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MCTS 70-680 Rapid Review: Installing, Upgrading, and Migrating to Windows 7

This chapter reviews the objectives of MCTS Exam 70-680, including how to perform a clean installation, upgrade to Windows 7 from previous versions of Windows, and migrate user profiles.

Approximately 14 percent of the 70-680 exam focuses on the topic of installing, upgrading, and migrating to Microsoft Windows 7. That means that you need to have a good grasp of how to perform a clean installation, how to upgrade to Windows 7 from previous editions of the Windows client operating system, and how to migrate user profiles and data to Windows 7 from previous versions of Windows.

This chapter covers the following objectives:

  • Objective 1.1: Perform a clean installation

  • Objective 1.2: Upgrade to Windows 7 from previous versions of Windows

  • Objective 1.3: Migrate user profiles

Objective 1.1: Perform a clean installation

This objective requires you to demonstrate that you know how to determine whether a particular hardware profile is appropriate for the Windows 7 operating system, how to perform a traditional and dual-boot installation, the different methods that you can use to deploy Windows 7, and the steps that you should take to prepare each installation source.

Exam need to know

  • Identifying hardware requirements

    For example: How to determine whether computer hardware meets the minimum requirement for the deployment of Windows 7.

  • Setting up as the sole operating system

    For example: How to deploy Windows 7 as the only operating system on a computer.

  • Setting up as dual boot

    For example: How to configure Windows 7 to dual boot with Windows Vista.

  • Installation methods

    For example: Choose when to use a PXE-based or media-based installation.

  • Boot from the source of installation

    For example: How to determine when to use bootable media to install Windows 7.

  • Preparing the installation source USB, CD, Network share, WDS

    For example: How to configure a USB installation source.

Identifying hardware requirements

You need to know the minimum hardware requirements for the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7.

True or False? The minimum amount of disk space required for Windows 7 Enterprise edition (x64) is 16 GB.

Answer: False. The hardware requirements for the 32-bit (x86) editions of Windows 7 differ from the hardware requirements of the 64-bit (x64) edition of Windows 7. Windows 7 has the following hardware requirements:

  • 1 GHz or faster 32-bit or 64-bit processor, depending on whether you are installing the x86 or x64 version of an edition.

  • 1 GB RAM (for 32-bit editions) or 2 GB RAM (for 64-bit editions). The 32-bit editions do not support more than 4 GB of RAM.

  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

  • Device that supports DirectX9 Graphics with a WDDM 1.0 or higher compatible graphics adapter.

Although these are the listed minimum hardware requirements, in some cases it might be possible to actually install Windows 7 on computers that don’t reach these specifications.

True or False? Windows 7 Home Premium edition will support a system configuration where there are two separate physical processors, each with eight cores.

Answer: False. The number of processors supported by Windows 7 depends on the edition of Windows 7. For example:

  • Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate allow for two physical processors.

  • Windows Starter, Home Basic, and Home Premium recognize only a single processor.

A single processor can have multiple cores with dual-core, quad-core, and 8-core processors common on desktop and mobile configurations. Windows 7 SP1 supports the following:

  • The 32-bit versions of Windows 7 can support up to 32 processor cores.

  • The 64-bit versions of Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate edition support up to 256 processor cores.

Setting up as the sole operating system

You need to know what steps to take to perform a fresh installation of Windows 7 as the sole operating system on a computer.

True or False? You can install a bootable version of the Windows 7 operating system on a removable USB disk drive.

Answer: False. You can install Windows 7 on a local hard disk drive as long as there is enough space on the volume. You can’t install the Windows 7 operating system on a removable USB disk drive. When setting up Windows 7 as the sole operating system on a computer that has no existing operating system, you have several options:

  • Install Windows 7 on a computer that does not have an operating system installed.

  • Upgrade a previous version of Windows to Windows 7. This topic is covered later in the chapter.

  • Install Windows 7 in a multiboot configuration. This topic is also covered later in this chapter.

Installing Windows 7 on a computer that does not have an existing operating system requires some form of bootable media. You can use a DVD-ROM with the Windows 7 installation media installed, a specially prepared USB storage device, or a PXE boot to deploy Windows 7.

To install Windows 7, perform the following steps:

  1. Power on the computer. The computer boots to the Install Windows screen.

  2. On the Please Read The License Terms page, review the license terms and choose I Accept The License Terms. Click Next.

  3. On the Which Type Of Installation Do You Want? page, click Custom. You use Custom for all installations except upgrades.

  4. On the Where Do You Want To Install Windows? page, you can choose an existing partition that has unallocated space. You can also choose to partition and format a disk by clicking New or Drive Options (Advanced) if there is an existing partition scheme. You don’t need to choose to format and partition the hard disk and can allow the Windows 7 installation routine to perform this task for you by choosing an existing partition with unallocated space as long as it meets the minimum size requirements. If a computer has a special type of disk drive that is not recognized, you can click Load Driver to load the hard disk drive’s driver. This process is necessary only if the hard disk drive is not recognized by the installation routine.

