Custom PC Building
Part 4: Install Windows
If you've never installed an OS before it is usually a simple task but there are issues that can arise. Installing Windows on a custom machine can take a few extra steps than installing it on a pre-built machine. For this guide, we're going to use Windows 7 but you can of course install Windows Vista, XP, Linux, or even Mac OS X. Before you begin make sure you have the product key that goes with your operating system handy.
Before you install Windows, make sure you have the optimal version for your system for example if you have more than 4GB of RAM, you'll want to use 64-bit Windows instead of the standard 32-bit if supported by your board. Once you've got the right version of Windows, load the installation DVD (or flash drive, if that be the case) prepare to install the Operating System.
Step One: Start The Install: Start up your computer and it should automatically boot into the Windows installer. If you ever get a "Press any key to boot from CD" option, make sure to hit a key on your keyboard to continue.
Note: If you are not using a brand new drive you may have to format it first. Click on the currently-used partition, click "Drive options (advanced)", and then hit "Format". It should format the drive to be Windows-compatible, after which you can hit next and let the installation run. The installer will copy all the necessary files to your disk and reboot a number of times in the process. You may be asked for some information along the way. You'll know you're done when you hear the familiar startup chime and boot into the default Windows desktop.
Step Three: Install Drivers: The next thing you need to do before you actually use your computer is install your drivers. If your Ethernet or Wi-Fi works out-of-the-box, Windows may find most or all of your drivers for you. If not, you'll need to load the CD that came with your motherboard and addons to install the Ethernet or Wi-Fi drivers you need to access the internet.
Note: Once you've got the internet up and running, Windows will install drivers for you. It might not catch everything though, so you'll have to install some manually. The CD's that came with your motherboard, video card, and other hardware are probably already out of date but provides a good starting point. Next you'll want to download the drivers manually from the manufacturer's web site. Open up Device Manager by opening up the Start menu and searching for "Device Manager". Look for anything that has a question mark or an exclamation point next to it.
Note: If it says "Unknown Device" next to the driver-less device, try inserting the CD that came with your motherboard and seeing if there are any drivers that aren't listed in the Device manager, and try installing those from the manufacturer's web site. Eventually, you should be able to get everything installed.
Step Four: Windows Updates: The last thing you'll want to do is get Windows up to date. Chances are, you've already gotten a notification from Windows Update at this point, but if not, head into your Start Menu, go to Programs, and hit Windows Update. Install all the updates it gives you, and reboot your computer. Check for updates again and it'll have a whole new slew of them for you. You'll have to do this quite a few times, but eventually it should stop serving you notifications and you'll be all up to date. When you are, you're ready to actually start using your computer.
This is also a good time to get some antivirus on your machine, as well as any other basic apps you want.
Congratulations! You've bought, built, and set up a working computer from start to finish! Enjoy your new custom-built machine.
For further assistance in your PC build please join the free PC forums where you can find anything PC related and get the answers you need. The 727Customs free PC forum link: http://727customz-pc-forum.proboards.com/