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How to install Windows 7 in an Alienware Computer?


How to install Windows 7 in an Alienware Computer?


Note: Please bookmark this article as restarts of the computer are recommended during the process to help resolve issues

Warning:
  • The latest Alienware models don't come with Recovery media, please use AlienRespawn to recover your computer back to factory settings. If you need to reinstall windows from scratch you can use the Dell Direct USB Key, Click here to know how to install Windows with the Dell Direct USB Key
  • If you ordered your laptop computer without an optical drive, you can purchase an external optical drive to continue your installation
  • If your computer shipped with more than one hard drive and a RAID configuration installed, refer to your User's Guide for additional information about the type of RAID configuration your computer supports and how to configure it for reinstallation. Important: If your computer has a RAID configuration, click here for additional information.

Table of Contents:

  1. Backup important files & data
  2. Remove non-essential peripherals
  3. Prepare your computer for installation.
  4. Install the operating system from the OS Setup Disk
  5. Install Dell drivers and utilities
  6. Connect your computer to the internet or network
  7. Install critical and recommended Windows Updates
  8. Install your applications
  9. Install your third-party hardware and software drivers
  10. Restore your personal files and data from backups

Article Summary:

This article will guide you to the process of installing Windows 7 in your Alienware computer.


Applies to:

Alienware Desktops
Alienware Mobiles


Items needed:

  • Alienware Microsoft Windows 7 Disk
  • Alienware Resource DVD or Dell Direct USB Key (Optional)
  • Any application install disks
  • Any software and/or documentation for your Internet service connection
  • Any install discs for any external devices (such as a printer) and internal devices added to the computer after it was shipped by Alienware.
  • Another Computer With Internet Access to follow the instructions and download drivers

Before You Begin:



Warning: By performing a Manual Reinstall, you will no longer be able to do a PC Restore or Restore to Factory Settings using AlienRespawn. Check to see if you can do a PC Restore before you do a Manual Reinstall it can save you time

Before you attempt to reinstall Windows from scratch please check:

  • If you are reinstalling due to an issue after a recent change in the operating system, you can always use the Microsoft System Restore instead. Please click here to know how to use the system restore.

  • Most of the Alienware Computers come with preloaded recovery environment called AlienRespawn that will make this process of reinstalling Windows and Drivers automated, if you want to know How to use AlienRespawn click here.

  • If you decide to reinstall Windows using the Alienware Recovery disk, depending on the configuration you had chosen at the time of purchase you may need drivers to be loaded during the Windows setup. This is to make the operating system to properly detect your hard drives and hard drive controller. Typical configurations that need drivers to be loaded are RAID (two or more hard drives), or if UEFI option is enabled in BIOS.

  • If you encounter an error finishing the Operating system installation this may indicate you need to load the drivers at the partition screen.

  • For Alienware X51 Series and Aurora R4, Click here to get the drivers.

  • For M14x, M17x, M18x (All Series), Click here to get the drivers.

  • We recommend using the latest drivers available from Dell’s website. If you are going to reinstall using the Alienware Recovery Disk please if needed use only the network driver from the Resource DVD as this may content outdated drivers, then update when you are able to go online.

Note: Never install an Older Version of the Alienware Command Center as this may cause communication problems between the lighting controller and the AlienFX software, please use the latest version available from the Dell website.

Step 1: Backup important files and data

Click the link below for instructions on how to backup important files and data.

Click here for instructions on how to back up files.

Warning: Doing an AlienRespawn Factory image restore could save you time. Click here to check if this option is available prior to reinstalling windows.

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Step 2: Remove non-essential peripherals

Except for the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, remove all external peripherals including:

Note: Never install an An external peripheral is a device that connects to a port on the front, side or back of the computer, like a printer or memory key.
  • Scanner
  • Printer
  • Modem or Network cables
  • Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
  • USB flash drive or other external Hard Drive
  • Any other external devices (e.g., USB-attached devices)
  • Remove the computer from the docking station, if you are using one.

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Step 3: Prepare your computer for installation

Check to ensure that all your installation media is available. You will need the following:

  • The Alienware Operating System Reinstallation CD/DVD,
  • The Alienware Resource CD/DVD,
  • Any application install disks,
  • Any software and/or documentation for your Internet service connection,
  • Any install discs for any external devices (such as a printer) and internal devices added to the computer after it was shipped by Alienware.
  • Another Computer with internet access (In case you need to download any software you don’t have)

Warning:

  • If you ordered your laptop computer without an optical drive, you can purchase an external optical drive to continue your installation. Click here to purchase an external optical drive from Dell.
  • If your computer shipped with more than one hard drive and a RAID configuration installed, refer to your User's Guide for additional information about the type of RAID configuration your computer supports and how to configure it for reinstallation.

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Step 4: Install the operating system from the OS Setup Disk

Insert the Alienware Recovery DVD into the optical drive, and then restart your computer.

