A+: Operating systems

PCs without an operating system (or 'OS') are lumps of metal, fiberglass and solder and silicon. The OS is a foundation, a collection of low level programs which are like a uniform and consistent floor, walls and ceiling you can furnish to do your work and make the computer useful. To get ready to put an OS on a PC, you need to:

    • Confirm the PC has sufficient resources and free disk space for the installation

    • Make sure you have drivers for the devices and peripherals you want to use with the OS

    • Collect the startup disks (if needed) to prepare the hard disk and start the installation

    • Figure out where a new OS should be installed to if part of a dual-boot configuration to let you run either the old or new OS.

    • Choose the OS edition to install