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What You Should Expect from the Windows 7 Beta

If you haven’t already heard, the Windows 7 Public Beta is has been released through the Microsoft website, and anybody that registers from now until January 24th will receive a temporary license key for the Beta 1 version. Today we’ll run through the features and what you should expect.

I’ve been using the beta for a couple of weeks, and yesterday I got my hands on the official Beta 1 release, which is good enough to use on a regular basis if it wasn’t for the hard cut-off date… yes, the beta release has an expiration date on August 1st 2009, after which it will stop working.

If you wanted to sum up Windows 7 in a few words: it’s Windows Vista with a few new features and almost all the annoyances and bugs removed… and a really shiny coat of paint. It’s impressive, so we’ll hop straight into the screenshots.

The Screenshot Tour

The default desktop for Windows 7 is clean and simple, and like almost everything in this release, is really quite impressive.

Windows 7 Desktop 

The first thing that you can’t miss is the new taskbar, which uses large icons instead of taskbar buttons and integrates Quick Launch functionality at the same time. You’ll notice in this screenshot that the Windows Media Player icon isn’t “active”, because I don’t have an instance open…  but it’s been Pinned to the taskbar.

Windows 7 Taskbar Previews 

The popup preview thumbnails have been enhanced to show multiple windows side by side, which is much more useful than the Vista way, especially since Windows 7 combines windows by default: even if you have only two windows open, they will be combined into a single taskbar button.

When hovering over one of the previews, Windows 7 will automatically flip to that window so you can see in a larger view which window it is. Very useful for Word documents, I think.

Windows 7 Hover Previews

The new taskbar buttons also have a new right-click menu, which gives you access to special folders or recent documents. There’s a new API that allows applications to add items to this list, so expect in the future for this to become a big deal.

Windows 7 Jump List

If you don’t like the taskbar functionality, you can revert back to the Windows Vista method by opening up Taskbar and Start Menu Properties (right click \ Properties). The “Taskbar buttons” setting will let you turn off the single icon mode, and you can choose “Use small icons” to turn off the big icons.

Windows 7 Taskbar Properties

The next thing you might notice is that there is no longer a “Sidebar” for the Gadgets… you’ll have to right-click on the desktop and choose Gadgets to add more, which can be dragged to the desktop anywhere you’d like. You’ll also notice you can get quick access to your resolution from here.

Windows 7 Desktop Context Menu

If you want to dock the gadgets to the side like you used to, you still can: If you drag the desktops to the side of the screen, they will dock there:

Windows 7 Sidebar

The Start Menu is roughly the same as before, although you’ll notice the Shut Down button is much simpler, and can be configured to a different action right in the Taskbar and Start menu properties screen.

Windows 7 Start Menu

You’ll notice the arrow next to Getting Started… whenever you see an arrow on a pinned item, you can hover over it to see a list of tasks on the right-hand side, with a rather fun “slide out” effect that I can’t really show in a screenshot.

In fact, it’s tough to show off the real “slickness” of the UI in these screenshots… you have to try it for yourself to understand: things are just smooth.

 Windows 7 Start Menu Tasks

When you search, the taskbar “morphs” into a full-size search screen – a huge improvement from Vista, and the search results are pretty good, although still not perfect.

 Windows 7 Start Menu Search

Another really slick new feature lets you maximize or tile windows by dragging them to one of the sides of the screen… for instance, you drag the current window to the left side of the screen and you’ll see a glass window effect…

Windows 7 Tile Window Left

And once you let go of the mouse, the window will take up exactly half of the screen. Very useful for tiling windows.

 Windows 7 Tiled Left Window

This also works for maximizing by dragging to the top of the screen… letting go of the mouse at this point would maximize the current window:

 Windows 7 Maximize Window

This also works if you drag a window corner to one of the edges of the screen, Windows 7 will let you make the window fill the whole space from top to bottom.

