Windows 7 Installation on my Desktop

My desktop configuration was running a Vista Ultimate 64 bit edition happily for last nine months.

Desktop Configuration:

Intel DG965RY Board with 2.4 Gz Core2Duo CPU and 4 GB Ram,
One 250 GB and one 500 GB hard disk.
NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS display card with 512 MB memory,
Microsoft Life Cam VX7000,
Logitech Z10 USB speakers.
LG DVD writer,
HP G3010Scanner,
HP 1010 Laser printer.

The C: partition is 70GB and contains only the system and programs. Documents are in D: partition of 65 GB. Pictures in E: of 155 GB, Movies in F: of 165 GB and Music in G: of 150 GB. There is a X: partition of 95 GB to hold Ghost images, Downloaded programs, Page file  and other sundry items.

The Vista Ultimate was running with about 30 GB free in C: drive. I decided to keep the C: partition be at 70 GB for Windows 7 as I expected the space requirements for the new OS to be less than that for Vista.

I decided to do a clean install of Windows 7 as I had all the original programs. A clean installation is always better as it gets rid of all the garbage build over a period.

The Windows Launch Party pack I have received has a Windows 7 Ultimate signature edition in both 64 bit and 32 bit version. I decided to install the 64bit version as all my programs were already working satisfactorily under 64bit Vista Ultimate.

I will now describe all the steps I carried out in getting the Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit version working on my desktop. These steps may seem a too elaborate but in my experience this extra time is always well spent.

1. Cleanup of Existing Vista Ultimate installation: I first removed all unnecessary programs from the system and ran disk cleanup to delete all unwanted files from C: drive. I also removed all system restore points to free space. Then I defragmented the C: drive and took a ghost image backup of C: drive. If you don’t have Ghost program you can take an image backup of C: using the Vista Backup program. After the image was prepared I restored it on the C: drive to make sure it can be used, if required. I also created a separate folder on X: Drive called Windows 7 Programs and collected all the programs to be install on the new Windows 7 installation there. I checked for new versions of these programs and downloaded them in this folder.

2. Installing Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit: With my Vista installation running I inserted the Windows 7 disk containing the 64 Bit version and followed the on screen instructions to install Windows 7 on my desktop. Some 20 minutes later my desktop was running Windows 7. On a machine with one DVD drive everything will be automatic till the time you have to select your country and language etc. On a machine with two drives the setup may fail to restart properly after initially copying all files with a message on the screen to select a CD drive. If this happens just remove the installation disk from the DVD drive and hit Ctrl-Alt-Del to restart the setup.

3. Setting Initial Options: I normally set these options to improve the system operation. In FOLDER OPTIONS > VIEW a) Check – Show Hidden Files, Folder and Drives and b) Uncheck – Hide File Extensions for Known File Types. I like my display fonts to be set to medium (125%) to improve readability. I also activated display of desktop icons for My Computer and Network.

4. Move Documents to D: I like to keep all my documents in D: drive. This separation of program and documents helps to save the documents in case you have to reinstall Windows. Also it reduces the size of the Image Backup file. I have created a folder  D:Docs to hold the documents. In Windows 7 it is very ease to move the documents. Open the User Folder from the start menu and D:Docs folder from My Computer. Position them side by side on the desktop using Windows 7 snap feature. Selected all folders from the User Window and drag them to D:Docs. Keep the Shift key pressed to make this a move operation.

5. Disk Cleanup and defragmentation: During installation of Windows 7 the files of the old Vista systems are saved. It is necessary to delete these files now and recover the space. You will free more than 10GB with this step for a normal Vista installation. You must choose "delete system files" in disk cleanup for this step. After this I defragmented the C: drive to reduce fragmentation that happens during installation and subsequent cleanup.

6. Windows Live Programs: Next step was to download and install Windows Live Programs for mail, photos, movie maker and Live writer from Windows Live site at Unlike previous versions of Windows these programs are not included in Windows 7.

7. Install Antivirus program: I chose to install Microsoft Security Essentials Anti Virus program downloaded from This program is free, works very well and updates silently with the Windows Update facility.

8. Install application programs: System was now ready to install all my application programs like MS Office 2007, Nero, Zune, Adobe Acrobat Reader etc.

9. Final Cleanup: After all programs were installed, I did a disk cleanup to remove the temporary files created during installation, removed all system restore points and then defragmented C: drive. I also setup a daily defragmentation schedule to make sure the hard disks remain at peak performance.

10. System Backup: Now that everything is working, I took a System Ghost Image backup of Windows 7 on C: drive. This image is almost half of a similar Vista Image.

This completed installation of Windows 7 on my desktop.


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