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The computer (dell inspiron) is brand new so a clean install is fine...I've got an OEM Preinstallation Kit DVD and a Windows 7 DVD, but can't even figure out how to boot from a DVD, and Google is not my friend..

Some basic instructions would be greatly appreciated!!

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Power up the laptop and almost immediately press F12.

You should get a message stating "Preparing one time boot menu". From there select the DVD.

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Thank you! That's exactly what I needed. – dana maria Dec 1 '12 at 21:56

Apparently windows 8 is so fast booting with an ssd you wouldn't have had time to hit a function key to access the bios.

So Instead...

You need to go into the computer settings in windows 8. Settings - > General -> Under Advanced Startup, click Restart Now (or hold shift when clicking restart)

This should take you into the advanced boot menu.

From here to open the BIOS, click the Troubleshoot icon. This will open the Advanced Settings, then select UEFI Firmware Settings, which will open the BIOS.

Certainly not a time saver but it might make laptop theft a more pointless exercise.


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You need to change the boot order in your BIOS to make it look for a bootable DVD before it defaults to booting from your hard disk. You'll find instructions here.

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Thanks for that, but here's the problem: all the instructions for changing the boot order in BIOS start with entering setup as the computer is loading. With Win 8, there is nothing before the the "desktop" shows up. – dana maria Dec 1 '12 at 21:29

This worked for us!

To install Windows 7 on a pre-installed Windows 8 computer

Used system

Laptop Acer Aspire V3-771G


Many new Windows8 pre-installed systems will not boot from CdRom. To enable booting from CdRom you need to get into the Bios of your computer.

In this case (Acer laptop), press and hold the F2 key while restarting the system. Restarting is important; Shutdown/startup will not work with the F2 key.

  • Once in the Bios, go to the Boot section and set the CdROm device as primary boot device.

  • Disable UEFI boot

  • Exit with save & reboot

  • Startup the computer using a 3rd party boot manager that supports GPT/MBR boot record management. In this case we used an Acronis Boot Disk (created with Acronis True Image 2013).

Install - step 1 (Acronis)

Windows 7 will only install on a disk/partition with a MBR (Master Boot Record) partition table

  • From the Acronis boot menu, select True Image
  • Choose Tools & Utilities from the left menu and Add New Disk -> Next
  • Select your hard disk from the list -> Next
  • Ok to confirm deletion of all data and start paritioning --> ### double check that you have the correct disk, to prevent data loss !! ###
  • Select the required disk initialization method: MBR -> Next
  • Create partition(s) -> Next
  • Specify settings for the partition being created -> Accept
  • Proceed. MBR partition table will be created on the new disk.
  • Finish. Exit True image, remove the Acronis boot CD and restart your computer, using a Windows7 boot CD

Install - step 2 (Windows)

Install Windows7 on the newly created MBR disk

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For my Dell Inspirion 15R SE I had to go to the UEFI with F2 set secure boot to off and chnage the option Load Legacy Option ROM to true.

After a reboot you can boot from Windows 7 DVD (press F12 to see the boot menu and select the DVD) and install Windows 7.

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