Windows 7 – The Aftermath

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There are a lot of senior citizens in my area. This is, after all, Florida. And contrary to popular belief, not all of them are technologically challenged. One of my neighbors was a lead programmer on the DARPA net project after his days doing communications on a nuclear sub. So they can know their stuff. But, a majority don’t.

One such case still baffles me. It was the morning of the launch and an older gentleman (in his 80′s) was eagerly waiting at the door. First in line; a queue of one. That was a bit disappointing since 5 guys had worked 11hrs overnight, getting the place looking like the Microsoft equivalent of a Mac store.

Anyway, the store opens and he begins his questions about the new Windows, finally asking how difficult was the upgrade process because he’d heard horror the stories just as we had. Horror is is relative term based on what you were upgrading from – vista should be easy, XP being a full wipe – so we asked what he was upgrading from. Redhat, says he.

Begging the question we all internalized – HOW THE FUCK DO YOU END UP RUNNING LINUX IF YOU DONT EVEN KNOW LINUX ISN’T A MS PRODUCT?!

w7diskI don’t know how his upgrade went. I don’t really care either. Mine however went rather swimmingly, thank you.

The process was simple. It was an upgrade provided by HP, so they had a prep disk which told you at the offset what to uninstall – if you’re yet to upgrade, get rid of iTunes and Nero; they conflict with the process. You can reinstall them afterwards. This took a bit since Nero’s gets its hands into a lot of things when installed. Also had to track down some phantom HP drivers for a really old printer that miraculously still is compatible.

Once that was over the rest was easy. Pop in the disk and away you go.

There was only one point that made me second guess the whole thing when it froze for 20 minutes. I’d heard of installations just freezing, quitting and reverting; or freezing and go into an infinite boot loop. Luckily I had a Benedictine Chant CD loaded in my stereo and after few cantatas things got moving again. Thank you Adeptus Mechanicus.

2-something hours later and it was over. Rather anti-climactic. Programs were compatible; no data corruption. The only hiccup came about when I hooked up my external HD. Apparently there was an issue with Windows 7 (out of the box or upgrade), that only affected computers with my exact specifications, and would cause the blue screen of death (something I had not seen in the 4 years working with XP) when transferring files to a USB device. My heart sank a bit, but after a few days Googling I found the patch.

So, if you’ve got more than 4 gigs Ram, with a Nvidia GeForce integrated videocard which also is the USB controller (and you bought it on a Friday between the hrs of… not really), and you get the BSOD saying its video driver issue – forget messing with the drivers. It’s likely a MS hotfix issue.

Forum posts about this critical fault can be found here and here. The actual hotfix is here.

Thankfully it did the trick, otherwise I may have had to revert to vista to process the video of me installing Windows 7. That would have been sad. Much like the video itself…

I never really shot video of a monitor, as obviously evidenced by the fuzz you’re about to watch. But here it is, time lapse video of the installation of W7.

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