When the message Press any key to boot from the CD or DVD ... appears, press a key to continue booting to the DVD. If you missed it please try again














Note: Your computer will restart several times during installation.

If your Computer needs drivers as mentioned above, This is the screen where you need to load them, select load drivers and look for the media you have save the files into and then when done select the right hard disk partition where you want to install the operating system into and click next.


  1. If the computer does not boot to DVD, follow these instructions. If it does boot to DVD ignore this note


    1. Power ON the system and watch for the Dell logo to appear.

    2. When the Dell logo appears, press the key to load the Boot Menu. If the menu does not appear, restart the system and tap several times at the Dell logo screen.



    3. When the Boot Menu appears, highlight the CD/DVD drive (listed as "CDROM", "CD/DVD" or "CD/DVD/CD-RW") entry from the list and press <Enter>.


  2. You will get the "Press Any key to boot from CD…" please press any key as soon as you get the message, if you missed it, please try again. After Windows 7 Setup loads, confirm the Language, Time, Currency and Keyboard Method settings are correct then click Next.

  3. On the Windows 7 Installation page, click Install Now.

  4. Review the terms and click I accept the license terms to proceed.

  5. On the Which type of installation do you want? window, click Custom (advanced).

  6. On the Where do you want to install Windows window, make sure the largest Primary Partition is selected then click Next. If the Primary partition has 0GB free, there should be a separate line for Unallocated Space. Select this unallocated space and click Next.

  7. The Next couple of screens allow you to personalize and customize Windows 7.

  8. Once you see the Desktop, you are ready to move on to the next step.

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Step 5: Install Dell drivers and utilities

The drivers for your Alienware computer can be installed from the Resource CD/DVD or from the Dell Drivers and Downloads page but we recommend using the latest drivers available from Dell’s website
Actual system configurations may vary. The list below is an overview of the correct order to install drivers on Dell desktop and laptop systems. After reinstalling the operating system, follow the order listed when reinstalling drivers. It is recommended that you print this list for referral when installing drivers.

Warning: Some devices may not work if they are not installed in the proper order, please use the list below and install the drivers in the proper order.
Note: To select the correct drivers, you need to know what components are installed on your computer. To find out what components are installed on your computer, please refer to your Invoice

To select the correct drivers, you need to know what components are installed on your computer. To find out what components are installed on your computer, please refer to your Invoice.

Drivers for your Alienware System:

For more information on the Initial Driver Installation for Alienware Systems, please click here

You can download the latest drivers from the article above or from the Dell Drivers and Downloads page. It is recommended that you print this driver order list before starting the download process on the Dell Drivers and Downloads page.

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Step 6: Connect your computer to the internet or network

  1. Plug in any network or modem cables you disconnected earlier. If your computer uses a wireless network card, please check the icon you have at the task bar and then connect to your wireless network.

  2. If your computer connects to the internet through a router, then your router should contain some or all of your internet connection information. After connecting your computer to the network, wait a couple of minutes for the computer to find and connect, then test your connection by launching your web browser on the computer.
    If you are able to load a web page, you are connected to the internet and can move on to Step 7. Otherwise proceed below.

  3. Install any connection software required by your Internet service provider (ISP). This software would have been provided to you by your ISP.

  4. Configure network settings as required by your ISP.
    For more information on configuring the Internet connection, see the documentation provided by your ISP or call your ISP directly.

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Step 7: Install critical and recommended Windows Updates

  1. Once connected to the internet, click, point to All Programs, then click Windows Update.

  2. In the Windows Update window, click Check for updates.

  3. If any recommended or critical updates are available, follow the instructions provided to install those updates.

  4. Repeat these steps until no further updates are available.

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Step 8: Install you applications

To reinstall your applications, insert the disc for each program in your CD/DVD drive and follow the prompts that appear. (Alienware will have provided you with installation discs for any programs you purchased with your computer, if you had purchased the digital edition please install the Dell’s digital Delivery driver to reinstall your purchased software.)

If more information is needed for installation, refer to the documentation that came with your installation discs.

Microsoft does not include some familiar programs in Windows 7, Such as:

  • Windows Mail (Outlook Express)
  • Windows Calendar
  • Windows Messenger
  • Windows Movie Maker
  • Windows Photo Gallery

You can download these programs, free of charge, from Microsoft. Click the link below to Download Windows Live.

Click here to Download Windows Live

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Step 9: Install your third-party hardware and software drivers

For each device you have added to your computer since receiving it from Dell, refer to the documentation that came with that device for installation instructions.

Note: Some devices, such as some printers or scanners, require you install the software before you attach the device and others do not

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Step 10: Restore your personal files and data from backups

Click the link below for instructions on how to restore your files from a backup.

Click here for instructions on how to restore your files

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Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Article ID: SLN289869

Last Date Modified: 08/25/2014 09:28 AM


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