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Tutorial on How to Clean Install Windows Vista or over Windows Vista / XP / 2000 / ME / 98 (With Screen Shots)
Version 0.50

This article shows how to install Windows Vista with everything in your hard drive wiped. This means that documents, e-mails, photos, shortcuts, programs, etc will ALL be deleted and erased!

DISCLAIMER: Proceed at your own risk! The information here is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I will not be held responsible if this document causes your computer to explode or burst into flames. In real serious terms, if any corruption of data, hardware damage or any other kind of damage/losses/etc. arises from the use of this document, I will not be responsible for it. If you don't like this, please don't read any further.

Is this document intended for you?

  1. You want to install Windows Vista with EVERYTHING in your computer erased
  2. You have made a backup of all important stuff in your hard drive to an EXTERNAL media (i.e. external hard drive, DVD discs, etc)
  3. You have done your necessary homework to ensure that your hardware is compatible with Vista

Step By Step Guided Installation with Screen Shots

Insert the Windows Vista Installation CD/DVD and restart your PC. Look for the prompt. When it appears, hit the ENTER key on your keyboard.

Press any key to boot from CD or DVD...

Windows is loading files

Windows Vista will start loading files from the CD/DVD...

... and continue loading ...

Welcome screen background

Welcome screen

.. and finally loaded ...! Select your appropriate language, time and currency format. For most of us, the defaults already suffice. Click Next.

Click Install Now...

Install now screen

Type your product key for activation

Vista Setup checks and requests for a Product Key. Key it in and click Next

Legal stuff.. place a checkmark at the appropriate place and click Next

Vista licence terms

Type of installation

You don't have any choice here. Click Custom (advanced)

Here's where things get a bit technical.

  1. Click Drive options (advanced)
  2. For each entry in the list, Delete all of them (Unallocated space cannot be deleted)
    WARNING 2: If there is any special partition with a name that corresponds to your brand (e.g. Dell, HP) of your PC, don't delete it as it is used for factory restoration purpose.
  3. There should only be one left now with the label "Unallocated Space"
  4. OPTIONAL: This is your opportunity to create an additional partition if you wish by highlighting the line and clicking on New. You will need to create the Vista partition first, and then your storage partition
Where to install vista to

Deleting all partitions

With only one partition left, select it and click Next to proceed

That's it - Vista has all the information it needs. It will now take onto auto pilot mode :)

You are able to see the progress and the current activity is highlighted in bold.

During this process, your system will restart automatically a number of times.

Installing Windows Vista

Completing installation...

Finally, completing installation...

... and it is done!

  1. Type in your preferred username, spaces and capital letters are allowed.
  2. Type in a password if you want additional protection.
  3. Select a picture to represent your account at the bottom.
  4. Click Next

You can always change your password and picture later on, but not your username. So type in wisely as it will be shown in the Welcome screen and Start menu.

Choose a user name and picture

Type a computer name and choose a desktop wallpaper

  1. Type a name for your computer. This is the name that shows when you visit the Network Neighborhood. If unsure, just leave it at the default. You can change this later if you wish.
  2. Select a desktop wallpaper at the bottom.
  3. Click Next

Here you setup Automatic Updates

  1. We strongly recommend you to click "Use recommended settings"
Help protect Windows automatically

Review your time and date settings

Here you adjust your time zone so that the correct time and daylight saving is used.

  1. From the list under Time zone, select your correct GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) time
  2. Click the correct Date and Time. They should need no fixing as the defaults should be correct
  3. Click Next

Thank you for installing Windows Vista!

  1. Click Start
  2. Windows will start calculating the Performance Index. This will take some time
Thank you

Preparing your desktop...

  1. It will go on to prepare your desktop. This is only a one time run.
  2. Your system may restart once it is done

Windows Vista Desktop

It's Not Over Yet!

  1. Install Chipset, Video, Sound drivers to utilize the full performance level of your PC. It should have come in a separate CD with your system.
  2. Install Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware applications. A firewall is good, but not required - as XP SP2 already comes with one.
  3. Visit WindowsUpdate.Com and download the latest patches


  1. July 27 2008 - v0.5
    • First Release to the public in Bootstrike.Com

Last Updated 27th June 2008.

Errors? Omissions? Need Help? Know something? Post your queries in the Windows Vista Discussion Forum.

This document is Copyright(©) 2001-2008 by G.Ganesh.

4 comments RSS of last 10 posts

new post [ expand all ]

LLSavannah (2 posts) LLSavannah That's all good bro, your directions and all, but, when I try to install Windows Vista on a hard drive that's been thoroughly cleaned, partitioned and formatted, Windows gets to the "Completing Installation" part of the installation and STOPS there. I let it sit there overnight last night and it didn't do anything. That's what I need help with.
posted 9 Jan 2010 - show 1 replies - Reply - Permanent Link
Admin Administrator Admin Hi, this is not a normal issue. By right it should continue on as stated in the tutorial. Please check some solutions posted here - - if it doesn't help, you may want to post your question at

If you do find the solution you may want to post it back. Good luck!
posted 9 Jan 2010 - Reply - Permanent Link
LLSavannah (2 posts) LLSavannah Thanx. And believe me, if I find a solution, I will certainly post it. This is an HP Pavilion dv7 Entertainment notebook we're talking about here. This is a BAAAD machine. I need help & I know that we keep what we have by giving it away...if you understand what I mean. Thanx again.
posted 9 Jan 2010 - Reply - Permanent Link
Unregistered Anonymous Savannah your issue is possibly related to hardware failure. This may be within the hard drive its self unfortunately. In some situations in can be software such as the disk being scratched.
posted 1 Mar 2013 - Reply - Permanent Link

new post [ expand all ]

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