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Installation Source Facts

The following are Windows 7 installation sources:

Source Description
DVD

When installing from a DVD, keep the following steps in mind:

  1. Prepare and format hard disks. If you are performing a clean install on new hard disks, you can partition and format disks during the installation process. However, you will need to prepare disks before installation if you want to install Windows on a RAID set (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5).
  2. Change the boot order to boot from the CD/DVD drive. If you are performing a clean install, edit the BIOS boot order to boot from the optical drive first.
  3. Start the installation.
    • If you are performing an in-place upgrade, you boot into your current version of Windows, insert the installation disc, and start the installation from within Windows.
    • If you are performing a clean installation, boot the computer to the installation disc.
  4. During the first part of the installation, Windows loads the necessary files it needs to start the installation. During this phase, if you created a RAID array as your destination disk, you need to load the drivers for the disk controller so that Windows can write to the disk. When asked to select the disk to install Windows, you will not see the RAID array in the list. Click the Load Driver link, and locate the driver on a floppy or USB drive.
  5. If you are installing Windows from an upgrade version of the software, you might now be prompted to insert the disc from the version of Windows you are upgrading from.
  6. After the initial files and drivers are loaded, you select the disk where you want to install Windows. At this point you can choose an existing partition (if one exists), or create a new partition.
  7. After Windows prepares the disks, it starts by copying files to the hard disk. When the file copy is complete, the system will reboot.
  8. After the system reboots, Windows begins configuring the system. As the installation continues, you will be prompted for configuration information such as the region and language, the product license key, the computer name, date and time, and network settings.
USB When installing from a USB flash drive, keep the following items in mind:
  • At least 4 GB is required on the USB flash drive.
  • FAT32 file system formatting is required on the USB flash drive.
  • The USB flash drive can store both the Windows 7 source files and additional software and drivers.
  • Similar to installing from DVD, you must change the boot order in the BIOS settings, connect the USB flash drive, and restart the computer.

To prepare a USB flash drive as a Windows 7 installation source, use the following process:

  1. Connect the USB storage device to a computer running Windows 7 or Windows Vista.
  2. Open an elevated command prompt and type diskpartto open the Diskpart command line utility and issue the following commands:
    1. list disk (Identify which disk connected to the computer represents the USB flash drive)
    2. select disk disknumber (Use with the number of the disk that you have identified as the USB flash drive)
    3. clean (Note: This removes existing partition formatting and data from the USB flash drive.)
    4. create partition primary
    5. format fs=fat32 quick
    6. active
    7. exit
  3. Use the following command to update the volume with the BOOTMGR boot loader program to make the USB drive bootable:

    bootsect.exe /nt60 [usb drive letter]

  4. Copy all the files located on the Windows 7 installation DVD to the USB flash drive.
Network When installing from a network share, keep the following items in mind:
  • The setup files must first be copied to an accessible network location. Configure the computer to boot from the network, then run the Setup.exe file.
  • Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) is a bootable startup environment from which Windows 7 can be installed. For Windows 7 deployment, Windows PE contains the following tools:
    • Netcfg to configure network access.
    • Drvload to install a driver and use hardware without restarting the computer.
    • DiskPart to partition and format the computer's hard drive.
    • Net Use to connect to a shared folder containing Windows 7 installation and setup files.
  • Active Directory Domain Services and Windows Server 2008 machines are not necessary for a network source installation.
  • Changes to the setup files are centrally managed.
Windows Deployment Services (WDS) WDS is for installations of more than one computer in a business or enterprise environment. When using Windows Deployment Services (WDS), keep the following items in mind:
  • WDS is a server role available on machines running Windows Server 2008.
  • Active Directory Domain Services is required for a WDS source installation.
  • Multiple, simultaneous installations are possible with WDS from a single system image file.
  • Installation from WDS uses the following basic process:
    1. The computer uses a PXE-compliant network card or WDS discover image to locate the WDS server.
    2. The WDS server sends the assigned boot image to the client.
    3. After the client chooses the desired installation image, the WDS server starts to copy the image to the computer.