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Re-Intalling Windows 7

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					In this article you'll find detailed instructions for installing Windows 7 and reinstalling
Windows 7.

For more information about installing Windows 7, see Installing Windows 7: frequently
asked questions and Windows 7 installation problems: frequently asked questions. For
more information about upgrade options, go to Upgrading to Windows 7: frequently
asked questions on the Windows website.

Hide all

How to buy Windows 7
You can buy Windows 7 at retail locations, or you can purchase a computer with
Windows 7 already installed. In some countries or regions, you can also purchase
Windows 7 online. This is an easy way to install Windows 7 if you have a netbook or
other computer that doesn't have a DVD drive.

For more information about how to get Windows 7 in your country or region, go to the
Shop webpage.

Notes

In some countries or regions, Windows 7 comes in two versions: upgrade and full. For
more information about which versions are available in your country or region, go to the
Shop webpage.

If you purchase an upgrade copy of Windows 7, you'll need to install Windows 7 on a
computer running Windows XP or Windows Vista. For more information, go to
Upgrading to Windows 7: frequently asked questions on the Windows website.

The Windows 7 installation disc package includes both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of
Windows 7. If you download Windows 7 from the Microsoft Store, you'll need to choose
either a 32-bit version or 64-bit version to download. For help deciding which version to
install, see 32-bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions.


Common ways to install Windows 7
The table below lists common ways to install Windows 7, and links to more information
on the Windows website.

If you want to do this
Go here for more information
Install Windows 7 on a computer running Windows XP.

Go to Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7.
Install a 32-bit version of Windows 7 on a computer running a 32-bit version of Windows
Vista.

Go to Upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7.

Install a 64-bit version of Windows 7 on a computer running a 32-bit version of Windows
Vista.

See "Installing a 64-bit version of Windows 7 on a computer running a 32-bit version of
Windows" later in this topic.

Install a 32-bit version of Windows 7 on a computer running a 64-bit version of Windows
Vista (less common).

Go to Upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7 (custom installation).

Install a 64-bit version of Windows 7 on a computer running a 64-bit version of Windows
Vista.

Go to Upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7.

Install Windows 7 on a computer and format the hard disk during installation.

See "Using the Custom installation option and formatting the hard disk" later in this
topic.

Install Windows 7 on a computer without an operating system.

See "Using the Custom installation option if no operating system is installed" later in this
topic.

Install Windows 7 on a computer without a DVD drive.

For information about downloading Windows 7, and then creating a USB flash drive to
install Windows 7, go to Installing Windows 7 on a netbook and see sections later in this
topic.


Before you begin installing Windows 7
To save time and help avoid problems during installation:

Find your product key. You can find your product key on your computer or on the
installation disc holder inside the Windows package—or in a confirmation e‑mail if you
purchased and downloaded Windows 7 online. A product key sticker looks similar to
this:
PRODUCT KEY: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

Go to the Microsoft website to see examples of product key stickers.

Write down your computer name. If your computer is currently connected to a network,
you might need you computer name after Windows 7 installation is complete. For more
information, see Find your computer name.

Back up your files. You can back up files to an external hard disk, a DVD or CD, or a
network folder. We recommend using Windows Easy Transfer to back up your files and
settings. For more information, go to the Windows Easy Transfer webpage.

Download and run the free Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. It will help find any potential
compatibility issues with your computer's hardware, devices, or programs that might
affect installing Windows 7. For more information, go to the Windows 7 Upgrade
Advisor webpage.

Decide whether to install the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7. The Windows 7
installation disc package includes both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7. If you
download Windows 7 from the Microsoft Store, you'll need to choose either a 32-bit
version or 64-bit version to download. For help deciding which version to install, see 32-
bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions.

Update your antivirus program, run it, and then turn it off. After you install Windows,
remember to turn your antivirus program back on, or install new antivirus software that
works with Windows 7.

Connect to the Internet. Make sure your Internet connection is working so that you can
get the latest installation updates, such as security updates and driver updates that can
help with installation. If you don't have an Internet connection, you can still install
Windows 7.


Using the Upgrade installation option
The Upgrade option keeps your files, settings, and programs from your current version of
Windows. To learn more about which versions of Windows can be upgraded to Windows
7, go to Upgrading to Windows 7: frequently asked questions on the Windows website.

