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I'm having trouble deciding what to buy in regards to Windows 7

  1. Nov 23, 2009 #1
    I need to do a fresh install of a new OS on my desk top and would like to know whether or not the "Upgrade" is a full install. I figure that it is not, but I would like to hear it from someone else that may have already installed the new OS (Home Premium) before I pay the $100 difference when I make a purchase. The computer has a copy of XP that is not entirely, completely, totally, actually licensed so I figured I'll go ahead and give Microsoft their due with a fresh install of licensed software.
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  3. Nov 23, 2009 #2
    The "upgrade" can be installed as a completely new OS. MS calls this a "custom" installation. I think W7 may just ask you for the key to what ever operating system it is that your "upgrading" upon installation.
  4. Nov 23, 2009 #3


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  5. Nov 23, 2009 #4
    I think windows 7 is a joke. I spent half a day helping a friend configuring the ultimate edition which costs around $200 bucks. It detected and installed it's own sound driver, which produced no sound, and didn't accept to install the manufacture's sound driver. It has redundant control panel whose links point to same menus. And Idle ram usage was 800 mb. The only thing that was nice about it was aestehics, that's it.

    If you are windows xp user, I would stay with it.

    An alternative is linux ubuntu which is 100% free and has all the funcionality of windows ultimate edition.
  6. Nov 24, 2009 #5
    Thank you, I appreciate it.
  7. Nov 24, 2009 #6


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    So the entire operating system is a joke because you have 3 minor complaints?

    Windows XP definitely isn't better than Windows 7.

    The fact is that WinXP is being phased out especially where new hardware is concerned. We all have to move on some time, and Windows 7 is better than WinXP in every way except maybe hardware requirements (not surprising).

    Ubuntu is kind of a cool operating system for a netbook if you are an experienced computer user that can figure out how to handle advanced trobleshooting and writing/finding your own drivers. It can't really compete with Windows however, and it certainly doesn't have the full functionality of Ultimate Edition out of the box. The fact that 99% of all software out there is either designed for Windows or Mac makes Ubuntu a poor choice for a "standard user" if they want to do more than web surfing and typing emails.
  8. Nov 24, 2009 #7
    The upgrade contains the same software as the full package; it only requires that you have a valid license for Windows XP or Windows Vista in the license agreement. According to several sources, Windows 7 can be installed over Windows XP installations that have not been validated, however this does not guarantee that your install will work. There are also several workarounds for installation of upgrades on blank disks.
    Provided it works, you can even use the http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd671583.aspx [Broken] to transfer settings like Favorites, etc. and user files from your old Windows XP user folders to the new Windows 7 Users folders so that you can be up and running in familiar territory, assuming you are upgrading from 32-bit to 32-bit and you choose not to format the drive.
    If you choose to format the drive, or are upgrading to 64-bit, you can still use the Windows Easy Tansfer tool to preserve your user files and settings before the upgrade to an external drive.
    Also, if you have or plan on getting 4GB or more of RAM for your computer, and you have a 64-bit processor, use the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 (it comes in the same box with the 32-bit edition). It will allow you to utilize more than the 3.5 GB that 32-bit Windows is limited to. Ensure first that all of your critical devices have 64-bit drivers available from the manufacturer's websites.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Nov 24, 2009 #8


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    If you purchased your new computer after the end of June, you get a free upgrade to Windows 7. I'm elligible, but afraid of getting more junk I don't want. I spent a day figuring how to disable crap like tab browsing, and a myriad of other nuisances some people call "features".

    I finally have my computer working half way decent again and moving to 7 scares the heck out of me.
  10. Nov 24, 2009 #9
    Well, no. My objection is that you have to pay for the software and not gain anything substantial in return, from what your already have.

    Windows 7 uses the same kernel as Windows Vista with minor tweaks. And Vista was the next big improvement since XP.

    This is what the company wants you to think. The majority of businesses still use XP, and IE6 which forces Microsoft to perpetually postpone the phasing out date.