Windows 7 Window Docking to Screen

You might have noticed a little unused area on the taskbar right next to the clock… this is the new “Show Desktop” icon, with an added twist: if you hover your mouse over it, it will turn all of the open windows to glass, letting you see what is beneath. This would maybe be useful if you have desktop gadgets on the screen, or just want to see your wallpaper.

Windows 7 Aero Peek 

The system tray is also changed, with all extra icons being hidden behind a little arrow. You’ll also note that the current date is shown on the screen now, since the taskbar is taller.

Windows 7 Safely Remove

One of the default items is important: the Action Center icon now consolidates all of the Windows Security error or notification messages into a single icon…

Windows 7 Action Center Icon 

And even better, you get to choose which errors you want to hear about, and which ones you don’t. HUGE improvement over Vista.

Windows 7 Device Driver Game Port Balloon

By clicking on the wrench icon you can choose which notifications appear on the taskbar:

Windows 7 Icons and Notifications

You can also change which security messages show up:

Windows 7 Action Center Messages on or off

The Action Center is your new “hub” to review all of the messages and notifications… more on that in a future article, but one of the biggest changes in Windows 7 is hidden behind it… click on the User Account Control settings:

Windows 7 Action Center

And you’ll see a new “Slider”, which lets you change the amount of UAC notifications, and by default UAC is nearly disabled for users with administrative rights. The only time you will see UAC messages is during a new application install.

Windows 7 UAC Slider

Continuing through the Control Panel, there is a completely new panel for customizing your desktop using themes, with easy access to all the relevant settings from a single window.

 Windows 7 Theme Chooser 

Many of the windows that used to be separate dialogs are now integrated directly into the regular Control Panel, like this one for changing your display appearance:

 Windows 7 Display Properties

A smaller thing to note… the Windows Experience score maximum has been increased to 7.9 instead of 5.9 in Vista.

Windows 7 Experience Score

One important thing to note is that when you go to your user folder, you will see a bunch of “Libraries”, which are essentially search folders banded together so you can find all your pictures, documents, or music in a single place. This feature is quite useful, but is going to take some time to get used to.

Windows 7 Libraries

You’ll notice in the screenshot above there’s a new “Homegroup” item in the list, and yes, they’ve completely revamped network sharing in Windows 7 with a much simpler interface that we’ll cover in future articles.

Other Features

There’s a whole bunch of other features in Windows 7 that we don’t really have time to cover today…

  • New Calculator.
  • Internet Explorer 8 is integrated by default.
  • XPS Viewer integrated.
  • New versions of Paint and Wordpad with the “Ribbon” interface.
  • Revamped Windows Backup.
  • New “Home Groups” for sharing files and folders.
  • New, easier Wireless connections tray icon.
  • Media Center is Updated with new features.
  • Faster bootup and installation times.
  • Other stuff.

The other thing to note is that Windows Mail, Calendar, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker and Contacts have been removed from Windows 7 and are now part of the downloadable Windows Live Essentials.

Installing Windows 7

I realize it’s illogical, but now we’ll skip to installing it (the other screenshots were more interesting). The startup installation screen is pretty familiar looking…

Windows 7 Install Screen

Should I Install Windows 7?

If you don’t mind the fact that it will stop working on August 1st, Windows 7 beta 1 is very stable and usable.

Do I Need a License?

Windows 7 works just like Windows Vista did… you can install it and run it in “Trial mode” for 30 days. Yes, this does mean that you can borrow the disc from a friend, or download it “illegally” and use it, at least for a trial period. (I’m not advocating piracy here).

It’s Only a Download?

That’s right, you will need to download the ISO image file and then burn it to a DVD in order to do an installation… I recommend ImgBurn.

What About Drivers?

Windows 7 uses the exact same drivers as Windows Vista, and by this point the majority of devices have drivers. You most likely won’t even need to install drivers, since Windows 7 has a lot more drivers included by default.

