Category name:Windows 7

My deep dive, I installed Windows 7 RC

I have a laptop that I use for my day to day work. It is a laptop equipped for running multiple virtual images at the same time. My operating system has been Windows Vista Business 64-bit for the last 1,5 years.

At the beginning I was enthusiastic about Vista and it’s user interface. But after a certain period of time my laptop didn’t perform as good as I was used to. I tried to clean some things up, defragged my hard drive and stopped unnecessary services to make the machine run smooth again. I still wasn’t very satisfied with the performance but reinstalling the machine wasn’t something I was looking forward to.

This changed when Windows Update stopped functioning back in March. It suddenly wasn’t able to update and also my Forefront Client Security stopped working. At first I thought it was a hick-up but I couldn’t get it to work anymore (MSDN forum question).

After a few weeks in this situation I started to worry. I didn’t get any updates for Vista and even worse I didn’t get any virus definitions. To solve the latter I installed AVG, but that is known to be very slow where I was actually very satisfied with the performance of Forefront Client Security.

This weekend I decided this situation should end and I was at the point of reinstalling. What to choose? Windows Vista again of which I knew everything would run or try the RC of Windows 7?

I decided to give Windows 7 a go.

The installation procedure was smooth, it took a while but I faced no issues. After that the first challenge was to get my display to show full HD resolution. At first this appeared to be a problem because nearly all Dell drivers for my Vostro 1700 quit installation after finding out it wasn’t Vista. However one driver was installed without the check and that was enough.

Then the endless process of installing Forefront, Office, Visual Studio and all other programs started. I was under the assumption that Windows 7 came with Virtual PC installed but that wasn’t the case. I had to get it from here.

I was a bit concerned about Forefront. If that wouldn’t install I had to resort to AVG again (ironically AVG is the only available supported Windows 7 virus scanner according to the Windows 7 security settings) . I run Forefront as a stand-alone client and you install it from the commandline with “ClientSetup /NOMOM”. Trying this resulted in an access denied error. I binged a bit and I found the solution. Like with Vista the client setup has to run as administrator. That did the trick.

The other applications installed without any issue. However with the service packs I ran into something. Visual Studio 2008 SP1 didn’t install. Also Office SP2 didn’t install from the downloaded version but actually was successful with Windows Update. I´m still looking for a way to get VS SP1 installed.

So far so good. My first hours with Windows 7 are great. The user interface is very friendly and the new taskbar is awesome. It runs fast and most important to me: Windows Update runs fine and so does Forefront!

Update: Yesterday evening I shutdown my laptop and this morning I started it again to find out it couldn’t boot anymore. It just started and crashed and restarted and crashed. Start repair failed and I couldn’t return to a restore point. Even a safe boot resulted in a crash. Memory check showed no problems. Again I was at the point of reinstall. While last time I installed Windows 7 next to Vista, this time I decided to format my hard drive and give Windows 7 a second chance. So far so good, but my confidence in Windows 7 is at a low level at the moment and I fear every Windows Update that results in a shutdown or restart.