As an IT support technician, you can expect to be called on to install Windows in a variety of situations
You might need to install Windows on a new hard drive, after an existing Windows installation has become corrupted, or to upgrade from one OS to another
When buying a Windows operating system,
— the price is affected by the Windows edition
— type of license you purchase
— decide between 32-bit and 64-bit architecture
Windows 8.1 is the edition of
choice for a laptop or desktop computer used in a home or small office. This edition supports homegroups, but it doesn’t support joining a domain or BitLocker Encryption.
Windows 8.1 Professional (Windows 8.1 Pro) includes additional features at a higher price,
Windows 8.1 Pro supports homegroups, joining a domain, BitLocker, Client Hyper-V, Remote Desktop, and Group Policy.
Windows 8.1 Enterprise allows
for volume licensing in a large, corporate environment.
a lighter edition, is available for tablets, netbooks, and other mobile devices.
Windows 7 editions include Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, and Windows 7 Ultimate.
Editions of Windows Vista are Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, and Windows Vista Ultimate.
When buying Windows, you can purchase a retail license or an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) license. The OEM license costs less but can be installed only on a new computer. The boxed retail package contains the 32-bit DVD and 64-bit DVD (see Figure 8-1). You can also purchase and download Windows 8.1 from the Microsoft online store at microsoftstore.com.
The retail license costs less if you purchase a license to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 using Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant, as explained below. You are required to purchase the Windows 8.1 FULL license for a new computer or any computer that has an OS other than Windows 8 or Windows 7 installed
Recall that an operating system can process 32 bits or 64 bits at a time. A 64-bit installation of Windows generally performs better than a 32-bit installation if you have enough RAM.
Another advantage of 64-bit installations of Windows is they can support 64-bit applications, which run faster than 32-bit applications. Even though you can install 32-bit applications in a 64-bit 8 OS, for best performance, always choose 64-bit applications. Keep in mind that 64-bit installations of Windows require 64-bit device drivers.
For 32-Bit Windows
Processor 1 Ghz or faster; for Windows 8, support for NX, PAE, and SSE2
Memory (RAM) 1 GB
Free Hard Drive Space 16 GB
Video Device and Driver DirectX 9 device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
For 64-Bit Windows
Processor 1 Ghz or faster; for Windows 8, support for NX, PAE, and SSE2
Memory (RAM) 2 GB
Free Hard Drive Space 20 GB
Video Device and Driver DirectX 9 device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
The simplest way to find out if a system can be upgraded to Windows 8.1 is to download, install, and
run the Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant
Two methods to partition a hard drive:
The Master Boot Record (MBR) method is older, allows for 4 partitions, and is LIMITED to 2-TB drives.
The GUID Partition Table (GPT) method is newer, allows for any size hard drive, and, for Windows, can have up to 128 partitions on the drive. GPT is required for drives LARGER than 2 TB.
When an MBR or GPT partition is formatted with a file system and assigned a drive letter (such as drive C:), it is called a VOLUME.
Windows is always installed on a volume that uses the NTFS file system.
For most installations, you install Windows on the only hard drive in the computer and allocate all the space on the drive to on partition that Windows setup calls drive C:. Windows is installed in the C:Windows folder.
To understand if your system qualifies for Windows 8/7, it helps to understand how Windows relates to hardware by using device drivers and system UEFI/BIOS
When a computer is first turned on, it uses some devices such as the keyboard, monitor, and hard drive before the OS starts up.
The motherboard UEFI/BIOS is contained on a chip on the motherboard and manages these essential devices. This chip is called a firmware chip because it holds programs.
Older motherboards use firmware called BIOS (basic input/output system).
A much-improved replacement for BIOS is UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), which stores its setup information and some drivers on the MOTHERBOARD and also on the HARD DRIVE
The motherboard UEFI/BIOS provides three main functions:
The SYSTEM UEFI/BIOS contains instructions for RUNNING ESSENTIAL hardware devices before an operating system is started.
The STARTUP UEFI/BIOS STARTS the computer and FINDS a BOOT DEVICE that contains an operating system. After it finds a boot device, the firmware turns the startup process over to the OS.
The setup UEFI/BIOS is used to CHANGE motherboard settings.
Most computers today give you the option of using UEFI or legacy BIOS to manage booting the computer and turning it over to the operating system.
Legacy BIOS in UEFI FIRMWARE is called UEFI CSM (Compatibility Support Module) mode.
Device drivers are small programs stored on the hard drive that tell the computer how to COMMUNICATE with a specific hardware device such as a printer, network card, or scanner.
These drivers are installed on the hard drive when the OS is first installed, or when new hardware is added to the system.
A device driver is written to work for a specific OS, such as Windows 8.1 or 7. In addition, a 32-bit OS requires 32-bit drivers, and a 64-bit OS requires 64-bit drivers.
