Estimates of the 2009 market share of Microsoft's Windows operating system market are 88.42 percent, according to PC Magazine. With such a large number of users opting for this OS, many people run into installation problems, even if the percentage of people experiencing a problem is small. Luckily, most Windows installation problems are user-based and not a problem with the OS.
Windows installation problems sometimes prevent use of a computer, in the case of computers without a preloaded operating system. Problems are identified by the stalling of file copying during the installation. The installation also might fail to start after inserting the Windows disc, or the computer might freeze and/or display a static blank or color screen, according to Microsoft.
Problems with installing Windows can occur with hardware, software or other extraneous factors, such as a power outage during the install attempt. The user also might encounter problems with the computer after a Windows installation. Issues also can crop up when installing an upgrade from the basic Home edition to Professional, or from 32-bit versions to a 64-bit Windows OS, according to Microsoft.
Because of the multitude of different computers and versions of Windows, specific causes of installation problems exist, but most issues are common to all Windows products. Typical origins of problems include a scratched or damaged installation CD. All Windows systems require a valid product key; losing your key results in having to purchase a new copy of Windows. Faulty CD-ROMs or hard drives also are typical problems.
The Windows OS requires extensive processing power and hard-disk space. When the installation appears to stall, wait about 10 minutes for the hard-drive indicator light to start blinking, which indicates that the install has resumed. If the indicator light does not blink after 10 minutes, consider interrupting the installation.
Download any security patches and new drivers during the Windows install to prevent hardware and software issues with any Windows upgrade. Product keys are printed on the computer case or the Windows CD holder.
Not all computers have the power or memory needed to run Windows adequately. Consider running Microsoft's free "Upgrade Advisor" if running Windows XP or a later version of Windows. The adviser tests your PC to determine if the computer can handle or receive any benefits from installation or upgrading to the latest version of Windows.
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