    The reason is: if you have a sufficient software for a specific task why bother upgrading?

    Both windows and linux support kernel modules, however in linux you can compile your own kernel, and make your own system calls.

    Can't think of a thing you can't do on Ubuntu that you can on Windows, except having issues with software made for Windows running on Ubuntu. Similar software to bitlocker in Windows 7 Ultimate Edition was available for linux before Vista came out.

    Yes and no. Although Linux has much less hardware support than Windows, almost all the software for the average user is available for free. You can get pretty much anything you like, from video editors, high quality photoshop, or free anti-virus and firewall which you don't need anyway. But there is still software out there that can only run on Windows well, and someone needs to use it. The question is if you are ever going to use such a software?

    As a final comment: I'm not arguing that Ubuntu is better than Windows. Both probably can do something better than the other can't. But to restate what I said, why bother upgrading if your task works well on what you have, or rather, if you want to upgrade - do it cost effectively.
  11. Nov 25, 2009 #10
    Well, this computer is primarily a media center. I have it attached to a plasma screen television. At first I tried Mythbuntu and had a great deal of trouble with the Video Card drivers. The only driver that anyone claimed could work for the particular video card I had, had to be manually configured in order to operate (i.e. cmd). Everytime that I configured the driver, I would restart the computer and have absolutely no video. Ultimately I would have to reinstall the OS, having no way of looking back over the driver. I could not even switch back to the default driver and use the built in video on my mother board....
    All that being said, I just don't have the patience for Ubuntu.
    I installed XP and had few problems. A few drivers issues and a missing .dll file and I was up and running.

    I took the next step and installed a Blu-ray drive and a new sound card that had an optical output.

    My first mistake was installing both at the same time not thinking that I would have serious conflicts that could result in the computer becoming useless. My second was buying a new sound card with little or no online background, thus no ability to troubleshoot. Ultimately the registry was irreparably damaged and the mouse and keyboard quit working (I have no idea how that even happened).

    I know I need to reinstall the OS and get a clean start, but after hearing all the good reviews for W7, I decided maybe it was time to get a legal, functioning OS and try out some of the networking advantages that you can have with Windows media center.

    I am using a 64bit Dual core 2.1 GH Intel Proc. with 8 Gig of ram and Dual SLI 8600 Nvidia graphics cards. I'm using a Creative 5.1 Surround card, but will have to tweak/replace this card if I still have conflicts with other hardware. I don't remember who's Blu-ray drive I have, but I also have a Lite-On DVD drive.
    I know that 8 gigs of ram are not really necessary, but I use RamDisk software to create faster caches for programs that I use often or at the same time.
  12. Nov 27, 2009 #11


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    Don't be afraid Evo, Windows 7 is really a much slicker implementation than Vista, and has excellent custom support both online and through other users. I can even help you because I'm running Windows 7 right now, which means if you needed help with some troubleshooting, I (or anyone else running Windows 7) can connect to your computer through the internet (with your permission of course) and help you sort out the issue.

    I have done this a couple of times with my father in law, it worked very well!
  13. Nov 27, 2009 #12


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    You gain 3rd party driver support for a start! Windows is on a ton of computers, therefore companies spend money to make sure their software and hardware works with it. That is by far the biggest problem with Linux, having to hunt around the internet for unsupported random drivers written by some HaXor dude only to find out they don't work with your specific hardware version. I've tried to go down this road a couple of times, and it never ended well. Driver support was always spotty, I felt like I was alway troubleshooting some wierd problem, much of the software I wanted didn't work properly, etc. etc.

    I can appreciate packages like Ubuntu for what they are, and being free is pretty awesome considering what you get; but you definitely have to be a power user to get it to run. As long as you can get drivers, Ubuntu is good for use as an alternative operating system on netbooks for net surfing and simple document editing, but that's about it.

    That being said, Windows 7 is a far cry from Vista. Using the same kernel doesn't make them the same software.

