Windows 7 Upgrade Comments

Last July, in preparation for going back to school, I bought a new HP laptop to replace an old Dell laptop which was just about on its last legs.  Of course, the HP came with Vista Home Premium, but had a free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium.

Well, I updated Vista to Windows 7 just before Thanksgiving, and in some respects, I was mildly disappointed.  Some of the features that the original Vista provided changed with the new installation.  For instance:

1)  Windows sidebar no longer has a paging or float function.  For example – I run the laptop with an external 22” display, which is larger than the laptop’s 16” screen.  If I have 6 or 7 gadgets on the 22” display, and then use the laptop’s display (which only can handle 5), the gadgets overlap.  With Vista, the gadgets go to a second page accessed by arrows.  I understand that this can be corrected by a third-party workaround, but it’s still annoying.

2)  Gadgets also have another annoying “feature” when moving from the laptop screen to the external display.  Normally, gadgets are displayed on the right-hand side of the screen.  When connecting a larger external display after using the smaller laptop display, the gadgets appear in the middle of the screen, forcing me to move them manually.  Again, this is supposed to be corrected by the aforementioned workaround.

3)  The version of Vista that came with the laptop would allow automated backups over a network connection, either internet or a local file server.  Windows 7 Home Premium will only allow automated backups to a local drive (USB, Firewire, or eSATA connected drive).  Again, this can be corrected with third party software, and that’s extra money unless you can find a freebee.  Of course, the next level of Windows 7, Professional, includes this feature.  Grrrrrr…..

Upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 was relatively painless, but long.  The initial setup to start the installation process was about 20 minutes, but the actual installation / updating took a mind-numbing 8 hours!!  Of course, this was an upgrade while keeping existing programs and files, not a clean install that would wipe everything off the hard drive.  I would expect that a clean install of the operating system would take less time, but to install programs and restore data could make up the rest of the time.

Thus far, Windows 7 appears to be stable.  I haven’t had the system freeze up with a blue screen of death, but it was several weeks before that happened to me with Vista.  Windows 7 also appears to boot and run slightly faster, and uses less memory.

Anyone else out there have a similar experience?

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About Tom Roland

EE for 25 Years, Two Patents - now a certified PMP. Married twice, burned once. One son with Asperger's Syndrome. Two cats. Conservative leaning to the Right. NRA Life Member.
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12 Responses to Windows 7 Upgrade Comments

  1. Mike says:

    Still running XP Pro.Just a little over two years.All the bells and whistles plus a few extra such as Paint Shop Pro and Dream Weaver MX 2004. I see no need to replace it yet and the next unit I buy will be a laptop in a couple of years. I think.

  2. cary says:

    I’m stuck with Vista until I win the lottery or I am forced to replace this laptop.

    Unless I run into a benevolent and gracious person who GIVES me a copy of Win7.

  3. Debbie says:

    I’m still running the Windows that came out before Vista, Windows XP. I don’t really like Vista (hubby has in on a laptop) and I sure do not want to go to Windows 7. I’ve heard it is terrible.

    Hubby went to a Mac Book Pro for his last purchase and he love it. I have about 2 more years on this Dell laptop, which has already had the mother board and hard drive replaced. Then I’m getting a Mac also.

  4. Mike says:

    Cary switch your browser to the latest version of Firefox. Just Google Firefox and go from there. Lots of ad-ons you can download along with all the things you get with IE and vista. There is nothing that says you have to use IE.

    Debbie you are correct and mac is the way to go.I don’t know how to use the new macs and haven’t touched one in years. We have an old imac that can still be used to surf the net and do email but there isn’t much of a hard drive in it and no fancy programs such as Paint Shop Pro or Dreamweaver. Those programs would be pretty expensive for a mac as a mac is expensive.Good luck though if and when you do get a mac.

  5. Tom says:

    Mike – I still run Windows XP on my home-built desktop. Some programs will not run on Vista x64 and Win 7 x64. I still like XP, just that Vista is what the laptop came with.

    Cary – Does Santa have your list, and were you a good boy this year?

    Debbie – Macs are nice! My first personal computer was an Apple II back in 1980. The beast just worked – no excuses. But you are correct – the price for the units and software are not competitive with PC units, which is why most computers ship with Microsoft operating systems.

    Firefox is a great browser with lots of add-ons and tools. It is my preferred browser.

  6. Yabu (EOTIS) says:

    I’ve used every MS OS since DOS, except Windows 7. I also thought IBM’s OS/2 was far superior to anything MS built. I’m not slamming Windows…fact is, Windows is pretty much part of everyone’s daily life. I do a lot of UNIX and Linux stuff, and I drive an iMac at home. All a Mac is, is a great GUI built on top of UNIX. I highly recommend ’em, they’ll almost run underwater. OS X rocks.

  7. I’ve tinked around with Vista on my wife’s confuser and I mostly don’t care for it, particularly in regard to the way it handles — or doesn’t, really — photographs and files. It’s way too damned complicated and not intuitive at all. Jesus, Microsoft, would you just STOP fiddling around with shit JUST because you can??!!?

    I have XP on all my home confuser with the exception of this one, which is an APPLE MacBook pro — but it too has its own set of idiosyncrasies.

    So please, anyone, everyone — how does Windows 7 compare to, say, XP??

    BZ

  8. YABU: I have Leopard on my MacBook Pro. How does Snow Leopard compare? Worth upgrading at all?

    BZ

  9. Tom says:

    Yabu – I’ve also used OS/2 and Ubuntu Linux. I liked both of the operating systems (Ubuntu helped rescue another laptop from the dustbin), but the problem that I had with both of them is that some of the programs that I needed to run had Windows versions but not OS/2 or Linux. Oh well… Haven’t seriously used a Mac since 1980, when it was something that my work at the time swore by.

    BZ – Windows XP and Windows 7 are different. My wife has Win 7 at her work (forced upon her after her XP box died). She is slowly getting used to it. As for me, I’m still evaluating it.

    Personally, if you like XP, then stay with it. It’s probably not worth spending the money to upgrade from XP to Win 7 (you will have to save your data offline and reinstall all your applications) unless you want to move from the 32-bit to 64-bit realm to take advantage of using more than 4GB of memory.

  10. Joe says:

    Being more than a little suspicious of Microsoft Corp. in general, I still run XP and will until all of the bugs have been extracated from “7”

  11. Okay, waitaminnit Tom, I had forgotten about that.

    XP is obviously 32 — but the 7 is 64 now?

    If true, NOW I think I see. It IS an entirely different playing field.

    And why so many people will have SUCH difficulty transitioning.

    The clouds are parting. I am starting to get it.

    BZ

  12. Tom says:

    Joe – So far, it appears that Windows 7 is relatively bug free. I haven’t noticed any problems with unexplained freezes or blue-screens-of-death. Yet.

    BZ – Windows 7 does come in both 32 and 64 bit flavors, and so did Vista. XP also had a 64-bit version, but it was notoriously unstable, and didn’t have many drivers (printers, for instance).

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