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  Computer Dictionary : Install
 

Welcome to the eComputer Bay's Computer Dictionary - the free online dictionary of computer and technology terms. The goal of the Computer Dictionary is to not just define computer terms, but explain them as well.

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Computer Term

1. Install

Most software programs require that you first install them on your computer before using them. For example, if you buy Microsoft Office, you need to install it on your computer before you can run any of the included programs such as Word or Excel. You can install software from a CD or DVD, an external hard drive, or from a networked computer. You can also install a program or software update from a file downloaded from the Internet.

Installing a software program writes the necessary data for running the program on your hard drive. Often the installer program will decompress the data included with the installer immediately before writing the information to your hard drive. Software updates, which are typically downloaded from the Internet, work the same way. When you run the update, the installer file decompresses the data and then updates the correct program or operating system.

Installing software is usually a simple process. It involves double-clicking an installer icon and then clicking "I Agree" when the license agreement pops up. You may have to choose what directory on your hard disk you would like to install the software in, but often the installer will even choose that for you. Some software can be installed by simply dragging a folder or application program onto your hard drive. Either way, installing software is a rather simple process and should not be intimidating. If you can cook you dinner in the microwave, you can install your own software.

2. Installer

In order to install new software on your computer, you often need to run an installer program. This program unpacks compressed data included with the installer and writes new information to your hard drive. While some installers do not use compressed data, most use some level of compression since it reduces the size of the files included with the installer. This is especially helpful when downloading programs or software updates from the Internet.

An installer can either install a new program on your computer or can update a program currently on your hard drive. It can also update or add files to your operating system. Most installers can be run by simply double-clicking the installer icon and then choosing the folder you want to install the software into. The nice thing about installers is that they do all the work for you, decompressing and writing the data on the hard drive. Once the installer is finished, you can often use the new or updated software right away. If any system files were installed, you will be asked to restart your computer before using the new software. This is because system files can only be loaded during the computer's boot process.



 
 



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