    Microsoft is a business and has to make money- I'm fine with that. As long as they have software I want, and they support it and stand behind it, I'm fine with buying it. It's a lot of work to make a software package that installs so seamlessly on such a wide range of machines with infinite different combinations of hardware. It's costs money for them to develop it, and they are right to want to be compensated.

    You're right, if your computer works exactly the way you want it to right now there's no reason to change it. The problem is that running a complex operating system take maintinence, and that maintenance is easier with operating systems that are currently supported and have current drivers available.

    Compiling your own kernel and adding your own system calls aren't necessary if the software is designed to work with your system to start with. I prefer to just get software and run it; it seems like it's never a guarantee with Linux-based systems.

    Bitlocker is one of the least useful parts of Windows 7 Ultimate IMO.

    Ease of use is a big factor too. Sure you can in theory do <almost> everything in Ubuntu, but how long does it take to get it to work in the first place? What happens when you want to collaborate with colleagues? Everything just takes more work, when you can just buy a Windows box and be ready to go with minimum effort. I'd prefer to spend $200 and save myself the headaches for the next 5 years. Id rather spend time actually accomplishing something than compiling kernels and hunting for drivers in the bowels of the internet.

    You can find free software packages for Windows too, you know. Video editors (I use Handbrake and FlaskMpeg), photo editing (Gimp, for a start), free antivirus (AVG Free), etc are all available. It's not like Linux is the only operating system that has open source freeware available.

    I guess you have to decide how much your time is worth. It's just as easy (if not easier) to find open-source freeware for Windows, and in addition you get a lot of functionality that has to be added and/or hacked into Ubuntu.
  14. Nov 28, 2009 #13
    When I get home Sunday I will begin round one of the epic "Installation of of Windows 7 on a Home built Desktop/Media Center!". I'll make sure to keep yall posted on how well it goes one way or another. I purchased a licensed 200 dollar fresh install of W7 as I did not have a licensed copy of XP on my machine. Wish me luck.
  15. Nov 28, 2009 #14
    Just to make this interesting I have a blu-ray drive and a optical out 5.1 sound card. Driver fun galore. Lets see how this goes.
  16. Nov 28, 2009 #15


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    My computer's home-built too and I have had minimal issues. And I'm running 64-bit, which can be more difficult to find drivers for.

    You shouldn't have any problems, especially with the Blu-Ray drive. The sound card should be ok but it will depend on current support for it. Windows has recognized all of my hardware no problemo.
  17. Nov 30, 2009 #16
    Wow, this was the easiest install I have ever done. It took about two hours to format the HDs and install the OS. The OS recognized all my hardware initially so I will not have to do any creative driver play to recognize the hardware. The next step will be to install the software that will allow the Blu-ray to actually play Blu-ray. After that I will install the drivers I need in order to use the Optical out on my sound card to play 5.1. If these two things work out I will have to throw a small party to christen my machine.
    Now to start designing invitations.
  18. Nov 30, 2009 #17


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    I'm glad it went well for you!

    The best part of Windows 7 IMO is it's integrated with Windows update, which means it can search Microsoft's database for the latest drivers for a piece of hardware. In the past (Windows XP or 98 for example) this integration didn't exist, which meant the disc had to have a TON of drivers on it. Also, the smart reporting of problems you encounter with suggested solutions has worked well for me.
  19. Nov 30, 2009 #18
    Glad you got it working too and in one sweep.
  20. Nov 30, 2009 #19


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    My main issue with Windows 7 versus Windows XP is gaming related. The video drivers for XP run more stuff at ring 0, allowing them to run a bit faster. Windows 7 also requires fiddling with administrative rights to allow some of the games to operarate properly.

    If I do get Windows 7, I'll end up buying the full version since I don't want to invalidate my XP licence in case I have to reactivate because of a hardware upgrade. Based on what I've read, my current system with 2GB would be marginal with Windows 7, so I'll buy it along with a new system, but not the OEM version so I won't have to worry about upgrading my new system a few years down the road.

