Step 1 - Preparation
Alright then, the first step involves having Windows Vista (either 32-bit or 64-bit) with Service Pack 1 (SP1) already installed on a hard disk drive with at least 100GB free space for good measure. This is because Microsoft's Windows 7 BETA program requires you to upgrade from Vista SP1 to Windows 7.
Once you've downloaded the Windows 7 BETA (and do note that this guide will more than likely also apply for the final shipping version of W7, too, whenever it is released), burn the ISO to a DVD and set your computer's BIOS to boot from CD/DVD as the first boot device - you'll find that open under 'Advanced BIOS Features' or something similar depending on your motherboard.
If you did that part correctly, your computer will see the DVD you burnt with W7 and begin booting from it into the setup. Follow through the Windows 7 install screen until it is all done - depending on the speed of your computer, it may take up to a few hours to upgrade Vista to Windows 7, but on our test system, which is relatively new and fast (Intel Q9450 CPU @ 3.2GHz, 4GB RAM and X48 chipset), it took about one hour to complete and boot into the shiny new Windows 7 desktop.
Now that Windows 7 has taken over your previous Vista install, what we need to do now is setup the new partitions for installing Vista again as well as Windows XP and other operating systems you want to multi-boot. This might seem a little scary for new users, but it's really quite easy if you follow the screens we prepared for you.
Read on over the next page!