If you’ve made it this far in this 3 part series of posts, then you are about 1 hour away after following this post from being completely done and set up. What we’re looking to do now is take care of any software and device drivers that NEED to be installed to have your machine working in 100% good form.
First things first, grab that Windows 7 (64 bit) install Disc. Turn on your computer and immediately open the DVD drive and insert the Windows 7 Disc. Close the DVD drive and turn your attention to your screen/monitor. Since we are working with the ASUS P8H67-M motherboard (if using another type of motherboard, these instructions should still be usable, though you may have different screens and looks) you should see a screen much like this below with a form of the ASUS logo and a line of text at the bottom that reads along the lines of…
“Press Del key to enter BIOS…”
On my computer the first screen you see something like the one above, which then quickly turns to a black screen where it mentions something along the lines of “Scanning for Devices”, after which it returns back to the ASUS logo screen. So just keep tapping the DEL key until you’re entered into a screen like this…
Assuming you installed your hard drive and DVD drive correctly you should see them listed on the bottom row of this screen same as the example image above.
On the very bottom right you can see the “Boot Menu (F8)” button. Click this button and it should bring up a small dialogue box that will have you select either the hard drive or DVD drive as the drive you would like to boot from. Since we are looking to boot from the Windows 7 install disc, we need to select the DVD drive.
Drives are labeled pretty weird within the BIOS menu screen, but in general your DVD drive should have the letters “DVD” within the name, whereas your hard drive may be more obscure and hard to recognize by the description given. My brother’s Western Digital 500GB hard drive was labeled as “WD500…etc. etc.” So it’s really just a matter of knowing your devices model number in most cases.
Anyways lets say you accidentally boot from the completely empty hard drive. Well no worries. Most likely the screen will then go completely black with a flashing cursor “_” (like so) that seems to just blink and not go anywhere. In this case power off and power back on the machine and just follow the same steps as before and choose the other device from the “Boot Menu (F8)” screen.
If you’ve selected the right drive then you will be greeted to a white loading bar on the bottom of the screen that will say something along the lines of “Windows is loading files”. Eventually you will be greeted with the Windows 7 install screen.
… Simply click “Install Now”, haha. Follow all the onscreen instructions and you should be on your way to having a working version of Windows 7 soon.
Just make sure that you select a 64 bit version from the list of available operating system installs if you bought a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate edition. Remember the whole goal was to run Battlefield 3 and that game requires Windows 7 (64 bit). The total install is usually around 20-30 minutes long at most. Once it has started the install process, just go grab some food, or watch and episode of South Park or something until it finishes.
After Windows 7 is done installing it will restart your machine on its own. Allow it to do its thing until you are finally greeted to the standard Windows 7 desktop screen. You may notice that the resolution of your screen looks awful or crappy. That’s OK. Once we install your motherboard and video card drivers, it will re-adjust.
So lets eject your Window 7 Install Disc and then insert your ASUS motherboard Drivers Disc (HINT: it should have come with your motherboard packaging.)
I’m assuming that you have had some experience using Windows in the past, so once you insert the Motherboard Drivers Disc, you should be prompted with a screen that allows you to select AutoRun. Also a feature in Windows 7 that was absent from XP (which was my last Windows OS) is that anytime you go to install a program Windows 7 will ask you if it is OK to run it. For these drivers select yes!
Once the Disc has loaded up, there should be an option to Install all ASUS motherboard drivers, or something to that effect. Select that option, follow any on screen instructions and let it do its thing. Once it has finished it will ask you to restart your computer and we want to allow it to do so. Click restart now!
Once it restarts and your back at the Windows Desktop you should notice immediately that the screen no longer looks blurry or over-sized. The drivers on your motherboard have been properly installed and therefore their on-board video drivers have solved the resolution issue.
Time to eject the Motherboard install disc and insert your Video Card’s Drivers Install Disc. This should have been boxed within your Video Card’s packaging. We are going to follow essentially the exact same steps with this Drivers Disc as we did for the Motherboard Drivers Disc. So select AutoRun for the Disc and once its loaded choose the Install All NVIDIA Drivers option. Follow any onscreen instructions or prompts, allow it to install, and then select Restart Now once it has finished.
After reboot, your Windows PC is pretty much set to go! WOO. Except we want to make sure to do a few more things to set up your Internet and protect your machine. I talked before in one of the earlier post about the idea that when it comes to online gaming it is far superior to be wired directly into your router. It’s not that wireless is a bad option if you want to set it up that way, however, with wireless comes the fight over signal strength which depending on your surrounding neighbors and the quality of your router can become an issue over time. Being booted from a good 64 player round in Battlefield 3 because you lost signal is not an option for me. So I highly recommend you set your PC up near your router or move your router and modem closer to your PC if at all possible and connect via an Ethernet cable.
Next grab an Ethernet cable of enough length to match your needs. Look at the back of your PC and plug one end into the available Ethernet port. Then plug the other end into one of the available Ethernet ports on the back of your router. Give windows a minute to recognize the connection and you should have Internet Access. Simple as that, unless you have super firewall protection or any blocked ports on your router. In which case you’ll have to research how to allow access. I’d love to help but there are too many routers on the market to list everything here. If you are in that situation, I wish you good luck. Your router company should be able to problem solve with you to find the solution.
Once you have Internet Access its time to head on over to this site…
This will allow you to install Windows Security Essentials. The first step in keeping your computer protected from viruses and harmful Internet tracking. Download it, install it and run it.
You can also search for the Free AVAST anti-virus software. They provide a free version that will help to also protect your computer as well. At the very least get Windows Security Essentials.
The only thing left to do now is head over to NVIDIA’s Video Card website and download the most recent drivers from them. My 2GB GeForce GTX 550ti required a newer driver or two. Just download it, install them, and restart your computer.
THAT’S FREAKING ALL OF IT FOLKS. If you followed along with all three parts then you should have learned in PART 1 why you should build your own PC, what parts you will need and pricing, and how your parts work. PART 2 we got into the assembly of the physical machine and parts to prepare you for gaming awesomeness. And now we have installed all your Windows 7 files, Motherboard Drivers, Video Card Drivers, Internet Access, and Anti-Virus software. I hope you enjoyed the whole process as much as I enjoyed sharing this information.
Spread the word. Don’t be a victim of the Ignorance Fee! Cheers! Now go kill some noobs in Battlefield 3!