This is a repost of a blog I posted from Windows 7 RC. Things did not go exactly as expected with the post – so pardon the re-try.
Naturally all went well with the installation, but here is my story and a couple of tips.
My machine is a 32-bit laptop using a wireless connection to my DSL router. I have several partitions on the hard drive and had Windows 7 beta in a partition mapped to H:. I decided to do a clean install over the beta in that partition.
I downloaded the Windows 7 RC ISO file without incident while I went out to lunch and burned it to a DVD when I got back. Put the DVD into the drive and restated the machine. The install started fine, but when it got to where to install it said “cannot install …”. The partition I had used for the beta is of modest size – 18 GB. With Windows 7 beta, Microsoft Office, Windows Live and some files, there was only about 7 GB of free space. The installer clearly did not like this.
Back in Vista using Computer Management I did a quick reformat of the partition and a couple of minutes later tried the RC install again.
No problems this time at all. The copying and expanding of files took less than ten minutes. Installing features only a few seconds – well, I figured that I wasn’t due any special features. It skipped over installing updates without complaints – it was not yet able to get to the Internet. The first restart was surprising: The boot manager is normally set to default to Vista. The Windows 7 installer changed that to Windows 7 and restarted without any manual intervention – nice. The second restart after “completing” the installation went just as smoothly.
It didn’t ask for the product key until about 15 minutes after the start. Yes, I had written it down.
Tip 1: Write down the product key before you start!
The time setting defaults to Pacific Time – a bow toward Redmond – the only change required, date and time were correct.
It found the wireless networks just fine – mine and my neighbors’. No problem accepting the password and logging in, set as a Home network.
Tip 2: Write down your wireless password before you start!
The total time was just 22 minutes, I’m sure your mileage may vary.
When Windows 7 RC was up I was a bit disappointed. The display resolution was 768×1024 not the best my machine can do, and it did not recognize that I have a wide-screen monitor. Also there was no Aero – just Windows 7 Basic. Well I looked around a bit and decided to go ahead and see if there were any updates. There were. I let it go ahead with the updates. A restart was required.
Lo and behold – after the update restart it came up with full resolution in wide-screen and Aero – it had found what it needed, installed it without asking any questions.
Tip 3: Allow Windows 7 to update and configure your machine – it does it well!
I downloaded the Windows Live Essentials – all of them and now I am using Writer.
So, the experience was a pleasant one. Less than half an hour and Windows 7 works fine. Yes, I found a couple of new features already. I’ will leave those for tomorrow. More exploring to do.