Performing a Clean
Installation of Windows Vista is the preferred installation method. An
alternate method available is an "Upgrade" installation. I do not
recommend upgrading. Too many things can go wrong with an upgrade and I
have seen this many many times with all Windows operating systems over
the years. A Clean Installation gives your system 'clean' file paths which will create a much faster and reliable
The instructions below
will apply to those that would like to:
- Do a clean
installation on a computer without an existing operating system.
- Replace an existing
operating system and replace it with Windows Vista.
- Install Windows
Vista on a separate partition.
Note: These instruction
will work fine for both 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows Vista.
Ready to Install Vista:
- I would recommend,
even before purchasing Vista, that you check that all of your
'needed' hardware and software will function in the Vista
environment. Download the
Vista Upgrade Advisor to check your hardware. The Vista Upgrade
Advisor will help you identify and possibly resolve any Vista
compatibility issues that may exist in your computer system.
- Be sure that you
update all drivers (video card, monitor, sound card ...etc.) for all
of your installed devices.
- You will need to
check with the software maker to find out if it is going to be
compatible with Vista.
<>Clean Install Over An Existing Operating System:
Before performing a clean installation of Windows Vista, be sure that
you have backed up any data that you would like to keep. A clean
installation of Vista will mean erasing all data and starting from
scratch. Use your preferred backup method. If you need backup
instructions for Windows XP, click the link below:
Manually Backup Windows XP
<>Configure your BIOS to boot from the DVD:
When you insert your Windows Vista Installation DVD, it should
automatically launch. If it doesn't launch, try restarting your system
with the DVD inserted in the DVD drive. If it still won't launch, you
will need to configure your BIOS to make your current installation boot
from your DVD drive. To gain access to your systems BIOS you will need
to refer to your particular systems operating instructions. However,
most of the time, by pressing the F2 or the Delete (one or the other,
not both) key repeatedly once your system boots to the "logo screen"
will give you access to "Setup". Also, many systems have a boot menu
that lists something like:
Press F12 for setup
If this is your case, simply press F12 when given that prompt. In any
case, once you are in setup, configure your DVD drive to the top of the
boot order. Save the change and exit setup.
<>Begin your Clean Installation of Windows Vista:
Place the Windows Vista
installation DVD in to your DVD drive, then reboot your system to
allow the DVD to launch. At your first prompt, press any key to
continue the process. Click Next and then click "Install Now" when
You will now be at the
"Get important updates for installation" page. It is highly
recommended (if you have an Internet connection at this point) to go
ahead and install any available updates to ensure a successful
installation. Once you've received the updates, click Next.
You will now be asked
for your product key information. Your product key is located on
your DVD case. Insert your 25 digit product key then click Next.
Now, you should be at
the License Agreement screen. Feel free to read through the whole
thing but it is going to take you quite awhile. You must "Accept"
the licensing agreement to continue. Click Next once you're
comfortable with the licensing agreement.
This next screen
contains the main installation options. Select "Custom Install"
(this is the correct option for a clean installation). Click Next.
Setup will now ask
where you would like to install Windows Vista. You will see the
available partitions on your system. You will need to select the
"boot" partition (usually C:). If your boot partition has a previous
version of Windows installed on it, you will want to delete this
partition and the create a new boot partition. Create any additional
partitions as desired, just be sure that each partition you create
is formatted. Once you're done, click Next.
From here, the prompts
may vary depending on your particular system. Just follow the
on-screen prompts to install Vista to your systems configuration.
Once Windows Vista
installs the necessary files to run, it will restart twice. It is
important that you leave the installation disk in the DVD drive
until the Windows Vista is completely installed. After the first
restart, you will be asked to insert any Username and Password that
you would like to use and a Name for your PC. Additionally, you will
be asked for the following information:
Time and Date
(home or office)
After all of your
information is successfully received, Vista will boot a second time.
After it boots successfully, you can safely remove the Windows Vista
Congratulations! I hope that you get many years of enjoyment out of your
new Windows Vista operating system!
sure that you install proper anti-virus and anti-spyware programs to
protect your new Windows installation. See the article below for some
a Successful Installation:
- When installing
Windows Vista with another Windows operating system already
installed. Vista will create a file called, Windows.old" on
your boot drive. Once everything is running fine on your new Vista
installation and you are sure that you have your old data already
backed up, it is safe to delete the Windows.old file. This file
could be nearly 30 gigabytes in size. Just do a simple search for
this file then right click and delete it. You will, of course, need
Administrator privileges to do so.
- If you receive an
error that; "you do not have sufficient permission" when deleting
this folder, the reason may be that you need to take ownership of
the file and its contents, here's how:
1. Right click the Windows.old file and then select Properties.
2. Select the Security tab.
3. Click the Advanced button.
4. Select the Owner tab.
5. Click on the Edit button.
6. Confirm at the UAC warning prompt
7. Select Change ownership.
- I have heard
of many people with SATA drives having difficulty loading Vista.
This is due to driver issues. Try loading the drivers at the initial
installation process. If you find that there are no updated drivers
available for your SATA drive, you might consider purchasing a
"Vista-ready" plug-in SATA card just to get the machine up and
running with Vista. Otherwise, you can reboot your system a few
times which will make the Vista installer give up and restore your
previous operating system.
- If you plan on
using a third party software to partition and format your hard drive
and then install Windows Vista, many have reported that it won't
work. You must use Vista "setup" on the installation DVD to create
and format all partitions for Vista. Apparently there are some
compatibility issues. However, for what it's worth, I have seen one
reported instance of someone using Partition Magic 8 successfully.
- I have seen a few
people having trouble getting Windows Vista to complete the upgrade
process on older "Vista Ready" systems. In these cases, when it
reboots the first time, it does not come back. It sits at a blank
screen with no error messages. When you power down and reboot the
system it asks which operating system you would like to load? It
seems at this point the old operating system is the only workable
one. A possible remedy for this particular problem is to upgrade the
systems BIOS prior to attempting to install Vista. However, you need
to be aware that the installation can seemingly "stall" after the
first reboot. Take a glance at your hard drive light, is it
blinking? It could be that Vista is still installing so give it some
time to complete what it is doing and don't assume right away that
the installation has gone bad.
- If your
installation shows a message that there is a problem copying files.
Some possible remedies are listed below:
- Remove the
installation disc and inspect it for scratches or dirt. Clean the
disc with a soft clean cloth and then reinsert it in to your disc
- Be sure that the
drive you have the installation disc in is the correct drive.
- Ensure that the
disc drive is functioning correctly. Contact the manufacture for
troubleshooting instruction if necessary.
- Scan you computer
with an updated anti-virus software. Disable your anti-virus
software prior to restarting the installation process.