Installing an operating system

Installing an operating system on your computer can be done in various ways and it depends on which format you have your operating system, disc or USB drive.

The first method covers installing an operating system from a disc. You will first need to go to the computers bios screen. You do this by following the on screen prompts when you start up your computer, and make a couple of changes. First you need to make the Cd/Dvd drive the first bootable device. This used to be available in the advanced section of the bios but more frequently now it has its own section on the bios informatively named “BOOT” you can sometimes get a separate boot menu on your computer when the flash screen starts up. Sometimes the delete key will get you to the bios and sometimes it’s the “F” keys. Usually an “F” key will take you to the boot menu if it’s available. It all depends on your system but the basics will be the same.

Once you have your bios set for a boot from disc, insert the disc and do and reboot, you can get the disc to run by selecting it but it doesn’t always give you all the formatting options so reboot and after the flash screen you will get a message something like, “press a key to boot from CD/DVD”. You only get a few seconds to do it so pay attention to your monitor. Once it’s loaded I select advance in the options to enable me to format the drive. I always recommend formatting the drive to get rid of everything on it, you will need to select how you want the disc formatting, usual NTFS these days, however you can select FAT32 if you need to and I have found that the quick format is ok to use. The full format can take ages with a large disc. Once you have formatted your disk it’s just a matter of selecting the drive and letting the installation disc install. This can take about twenty minutes but will depend on the speed of your computer.

The second method covers installing an operating system from a USB memory stick. If you have the operating system as an .IMG file you can put in onto a memory stick. Unfortunately you can’t simple copy it to the USB drive, it won’t work. The best way that I have found to do this is to use the “Rufus” utility. You can find it on the internet and it’s free to use. It will make your USB memory stick “bootable”; it really is easy to use and has full instructions on the site. I have tried other ways but to be honest the Rufus way is the best in my opinion. Sometimes you will find that making a USB memory stick is the only way you will be able to install an operating system if your computer doesn’t have a working CD/DVD drive.

Once you have made your bootable drive you will have to go into the bios and set it to boot from USB, you may also have to go through the hard drive settings once you have the USB drive plugged in and select it as the first drive. This is a problem I have encountered on a few systems where the USB drive couldn’t be selected. Again I always boot the system to get the format options and then it’s pretty similar to the CD/DVD method but a little quicker.