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Troubleshooting


Whether you are installing Windows to upgrade from an older edition or you are doing so to overcome a major system failure, there are things that can go wrong. Reinstalling your operating system should always be done with a completely clean start having formatted your hard drive. This will help to minimize the chances of things going wrong. Since reinstalling Windows also requires that you reinstall all of your hardware drivers and all of your programs and games, there are many things that can go wrong. Most of these problems are minor and can be fixed easily. The chances of installing Windows and getting everything working without incident are actually quite low. The following explains some of the common problems and how to fix them.

No Internet Access after Installation (Broadband)
If you are installing Windows Vista or Windows 7, your network card should normally be automatically detected and you should have Internet access as soon as you log on for the first time. If this is not the case, you may need to obtain the drivers for your motherboard. These days, network cards are usually integrated into the motherboard. If you have access to another computer with Internet, download the latest drivers from the motherboard manufacturer's website. If you cannot do this, using the driver CD that came with the motherboard or computer will have to suffice, provided that there are drivers available for your operating system.
Depending on your Internet service provider and connection type, you may need to go through some additional steps to access the Internet. If your network card is installed properly and shows up in the device manager, then there is unlikely to be any fault with your installation. Contact your Internet service provider for further information.

No Sound after Installation
If you have no sound on your computer after installation, it is almost invariably caused by not having any sound drivers installed. For most on-board sound solutions, getting the latest drivers from realtek.com will fix the problem. If you have a dedicated sound card, obtain the latest drivers from the manufacturer's website. It is always a good idea to download the drivers before reinstalling Windows.

Low Screen Resolution after Installation
As the above, this is almost always due to not having the correct drivers installed. Simply get the latest drivers from either ati.com or nvidia.com depending on your graphics card. Install these, restart the computer, and your graphics card should be properly recognized by Windows. You may still need to change your monitor's resolution after installing the drivers. In Windows Vista or Windows 7, simply right click anywhere on the desktop and click 'screen resolution'. For best results, always have the resolution set to the native resolution of your monitor.

Computer Running Slowly after Installation
If you had any components in your computer overclocked before reinstalling Windows, you may need to reconfigure them accordingly. This is always the case with graphics cards which will be reset to their default clock speeds after reinstalling Windows.
After you have reinstalled Windows and all of your programs, run disk defragmenter. In Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can find this by clicking the start orb and typing 'defragmenter' into the 'search programs and files' box. The data on your disk will be severely fragmented after reinstalling everything. This is normal. Defragmenting can take some time, so you may want to leave it to run overnight.

Corrupted Installation Files
When you boot up from the Windows DVD and choose to install Windows, it will start copying all of the files over to your computer. These files are needed to begin the installation process. If this fails, it is likely due to corrupted data or the required data not being present. Ensure that you are using an original and authentic copy of Windows. If you have an authentic copy but you are using a customized installation DVD, you may need to burn the DVD again. When burning a Windows installation DVD, it should always be done using high quality media and burned at the slowest write speed of your DVD drive. The disk should always be tested thoroughly before you come to rely on it for installing Windows. You can do this using a virtual machine.

Windows Hangs during Setup
If this happens, it can be related to a hardware or software problem. Ensure that you format the drive during the installation process provided that you get far enough to do so. In many cases, it is normal for the setup process to hang. Wait 10-15 minutes before cancelling the process or resetting your computer. If you still have no luck, there may be a problem with your Windows DVD. You can also try removing any non-essential add-in cards from your computer such as sound cards or controller cards. Make sure that no USB devices other than the keyboard and mouse are plugged in to your computer.

Tips to Avoid Problems Occurring
Always perform a clean install and reformat the hard disk during the installation process. At this point, be sure to configure any partitions you want as well. It is never a good idea to perform an upgrade installation as this can lead to many problems.
Ensure that you have the latest drivers and any available service packs available before reformatting your disk. Keep these files on an additional DVD, flash drive or a free hard disk partition. For more advanced users, integrating any service packs and updates into a customized Windows installation DVD is a great idea. This makes the installation process much faster and more reliable
In general, any hardware or software that works with Windows Vista will also work with Windows 7. If, however, you are upgrading from Windows XP, ensure that all of your hardware is compatible with your new version of Windows.

 

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