. Do
hot turn off your PC! If you have a battery...make sure your PC is
plugged in. Updates can be a pain sometimes. If you run into
issues...Google may help.