If you are not sure if your devices will work with Windows 8/7, one solution is to set up a dual boot.
A dual boot, also called a multiboot,
Allows you to install the new OS WITHOUT DISTURNING the old one so you can boot to either OS.
After the installation, you can test your software or hardware. If they work under the new OS, you can delete the old one.
If they don’t work, you can still boot to the old OS and use it. How to set up a dual boot is covered later in this chapter.
If you have applications written for Windows 7 or Vista that are not compatible with Windows 8, you can use COMPATIBILITY MODE to solve the problem.
Compatibility mode is a group of settings that can be applied to OLDER DRIVER or applications that might cause them to work in Windows 8
When the Computer does not have a DVD drive
You can buy Windows 8.1 on DVD or download it from the Internet.
Download Windows 8.1 from the Microsoft website.
Use an external DVD drive. Use an external DVD drive, which will most likely connect to the computer by way of a USB port.
Use a DVD drive on another computer on the network.
Factory Recovery Partition
If you have a laptop computer or a brand-name computer, such as a Dell, IBM, or Gateway, and you need to reinstall Windows, follow the recovery procedures given by the computer manufacturer.
A hard drive is divided into one or more partitions, and the hard drive on a brand-name computer is likely to have a hidden recovery partition that contains a recovery utility and installation files.
To access the utilities on the hidden partition so that you can perform a repair installation,
press a key during startup.
The key to press is displayed on the screen early in the boot before the OS is loaded.
Another type of Windows installation is when you install Windows in a virtual computer.
A virtual computer or Virtual Machine (VM) is software that simulates the hardware of a physical computer.
Using this software, you can install and run multiple operating systems at the same time on a single computer, which is called the host machine. These multiple instances of operating systems can be used to train users, run legacy software, and support multiple operating systems.
Software used to manage VMs installed on a workstation is called a HYPERVISOR
Some popular hypervisors for Windows are Client Hyper-V and Virtual PC by Microsoft (www.microsoft.com), VirtualBox by Oracle (www.virtualbox.org), and VMware Player by VMware, Inc. (www.vmware.com).
If you are installing Windows on a new hard drive,
You must perform a clean install.
If an OS is already installed on the hard drive, you have three choices:
In the Windows setup program, a clean install is called a custom installation. The main advantage of a clean install is that problems with the old OS are not carried forward and you get a fresh start.
During the installation, you will have the option to reformat the hard drive, erasing everything on the drive.
If you don’t format the drive, the data will still be on the drive.
After Windows is installed, you will need to install the applications. After you’re sure the new installation is working as expected, you can delete the Windows.old folder to save space on the drive. Windows 8 automatically deletes most of the content of this folder 28 days after the installation.
If the upgrade path allows it, you can perform an in-place upgrade installation.
An in-place upgrade is a Windows installation that is launched from the Windows desktop and the installation carries forward user settings and installed applications from the old OS to the new one.
A Windows OS is already in place before you begin the new installation. An in-place upgrade is faster than a clean install and is appropriate if the system is generally healthy and does not have problems.
In order to perform an in-place upgrade, Microsoft requires that certain editions and versions of Windows be installed already. These qualifying OSs are called UPGRADE paths.
You can install Windows in a second partition on the hard drive and create a dual- boot situation with the other OS, or even install three OSs, each in its own partition in a multiboot environment. Don’t create a dual boot unless you need two operating systems, such as when you need to verify that applications and hardware work under Windows 8.1 before you delete the old OS. Windows 8/7/Vista all require that they be the only operating system installed on a partition. So to set up a dual boot, you’ll need at least two partitions on the hard drive or a second hard drive
A 64-bit version of Windows can only be upgraded to a 64-bit OS. A 32-bit OS can only be upgraded to a 32-bit OS.
If you want to install a 64-bit version of Windows on a computer that already has a 32-bit OS installed, you must perform a clean install.
You cannot upgrade from Windows XP or Vista to Windows 8, and you cannot upgrade from XP to Windows 7. You must perform a clean install.
For a clean install or dual boot, you can decide to not use all the available space on the drive for the Windows partition. Here are reasons to not use all the available space:
You plan to install more than one OS on the hard drive, creating a dual-boot system.
Some people prefer to use more than one partition or volume to organize data on their hard drives.
Verify you have all application software CDs or DVDs available and all device drivers.
Back up all important data on the drive.
For upgrade installations and clean installs in which you do not plan to reformat the hard drive, run antivirus/anti-malware software to make sure the drive is free from malware.
If you want to begin the installation by booting from the Windows setup DVD or other media such as a USB device, use UEFI/BIOS setup to verify that the boot sequence is first the optical drive or USB device, and then the hard drive.
In UEFI/BIOS setup, disable any virus protection setting that prevents the boot area of the hard drive from being altered.
