Just in time for Christmas: How to install, reinstall and uninstall Windows

Just in time for Christmas: How to install, reinstall and uninstall Windows

Summary: If you're one of those who've bought a Windows 7 PC or a copy of the new operating system as a gift, Microsoft's new Web site dedicated to how to install, reinstall and/or uninstall Windows might be a handy resource to have at your fingertips.


If you're one of those who've bought a Windows 7 PC or a copy of the new operating system as a gift, Microsoft's new Web site dedicated to how to install, reinstall and/or uninstall Windows might be a handy resource to have at your fingertips.

The new site has links to performing all three tasks for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. While terms like "custom install" may not scare off techies, they likely mean little to average consumers playing amateur sysadmin at home over the holidays. (My ZDNet blogging colleague Ed Bott has done his best to help simplify the upgrade questions Windows users have encountered as they have started the move to Windows 7, but there's still room for more demystification around the steps needed to get Windows 7 up and running.)

On a related note, here are a few other Windows-related links of potential interest that I've collected so far this week:

Microsoft is offering PC makers an OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) for its free security suite, Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). Earlier this year, when I asked Microsoft officials whether they expected much OEM demand for MSE, they dowplayed the idea. PC makers get a kickback from security vendors who preload trial versions of their security software on new PCs, so why would they want to preload a free product for which Microsoft wasn't going to pay them? I guess there's been PC maker interest, after all -- at least enough interest to release an OPK for MSE -- which is slated to arrive on December 22.

On December 15, Microsoft also released MSE in 17 additional markets bringing the total number of available markets to 56, company officials said. The newest countries where MSE is available for free download (if you can prove you have a Genuine copy of Windows) are: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, India, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. MSE also is available now in Russian and Romanian, in addition to the nine other languages it already supported.

Microsoft has launched a new Windows 7 Test Drive site, aimed at developers who may not have Windows 7 installed on their development environments. The new site offers devs a virtual environment experience, highlightingf Windows 7 features of interest to developers (as opposed to end users). From a new post on the Windows Developer blog:

"The idea behind the Test Drive lab is to create a very low barrier-to-entry development experience for Windows 7. It is a free tool for you to use whenever you want and requires no special software installation (besides a single ActiveX). All you need is a Windows Live ID, a few clear hours, and a visit to the Windows 7 Test Drive for Developers to take a guided tour of Windows 7."

Microsoft adds the Windows Live engineering blog to its Windows Team blog uber-site. It was ages ago that Microsoft moved the Windows Live organization in with the Windows one, both under Microsoft President Steven Sinofsky. But it took until December 15 for the Windows Live team to start a new blog that melds all the different Windows Live blogs into one. The "Inside Windows Live" blog will focus on the behind-the-scenes engineering stories of various Windows Live products, like Hotmail, Messenger, SkyDrive, the Windows Live Essentials suite and other Live software/services. Seems like a good time for such a blog to go live, given Windows Live Wave 4 is expected in 2010....

The new blog will discuss new features, share customer usage stories, provide updates on service interruptions and more. The first post on the new site is from Corporate Vice President Chris Jones, who says: "Over the next few months you will also see this site become integrated with Windows Live ID, giving you even more ways to interact with us on Windows Live."

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Why don't they fix their code instead

    of having security as an add on?
    • The sheer number of holes...

      makes it impossible. Plus they keep adding useless fluff on top of already broken code that multiplies the problems.

      Windows was, is and will always be a sieve that has to be endlessly patched. And they have managed to convince world plus dog that it is just normal for code to be sold that is so broken. And of course, as long as the consumer puts up with it Microsoft will keep doing it. Why spend the money to get it right when they don't have to?
      • So?

        What do you care? You use Linux? Get over it.
      • Sheer number of holes

        Vulnerability Report: Ubuntu Linux 7.04:

        Affected By
        180 Secunia advisories
        527 Vulnerabilities

        Vulnerability Report: Microsoft Windows Vista
        Affected By
        79 Secunia advisories
        145 Vulnerabilities

        Both about the same age (Ununtu a little

        So, you were saying about numbers?
        • too bad

          too bad you don't have a clue what your talking about. easy to twist
          statistics and take things out of context to try and "prove" a point.
        • MS says "High Vulnerability Count is Sign of Success"

          I could not believe it either.


          "Microsoft senior director of security engineering Steve Lipner makes the argument that the high flaw count means that the company's Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) approach is working as it was meant to and is a sign of success"
          • Impressive. Shocking.

            Now read the actual interview:


            And tell us where Steve Lipner actually said
            anything like that?

            He doesn't. He is actually just not agreeing
            that numbers are the <i>only</i> metric. Which
            is being made into they see high vulnerability
            counts as "sign of success". Irresponsibly, by
            Ryan Naraine.
      • Maybe because they think it costs less money to advertise new versions

        Most people have been trained to believe "newer is better". Why needs to fix anything if something shiny new thing lights up?
    • Because they can't!

      Entropy is taking over the windows codebase. Each attempt they make at fixing something triggers a cascade of unexpected side effects that completely overwhelms the developers.

