Wiki Article

How to: Do a custom installation of Windows

Technical Level : Intermediate

Summary

There are multiple ways to install Windows on your PC. In this article, we take a look at the Custom Install routine which offers multiple options during setup, which range from performing a clean install and partitioning your hard disk. Performing a custom install is easy whether you are using Windows 7, 8.1 or Windows 10. It offers granular options for preserving files in addition to being able to completely format the hard disk, erasing all data.

Details

This article covers performing a custom install using the following versions of Windows:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8.1

Recover files and other data fro mthe Windows.old folder.

One of the benefits of performing a Custom Install; after setup is complete, you can recover personal files and application data from the Windows.old folder. Learn more about recovering your files from Windows.old:

Recover personal files from the Windows.old Folder such as Documents Pictures and Windows Live Mail Emails in Windows 10

Learn more:

How to Activate and resolve common Product key issues in Windows 10

For this article, we will start off with the latest version of Windows, Windows 10.

Custom install Windows 10:

Once you have your Windows installation media ready, all you need to do is boot from the disc or USB thumb drive to begin setup.

See instructions: How to download official Windows 10 ISO files

Review the following guide for instructions and details about configuring your BIOS or UEFI boot settings for DVD, CD, USB or SD Card.

BIOS/UEFI Setup Guide: Boot from a CD, DVD, USB Drive or SD Card

Once your computer is set to boot from the DVD, you should see this option.

 

The Windows logo will appear on screen, this might be here for a while, as long as you see the indicater, everything should be ok.

Select your Language, Time and Keyboard method then click Next.

Click Install now

Wait while Setup starts.

Accept the license terms and click Next

Click Custom

Select the Primary Partition then click Next

You will receive the following warning:


The partition you selected might contain files from a previous Windows Installation. If it does, these files and folders will be moved to a folder named Windows.old. You will be able to access the information in Windows.old, but you will be able to use your previous version of Windows.

Click OK

Wait while Windows installs

When this phase of setup is complete, Windows will automatically restart and reboot into setup again.

Windows is detecting and installing your hardware. After this is complete, Windows will restart one last time.

Out of Box Experience

The Out of Box Experience page is where you get to configure detailed settings in Windows, which includes creating a user account, privacy, sync PC settings and install modern applications.

Windows will check if there is an active Internet connection. If it does not find one, you will be presented with the following screen.

Create a Local Account and click Next

Wait while Windows finalizes your settings

Continue to wait while Windows installs modern applications.

When setup is complete you can retrieve any personal files from the Windows.old

Browse to C:\ Local Disk and open the Windows.old folder

Custom install Windows 7:

To learn how to change your BIOS options to boot from the DVD drive, see the following tutorial:

http://notebooks.com/2011/05/05/how-to-load-bios-and-change-boot-configuration/

Once your computer is set to boot from the DVD, you should see this option.

Windows 7 is loading files

Select a language, a time, a currency, and a keyboard or another input method, and then click Next.

Click Install Now

Wait while temporary files are loaded.

Click Custom (Advanced)

When the setup menu appears, select the custom (advanced) option, select the disk partition where you would like to install Windows 7. Click Next.

You will receive the following warning:

The partition you selected might contain files from a previous Windows Installation. If it does, these files and folders will be moved to a folder named Windows.old. You will be able to access the information in Windows.old, but you will be able to use your previous version of Windows.

Click OK

Setup will now start the installation. During the installation, your machine will be restarted several times.

You can then recover your personal files from the Windows.old folder and reinstall all your applications and drivers.

http://notebooks.com/2010/11/09/how-to-recover-documents-music-and-email-after-upgrading-with-the-windows-old-folder/

Windows 8 Custom install:

To learn how to change your BIOS options to boot from the DVD drive, the following tutorial:

http://notebooks.com/2011/05/05/how-to-load-bios-and-change-boot-configuration/ 

The Windows 8 logo will appear on screen, this might be here for a while, as long as your see the indicator, everything should be ok.

You should now arrive at this screen, select your time and currency format then click Next.

Click Install Now

Wait while setup starts up

Enter your product key when prompted

Accept the End User License agreement and click Next

Click Custom install Windows only (advanced)

Select the system drive where Windows 8 is installed.

You will receive the following warning:

The partition you selected might contain files from a previous Windows Installation. If it does, these files and folders will be moved to a folder named Windows.old. You will be able to access the information in Windows.old, but you will be able to use your previous version of Windows.

(At all cost, do NOT click anything named Format or Delete or Partition. So even doing a custom install, your personal files are still preserved. Click OK

Setup will now start the installation. During the installation, your machine will be restarted several times.

When the installation is complete, you can complete the Out of Box experience such as selecting your computer, create a username, password, your time zone. You can then proceed to download the latest updates for Windows and reinstall your applications and drivers.

Windows 8 Out of Box Experience page

You can then recover your personal files from the Windows.old folder and reinstall all your applications and drivers. Or you can use Windows Easy Transfer to restore your backup.
How to retrieve your files from the Windows.old folder – Microsoft

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