  5. Once you have selected the location, installation begins. The computer reboots, and you need to specify a user name and a computer name. The specified user name will be the default administrative account for the computer. You are asked to provide a password for this default administrative account and to provide a password hint.

  6. With a traditional installation, you are given the option to provide a product key and to automatically activate Windows 7 when an Internet connection is detected. It is possible to click Skip to bypass entering the product key and activation.

  7. You choose what the update settings the computer will use. You learn more about updates in Chapter 7 “Monitoring and Maintaining Systems that Run Windows 7.”.

  8. You choose the time and date settings.

  9. You choose the computer’s current network location. You learn more about network locations in Chapter 4 “Configuring Network Connectivity”.

True or False? Windows 7 Professional edition supports VHD boot.

Answer: False. It is possible to install Windows 7 on a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) file stored on an NTFS-formatted volume if the VHD is configured with an appropriate amount of free space. This type of deployment is known as native VHD boot. Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate support native VHD boot. Native VHD boot involves configuring a VHD file as a boot volume and installing all the operating system volume files within the VHD, as opposed to on the formatted hard disk drive, which is the case with traditional single operating system deployments. You learn more about native VHD boot in Chapter 2, “Deploying Windows”.

Setting up as dual boot

You need to know the conditions under which you can configure Windows 7 to dual boot, also known as multiboot, with one or more operating systems.

True or False? You need to have more than one partition if you are going to dual boot Windows 7 Home Premium edition with Windows XP.

Answer: True. It is possible to configure a computer dual boot as long as you have enough free disk space to create an appropriately sized second partition or if such a partition already exists. You can also install Windows 7 in dual-boot configuration by installing Windows 7 on a separate disk drive. You usually configure Windows 7 to dual boot by installing Windows 7 on a separate partition (although it’s possible to use a single partition with VHD boot, an advanced scenario you learn about in Chapter 2). When configuring Windows 7 to dual boot with Windows XP or Windows Vista, you must ensure that the older operating system is installed prior to the installation of Windows 7. You can’t use the built-in operating system tools to install Windows 7 first and then install Windows XP in a dual-boot configuration.

True or False? You must choose the Custom installation type when installing Windows 7 in dual-boot configuration.

Answer: True. To install Windows 7 in dual-boot configuration, perform the following general steps:

  1. Ensure that the original operating system is completely backed up.

  2. Insert the Windows 7 installation media. Setup either launches automatically or you can run setup.exe to trigger installation. In most cases, you do not boot from the installation media when configuring a dual-boot installation. An exception to this rule is when you are configuring multiboot with VHD files.

  3. On the Install Windows menu, click Install Now.

  4. On the Get Important Updates For Installation page, choose to retrieve updates. On the Please Read The License Terms page, accept the license terms.

  5. On the What Type Of Installation Do You Want? page, choose Custom.

  6. On the Where Do You Want To Install Windows? page, choose a partition or disk different from the one on which the original operating system is present.

You can configure Windows 7 to dual boot with another installation of Windows 7. When dual booting between installations of Windows 7, it doesn’t matter which Windows 7 edition or version you install first.

Installation methods

You need to know different ways to deploy the Windows 7 operating system when performing a clean installation.

True or False? You can install Windows 7 using a CD-ROM as an installation source.

Answer: False. You can perform a fresh install of Windows 7 when one of the following locations is configured to host the Windows 7 installation files:

  • DVD-ROM. This can be a DVD-ROM manufactured by Microsoft or a DVD-ROM that you create from a disk image file in ISO format.

  • USB Installation Media. A specially prepared bootable USB disk that holds the Windows 7 installation files.

  • Network Share. A network share can hold the Windows 7 installation files. You can connect to this network share when booted from Windows PE.

  • PXE Boot. In this scenario you perform a PXE boot using a wired network card. You can’t PXE boot using a wireless network adapter. In PXE boot scenarios, the Windows 7 installation image is deployed from a machine running Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2, or Windows Server 2003 R2 with Windows Deployment Services (WDS) installed. System Center Configuration Manager 2012 leverages WDS for operating system deployment.

You can’t directly install Windows 7 from CD-ROM as a single CD-ROM does not have the capacity to hold the Windows 7 installation files. You can boot from a CD-ROM that is configured with WinPE and then connect to an installation source. You can install Windows 7 from an ISO image if you are installing Windows 7 as a virtual machine hosted on Hyper-V, but this scenario is not directly addressed by the 70-680 exam. You can also buy a copy of Windows 7 from Microsoft online and perform an installation after downloading an installer file to your computer, but this is an upgrade scenario addressed later in this chapter.

Boot from the source of installation

You need to know which deployment methods allow you to boot from the installation media and which require you to be running an existing operating system.

