How To Reinstall Windows

When you have tried all disk clean-ups, anti-virus software, registry cleaners and nothing seems to fix the slow performance of your computer, it may be time to reinstall a fresh copy of your operating system.

Before you start the installation, make sure you have copied all the important content (documents, pictures) to a separate partition or to an external hard drive.

Steps of Installation

Installing Windows to your hard drive is not a hard job. Before installation Windows, you have to first format the drive in which the old Windows was running from, which in most cases is C: drive. The option is automatically given by the bootable cd that you will use for installation.

Insert the Windows cd in the drive, start your computer and make sure that it will boot from the cd rather than the hard drive. If the option is not already set in BIOS, then change the boot order. In most systems pressing F9 key opens the boot device order, but check your manual (mine is the Del key). Once the computer successfully boots from the Windows cd in the drive, you will see a screen like the one below:

windows is loading files

After the files have been loaded from the installation cd,  if the system asks you to choose between a ‘Upgrade’ or  ‘custom installation’, select the ‘custom’ option.  Now you will be prompted to select the partition where you want to install the new copy of Windows, make this choice carefully, you want to install Windows in drive C:.

selecting partition for Windows installation

After selection of the drive, you have two options:

  1. Install new Windows without formatting the drive – In that case the old Windows will be copied in a folder ‘Windows.old’. This is a unbootable folder and will not interfere with the new installation. Use this option only if you have not copied user data.
  2. From the Drive options given on the right side of the above window, you can format the selected partition. This will wipe the old copy and then install a fresh one. This is the recommended choice. Clicking on the ‘Drive options (advanced)’ will open the following options:

format option in windows installation

Select the format button and delete the previous contents of your partition. Alternatively if you don’t choose to format the drive and simply click Next after you have selected to partition, the following warning will popup:

Warning if not formatted

Now the installation process will start during which the screen can flash and the system will restart on its own a couple of times:

Stages of Windows 7 Installation


System restarting during installation

Once the installation is near completion, you will see the following screen:

Final steps of Installing Windows 7

After the installation is complete, Windows will automatically restart and display a message like the one in the picture below:

startup screen after installation

Once your Windows starts-up for the first time, you will be asked to setup username and password, Windows update options and Date and Time settings. The options that come up after installation can vary, some systems will automatically pick the date and time.

You can always change usernames, update settings from the Control Panel. After installing a new copy there are a lot of things that you will have to install  like; Hardware drivers, MS Office, Adobe Reader, Java update, .Net framework update, Video players etc. Installation of these programs is fairly easy and does not require any special expertise.

Always remember to create and save a System Image after you have successfully executed a Windows installation, as this can be later used to restore your Windows or install a new one in case this one crashes. View my Backup and Restore Options post to learn the steps.

I hope your computer now runs smoother and faster! If not, I may be the bearer of bad news.


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