University of Oregon

Perform a Fresh Install of Windows 7


After a while your PC can get too cluttered. Or you might need to securely destroy your PC's data for security reasons or because you plan on selling it. In all of these cases it's a good idea to perform a fresh install of Windows.   


1. Place the Windows start up disk in your PC while your computer is off. Turn on your computer while simultaneously tapping the boot menu key (F12 for Dell and some other manufacturers). 

Note: You will find the boot menu key for your specific manufacturer by checking the boot up messages.

2.Using the arrow keys, select the CD/DVD drive as your boot device and press the Enter key.

Note: Be sure that you press the appropriate key when the computer prompts you to. Failing to do so will result in the computer booting up normally.

2. Once the computer boots from the Windows 7 disk, you will be able to choose your languages. Click next.

3. Click "Install now." Accept the terms of conditions and click next.

4. Click "Custom Install". Choose the partition you want to install Windows on. (In most cases there will be only one.)

Note: If you would like to securely erase data from the drive, click "advanced options" and "format".

5. Click next. Windows should now install. This process will usually take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

6. Create a username for the account. Click through the options that Windows then presents to you.

7. Run Windows Update to ensure you have all the latest patches and drivers.

8. Install an anti-virus program, such as McAfee VirusScan (available free to the UO community)