October 21, 2009

Installing Windows 7

I've been running Windows 7 RC on my Aspire One netbook without problems. 

Tonight I installed the newly arrived Windows 7 Professional. Since it could not upgrade the Ultimate RC version, the old system was placed in a Windows.old directory and a new copy installed. The install involved quite a few restarts, but went fairly fast until it got to the finishing stage and that took much longer than all the rest put together.

What I finally got was Windows 7 with US settings and IE installed and no option to install other browsers. Switching to UK settings was easy.

I then tried to customise the install as I don't like blue. But I kept running into missing files and bad URLs on the Microsoft website.

I also made the mistake of trying to delete the Windows.old directory. First the system counted the files and moaned about some names being too long for the Recycle Bin. Then it started to delete them, about 110,000 files and 6.5GB. Half an hour later it is still deleting them. Not much disk activity and no indication how far it has got...

So far it has been a much less pleasant experience than installing the RC.

Added following a tweet from Steve Rumsby: I'd recommend anyone about to upgrade to read this report from the BBC's Tim Webber first.

- 10 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Did U install wth formatting ur C drive? as far as I understand it would delete all data n there should not be any windows.old folder.

    Actually I am also running WIN7 Ultimate RC version since Sep last yr n now I’d be installing professional version.

    25 Oct 2009, 02:49

  2. John Rawnsley

    I didn’t reformat to avoid needing to reinstall the drivers but that may have been a false saving. The card reader driver was deleted by the installer and I had to go and get a copy from the Acer website. The XP driver installed without any messing.

    The only other driver I had a problem with was the Synaptics pointing device. The one I had previously used (11.something) wouldn’t work so I used the Vista 32 bit driver from a later AA1.

    25 Oct 2009, 10:52

  3. In my experience, clean installation with quick or full formatting of drive is the best. Hope yours is working fine now.

    I am just waiting for my DVD to arrive in the post but on the other side I am trying to delay this installation as my PC is working perfect without any trouble and I am not finding a 6 – 8 hrs slot to install the windows and then bring all the custom settings and additional software intallations…........

    25 Oct 2009, 11:31

  4. Well, I installed the retail version of WIN 7 Professional on my PC. Everything went well apart from the video/graphics card. The system is just not picking up the hardware and showing me a simple VGA graphics card.

    I’ve been searching solution to this and would appreciate any help.


    03 Nov 2009, 18:06

  5. John Rawnsley

    Very likely the installer didn’t like the driver for your graphics card. See if there is a recent Vista driver for the card you can download and install.

    03 Nov 2009, 18:13

  6. Thanks John but the problem is that any and every driver is rejected coz system is just not recognizing the hardware at all. It looks like there is not graphics card but a VGA.

    I’ve tried device manager and now I’ve no idea what else to do. and I am thinking of try to install the Windows again.

    03 Nov 2009, 18:28

  7. I figured out that the professional version of windows 7 is somehow conflicting with my hardware buttons of speed/stamina. Its working well on Stamina mode and btw it is supposed to work on Speed and not on Stamina.

    Well. as long as its working, I am fine.

    and now i’ve another problem, wondering if you could help on that. I’ve Pro-duo memory card slot in my laptop which was working fine in my Sony camera and with my pc as well but now the pc asks me to format it and then the camera also gives me error and asks me to format it. any idea what could be wrong? I’ve tried different formating such as FAT32 and NTFS.


    09 Nov 2009, 02:08

  8. John Rawnsley


    The general rule is to format memory cards in the camera where they are to be used.

    If the PC then wants to format the card it suggests that the correct driver is not being used – something which happened when I installed 7 – I ended up with no driver for the card slot, but maybe you got a generic driver. Installing a recent reader-specific driver afterwards solved the problem for me.

    One test would be to use an external card reader and see if the same thing happens.

    It would also be worth checking the ‘net to see if any other Sony users are having a Windows 7 conflict, such as the the Sony area on websites like DPReview.

    As for the processor speed problem, it isn’t surprising if there are problems there and you should check the manufacturer for a Windows 7 update for their processor.

    09 Nov 2009, 08:20

  9. Thanks John,

    I’ll try to re-install the drivers for the card reader and I’ll try to use external Card reader. lets see.

    09 Nov 2009, 13:33

  10. It doesn’t really matter if you format the disc or not, provided you have the disc space. The installer moves everything that was on the disc to the folder “Windows.old” (as you noticed) and then completely ignores it; they are just flat files. They could be on a separate volume, a different physical disc or on a network share so far as the system is concerned. Windows won’t use any driver from there unless you specifically tell it to do so, and it would certainly be foolish to look there automatically (given that it was an old, i.e., different edition of Windows). It is a clean install for all purposes (you cannot boot from the old installation) except that the disc has this folder on that helpfully contains all your old files. Most programs in there won’t run.

    If you are deleting a large number of things, you can bypass the Recycle Bin by holding the shift key down as you press delete. Typically this is faster than moving them to the Recycle Bin—especially if you are going to delete them immediately anyway. However, deleting a very large number of fairly small files is time consuming on (almost) any file system, regardless of the total space they occupy on disc. This is because Windows is removing its record of where the file physically resides on disc, rather than destroying the actual data. It simply pretends that this space is empty and ready for new use. Undelete utilities work by inspecting the disc for fragments of files whose records have been removed, but whose content has yet to be overwritten by newer files.

    If you are having trouble with a video card, both nVidia and ATI have released Windows 7 drivers: they are the best place to start for desktop computers. Driver updates from the websites of the laptop manufacturers should be available too. This is one instance where it is usually best to run the manufacturer’s setup utility and let it install the drivers for you, instead of trying to install the drivers through the Device Manager wizards, which do depend of course on Windows already talking to the device and understanding what it does.

    13 Nov 2009, 00:47

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