Backup Windows Platform

I would strongly recommend backing up the entire Windows system with the user data and account settings so the system can be readily restored if the owner would like to put the system back to the way it was. I use Acronis on all of my Windows computers.

The backup should include both hard drives and all partitions.

Create Recovery Disks

In my experience the majority of people I have had to rescue failed to create the system recovery disks.On the Dell 15z this can be done by first powering the computer completely off. If a simple restart is used, the system is typically fast enough to make it into the Operating System boot process before any keys can be pressed.

While holding down the SHIFT key, repeatedly and quickly tap the F8 key during the whole booting process. Alternately, use can the F12 menu. This will take you into the Recovery Mode menu before the operating system begins to load.Select See advance repair options and then Advanced Options. I believe you can create a set of factory restore disks under the System Image Recovery Area. For my system it required 2 regular 4.7 GB DVD's. I made two sets while I was at it. Be forewarned, it takes approximately 40 minutes for each set.


Select Your Language

Main Install Screen

Others have stated it, and I concur the layout of the primary install screen needs a bit of work. Traditionally, a druid stepped users through the install one stage at a time. The current rendition, expects users to jump in and get it going. I, for one, missed the fact that a gui was not offered by default.

Essentially, the user simply has to work through the menu choices one at a time as illustrated below.

Select Base Gnome

I only install the default Gnome system. I refrain from selecting anything in any of the sub menus or additional software.

Networking: Wired

One of the complaints I have read concerning the installation of Centos 7 (and the upstream) is that networking is not automatically turned on upon the initial startup once installation is completed.

Simply turn the network on, and make the respective selections on the General tab in the configure menu.

Networking: Wireless

Likewise, turn the wireless on and select a network to access.I have several here to pick from. If at all possible, I would choose the router behind the modem provided by the Internet Access Provider. This will allow another layer of security.

During my install I noticed the "Automatically connect to this network when it is available" was selected on the wireless, as it had been carried over from the wired settings.

Provide the network password when asked. I found nothing else required adjusting for either the wired or wireless networks.

Select all drives

As stated previously, we are going to utilize all available space. Select each of the drives shown in the display.

Manually Partition

There are two options for partitioning the hard drives: automated and manual.I would suggest the following sequence:

  • Select the link in the bottom right: "2 storage devices selected"
  • Select the 32GB drive and set it as bootable.
  • Select Done to return to the screen shown, then select done again.
  • Go back into the Installation Destination screen and switch to the manual mode
  • Selecting Done in the upper left will place you on the manual partition screen.
  • Adjust the sizes to meet your needs.A suggest partitioning scheme can be found here. Note: simply deleting the /home partition and resizing / will work. Leave the swap partition alone. For what ever reason it may cause you to crash the process, requiring a reboot.
  • When Done is selected an error will probably occur. Simply click the "2 storage devices selected" link in the bottom left of the Installation destination screen, reselect the 32GB drive as the boot drive and press Done until you are back at the main Installation screen.

Once the drives have been partitioned and all error messages responded to click the Begin Installation button in the bottom right of the main install screen.

At this time the drives will be erased, partitioned, and the Operating system and the installation of selected packages will begin.

Set root password

Create a strong root password. You will not need it very often.

Create User

Create a user and select "Make user an administrator". Additionally, create a strong password for the user.

Please do not make the mistake of using a weak password on an administrative user. Doing so will drastically reduce the integrity of the system, as the administrative user can utilize sudo and be able to access various root functions.


Once all of the packages are installed you will be prompted to reboot the computer in the bottom right of the screen. I believe it will simply say "Finish".

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