True or False? You can install Windows 7 directly from an external USB CD-ROM drive.

Answer: False. You can perform a clean installation of Windows 7 by booting off the installation media and installing the operating system. You can install Windows 7 in the following ways using this technique:

  • Boot from DVD-ROM. Requires the computer to have a DVD-ROM drive or an external DVD-ROM drive attached. The installation files are on the DVD, which can be a retail copy of Windows 7 or a DVD created from a Windows 7 ISO file. You can boot from an externally attached DVD-ROM drive that is connected from a USB port to install Windows 7. You can also boot from a DVD-ROM or CD-ROM that is configured as a WinPE disk, but you can’t perform a direct installation in this manner and have to make a remote connection to the installation files.

  • Boot from USB flash drive. Requires the computer to have a USB port and an appropriate USB flash device prepared with the Windows 7 installation files. It is also possible to boot from a USB drive configured as a WinPE disk.

  • PXE. Requires a PXE boot server to be present on the network. You must use a wired network connection to PXE boot a computer; it is not possible to PXE boot off a wireless network using Windows Deployment Services.

To boot from the installation source might require you to modify the computer’s BIOS. Not all computer BIOSs are configured to boot the computer off USBs, DVDs, or network adapters. You might need to restart your computer for the new BIOS settings to take effect.

Preparing the installation source: USB, CD, network share, WDS

You need to know what steps to take to prepare certain installation source types so that they can be used to deploy the Windows 7 operating system. Even though the objective mentions CD, you can’t directly install Windows 7 using CD-ROMs—only DVD-ROMs.

True or False? You can use third-party, DVD-authoring software to burn Windows 7 installation images to DVD-ROM.

Answer: True. Windows 7 installation media is commercially available on DVD-ROM. This media requires no preparation and can be used immediately. If your organization has a volume licensing agreement with Microsoft or if you have an MSDN or TechNet subscription, you can obtain disk image files in ISO format that you can burn to DVD-ROM by using the Burn Disc Image option in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 or a third-party DVD-authoring utility.

True or False? When preparing a USB storage device to function as Windows 7 installation media, you format it using the NTFS file system.

Answer: False. A USB storage device needs to be approximately 4 GB in size or larger to function as installation media for Windows 7. Preparing the USB storage device will wipe all data from that device. To prepare a USB storage device to function as Windows 7 installation media, perform the following steps:

  1. Connect a USB storage device to a computer running Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2.

  2. Open an elevated command prompt and type diskpart.

  3. At the DISKPART> prompt, type list disk. Identify the number that represents the USB storage device. Type select disk X to select this storage device (X is the device number)

  4. Type the following commands:

    clean
    create partition primary
    format fs=fat32 quick
    active
    exit
  5. Copy all the files located on the Windows 7 installation media across to the USB storage device.

True or False? You must boot using a WinPE disk or USB storage device to perform a clean installation of Windows 7 on a computer that does not have an existing operating system.

Answer: True. Preparing a network share to host the installation files is a matter of copying the contents of the Windows 7 installation media to a share that will be accessible to the computers on which you want to install Windows 7. If you are upgrading a computer to Windows 7 or configuring a multiboot deployment, you access this network location from within Windows. If you are performing a clean installation, you boot using a WinPE disk or USB storage device and then map a network drive. The installation media includes the Win PE environment. The account that you use to map the network drive must have read access to the shared folder that hosts the Windows 7 installation files.

True or False? You can install the WDS role on computers running Windows 7 Enterprise edition.

Answer: False. WDS is a role that you can install on computers running the Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, and Windows Server 2003 R2 operating systems. You can configure WDS to deploy Windows 7 through PXE boot. This requires that the computer has a PXE-capable network adapter that can connect to a wired network. If the computer’s wired network adapter is not PXE-compliant, it might be possible to boot off of a WDS discover image, a special form of bootable image that contains extra network drivers and allows for the detection of WDS servers.

To prepare the WDS server, you must install the WDS role and then populate the WDS server with Windows image files. Windows image files are stored in .WIM format. The Windows 7 installation media contains the file install.wim. You can use this file with WDS to deploy Windows 7. An advantage of using WDS on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to deploy Windows 7 is that it uses multicast transmissions to deploy the operating system, meaning that one WDS server can be used to simultaneously deploy many copies of Windows 7. You learn more about managing .WIM files in Chapter 2.

Can you answer these questions?

You can find the answers to these questions at the end of the chapter.

  1. What is the maximum number of physical processors supported by Windows 7 Enterprise (x64)?

  2. What steps must you take to prepare a computer running Windows XP so it can be configured to dual boot with the Windows 7 operating system?

  3. You have placed the Windows 7 installation files on a network share. You want to boot a computer that doesn’t have an existing operating system and use the files on the network share to install Windows 7. What method should you use to boot the computer?

  4. In what format are the Windows image files that you use to populate WDS with Windows 7 installation images?