      Things are already pretty bad as they are now but soon they will have no other viable option but start over from a clean slate.
      The Mentalist
      • Yes bloated and huge


        Said Linus Torvalds of Linux:

        <i>"<b>We're getting bloated and huge</b>. Yes, it's a problem," said Torvalds.

        Asked what the community is doing to solve this, he balked. "Uh, I'd love to say we
        have a plan," Torvalds replied to applause and chuckles from the audience. "I mean,
        sometimes it's a bit sad that we are definitely not the streamlined, small, hyper-
        efficient kernel that I envisioned 15 years ago...The kernel is huge and bloated, and
        our icache footprint is scary. I mean, there is no question about that. And whenever we
        add a new feature, it only gets worse."</i>
        • Linux can be bloated if you need but never nearly half as bloated asWindows

          Unlike windows the Linux codebase is very clean with very little entropy in it. Unlike windows, Linux has plenty of room to grow harmoniously for many years to come.

          Also, Linux is only bloated if you want or need it to be that way. Plenty of fully functional tiny distros prove just how easy it is to remove unwanted bloat from Linux and keep a fully functional system that has a negligible footprint.
          The Mentalist
          • Read again. That was not what Linus said

            Ironic, isn't it?

            <i>"I mean, sometimes it's a bit sad that we
            are definitely not the streamlined, small,
            hyper-efficient kernel that I envisioned 15
            years ago...The <b>kernel</b> is <b>huge</b>
            and <b>bloated</b>"</i>

            That deserved a repeat: The [Linux]
            <b>kernel</b> is <b>huge</b> and <b>bloated</b>

            Funny how a Linux zealot attacks Windows for
            being bloated, when his own overlord has
            clearly stated that this is a <i>Linux</i>
            problem, using the exact same term.
          • Linus says many things...

            including publicly saying <i>"OpenBSD developers are a bunch of masturbating monkeys"</i>

            I wouldn't take everything he says very seriously.
            The Mentalist
          • Yes, he even said something about the Microsoft Hate Disease

            and how it was a threat to Linux adoption.

            This thread certainly displays several prime
            examples of the Microsoft Hate Disease.

            Perhaps it is time to actually start listening
            to the man. He doesn't want to be the leader of
            your cult. Stop acting like a cult. Start
            recognizing that no OS is perfect, least of all

            It is mindboggingly how zealots will disregard
            Linus' words on the kernel. I don't believe
            that there is a greater authority on Linux
            kernel than Linus himself. The attitude you and
            your fellow Linux trolls display here is
            <i>exactly</i> the attitude that Linus is
            saying is counter-productive.
          • How about you abandoning their cult?

            Cause it's not your's, it's Bill's and Ballmer's cult plus a bunch of shills helping them.

            If Linux were a Cult, which it isn't, I could call it MY CULT, if it were a cult, of course, which it isn't.

            You pay allegiance to Ballmer's and Bill's cult but can you call it yours?
            The Mentalist
          • Hate to be the one to break this to you

            But <b>you</b> are the one who is trolling a
            perfectly legitimate how-to story about

            <b>You</b> are the one who is spewing hate
            where it was never called for. This story was
            not about Linux. Why did you care?

            <b>You</b> are the one who called Windows
            "bloated" - when in fact the OS you advocate so
            vigorously is the one which is bloated -
            according to the man who created it and still
            oversees .... the <i>kernel</i>.

            So, please tell us:

            <b>Why did you post here if not to troll?</b>

            What is your reason for jumping in and
            poisoning any story about Windows?
    • Issues going on for a decade still exist.

      Not just security, but simple things regarding the blasted registry, not to mention making screen sizes user-centric instead of system-centric.

      There is a LOT that needs to be done. From memory usage to security to OS integrity to even little common sense things like the screen mode issue... and more. Much more.

      It's not profitable for them.

      Never mind the current political situation in that company; their workers are not happy, what with MVP perks going bye-bye, American workers losing their jobs to cheap H1Bs, and a slew of other factors. Just so Ballmer can have another big raise and heckle President Obama about what would happen if he tries to put in tariffs and other solutions that would re-level the "labor market"...
      • Oh, blast

        Screen sizes are determined by computer manufacturers. :-(

        I am not happy, too with wide screens which
        make it difficult to read and edit text.

        Speaking of resolutions, there is nothing better than using native LCD resolution. In comparison, ClearType rendering is much easier to read (and least on LCD in native resolution) than text rendered by another respected hardwre+OS purveyor, wich is superbly positioned for printing but fuzzy and hard-to-read on-screen (my personal opinion).

        What's wrong with the blasted registry? What's the alternative? Zillion files of different formats spread across the file system, with no granular access control to the values?

        Please note, I am not in "denial" of any kind, but I'd like to see concrete examples and may be a comparison to better alternatives.
  • The only part that's useful...

    ...is the uninstall part.
    Henry Miller
  • Those who have posted thus far

    Should speak to their therapist about their irrational hatred issues.

    Beyond that, those who have responded have clearly never written code, for Windows or any other OS.