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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fresh Install of Windows 7

I had a client contact me who is going to Grad school in the Fall. This Summer she had wanted to try using Ubuntu, I had installed it on her laptop. Everything went well with the install, the laptop was old enough that we did not have to worry about UEFI(http://www.uefi.org/).  She used Libre Office and Drive as office suite, she had good success with this route. She did eventually run into and issue where she needed to use the Microsoft Office Suite.The solution I suggested was to use a VM(Virtual Machine), the client was game. I installed a Virtual Machine of Windows Vista in Virtual Box and installed the Microsoft Office Suite in Vista. I mapped the Documents folder in Ubuntu as a network Drive in the VM of Vista so she could save her work there. All was well in the productivity arena but I kept hearing grumblings in the entertainment areana. The two big ones were iTunes and Netflix. Both of which could have ran in the VM but her laptop just does not have the horsepower for that. We tried a few work around's but nothing ever quite worked right. In the end the only answer was to install Windows 7 on the laptop.

This laptop had suffered an harddrive failure last year. At that time I replaced the HDD but unfortunately lost the restore partition with the hard drive. She had been faithful on her backups so that at least was her data covered. To do the install I needed an OEM copy of Windows 7 64 bit Home Edition. She did have a DVD from the company and we had the key on the bottom of the laptop. She had the copy of Microsoft Office she wanted installed so I had everything I needed to do the job.
Next plan of action was to do a back up of all of her current data. I have a local server I use for this, using Samba i backed up the contents of her home directory to the server. She had about 75 gigabytes of data this took about two hours to finish. Once I verified the backup i could move forward and prepare for the install.

I made sure the laptop was connected with a CAT 6 cable to the router for network connectivity. Put the Windows 7 DVD in the optical drive, I had to hit F12 at the BIOS screen to select boot device priority. I selected the optical drive and the DVD booted into Windows. Windows started the install process and ask me which hard drive to use. There is only one hard drive but it had two partitions. I deleted both partitions, then selected the empty space for the install. Install was done the Windows key activated, EULA accepted and the laptop rebooted. Once it restarted the update process began.

 I downloaded the Windows 7 Service pack 1 standalone(http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5842) from Microsoft. This sped up the update process. The update process took about one day to make sure everything was patched. I was able to begin installing third party software. The first thing I started with was the virus protection. I installed Microsoft Security Essentials this is always works well for me. Then i installed the software the client asked for, which was iTunes, Microsoft Office suite, Google Chrome and Firefox. After everything was installed I checked to make sure everything worked.

At this point I could start transferring the data back to the laptop from the server. All the data was transferred and put back into it's appropriate folders. I will maintain a backup for the client for 90 days. For security I have the client use a standard user account and only have one admin account. I explain to use the standard account for every day things like word processing and web browsing. And to only use the admin account for things like installing software or adding new standard users.

The client picked up her laptop yesterday, I asked her to take it home and use it for a few days. After that time we will review everything and make sure I covered all of her needs.