For a system that uses UEFI firmware, set the firmware to use UEFI mode (to use GPT and possibly Secure Boot) or UEFI CSM mode (to use MBR partitions on the hard drive). Know that Windows will install on a GPT drive only when UEFI CSM mode is disabled and will install on an MBR drive only when UEFI CSM mode is enabled.
For a laptop computer, connect the AC adapter and use this power source for the complete OS installation, updates, and installation of hardware and applications. You don’t want the battery to fail in the middle of the installation process.
An ISO file, also called an ISO image or disc image,
is an International Organization for Standardization image of an optical disc and includes the file system used. An ISO file has an .iso file extension.
After the installation, when you boot with a dual boot,
the boot loader menu automatically appears and asks you to select an operating system,
After you have installed Windows, you need to do the following:
Verify you have network access.
Activate Windows. Install updates and service packs for Windows.
Verify automatic updates are set as you want them.
Install applications, including anti-malware software.
Set up user accounts and transfer or restore from backup user data and preferences to the new system.
Turn Windows features on or off.
In order to make sure a valid Windows license has been purchased for each installation of Windows, Microsoft requires product activation.
Windows 8.1 setup requires you enter a product key during the installation and, if the computer is connected to the Internet, Windows will automatically activate on the next restart after the installation completes. R
Windows 8 includes its own, preinstalled anti-malware software called
As you install each device, reboot and verify the software or device is working before you move on to the next item. Most likely, you will need to do the following:
install the drivers for the motherboard. If you were not able to connect to the network earlier in the installation process, it might be because the drivers for the network port on the motherboard are not installed. Installing the motherboard drivers can solve the problem. These drivers might come on a CD bundled with the motherboard,
Even though Windows has embedded video drivers, install the drivers that came with the video card so that you can use all the features the card offers.
Install the printer. For a network printer, run the setup program that came with the printer and this program will find and install the printer on the network.
For other hardware devices, always read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for the installation.
Here are ways to use Device Manager to solve problems with a device:
Try uninstalling and reinstalling the device.
Look for error messages offered by Device Manager.
Update the drivers
The Programs and Features window appears, listing the programs installed on this computer where you can uninstall, change, or repair these programs.
Select a program from the list. Based on the software, the buttons at the top of the list will change.
or individuals or small organizations, use Windows Easy Transfer
in Windows 8/7/Vista to copy user
data and settings from one computer to another.
A deployment strategy
is a procedure to install Windows, device drivers, and applications on a computer and can include the process to transfer user settings, application settings, and user data files from an old installation to the new installation.
The high-touch with retail media strategy
is the strategy used in the installations described earlier in the chapter. All the work is done by a technician sitting at the computer.
A server used in this way is called a distribution server.
Except for upgrade installations, applications must be manually installed after the OS is installed
The User State Migration Tool (USMT) is a command-line tool that works only when the computer is a member of a Windows domain.
USMT is included in the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 8, and in the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows 7. .
To use the high-touch using a standard image strategy, a system administrator prepares an image called a standard image that includes the Windows OS, drivers, and applications that are standard to all the computers that might use the image.
A standard image is hardware independent, meaning it can be installed on any computer.
Drive-imaging software is used to copy the entire hard drive to another bootable media in the process called
Installing a standard image on another computer is called
image deployment, which always results in a clean install rather than an upgrade.
The lite-touch, high-volume deployment strategy uses a deployment server on the network to serve up the installation after a technician starts the process.
The files in the installation include Windows, device drivers, and applications, and collectively are called the distribution sha
The technician starts the installation by booting the computer to Windows PE.
Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) is a minimum operating system used to start the installation.
The computer boots to the Preboot eXecution Environment or Pre-Execution Environment (PXE) that is contained in the UEFI or BIOS code on the motherboard.
PXE searches for a server on the network to provide a bootable operating system (Windows PE on the deployment server).
After the installation begins, the technician is not required to respond to prompts by the setup program,
which is called an unattended installation.
These responses, such as the administrator password or domain name, are stored in an
The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit can be used by a system administrator from a network location to query hundreds of computers in a single scan.
The software automatically examines hardware and applications on each computer to verify compatibility with Windows 7 or 8.
The zero-touch, high-volume deployment strategy is the most difficult to set up and requires complex tools. The installation does not require a technician to start the process (called pull automation).
Rather, the installation uses push automation, meaning that a server automatically pushes the installation to a computer when a user is not likely to be sitting at it. The entire remote network installation is automated and no user intervention is required.
The USMT software uses three commands:
scanstate copies settings and files from the source computer to a safe location.
loadstate applies these settings and files to the destination computer.
usmtutils provides encryption options and hard-link management.
A batch file
Has a .bat file extension and contains a list or batch of OS commands that are executed as a group.