How to install a software program

Microsoft ExcelThe installation process for software depends on your operating system and the program you are installing. As a result of these many combinations, we have created the steps below as a general guideline. The following does not cover errors during the installation process as they are too vast for one document, search on our site for further information on errors during the setup.

General Tips
Microsoft Windows users
MS-DOS Users

General Tips

  • Make sure your computer meets the system requirements of the program, game, or utility you are attempting to install.
  • The manual or the readme file contain exact instructions on how to install a program and are in the same directory as the installation files.
  • When installing a program, utility, or game, it is always a good idea first to close or disable any other programs that are running.
  • After installing a new program if it prompts you to reboot the computer, do it.

Microsoft Windows users

Autorun from a CD or DVD

Many software programs, games, and utilities have an AutoPlay feature. This feature automatically starts a setup screen for the software program when inserting a CD or DVD. If your program contains this feature, follow the steps that appear after inserting the disc.

No Autorun Feature

  1. Open My Computer.
  2. Within the My Computer window, open the drive that contains the installation files. For example, if the files are on the CD-ROM drive open the D: drive or letter of your CD-ROM drive.
  3. Setup.exeWithin the drive that contains your files, locate either the executable setup or install file. Double-clicking on this file starts the installation process. If you see multiple setup or install files, try to locate the Application file or double-click each of the setup or install files until you find the file that starts the installation. Many times the icons associated with the installation files have the same name.

An alternate method for starting installation in Microsoft Windows

  1. Click Start and Run.
  2. In the Run Window, type x:\setup or x:\install where x is the letter of the install drive.

Installing from a Download

  1. If the file you downloaded is an executable, click the icon twice in rapid succession to start the setup process. If the downloaded file is compressed (e.g. .zip) you must extract the file's contents before setup can begin. Fortunately, this function is build into later versions of Windows.
  2. Once the files are extracted, double click the setup to install.

MS-DOS users

Users installing a program from Microsoft DOS should have a basic understanding of the MS-DOS commands. If you are unfamiliar with any of the commands listed below, click the link to get additional information on that specific command.

  1. Before installing a program in MS-DOS, you must switch to the drive or directory that contains the installation files. If you are installing a program from a CD or diskette, switch to that drive. If the installation files are located in a different directory, use the dir command to list the directories and the cd command to switch into the appropriate directory.
  2. Once you are in the directory or drive that contains the installation files, run the executable for setup. Many times this can be done by typing setup or install at the prompt to start the installation. If both of these commands give a bad command or file name error message, type dir *.exe or dir *.com or dir *.bat. These commands list any executable files; if any files are listed, execute these files to run the installation or setup of the program. If no files are listed when typing all three of the above commands, you are in the incorrect directory or drive letter for that program.

Additional information