Notes

If you use a fingerprint reader or other biometric device to log on to your computer, write
down your password before upgrading. You must log on by typing your user name and
password the first time that you use Windows 7 after upgrading.

Some programs such as Windows Mail and Outlook Express are no longer included in
Windows 7. If you used Windows Mail or Outlook Express as your e‑mail program,
you'll need to install a new e‑mail program after you finish installing Windows 7 to read
your messages or to send and receive e‑mail. For more information about programs you
can use, go to Looking for Windows Mail? on the Windows website.

To install Windows 7 using the Upgrade option

Turn on your computer so that Windows starts normally. (To perform an upgrade, you
can't start, or boot, your computer from the Windows 7 installation media.)

After Windows has started, do one of the following:

If you downloaded Windows 7, browse to the installation file you downloaded, and then
double-click it.

If you have a Windows 7 installation disc, insert the disc into your computer. Setup
should start automatically. If it doesn't, click the Start button , click Computer, double-
click your DVD drive to open the Windows 7 installation disc, and then double-click
setup.exe.
If you've downloaded Windows 7 installation files onto a USB flash drive, insert the
drive into your computer. Setup should start automatically. If it doesn't, click the Start
button , click Computer, double-click the drive, and then double-click setup.exe.
On the Install Windows page, click Install now.

On the Get important updates for installation page, we recommend getting the latest
updates to help ensure a successful installation and to help protect your computer against
security threats. You need an Internet connection to get installation updates.

On the Please read the license terms page, if you accept the license terms, click I accept
the license terms, and then click Next.

On the Which type of installation do you want? page, click Upgrade to begin the upgrade.
You might see a compatibility report.


The Which type of installation do you want? page
Follow the instructions to finish installing Windows 7.

Note

You might need to update drivers after Windows 7 installation is complete. To do so,
click the Start button , click All Programs, and then click Windows Update. If Windows
Update doesn't have the driver you need, see Update a driver for hardware that isn't
working properly, or go to the Windows 7 Compatibility Center webpage.
To share printers
If you shared any printers in Windows Vista, you'll need to re-share them by following
these steps:

Click the Start button , and then click Devices and Printers.
Right-click the printer you want to share, and click Printer properties.

On the Sharing tab, select the Share this printer check box, and then click OK.

If other computers still can't access the printer, delete the printer from the other
computers, and then add the printer again.


Using the Custom installation option without formatting the hard disk
The Custom option installs a new copy of Windows 7 on the partition you choose. This
erases your files, programs, and settings.

Back up any files and settings you want to keep so that you can restore them after the
installation is complete. You'll need to reinstall your programs, so make sure you have
the installation discs and product keys for the programs you want to use in Windows 7, or
setup files for any programs you downloaded from the Internet.

Notes

Some programs such as Windows Mail and Outlook Express are no longer included in
Windows 7. If you used Windows Mail or Outlook Express as your e‑mail program,
you'll need to install a new e‑mail program after you finish installing Windows 7 to read
your messages or to send and receive e‑mail. For more information about programs you
can use, go to Looking for Windows Mail? on the Windows website.

If you're running a 64-bit version of Windows and plan to install a 32-bit version of
Windows 7, programs that were designed to run only on a 64-bit operating system might
not work. Check the software manufacturer's website for more information, or go to the
Windows 7 Compatibility Center webpage to search for hardware and software tested to
be compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7.

If you don't format your hard disk during installation, data files are saved to a
Windows.old folder on the partition you installed Windows 7 on. However, you should
still back up your files. If you have data files that are encrypted, you might not be able to
access them after installing Windows 7. If you've backed up your data files and then
restored them after installing Windows 7, you can delete the Windows.old folder.

To install Windows 7 using the Custom option without formatting the hard disk

Turn on your computer so that Windows starts normally, then do one of the following:
If you downloaded Windows 7, browse to the installation file you downloaded, and then
double-click it.

If you have a Windows 7 installation disc, insert the disc into your computer. Setup
should start automatically. If it doesn't, click the Start button , click Computer, double-
click your DVD drive to open the Windows 7 installation disc, and then double-click
setup.exe.
If you've downloaded Windows 7 installation files onto a USB flash drive, insert the
drive into your computer. Setup should start automatically. If it doesn't, click the Start
button , click Computer, double-click the drive, and then double-click setup.exe.
On the Install Windows page, follow any instructions that are displayed, and then click
Install now.

