Windows 7

Windows 7

Just want to bore you for a minute or two with my tales of woe following my misguided attempts to upgrade my PC to Windows 7.  As the situation currently stands my expensive custom built desktop computer is currently sitting idle, it is now incapable of booting up so therefore will most likely remain idle for some time.

This is the end result of approximately two weeks of lost productivity time in trying to bring my system (which was built in 2007) into the new age of Microsoft operating system technology.

I had convinced myself that Windows XP had to be replaced, if only because it was so old, being first released in 1999. Like a naive schoolboy I assumed that modernising would make my life easier, and my system more secure. Indeed, Microsoft’s helpful ‘upgrade advisor’ gave no clue as to the actual reality of making the leap of faith, cheerfully telling me I could slap the x64 or x32 version of Windows 7  onto my computer without much ado.

In my first attempt to upgrade I opted for the 64 bit install – but just moments after the machine had automatically ‘activated’ the W7 install the entire system crashed – forcing me to run a ‘restore’ to a pre-activation build, which in turn required a ‘startup repair’. Further persistence demonstrated that half of my legacy software would no longer function in a 64 bit environment, and while there was a supposed 32 bit emulator built into the system – this appeared to do sweet FA.

I went back to the drawing board and installed the 32 bit variation with slightly better results, however the machine kept freezing due to apparent hardware incompatibility. Also I was no longer able to delete files from my network file server and Skype kept crashing on start-up. While I was able to sort out most problems with a bit of tinkering with the registry I still seemed to be hard-resetting the machine two or three times a day.

An email exchange with the machine manufacturer suggested that the only remaining solution was to update the BIOS on the motherboard. Which I did, and now regret.

The only thing that’s going to get me out of this mess now is money, which I’m not exactly flush with right now. Thanks Microsoft!

By | 2010-09-16T20:54:48+00:00 September 16th, 2010|pointless whinging|8 Comments

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8 Comments

  1. Darren Abrahams September 17, 2010 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Time to go Apple methinks…

  2. Englishman September 17, 2010 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    With a Dell you're dandy because they are a mainstream manufacturer of PCs – so Microsoft made 100% sure Dells would all upgrade nicely. High end customers like me (ahem) however of custom-built German pieces of art were not factored into Microsoft's plans. They bill it as "Your PC – but simpler" which is a load of crap because it comes loaded with all sorts of extras you really don't want or need. It looks nice though.

  3. Trisha Stewart September 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    About to buy a new Dell laptop and upgrade to Windows 7. Do I detect dissatisfaction with the product?

  4. Nick Rozanski September 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    If you can still boot it try switching off Aero (translucent graphics), that might help. If you've bricked it with a bad firmware upgrade let me know, I know a man who can post you a new BIOS chip

  5. Englishman September 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    It's bricked alright – and the manufacturer think the mb is stuffed. I have a feeling the bios chip is integrated… 🙁

  6. Englishman October 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    The latest news, following the repair of my PC is that Windows 7 continues to cause problems:

    – Skype crashes regularly
    – Recovery from sleep or a log-off usually results in limited functionality (e.g. the wireless stops working)
    – User Access Control (UAC) causes havoc whenever it can (today I was asked for the password to the administrator account – even though there isn’t one!)
    – Windows Media Player 12 became corrupted/unstable and had to be removed
    – Hangs on shutdown

    There are a number of conclusions I have drawn from this whole painful process, and not least as Darren suggests above – that perhaps it really is time to give up on Microsoft and make the switch. In my view Windows 7 tries too hard to do so many things you really don’t need or want it to. As a business user I am exceedingly frustrated at the hours and hours (if not weeks) of wasted productivity time trying to solve problems that under Windows XP would have taken a few seconds.

    It is telling when someone in the IT trade, a systems administrator for IBM no less, tells you he’s bought a Mac because he’s ‘fed up with PCs’.

    I beginning to feel the same way.

  7. Englishman October 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    I’ve let my version of Windows 7 Ultimate go into ‘unactivated’ mode following the initial 30 day install period. Why? Well having used up one activation thanks to win7 crashing my system (which meant I had to restore to a non-activated version) … I am loathed to use up another one (and you can only do it 5 times).

    Interestingly though, I’ve noticed that my machine is a lot faster running the unactivated version – which makes me wonder what crap behind the scenes is slowing the full-version down?! The only thing I’ve noticed that isn’t working anymore is the desktop wallpaper – which frankly I can live without! Any ideas what other differences there might be?

    Anyone?

  8. Englishman October 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    The saga continues… Microsoft are now suggesting that I am not in possession of legitimate software! Check out the latest:

    http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7install/thread/2d3f43e2-4f7d-4ab5-8cf9-667ff4ea2b74/

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