Now that you have download the Public Beta .ISO file and use it to create a bootable DVD you can start the installation.
Before you start, check you BIOS boot order to verify that your DVD is the first boot device listed. After you place the DVD media into the DVD drive reboot the PC. You should see a brief message displayed: Press any key to boot from CD or DVD Don’t hesitate; press the spacebar key to start the install process outlined below. You will see the following messages on your display, some appear for a brief time, others will be displayed for longer periods or until you fill in the required field as the installation progresses.
Below is what you can expect to see: 1) Windows is loading files... 2) Starting Windows 3) Animated Windows logo 4) Blue screen with rotating circle 5) Install Windows - For testing purposes only. Build 7000
6) Installing Windows Popup with three fields to "Enter your language and other preferences” Language to install: (Defaults to English) Time and currency format: Defaults to English (United States) Keyboard or input method: US
After making any changes (the defaults are correct when you downloaded the "English" .ISO file.
7) Click "Next" to continue. 8) "Install now" button appears. Two options located at the bottom left of this Window: a) What to know before installing Windows. b) Repair your computer (Do not select this option for a Clean Install) Click on the 'Install now' Arrow/button.
9) Setup is starting ...
Warning: If you see the following error message: “Windows could not collect information for [OSImage] since the specified image file [install.wim] does not exist.” The most likely cause is the result of a bad DVD. You should set your DVD burn rate to a slower speed and then create another DVD.
10) Please read the license terms. Don't skip over this as there is important information and it’s worth your time to read it. For example: (Below are just some of the items included in the license terms.) How many computers you can use it on. Expiration date: August 1st, 2009 Windows Defender Consent for Internet Services Drivers for any new devices you add Windows Update CEIP IPv6 Internet Protocol Activation Product Keys
After reading the license terms: Note the progress bar information at the bottom of the screen is now at step 2 "Installing Windows". Check the "I accept the license terms and click 'Next'
11) Which type of installation do you want? For a "Clean Install" choose 'Custom'
12) Where do you want to install Windows? Your PC will be scanned and a list of Drives and or Drive partitions will be displayed. This includes Total Size and Free Space and Partition type.
For changing partition size and types click on the 'Drive option' (Advance) option located in the lower right. There is also a 'Load Driver' option, presumably for SATA drives.
I had to repartition and format my drive so using the 'Advanced' option I deleted my existing partitions and created a 'New' Partition. As it turns out Windows 7 creates a small 200MB 'System' partition, then a partition of the size you specified for the first partition or the entire drive if you only want one partition. The format option is limited and only does a quick NTFS format. After you are finished press the 'Next' button.
13) Installing Windows box opens. Expanding Files Installing features Installing updates Completing installation
14) Restarting (Reboot) Do not press the "any key" during any of the reboots as part of the installation process, you do want or need to boot from the DVD. Let the PC boot normally to continue with the install.
15) Registry update
16) Completing Installation, progress bar is now at about 66%.
17) Setup will now continue after rebooting your pc.
18) Setup preparing your computer for first use.
19) Windows 7 Ultimate Screen Here is where you create a User Account name and your Computer name. Windows fills in the computer name field with a combination of your User/Account name and appended '-PC' at the end. I changed the computer name to something less obvious. Then click the 'Next' button.
20) Enter a password and retype it in the second field. Third field asks for a password hint.
21) Type your product key for activation. I unchecked the “Automatically activate Windows when I'm online box” as activation can be performed anytime within 30 days.
22) Help protect your computer and improve Windows automatically. I choose the 'Ask me later' option as opposed to the 'Use recommended settings' option as I wanted to see what the 'Windows Update' site would show after the installation completed and I was able to log on to my account.
23) Time Zone settings screen.
24) Select your computer's current location. Selected 'Home network', however the “Public Location” may provide better security for road warriors.
25) Connecting to your network and applying settings.
25) Windows is finalizing your settings
26) Welcome screen and Preparing your desktop... message.
27) Desktop wallpaper appears with a “big” fish displayed. (Could this be a Freudian slip, a subtle message to catch Windows XP users who never migrated to Vista) Plus 'View important messages' popup Clicking this will load Control Panel/System and Security/Action Center This shows your Virus Protection' status Also your Windows Update status.
27) Windows Activation: Click ‘Start’, next right click on ‘Computer’ in the menu list and then click on ‘Properties’. Now scroll down and click on ‘Activate Windows Now’.
Activation was the one thing I could not perform as neither of my two network cards could establish a connection.
28) Completed installation consumed 6 GB of disk space.