On the Get important updates for installation page, we recommend getting the latest
updates to help ensure a successful installation and to help protect your computer against
security threats. You need an Internet connection to get installation updates.

On the Please read the license terms page, if you accept the license terms, click I accept
the license terms, and then click Next.

On the Which type of installation do you want? page, click Custom.

On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, choose the partition containing
your previous version of Windows (this is often the computer's C: drive), and then click
Next.

In the Windows.old dialog box, click OK.

Follow the instructions to finish installing Windows 7, which include naming your
computer and setting up an initial user account.

Note

You might need to update drivers after Windows 7 installation is complete. To do so,
click the Start button , click All Programs, and then click Windows Update. If Windows
Update doesn't have the driver you need, see Update a driver for hardware that isn't
working properly, or go to the Windows 7 Compatibility Center webpage.

Using the Custom installation option and formatting the hard disk
Formatting your hard disk during a custom installation of Windows 7 permanently erases
everything on the partition that you are formatting, including your files, settings, and
programs.

Back up any files and settings you want to keep so that you can restore them after the
installation is complete. You'll need to reinstall your programs, so make sure you have
the installation discs and product keys for the programs you want to use in Windows 7, or
setup files for any programs you downloaded from the Internet.

Notes

If you're using an upgrade version of Windows 7, don't use a program from another
software manufacturer to reformat your hard disk before installing Windows 7. Instead,
follow the instructions in this section.

Some programs such as Windows Mail and Outlook Express are no longer included in
Windows 7. If you used Windows Mail or Outlook Express as your e‑mail program,
you'll need to install a new e‑mail program after you finish installing Windows 7 to read
your messages or to send and receive e‑mail. For more information about programs you
can use, go to Looking for Windows Mail? on the Windows website.

If you're running a 64-bit version of Windows and plan to install a 32-bit version of
Windows 7, programs that were designed to run only on a 64-bit operating system might
not work. Check the software manufacturer's website for more information, or go to the
Windows 7 Compatibility Center webpage to search for hardware and software tested to
be compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7.

To install Windows 7 using the Custom option and formatting the hard disk

To format your hard disk during Windows 7 installation, you'll need to start, or boot,
your computer using the Windows 7 installation disc or USB flash drive.

Turn on your computer so that Windows starts normally, insert the Windows 7
installation disc or USB flash drive, and then shut down your computer.

Restart your computer.

Press any key when prompted, and then follow the instructions that appear.

On the Install Windows page, enter your language and other preferences, and then click
Next.

If the Install Windows page doesn't appear, and you're not asked to press any key, you
might need to change some system settings. To learn how to do this, see Start your
computer from a Windows 7 installation disc or USB flash drive.

On the Please read the license terms page, if you accept the license terms, click I accept
the license terms, and then click Next.

On the Which type of installation do you want? page, click Custom.

On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, click Drive options (advanced).
Click the partition that you want to change, click the formatting option you want to
perform, and then follow the instructions.

When you've finished formatting, click Next.

Follow the instructions to finish installing Windows 7, which include naming your
computer and setting up an initial user account.

Notes

If you're using the upgrade version of Windows 7 on a computer without an operating
system installed, you might not be able to activate this type of installation. The upgrade
version requires Windows XP or Windows Vista to be installed on the computer to
activate Windows 7. During setup, you need to leave the product key box empty. To
activate Windows 7, go to the Microsoft Support website. For more information, see
Windows 7 activation error: invalid product key and Windows 7 activation error:
0xC004F061.


You might need to update drivers after Windows 7 installation is complete. To do so,
click the Start button , click All Programs, and then click Windows Update. If Windows
Update doesn't have the driver you need, see Update a driver for hardware that isn't
working properly, or go to the Windows 7 Compatibility Center webpage.

Using the Custom installation option if no operating system is installed
The Custom option installs a new copy of Windows 7 on the partition you choose. This
erases your files, programs, and settings. If there are any files on the partition, back them
up before proceeding.

To install Windows 7 on a computer without an operating system

To do this, you'll need to start, or boot, your computer using the Windows 7 installation
disc or USB flash drive.

Turn on your computer, insert the Windows 7 installation disc or USB flash drive, and
then shut down your computer.

Restart your computer.

Press any key when prompted, and then follow the instructions that appear.

On the Install Windows page, enter your language and other preferences, and then click
Next.
If the Install Windows page doesn't appear, and you're not asked to press any key, you
might need to change some system settings. To learn how to do this, see Start your
computer from a Windows 7 installation disc or USB flash drive.

