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Microsoft Windows 7

After being an early (first week of retail release and all the Betas previously) you’d have thought I’d learnt my lesson!

But no, another new MS OS and here I am again installing quickly after retail release.  Again I have played with Windows 7 (W7) for quite a wile in the Beta program and found it very responsive even running under VMWare.  I could of course have taken the financial hit and continued into retail in a VM session but Vista has not given me the performance I had hoped for from my Q6600 processing core.  And it has increasingly churned the disk more and more.

The Desktop

The specification is a few years out of date but still more than adequate for a home PC not expected to perform massive frame rates in Call of Duty or the like.  I am away from my system currently so will update this

  • CPU: Intel Quad Core Q6600, 2.4GHz
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3
  • HDD: 250GB (7200rpm)
  • Free space: 110GB
  • Audio: RealTek 3D
  • Video: nVidia 8400

Windows 7

With Windows 7 I am turning my back on the 16bit applications (Windows 3.11, DOS 6.22) that I have *very* occassionally started up.  This is because I will install the 64bit version which does not include any wrapper for 16bit.  As I have rarely used these programs in recent years I think this will be of great advantage, especially if I choose to upgrade the memory beyond 4GB.

I have selected the Home Premium version, though I reserve the right to upgrade to Professional later.  The main reasons revolve around expected use.  The primary advantages of professional are the Remote Desktop, Windows XP shell (though you have to download this separately), Secure Domain Join (work related) and Network Backup.  The only one currently of interets is the Remote Desktop but even this is rarely used as I have a perfectly adequate Windows XP Laptop provided by work.  Altimate Edition also adds Data encryption and 35 more languages! Nah – don’t need those.

Preparation

First I downloaded and ran the Update Adviser.  This showed that I should install the 32bit version but I think that is because the Vista installation  is 32bit.  I’ll ignore that.  It did not show any hardware incompatibilities although the Kodak Printer (easy Share) had an unknown device type against it.  As it can be used stand alone I’ll cope for now.  Software all detected as ok with the exception of the previously mentioned 16bit apps.

Next I created a list of all my essential data.  I have deliberately excluded game saves from this list as I’ll have the fun of starting all over again.  As I haven’t played most of my PC games (you’ll find me more often on the PS3) I’m not worried.

  • Data
    • Pictures
    • Music
    • Downloads
    • Videos
    • iTunes
  •  Network Driver
  • Video Driver
  • Audio Driver
  • Printers
    • HP All-in-One F380
    • Kodak Easy Share 3
  • Card Reader
  • DVD Dual Layer Writer
  • iTunes
  • MS Office 2007
  • World of Warcraft

So using this list I started to copy data etc. to an USB drive.  38Gb was required for me as I don’t have vast amount of Video.  I decided to download and install WoW from scratch at a later date.

IMPORTANT

With Vista you must remember to backup the PUBLIC folders and any other users data, which will require Administrator privilages.

Backing up took a little over an hour onto a USB disk.  This was helped again by Microsoft as the Vista Mail Client has a nice export function for both Contacts and mail.

I then asked the AV (Norton) for the product keys.  I may not be able to reuse these but as they expire in 6 weeks it’s not the end of the world.

After all of this its time to boot off the DVD (64b).

I had to select a boot time option to boot off the DVD but after that the install was very smooth.

I was able to select the “Custom” option and this allowed me to actually keep the files associated with Vista!  So effectively my backup is redundent.  Please don’t rely on this though – it is essential that all your data is backed up before you start installing any OS.

Installation took 45 Minute.  You then need a fair bit of time to dowload and install the Live! package to get the Mail / Picture toys etc. that came with Vista.

First thing I did was Activate the OS.  Don’t worry, this happens automatically after 3 days anyway.

AV version wasn’t available so had to download the new one and got a 30 day licence.

Already have 9 updates to download for the W7 OS.

Additionally a new nVidia driver is available.

So now i’m back at work and the system is simply sitting at home awaiting my return.  My fiddling so far has shown that the system has a dramatic performance boost in W7.  Early days but this looks hopeful.  Trick now will be not swamping the system.  I don’t knwo where the performance increase truely comes from but I expect that it is mostly from a combination of better application of available resources and cleaner, simpler coding in W7.

About harlekwinblog

"Thoughts of an idle mind." Information Security professional.

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