    If I do get a new system, I'll probably setup a dual boot for Windows 7 and Windows XP, using multiple partitions. If nothing else, I can use one of the OS's to do a full backup of the other OS partition with a simple file copy to a backup partition on a second hard drive.
  21. Nov 30, 2009 #20
    That's the down side, I agree.
    Ubuntu and other distros were running on PCs way before netbooks were ever conceived.

    The kernel is the essence of the OS. The transition from Vista to Windows 7 is the same as getting a new edition of a book - same content but with a new and colorful cover.

    They could have easily made the new upgrade and tweaks in windows 7 as a freely downloadable patch to Vista. But instead they chose to charge crazy amount of money for a new product which it isn't.

    Is this their due?

    Sure they do, they are a company. But at least make a product that will exceed its predecessors. Make a product with real breakthroughs that will have geeks stand in lines in front of stores 'til midnight on the release date. I will gladly pay for something like that.

    Alot of hardware support sucks for Linux, but that's only because the companies making hardware are only making drivers for Windows, rather than Windows is superior.

    Given supported hardware, and there is plenty, Linux-based system are very stable. But this was a response to the super-advanced user that makes his/her own drivers.

    It's useful for businesses that have sensitive stuff on their hard drives. You can order computers from ebay that have been liquidated, and run a software to scan the hard drive for files even though it has been formatted. Because the files haven't been encrypted, perhaps because of lack of knowledge of the users, many sensitive things can be found.

    Sorry, don't have time to reply to the rest: but in the end you have to get work done on your computer, so take whatever route you need to take.
  22. Nov 30, 2009 #21


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    Windows 7... So far my experience is not bad, but there are things that I don't get.

    I have out of the box laptop with preinstalled Windows 7. It quickly found my home net, asked for password and started to work. That was nice. I have already installed most of the software I need - that went OK. However, there is a thing I don't understand and so far was not able to make it work, although I admit I have more pressing things to do so right now I don't care too much.

    I have created two users on the laptop - me as admin, and my wife as just a user with standard rights (whatever that means).

    I power laptop up and log as me (admin). Net diode lights up, I can browse web and access computers in my home net (that is parts that are shared).

    I power laptop and log as my wife. Net diode doesn't light up, but I can still browse the web, however, iI can't see my local net.

    I power laptop, log in as me, then either switch to my wife's account or log out as admin and log in as her. Diode is up all the time, I can browse both web and local net.

    It doesn't make sense - if she is to be allowed to browse our home net she should be able to do that regardless of whether I have logged in earlier or not. If she is to be not allowed to browse our home net, it shouldn't matter if I logged earlier or not. What is going on?
  23. Nov 30, 2009 #22


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    I'm guessing network services run under the Admin account.

    It's quite common on multi-user operating systems that only the Admin group is allowed to start-stop services and non-admin users are still able to use the services.
  24. Nov 30, 2009 #23


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    That makes some sense, but ATM it also means to use local (trusted) network I have to log as admin first. I will dig into that some day.
  25. Nov 30, 2009 #24
    So far W7 has been worth every penny. If they had created a new kernel just to make the OS more new they probably would have ended up with a real mess. This time they polished the old kernel and really streamlined the process. They spent nearly a year in Beta and have produced a OS that is much, much easier to use than Vista and to the casual observer totally different from Vista. I would argue that for the less savvy consumer that this is the perfect buy. If I had the time and patience I would have tried Ubuntu again, but for now I was able to get a fully functional, up to date, and supported OS for about $200 dollars (not to mention I had it installed and nearly totally functional in two hours. I literally spent three days trying to get Ubuntu to work, but the lack of drivers made it nearly impossible. (That is not to say that I did not have the well intended assistance of the Ubuntu experts at their support forum. They were all incredibly helpful. Unfortunately the drivers did not exist for my video cards that were easy to use.)
  26. Nov 30, 2009 #25
    I am sure that is a settings issue. As I'm tuning mine I will try and see where that can be fixed. I'm sure it is a permission of some type.
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