I found the following, rather lengthy, instructions. Please evaluate the followings. If you prefer, refer to x numbers as listed below:
(FYI, this is brand new Windows 7 Professional Laptop)
1) Prepare the initial system -- create a restore point on the existing machine (restore point #1)
--- run a file system and disk check on any installation disk volumes
--- disable any virus or malware protection software (temporarily)
---- confirm the you have the latest release of the Windows Installer
2) Run Windows Update -- install the required (not optional) updates
3) Install Visual Studio 2012 (Professional/Ultimate -- not Express)
4) Reboot the machine after install Step 3.
5) Create a new restore point (restore point #2)
6) Open Visual Studio and check for updates -- install required updates -- reboot
7) Create a new restore point (restore point #3)
8) Install IIS 8.0 (not 7.5) -- no need to reboot after IIS install, but run Windows Update
9) If new updates after IIS install and reboot, create another restore point ( restore pointy #4)
10) Check the RAM and disk storage requirements for SQL Sever 2012 -- confirm you meet the req.
a) If you have another SQL database system installed/running (MySQL, Oracle, etc.) recommend you shut the service down prior to beginning the SQL Server 2012 install. <-- n/a
11) Install SQL Server 2012, reboot, run Windows Update, install any important updates, reboot again , and open the SQL Server Management Console (check the logs for any errors on SQL server service start up) -- be sure you download and install any required SQL Server drivers.
12) Create another restore point ( restore point #5)
The most important steps in the process is to make sure you have the latest Windows Installer and to create restore points along the way and to reboot the machine after each installation of the software suites. Also running Windows Update as you go will save time overall and ensure you get each software new installed program updated before you move on.
Most important, check the install logs and confirm you didn't "miss" anything. The installs can take time and you might not catch any issues not serious enough to stop the install, but could crop up later.
This process has lots of moving parts and each one of those that are not absolutely could turn into a trap. It is scary to me. What do you think?