How To Clean Install Windows 7

How To Clean Install Windows 7 (Part 2 of 3)

Wait While Windows 7 is Installed

Screenshot of Windows 7 setup expanding and installing Windows files -
Clean Install Windows 7 – Step 16 of 34.

This is the beginning of Part 2 of 3. If you need to, you can go back to the previous step located at the end of Part 1.

Windows 7 Setup will now install a clean copy of Windows 7 to the location you chose in the previous step. You don’t need to do anything here but wait.

This is the most time consuming of any of the 34 steps. Depending on the speed of your computer, this process could take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.

Restart Your Computer

Screenshot of Windows 7 setup restarting your computer -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 17 of 34.

Now that the Windows 7 clean install process is nearly complete, you need to restart your computer.

If you do nothing, your computer will reset automatically after 10 seconds or so. If you’d rather not wait, you can click the Restart now button at the bottom of the Windows needs to restart to continue screen.

Wait for Windows 7 Setup to Begin Again

Screenshot of Windows 7 booting after having been installed -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 18 of 34.

The Windows 7 clean install is now continuing.

You don’t need to do anything here. There are a few more automatic Windows 7 setup steps to come.

Wait for Windows 7 Setup to Update Registry Settings

Screenshot of Windows 7 updating registry settings after setup -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 19 of 34.

Wait for Windows 7 Setup to Start Services

Screenshot of Windows 7 starting services after setup -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 20 of 34.

Wait while Windows 7 Setup starts various necessary services. This starting of services will occur during every Windows 7 boot as well but you won’t see it like this again. Services start in the background during a normal Windows 7 startup.

Wait for Windows 7 Setup to Complete

Screenshot of Windows 7 setup completing installation -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 21 of 34.

This last Windows 7 Setup screen says “Completing installation” and may take several minutes. All you need to do is wait – everything is automatic.

If the Windows 7 Setup process is complete, why are we only on step 21 of 34?

The remainder of the steps in this clean install process include several easy but important configurations that need to take place before you can use Windows 7.

Wait for Your PC to Automatically Restart

Screenshot of Windows 7 restarting your computer after setup -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 22 of 34.

Wait while the Windows 7 setup process automatically restarts your computer.

Important: Do not restart your computer manually at this point. Windows 7 Setup will restart your PC for you. If you interrupt the setup process by restarting manually, the clean install process may fail. You may then need tostart the Windows 7 setup over again from the beginning.

Wait for Windows 7 to Start

Screenshot of the Windows 7 splash screen -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 23 of 34.

Wait while Windows 7 starts.

No user intervention is required here.

Wait for Windows 7 to Prepare Your PC for First Use

Screenshot of Windows 7 preparing your computer for first use after setup -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 24 of 34.

Windows 7 Setup is now preparing your computer for “first use.”

Windows 7 is now loading drivers, checking to make sure everything has been setup properly, removing temporary files, etc.

You don’t need to do anything here.

Note: Remember, this clean install of Windows 7 has completely removed your old operating system. Windows 7 is being installed and configured just as it would on a brand new computer.

Wait for Windows 7 to Check Your PC’s Video Performance

Screenshot of Windows 7 checking the computer's video performance after setup -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 25 of 34.

Wait while Windows 7 checks the video performance of your computer.

Windows 7 needs to know how well your video card and related hardware works so it can properly adjust performance options for your computer.

For example, if your video system is too slow, Windows 7 may disable features like Aero Peek, translucent windows, and other graphically intense features of the operating system.

Choose a User Name and a Computer Name

Screenshot of Windows 7 asking for a user name and computer name after setup -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 26 of 34.

Windows 7 needs to know what use name you’d like to use and how you’d like your computer to be identified on your local network.

In the Type a user name (for example, John): text box, enter your name. You can enter a single name, your first and last name, or any other identifiable text you like. This is the name you’ll be identified by in Windows 7.

Note: You’re more than welcome to use the same user name that you used in your old operating system installation.

In the Type a computer name: text box, enter the name you’d like your computer to have when being viewed by other computers on your network.

Note: If it makes sense in your specific situation, I recommend using the same computer name you used in the operating system installation you’ve deleted as part of this clean install, especially if any other computers on your network connect to resources on your PC.

Otherwise, a good computer name might be Office-PC, Windows-7-Test-PC, Bob-Dell, etc. You get the idea. Anything identifiable that makes sense to you will work.

Click Next when you’re done entering both the user name and computer name.

Note: Planning on having more than one user on your computer? Don’t worry – you can set up more users inside Windows 7 later.

Choose a Password to Access Windows 7

Screenshot of Windows 7 asking for a password after setup -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 27 of 34.

Microsoft recommends that you choose a password that will be required when starting Windows 7 before access to your user account will be allowed.

Don’t treat this as a recommendation – consider it a requirement.

In the Type a password (recommended): text box, enter a complicated but easy-for-YOU-to-remember password. Retype the same password in the Retype your password: text box.

Type a hint to give yourself in the Type a password hint (required): text box.

This hint will display if you enter the wrong password when logging on to Windows 7.

As you can see in the example above, the hint I entered was What is my favorite food?. The password I entered (which you can’t see above) was applesauce.

Note: Feel free to use the same password as you used in the operating systemyou’ve just removed from your computer as part of this Windows 7 clean install. However, this is as good a time as any to choose a stronger password than you might have used before.

Enter the Windows 7 Product Key

Screenshot of Windows 7 asking for the product key after setup -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 28 of 34.

Enter the product key that came with your retail purchase or legal download ofWindows 7. If Windows 7 came as part of your complete computer system, enter the product key you were given as part of that purchase.

Note: If Windows originally came preinstalled on your computer, your product key is probably located on a sticker attached to the side, back, or bottom of your computer’s case.

Important: You may be able to avoid entering a product key at this point but you will eventually need to do so in order to continue using Windows 7.

I highly advise that you enter your product key here and choose to Automatically activate Windows when I’m online.

Choose a Windows Update Option

Screenshot of Windows 7 asking for Windows Update options after setup -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 29 of 34.

On this Help protect your computer and improve Windows automatically screen,Windows 7 is asking you do choose how you want to automatically install updates from Microsoft’s Windows Update service.

I recommend that you choose Install important updates only. This option is the safest because it restricts Windows 7 from doing anything with your data or to your computer automatically except when important security and stability updates are available.

You are more than welcome to choose Use recommended settings but I do not recommend that you choose Ask me later.

Note: These settings can easily be changed within Windows 7 after you’re done stepping through these configuration questions.

Choose the Correct Time Zone, Date, and Time

Screenshot of Windows 7 asking for the correct time zone, date, and time after setup -
Windows 7 Clean Install – Step 30 of 34.

On the Review your time and date settings screen, choose the correct Time zone,Date, and Time.

The time and date is likely already correct but be sure to verify the time zone and change if necessary.

If your area observes Daylight Saving Time be sure to check that box here.

Note: If the date and/or time of Daylight Saving Time changes, Microsoft will issue an update via Windows Update to change the automatic time change so don’t avoid checking this box assuming that DST changes won’t occur correctly.

This completes Part 2 of 3!

Leave a Reply