Installing Windows 7 is a fairly straightforward task, as daunting as the idea might sound if you've never done it before. But did you know that there are actually several different ways to install Windows 7?
There are, as you'll see below, and choosing the right way to install Windows 7 is probably the most important step of all.
This article will help you decide which Windows 7 install method is best for your situation, and the screenshot based walk-throughs I linked to will show you exactly how to install Windows 7 - quickly and painlessly.
Note: These tutorials work equally well in explaining how to install any version of Windows 7 like Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, etc.
After serious system problems it's often necessary to wipe your hard drive clean and install Windows 7 again from scratch.
A Windows 7 clean install will remove everything from the primary hard drive on your computer so a backup of the data you want to keep is absolutely necessary. Also, all of your software will need to be reinstalled after the clean install is complete.
The most frustrating and time consuming way to install Windows 7 is probably the Windows 7 clean install but it's almost always a certain fix for serious Windows problems.
If you're planning to install Windows 7 on a newly installed, empty hard drive then a Windows 7 new install is what you need to complete.
Important: If this is the first time you're installing Windows 7 but you're replacing an older operating system, you'll need to perform a clean install of Windows 7, linked above.
A Windows 7 Startup Repair doesn't seem like a way to install Windows 7 but with this tool, you are essentially reinstalling Windows 7.
Like the old Windows XP Repair Install, which was a true "copy over" of Windows XP, a Windows 7 Startup Repair is valuable when you need to keep your programs and data in tact but need to restore the Windows 7 system files to their original state.
In other words, a Windows 7 Startup Repair can be thought of as the "Windows 7 Repair Install."
A Windows 7 Startup Repair is often an easy fix for startup issues in Windows 7. It's best to try a Startup Repair before resorting to a clean install, described in the first link above.
Windows 7 Parallel Install
A less common way to install Windows 7 is in a way referred to as a "parallel install." A Windows 7 parallel install installs a second copy of Windows 7 on your PC.
Important: To be clear, after a parallel install, you will have two separate and generally unrelated Windows 7 installations on your computer.
Outside of some rare troubleshooting reasons, there are few reasons you'd want to install Windows 7 in parallel to another installation of Windows 7.
Usually, a parallel install is created by accident when making key mistakes during a clean install. A parallel install of Windows 7 with a different operating system makes sense if you'd like access to both Windows 7 and other OS. This is called dual booting.
"What About a Windows 7 Upgrade Install?"
I don't recommend doing a Windows 7 upgrade install. Yes, you may have a "Windows 7 Upgrade" license but that doesn't mean you actually have to install Windows 7 on top of Windows Vista or Windows XP.
A Windows 7 upgrade install could carry with it some of the application problems that you have on your current Vista or XP PC. A clean install of Windows 7, linked above, is a better way to go because everything will be installed new.