Installing dual boot Windows 7 RC on your Laptop

This is a complete guide on how to install Windows 7 RC1 on your laptop computer. for this test I used HP dv4290px-Windows_7_RC

Please read this guide carefully before starting, if you have any questions please ask before you start. and please remember that this procedure can be dangerous, I can help you but I can’t be held responsible if you fry your laptop or lose important data

Since Windows 7 in not yet released, Microsoft is offering you to try Windows 7 for free till June 1st 2010. which is almost 1 year from now.

The download is about 3.2 GB and it will take a while for most people. Please carful that there are two version of windows 7 32bits and 64bits, most modern laptops support x64. So unless you have a good reason not to select the 64 bit version.

Now that you have the ISO file, you need to burn it to a DVD and for that you will need a 3rd party software. Usually laptops are equipped with a DVD writer and bundled with a DVD creation software (Cyberlink , Nero) you can use that or you can download anther dvd burning software such as Roxio, magic ISO etc.

  • burn the ISO to a free DVD. make sure that the burn process completes successfully.

Lets now prepare the laptop. Most laptops today come with Windows Vista pre-installed on one partition and another partition for recovery, or just one big partition.

  • Insert the windows 7 DVD into the laptop and restart it.

Generally right after the laptop boots it allows to press some special key to open the boot device menu, on hp laptops you will need to press Esc then choose “select boot device”. on other brands it can be Del, Ins, F1,F12 just read the instruction on the boot screen of the laptop. choose the DVD drive as the boot source

The laptop will now start from from the DVD drive. you will be asked to choose one of two options before the installation starts. Just press Enter leaving the first option selected.
A few seconds later you will be prompted to choose a language and a location, please do so correctly.

  • Now careful: DO NOT SELECT UPGRADE select the second option “New installation” marked with the scary “Advanced”.
  • Make sure to select the new partition we created before or the extra partition in your laptop, DO NOT LEAVE THE PRIMARY PARTITION SELECTED OR YOU MAY ERASE YOUR WINDOWS VISTA. click next.
  • The installation will now start. It will take around 15-20 mins to end. it will restart the laptop twice. DO NOT BOOT FROM THE DVD drive again, if you have to, go to the booting device selection menu and choose local hard drive (notebook hard drive). select Windows 7 from the OS selection list every time the installation is restarted.
  • when everything is done you will be asked for the license key, type down the key that was given to you by Microsoft.

Thats it Windows 7 is now officially installed. but it is not over yet, you will need to install drivers.

your laptop probably have many accessories (webcam, bluetooth , WLAN,LAN,fingerprint. etc) each device requires it’s own driver. Fortunately most of the time Windows Vista drivers will work on Windows 7.

If you have a drivers CD with your laptop then great, just insert it and run all driver installations. if not, you will have to download the drivers from the Internet. Right click “Computer” from the start menu and click manage then click device manager. Every unidentified device will need a driver, if you can’t see any question mark next to all drivers names, then you are lucky, Windows 7 has detected and installed all your hardware, but you may want to reinstall important drivers such as the graphics adapter’s driver.

  • Go to your Laptop manufacturer’s website ( for this example) and find the support and drivers section. Browse for your laptop’s model. now download Windows Vista (or Windows 7 if available) drivers. Do not forget what version did you choose for the windows 7 download 32bit or 64bit and download the drivers accordingly.

Thats it, now you have a dual boot laptop with both windows Vista and windows 7

How do you like windows 7? was it what you expected? what would you like to see improved?