Install WIndows 7 Beta

Installing the Windows 7 Beta

What you need to know before installing the Beta

Thank you for participating in the Windows 7 Beta. To help make sure you have a great experience, please read this section before you install the software—even if you’ve previously been a beta tester.

  • The Windows 7 Beta is a pre-release version of Windows. While we consider this a stable and high-quality beta, it’s not the finished product. It could crash your computer or cause you to lose important files or information.
  • The Beta will stop working on August 1, 2009. To continue using your PC, please be prepared to reinstall a prior version of Windows or a subsequent release of Windows 7 before the expiration date. You won’t be able to upgrade from the Beta to the final retail version of Windows 7.
  • Important Note to Internet Explorer 8 Beta testers: If you’re already testing Internet Explorer 8, please be aware that the version in the Windows 7 Beta is at a different stage of release. If you’re beta-testing Windows 7, you need to use the version of Internet Explorer 8 that comes with it.

To learn more, see Windows 7 Beta: Frequently Asked Questions.

Please do…
  • Do install the Beta only on a dedicated test computer.
  • Do make frequent backups while testing the Beta. You can back up files to an external hard disk, a DVD or CD, or a network folder. (See How to backup a PC.)
  • Do prepare a recovery disc. A recovery disc restores your computer to its out-of-the-box state. Most computers come with one. If yours didn’t, contact your PC maker.
  • Do update your antivirus program, run it, and then disable it before installing the Beta. After you install the Beta, remember to re-enable the antivirus program.
  • Do connect to the Internet after you install the Beta. Being connected helps make sure you get useful security and hardware updates. (If you don’t have an Internet connection, you can still install the Beta.)
  • Do download the Release Notes. Release Notes provide important information that you should know before installing and using Windows 7. You should familiarize yourself with all of the known issues in this document prior to installing the software. For example, the Release Notes describe a bug in which MP3 files may become corrupted and provide information on mitigating risk.
Please don’t…
  • Don’t install the Beta if you’re uncomfortable troubleshooting your own PC problems. Microsoft does not provide technical support for the Windows 7 Beta.
  • Don’t install the Beta on your primary home or work computer. Microsoft is not responsible for downtime stemming from the Windows 7 Beta.
Getting ready to install the Beta
What you’ll need
  • A blank DVD
  • A PC with a DVD burner
  • A test PC for the Windows 7 Beta that meets these minimum hardware recommendations (specific to the Beta and subject to change in the final version of Windows 7). Please do not use a PC you rely on for your work or daily use:
    • 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor
    • 1 GB of system memory
    • 16 GB of available disk space
    • Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB memory (in order to enable Aero theme)
    • DVD-R/W Drive
    • Internet access (to download the Beta and get updates)

Please note: Some product features of Windows 7, such as the ability to watch and record live TV or navigate through the use of “touch,” might require advanced or additional hardware.

Important recommendation

As you know, the point of beta testing is to find things we need to fix. As you help us uncover issues, we’ll post fixes on Windows Update. So we recommend you keep your PC set to automatically check for updates through Windows Update. Please also stay current with the Release Notes, which are regularly updated with new notices and information.

To kick-off this process, before installing the Beta, please read the Release Notes. In particular, review the MP3 files and Windows Media Center notes and install the related updates before using the Beta.

So, to keep your PC running the Windows 7 Beta up-to-date, please:

  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet and select the option to “Go online to get the latest updates for installation” when you install the Windows 7 Beta.
  • Set Windows Update to install updates automatically.
  • Check the Release Notes before you install the Beta, and regularly from then on. In particular, please review the MP3 files and Media Center notes and install the related updates before using the Beta.
How to install the Windows 7 Beta

Step 1: Download the Windows 7 Beta

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How to download the Windows 7 Beta

We’re sorry. Downloads of the Windows 7 Beta are no longer available.

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Step 2: Create an installation DVD

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How to create an installation DVD

The Windows 7 Beta download is an ISO file, which you’ll need to burn onto a blank disc before you can install it. To do that, you’ll need to use software designed for burning ISO files.

In addition to commercial ISO burning software, there are free programs such as ISOBuster and Active ISO Burner. To find one, go to a site such as Download.com or Tucows and search for “ISO,” “DVD,” and “burn”.

Follow the instructions that came with your program to create a Windows 7 Beta installation disc.

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Step 3: Install the Windows 7 Beta

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Determine whether to do a custom (clean) installation or an upgrade installation

Now you must make an important decision: whether to perform a custom (clean) installation or an upgrade installation.

Custom (clean) installation:

  • Your computer has no operating system installed, or it’s running a version of Windows prior to Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (including Windows XP).
  • You do NOT want to preserve your data, programs, or system drivers.
  • You want to delete your current operating system and replace it with Windows 7.
  • You want to create a multiboot system by installing the Windows 7 Beta on a separate hard disk partition. (For more on multiboot, see Install more than one operating system).

