Is it time to update your operating system? Are you considering making the switch from Windows to Linux? You may want to try having both of them installed at the same time. Follow this guide to install any brand of operating system on your computer.
Method 1 of 3: Determine which operating system to install
Step 1. Review the system requirements
If you have decided that you want to install a new operating system, you first need to determine which one you want to use. Operating systems have different system requirements, so if you have an older computer, make sure it can handle a newer operating system.
- Most Windows installations require at least 1GB of RAM and at least 15-20GB of hard drive space. Make sure your comparator can handle this. If not, you may need to install an older operating system, such as Windows XP.
- Linux operating systems do not require as much space or computer power as Windos operating systems. Requirements vary depending on the distribution you choose (Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, etc.).
Step 2. Decide whether to buy or download
Windows licenses must be purchased. Each license comes with a key that is used for one installation. Most Linux distributions are free to download and install as much as you like, although some enterprise versions (Red Hat, SUSE, etc.) are locked and require purchase.
Step 3. Research your software compatibility
Make sure that the operating system you want to install supports the programs you want to use. If you use Microsoft Office for work, you will not be able to install it on a Linuz machine. There are substitute programs available, but functionality may be limited.
Many games that work on Windows will not work on Linux. The number of supported titles is on the rise but keep in mind that if you are an avid gamer, your collection may not transfer properly
Step 4. Get your new operating system
If you purchased a copy of Windows from a store, you should have received an installation disc along with the product code. If you do not have the disc, but you do have a valid code, you must download a copy of the disc from the Internet. If you are installing Linux, you can download a distribution ISO file from the developer's website.
An ISO file is a disk image that needs to be burned to a disk or copied to a bootable USB
Step 5. Make a backup of your data
When you are installing a new operating system, you will probably do a hard drive cleaning during the process. This means that you will lose all your files on the computer, unless you make a backup copy. Always make sure that all important files are copied to the backup folders before starting the installation process. Use an external hard drive or copy the data to a DVD.
- If you are installing one operating system in addition to another, you will not have to delete any files. It is still wise to back up your important files just in case.
- You cannot back up programs. You will have to reinstall them once you finish installing your new operating system.
Method 2 of 3: Install Your New Operating System
Step 1. Determine the installation order
If you are installing a Linux distribution that you want to run alongside Windows, you will have to install Windos first and then Linux. This is because Windows has a very strict bootloader that must be set before Linux is installed, otherwise Windows will not load.
Step 2. Boot from the installation disc
Insert the installation disc into the optical drive and restart the computer. Typically, a computer boots from a hard drive first, so you will have to adjust a few options in your BIOS to boot from the floppy drive. You can enter BIOS by tapping the designated Setup key during the boot process. The key will be displayed on the same screen as the manufacturer's logo.
- Some common Setup keys are F2, F10, F12, and Delete / Del.
- Once you are in the Setup menu, navigate to the Boot section. Make the DVD / CD drive the primary boot device. If you are installing from USB, make sure the drive is inserted and then select it as the primary boot device.
- Once you select the correct drive, save your changes and close Setup. Your computer will restart.
Step 3. Test your Linux distribution before installing
Most Linux distributions come with a copy that can be loaded directly from the installation disc. This will allow you to "test" your new operating system before committing to the installation process. Once you are ready to install, click on the installation program on the desktop.
This is only possible with Linux distributions. Windos does not allow you to test the operating system before installing
Step 4. Wait for the installation program to load
Regardless of the chosen operating system, the installation program will need to copy some files to your computer before continuing. This can take several minutes, depending on the speed of your computer's hardware.
You will most likely need to choose some basic options, such as language and keyboard layout
Step 5. Enter the product key
If you are installing Windows 8, you will need to enter the product key before you can begin the installation. Older versions of Windows will ask for the product key after installation is complete. Linux users don't need a product key, unless it's a paid version like Red Hat.
Step 6. Choose the type of installation
Windows will give you the option to Update or perform a Default installation. Even if you are upgrading from an old version of Windows, it is highly recommended that you choose "Default" and start from scratch. This will minimize problems that may occur later when combining the old and new options.
If you are going to install Linux, you will be given the option to install alongside the existing operating system (Windows) or erase the disk and install Linux only. Choose the option that best suits your needs. If you choose to install while leaving Windows, you will have the option of choosing how much hard drive space you want to designate for Linux
Step 7. Format the partitions
If you are going to install Windows, you will have to choose in which partition of the hard disk you want to install it. Erasing the partitions will delete the data within the partition and return the space to the unallocated section. Select the unallocated space and create a new partition.
If you are installing Linux, the partition must be formatted in the Ext4 format
Step 8. Configure your Linux options
Before starting the installation, the Linux installer will ask for your time zone and you will have to create a username and password. You will use it to enter the Linux distribution as well as to make changes.
Windows users will fill out a personal information after completing the installation
Step 9. Wait to complete the installation
Depending on the speed of your computer, it may take up to an hour to finish. Most facilities do not need intervention at this point. Your computer may restart multiple times during the installation process.
Step 10. Create a Windows login
Once the Windows installation is complete, you will need to create a user. You can also choose to create a user, although this is not necessary. After creating the login, you will be asked for the product key.
In Windows 8, you will first be asked to configure the colors. Afterwards, you can choose to sign in with a Microsoft account or use the traditional Windows user
Step 11. Install the drivers and programs
Once the installation is complete, you will arrive at the desktop. From here, you can start installing your programs and make sure the drivers are up to date. Make sure to install an antivirus program if you are going to be connecting to the Internet.
Method 3 of 3: Install a Specific Operating System
Step 1. Install Windows 7
Windows 7 is currently Microsoft's most popular operating system. Follow this guide for specific instructions.
Step 2. Install Windows 8
Windows 8 is Microsoft's newest operating system. Click here for a detailed guide to the installation process.
Step 3. Install Ubuntu
Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution available. Click for step-by-step instructions for installing the Ubuntu distribution.
Step 4. Install Mac OS X.
If you want to update your copy of Mac OS X, take a look at this guide.
Step 5. Install Linux Mint
Linux Mint is a newer Linux distribution, rapidly increasing in popularity. Follow this guide to learn how to install it.
Step 6. Install Fedora
Fedora is an older Linux distribution, which has a long history of stability. This guide will show you how to install it.
Step 7. Install Mac OS X on an Intel or AMD computer (Hackintosh).
If you have some patience and desire to install Mac OS X on your PC, read the article in green.
- A good way to make setup faster is when you are backing up your data. Do not copy the data, but move it. And then defragment the disk. Try to do it the night before installing the new operating system, as the installation will be able to format the disk much faster. This is especially fine if you have an IDE drive over 40 gigabits or a Serial ATA (SATA) drive over 500 gigabits.
- Some operating systems, specifically Linux, have expert settings and normal settings. If you don't know about disk partitions, use automatic configuration. It will do the disk partitions for you.
- Make sure to back up everything before installing, unless you are doing an update. However, it is also smart to make backup copies while you update.
- If you are going from Windows to Linux and you don't know much about Linux, perhaps a full installation is not the best. If your computer is new enough to boot from USB, install Linux on a USB stick. If not, boot from the CD to use it.
- Windows will not be able to read Linux partitions.
- If you are installing Windows and browsing the Internet, be sure to install anti-virus software before doing so.