On the Please read the license terms page, if you accept the license terms, click I accept
the license terms, and then click Next.

On the Which type of installation do you want? page, click Custom.

On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, choose the partition that you want
to install Windows 7 on, or click Unallocated Space if no partitions are listed, and then
click Next.

If a dialog box appears saying that Windows might create additional partitions for system
files, or that the partition you chose might contain recovery files or other types of files
from your computer manufacturer, click OK.

Follow the instructions to finish installing Windows 7, which include naming your
computer and setting up an initial user account.

Notes

If you're using the upgrade version of Windows 7 on a computer without an operating
system installed, you might not be able to activate this type of installation. The upgrade
version requires Windows XP or Windows Vista to be installed on the computer to
activate Windows 7. During setup, you need to leave the product key box empty. To
activate Windows 7, go to the Microsoft Support website. For more information, see
Windows 7 activation error: invalid product key and Windows 7 activation error:
0xC004F061.


You might need to update drivers after Windows 7 installation is complete. To do so,
click the Start button , click All Programs, and then click Windows Update. If Windows
Update doesn't have the driver you need, see Update a driver for hardware that isn't
working properly, or go to the Windows 7 Compatibility Center webpage.

Installing a 64-bit version of Windows 7 on a computer running a 32-bit version of
Windows
Before you begin, make sure that your computer can run a 64-bit version of Windows.
For more information, see 32-bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions.

The Custom option installs a new copy of Windows 7 on the partition you choose. This
erases your files, programs, and settings.

Back up any files and settings you want to keep so that you can restore them after the
installation is complete. You'll need to reinstall your programs, so make sure you have
the installation discs and product keys for the programs you want to use in Windows 7, or
setup files for any programs you downloaded from the Internet.

Notes

Some programs such as Windows Mail and Outlook Express are no longer included in
Windows 7. If you used Windows Mail or Outlook Express as your e‑mail program,
you'll need to install a new e‑mail program after you finish installing Windows 7 to read
your messages or to send and receive e‑mail. For more information about programs you
can use, go to Looking for Windows Mail? on the Windows website.

If you don't format your hard disk during installation, data files are saved to a
Windows.old folder on the partition you installed Windows 7 on. However, you should
still back up your files. If you have data files that are encrypted, you might not be able to
access them after installing Windows 7. If you've backed up your data files and then
restored them after installing Windows 7, you can delete the Windows.old folder.

To install a 64-bit version of Windows 7 on a computer running a 32-bit version of
Windows

To do this, you'll need to start, or boot, your computer using the Windows 7 installation
disc or USB flash drive.

Turn on your computer so that Windows starts normally, insert the Windows 7
installation disc or USB flash drive, and then shut down your computer.

Restart your computer.

Press any key when prompted, and then follow the instructions that appear.

On the Install Windows page, enter your language and other preferences, and then click
Next.

If the Install Windows page doesn't appear, and you're not asked to press any key, you
might need to change some system settings. To learn how to do this, see Start your
computer from a Windows 7 installation disc or USB flash drive.

On the Please read the license terms page, if you accept the license terms, click I accept
the license terms, and then click Next.

On the Which type of installation do you want? page, click Custom.

On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, choose the partition containing
your previous version of Windows (this is often the computer's C: drive), and then click
Next.
In the Windows.old dialog box, click OK.

Follow the instructions to finish installing Windows 7, which include naming your
computer and setting up an initial user account.

Note

You might need to update drivers after Windows 7 installation is complete. To do so,
click the Start button , click All Programs, and then click Windows Update. If Windows
Update doesn't have the driver you need, see Update a driver for hardware that isn't
working properly, or go to the Windows 7 Compatibility Center webpage.

Reinstalling Windows 7
You can reinstall Windows 7 using Recovery in Control Panel, under Advanced recovery
methods. This method reinstalls Windows 7, either from a recovery image provided by
your computer manufacturer, or from your original Windows 7 installation files. You
need to reinstall all of the programs that you added, and restore all of your files from a
backup. For more information, see Choosing an advanced recovery method.

If Windows 7 doesn't run at all, you can reinstall Windows using your original Windows
7 installation disc. To do this, follow the instructions in "Using the Custom installation
option and formatting the hard disk" earlier in this topic.

				
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