Once you’ve installed Windows 7, you can use Windows Easy Transfer to move data and settings from your other Windows computer to your new system.

Upgrade installation:

  • Your computer is running Windows Vista with Service Pack 1. (Not sure? Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties. Under Windows edition, look for “Service Pack 1” next to your Windows Vista edition name. If you don’t have Service Pack 1 installed, or your computer is running an earlier version of Windows, you can’t perform an upgrade installation. )
  • You DO want to preserve your data, programs, or system drivers.
  • You’re upgrading from either a 32-bit version of Windows Vista to a 32-bit version of Windows 7, or a 64-bit version of Windows Vista to a 64-bit version of Windows 7.
  • You’re upgrading to the same Windows language. For example, from English to English.

Again, an upgrade installation allows you to keep intact the files, settings, and programs from your current version of Windows. But you can only perform an upgrade under these certain conditions, described above.

How to do a custom (clean) installation

  1. Turn on your computer, insert the Windows 7 Beta installation disc you created in step 2 into the computer’s DVD or CD drive, and then do one of the following:
    • If you want to replace your computer’s existing operating system with the Windows 7 Beta, and you don’t need to adjust your disk partitions, go to step 2.
    • If your computer doesn’t have an operating system installed, or you want to install the Beta on another disk partition, restart your computer with the installation disc inserted in your CD or DVD drive. If you’re asked to press a key to boot from DVD or CD, press any key. If the Install Windows page appears, go to step 2.
      If the Install Windows page doesn’t appear and you’re not asked to press a key to start from DVD or CD, you might have to specify that your computer uses its DVD or CD drive as the startup device. See Start Windows from a CD or DVD. After you select your DVD or CD drive as the startup device, restart your computer, and then start Windows from the installation DVD or CD as previously described.
  2. On the Install Windows page, follow the instructions, and then click Install now.
  3. On the Get important updates for installation page, we recommend getting the latest updates to help ensure a successful installation and protect your computer against security threats. You need an Internet connection to get updates.
  4. On the Please read the license terms page, if you accept the license terms, click I accept the license terms. (You must accept to continue the installation.)
  5. On the Which type of installation do you want? page, click Custom.
  6. On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, do one of the following:
    • If you don’t want to specify a specific partition to install Windows on, or create partitions on your hard disk, click Next to begin the installation.
    • If you already have another existing partition with enough free space and want to install the Windows 7 Beta on that partition to create a multiboot configuration, select the partition you want to use, and then click Next to begin the installation. (Be sure to install the Beta on a different partition from where your current version of Windows is installed.)
    • If you want to create, extend, delete, or format a partition, click Drive options (advanced), click the option you want, and then follow the instructions. Click Next to begin the installation. (If the Drive options (advanced) option is disabled, you need to start your computer using the installation disc.)
  7. Follow the instructions.

How to do an upgrade installation

  1. Insert the Windows 7 Beta installation disc you created in step 2 into your computer’s DVD or CD drive. Important: Make sure to insert your installation disc with your current version of Windows running.
  2. On the Install Windows page, click Install now.
  3. On the Get important updates for installation page, we recommend getting the latest updates to help ensure a successful installation and protect your computer against security threats. You need an Internet connection to get installation updates.
  4. On the Please read the license terms page, if you accept the license terms, click I accept the license terms. (You must accept to continue the installation.)
  5. On the Which type of installation do you want? page, click Upgrade to begin the upgrade. You might see a compatibility report.
  6. Follow the instructions.

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Testing the Beta

The Windows 7 Beta has lots of features to check out. For some ideas, see What’s New in Windows 7.

As you work with the Beta, your system will automatically send information about errors so we can analyze issues and file bug reports where appropriate. In addition, we’d like to know what you think. Your feedback plays a critical role in the Windows development process. If there’s something you find confusing or annoying—or a feature you absolutely love—please tell us!

To share your thoughts, click the “Send Feedback” link at the top of any window.

Send feedback

The link opens a Send feedback report. Please select a feature category for your feedback, rate your experience, and tell us what you think.

Send an issue report

Removing the Beta

The Windows 7 Beta will stop working on August 1, 2009. To continue using your PC, please be prepared to reinstall a prior version of Windows or a subsequent release of Windows 7 before the expiration date. We recommend doing a custom (clean) installation.
Information about Windows 7 is preliminary and subject to change. Some product features of Windows 7, such as the ability to watch and record live TV or navigation through the use of “touch,” may require advanced or additional hardware. The features and functionality you find in the pre-release product may not appear in the final version of Windows 7.

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