How to Install an Operating System on a PC (Windows, Mac and Linux)
Installing an operating system on your computer is an important task that should not be taken lightly. By choosing a compatible operating system, backing up your data, and following the installation wizard, you can ensure a smooth installation process.
An operating system (OS) is a very important component of a computer without it the computer cannot be functional. In simple terms, without an operating system, a computer is useless. Because it manages the computer’s memory and processes, as well as all of its software and hardware. It also allows you to communicate with the computer without knowing how to speak the computer’s language.
Installing an operating system on your computer is a relatively simple process, and we shall enlighten that in this article shortly. Installing happens when you’ve bought a new computer or if you want to upgrade or reinstall the same operating system in case your computer crashes for whatever reason it could be.
This article will guide you through the process of installing an operating system on your computer (Windows, Mac, and Linux).
Before you start the installation, take note of the following:
- Make sure you have at least 20 GB of free space to install the OS.
- Check the system requirements for the operating system you want to install. If your computer does not meet the minimum requirements, you may experience performance issues.
- Make sure you have a reliable internet connection to download drivers and updates.
- If you encounter any errors during the installation process, check the manufacturer’s website for troubleshooting tips or ask someone for help.
- Make sure you have a valid license key for the operating system. You can purchase a license key from the manufacturer’s website or from a licensed retailer.
With that in mind, you can begin the installation;
Step 1: Choose an Operating System
Before you install an operating system, you need to choose one that is compatible with your computer’s hardware. Some popular operating systems include Windows, macOS, and Linux. Make sure you choose an operating system that is compatible with your computer’s hardware specifications.
Windows is the most popular operating system in the world, with over 1 billion active users. It is developed by Microsoft and has been around since the mid-1980s. Windows is known for its user-friendly interface and support for a wide range of software and hardware. The latest version is Windows 11 which was released in October 2021. It is a free upgrade to Windows 10 and is available for any Windows 10 devices that meet the Windows 11 system requirements.
ALSO READ: WINDOWS 11 COMPATIBILITY CHECK: HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR PC IS ELIGIBLE FOR UPGRADE
macOS is the operating system used by Apple’s Mac computers. It is known for its sleek design and ease of use. macOS is designed to work seamlessly with Apple’s hardware, including the MacBook, iMac, and Mac Pro. The current version is the macOS 13 Ventura which was announced in June at WWDC 2022 and released on Oct. 25 of the same year.
Linux is a free and open-source operating system that is popular among developers and tech enthusiasts. Linux is known for its stability and security, and there are many different versions, or “distributions,” of Linux to choose from. The latest release is Linux Mint 21.1 “Vera”, which was released on Dec. 20, 2022.
Step 2: Create an Installation Disk or USB
Once you have chosen an operating system, you need to create an installation disk or USB. You can download installation files from the internet, or you can purchase an installation disk. If you download the installation files, you will need to create a bootable USB drive or DVD to install the operating system.
Creating a Bootable USB Drive
To create a bootable USB drive, you will need a USB drive with at least 8 GB of storage space. You will also need to download a program that can create bootable USB drives, such as Rufus or UNetbootin. Once you have downloaded the program, follow the on-screen instructions to create the bootable USB drive.
Creating a Bootable DVD
To create a bootable DVD, you will need a DVD burner and a blank DVD. You will also need to download the installation files and burn them to the DVD using a program such as ImgBurn or Nero.
Step 3: Backup Your Data [For a fresh installation, skip this step]
If you are not doing a fresh installation, before you start, it is important to back up all of your important data. This includes documents, photos, videos, and any other important files. You can back up your data to an external hard drive, a cloud storage service, or a USB drive.
Backing Up to an External Hard Drive
To back up your data to an external hard drive, simply connect the hard drive to your computer and copy your files to the hard drive.
Backing Up to a Cloud Storage Service
There are many cloud storage services available, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. Simply sign up for a free account and upload your files to the cloud.
Backing Up to a USB Drive
To back up your data to a USB drive, simply connect the USB drive to your computer and copy your files to the USB drive.
Step 4: Boot from the Installation Disk or USB
Insert the installation disk or USB into your computer, and restart your computer. You may need to change the boot order in your computer’s BIOS settings to boot from the installation disk or USB. Once your computer boots from the installation disk or USB, you will see the installation wizard.
Changing the Boot Order in BIOS
To change the boot order in BIOS, you will need to restart your computer and enter the BIOS settings. The key to enter the BIOS settings varies depending on your computer’s manufacturer, but is often F2 or Delete. Once you are in the BIOS settings, look for the boot order option and change it so that the installation disk or USB is first in the boot order.
Step 5: Follow the Installation Wizard
The installation wizard will guide you through the installation process. Follow the on-screen instructions to choose your language, time zone, and keyboard layout. You will also need to select the hard drive or partition where you want to install the operating system.
Partitioning Your Hard Drive
If you are installing the operating system on a computer that already has an operating system installed, you will need to partition your hard drive. This will create a separate section of your hard drive for the new operating system. To partition your hard drive, follow the on-screen instructions during the installation process.
Step 6: Install Drivers and Updates
Once the operating system is installed, you need to install drivers and updates. Drivers are software that allows your computer’s hardware to communicate with the operating system. You can download drivers from the manufacturer’s website. Updates are important to keep your operating system secure and up-to-date.
To install drivers, simply download them from the manufacturer’s website and follow the on-screen instructions to install them.
To install updates, simply go to the settings menu in your operating system and look for the updates option. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the updates.
Step 7: Restore Your Data [If you skipped step 3, this won’t be necessary]
After you have installed the operating system, drivers, and updates, you can restore your data from your backup. Make sure you copy your data to the correct folders on your new operating system.
Once you’re done with installing the software, you can then go ahead and begin installing your preferred software. To being with this, read this article [10 Software Programs That Are Considered Essential For Any Computer] to know the articles you have to start with.
In conclusion, installing an operating system on your computer is an important task and it is quite simple. By following the steps above, you can ensure a smooth installation process and this can be done in just a few hours. Just ensure to choose a compatible operating system, and follow the installation wizard to complete the installation. Always remember, if it is not a clean installation, don’t forget to back up your data, and install drivers and updates after the operating system is installed.
ALSO READ: 9 THINGS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A NEW COMPUTER