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August 12, 2009

Windows 7 RTM Installed via upgrade


Microsoft released the final RTM version of Windows 7 to partners via MSDN last week.  I have four computers, and I just finished upgrading all of them to RTM.  Microsoft recommends a clean install from the test version, but that is a LOT of work and I decided I would risk it and do the unsupported upgrade.  I've had a great experience with Windows 7 and I would recommend upgrading to at as soon as you can.  My experience, and benchmarks that I've seen, seem to indicate that it is even faster that Windows XP.  I have had very few issues and have been off of Vista and XP since the day the first Beta version of Windows 7 was available.

After finishing the last machine tonight, I wrote these notes up for a few people at Gold Systems who are also early adopters.  Remember, Microsoft recommends a clean install, and I recommend backing up your systems in case anything goes wrong.

I decided to upgrade all my computers to Windows 7 RTM, rather than do a clean install.  I found this website telling how to do it, and it really was easy.  Basically,

1.    Copy the DVD to your hard drive

2.    Edit an ini file to set the minimum version required to upgrade.  The file is 3 lines long and you just change a number

3.    Run setup from the hard drive

Here’s the link:


It seems to be working just fine, but here are the gotchas.

Because of patch Tuesday I think, my machines needed a reboot before I could install RTM.  The installer doesn’t check that until 5 or 10 minutes in, so you should start with a  reboot of your machines to make sure your patches are installed before starting the install.

RTM won’t install with McAffe virus software (my version)  installed, so uninstall it and reboot before starting.

On one machine I had an old SoundBlaster card that was listed as incompatible, but I went ahead with the install, and Windows update was able to find a good driver after the install was done, and it seems to be working now.

Once the installation gets going, you don’t have to do anything so you can just let it run.  I think it took 2 or 3 hours per machine.

The background wallpaper is new, and the stock tracker gadget has disappeared which is strange.  Other than that, I don’t see any difference.  Oops, I just noticed my printers on my laptop are gone.  And my homegroup is gone, which I’ve found to be useful, but it will be easy to set that back up.  Outlook, Communicator, etc. all seem to be working fine.

I hope this helps and saves you a few false starts.  Ned and Steve – THANK YOU for being so tolerant of me insisting on being on the bleeding edge!  J


P.S. - one of the computers is the FJ Car Computer, a strange piece of equipment if there ever was one.  The initial install and upgrade of Windows 7 worked flawlessly.   

August 12, 2009 in Car Computer, Web/Tech | Permalink


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How are you liking RTM so far? I just installed it last week on a new Core i7 PC I just built and it's been flying. I went with the 64-bit version to take full advantage of it and my 6GB of DDR3. I've only run into one or two tiny issues where 64-bit drivers did not work.. one of them being I can't find working drivers for my Apple keyboard and I really like those media keys..

Posted by: Paul Stamatiou | Aug 13, 2009 7:01:13 AM

Hi Paul, thanks for commenting.

So far so good, but I'll do an update in a week or so. I got the homegroups working by deleting them and recreating them. Probably just an issue with not doing a clean install, but they are working now.

I went with 32 bit because of the 64 bit issues I had in the early days of Vista, but I imagine that the problems are worked out now. My next machine will be 64 bit with Windows 7 pre-loaded and I'm really looking forward to that.

In four very different machines, I haven't had anything where the driver wouldn't work except for a left-over Dell video capture card sitting in the oldest machine that predates XP. I never did really use it so it isn't a problem.

I think Microsoft has a winner here.

Posted by: Terry Gold | Aug 13, 2009 7:56:15 AM

Well said! Yeah MS really went to work on this one and put a lot more people on task to get the drivers issue sorted out.

Posted by: Paul Stamatiou | Aug 13, 2009 8:26:15 AM