Changing the name of a server inside of a domain? Finding computers whose names don’t match with their IPs? You may need to do some DNS “magic”.
Microsoft has released a free e-book entitled “Deploying Windows 7 – Essential Guidance from the Windows 7 Resource Kit and Technet Magazine”.
Written for IT professionals looking to learn more about the most common pitfalls and problems before starting out on the always intriguing task of upgrading the OS of all their corporate systems, or those who are just starting considering the matter, this should be a most handy resource. Grab your free copy of “Deploying Windows 7” now.
Microsoft has released a downloadable version of the good old Windows Help Reader for those times when you need to go old school in Windows 7. By that I mean having to open those infamous .HLP files.
You can fetch WinHlp32.exe for Windows 7 by visiting the download page on Microsoft Download Center.
It’s simple to create a bootable USB to install newer Windows, Windows 8, Windows 7 or Vista as long as you follow this guide.
UPDATE! READ THIS!
You can now easily skip most of the steps further down in this guide. Why? You can simply download the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from Microsoft and create a bootable USB to install your desired Microsoft Windows operating system.
Click here to download the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool
Despite its name, this tool works with both Windows 7, Windows 8 and newer.
The tool will automatically format the USB stick you select to make it bootable, then extract the ISO-file you choose and copy the files onto the USB stick. Once the process is done, you’re good to go!
Click here to check the official USB/DVD Download Tool guide if you get stuck or have any issues downloading the tool.
Quick note for Windows 8: Please check for any new BIOS versions before installing. Many motherboards have been getting new BIOS updates for Windows 8 optimization. Read the notes carefully before updating your motherboard using these new BIOS versions, as the manufacturer may have special instructions for updating the motherboard to support a completely new BIOS file format known as .CAP, before you can update to the absolutely latest BIOS version.
First you need to fulfill the following list of prerequisites, which I have expanded on much more than most guides similar to this one, so that you will be prepared for everything:
A USB stick or similar USB storage device (aka” USB Flash Drive”) with a minimum of 3 GB capacity
(Tip: Some USB drives don’t work well as boot devices on certain systems. If you experience any issues, try a different flash drive.)
Windows 8, Windows 7 or Vista source files (from an ISO file or DVD)
(Tip: If you have obtained an ISO file, you may extract it using 7Zip or WinRAR.)
BIOS Settings and Hardware Checks:
Change the boot priority of USB devices so that they are above any harddisks.
Check the boot order for your hard disks. If your USB connected device shows up here, usually you need to hit “Page Up” (PGUP) to move it all the way to the top.
Check that your computer supports booting from USB devices. If not, then you probably can’t boot from your USB media. You would need to run the installation from your DVD-drive or obtain an external DVD-drive or adapter.
(Tip: See your PC manual or a tech savvy friend if you have issues with this step. Normally you need to press either F2, F3, F5 or F12 to access the boot menu. Sometimes it helps to press ESC to see what you need to press if neither of those are working.)
Now let’s make a bootable USB device!
You need to obtain the correct version of BOOTSECT.EXE (64-bit/x64 or 32-bit/x86)
If you’re making the USB bootable media for a 64-bit version of Windows on a 32-bit version of Windows, you need to get yourself the 32-bit version of the BOOTSECT.EXE tool used
If you’re like me, living on the bleeding edge with Windows 7 RC, you might have noticed the watermark in the right-hand corner of your desktop. Such things annoy me a bit, so I went to work (Googled) how to remove it, and found a great solution.
To remove your watermark(s), download this nifty little watermark removal application, right-click the appropriate file for your system (32-bit or 64-bit) and run it as an administrator. Follow the on-screen instructions and you’re set!
This removes watermarks for all Windows versions and all languages by searching for some standard watermarking strings and modifying the user32.dll.mui file instead of replacing it with a pre-patched file like others do.
Ignore any weird question marks that might be displayed in the CMD window – it still works perfectly.