Important Installation Notes

When you get to the screen which recommends upgrading vs custom installation, I would recommend installing a new installation into a completely blank partition. If you want to test it on the same machine as Vista, you should dual-boot. I would recommend against using the upgrade feature unless you are very brave (also note that it only supports upgrading from Vista SP1)

If you don’t have a second hard drive or partition already, you can use the Shrink Volume feature in Vista to resize your current partition. If that doesn’t work, you can work around Vista’s shrink volume problems as well. If none of that works, you can use GParted to resize the partition.

Windows 7 Install Choose Type

Once it installs (which doesn’t take that long), you’ll be prompted for a computer name and user name:

Windows 7 Choose Account

You’ll be prompted for what your default homegroup settings are (personally I’d probably turn most of them off, but I’m security-conscious). Make sure to write down this homegroup password and save it somewhere!

Windows 7 Homegroup Setup 

From this point you will be able to get to your desktop, and start actually using Windows 7.

Windows 7 Bug

There is a known bug in Windows 7 that will potentially damage some mp3 files if you load them into Windows Media Player. You’ll want to make sure to install this patch, or turn on automatic updates once you have Windows 7 installed… it should update automatically.

For more information and the download links check out this ArsTechnica post.

What Should We Cover?

One of my recent articles asked what exactly we should cover in 2009, and Windows 7 is definitely going to be on that list. The question is: What do YOU want to see about Windows 7? What is the most important topic when it comes to learning a new operating system?

Leave your thoughts in the comments, and we’ll try our best to cover that topic in a future article. (If you are reading through RSS or Email click here to leave a comment)

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/9/09

Comments (222)

  1. tim

    This is a really impressive walkthrough! Windows 7 is looking to be a really great upgrade.

    What about bootup speed? I heard it was going to be better.

  2. ramon

    Awesome screenshots. Will it work with all of my software?

  3. Spiny

    No Media Centre love?

  4. The Geek

    @Spiny

    Good point, I added that to the list of new things I didn’t cover. I was mostly trying to cover the most important features… the article ended up being pretty long as it was =)

  5. AsianAngel

    That is a really nice write-up. ^__^ Thank you very much! ^__^

  6. Starkiller

    Great article, can’t wait to upgrade to W7.

    3 questions:

    1)Is Windows7 the final name, or a working title? reminds me too much of System7.
    2) Will there still be 32bit and 64bit versions, or are they finally getting rid of 32b?
    3) Will Windows7 include the new file sytem that should have been there for Vista?

    thx

  7. The Geek

    @Starkiller

    Windows 7 is the final name, and yes there are both 32 and 64-bit versions. I’m using 64-bit personally.

    There aren’t any filesystem changes… much of what is under the hood is still basically Vista, just enhanced and tweaked.

  8. Amo

    Thanks for that right up, this looks very promising. I’m quite new to all this beta stuff, but I am hoping to give Windows 7 Beta a try. I am a bit confused about dual-booting it – I have a Vista (C:) and Data (E:) partition at the moment on my hard disk. Will I need to create a new blank partition so I can dual boot it? Many thanks :)

  9. Scott K

    Great work. Looks like a pretty good upgrade from Vista.

  10. Coffee

    Hi! windows 7 looks awesome! But…
    If I were to download it, would I still able to access vista/all my files/anti-virus programs? Or would I have to reinstall them? Also, what’s the difference between 32 and 64 bit? Thanks :D

  11. Nate

    Starkiller:

    1) Yes, it’s the final name. Sounds cool.
    2) Unfortunatly, 32-Bit doesn’t want to die. Win7 will be in both 64- and 32-Bit.
    3) I haven’t heard anything about that. I don’t think it will.

  12. Robert Mint

    Thanks The Geek for such a great article, almost makes me wanna jump into the Windows 7 bandwagon immediately!!
    Two questions if you don’t mind:
    1. If this expires on August, does it mean by that time we will have a Beta 2? In your experience, does it mean we’ll have to make a fresh install, which basically means, Beta 1 will only serve as a sandbox (yes I know it should but you say yourself it’s pretty stable so I wouldn’t mind using it as my main OS right now).
    2. Do you know if driver and software compatibility is the same as of Vista, in short, all my currently working hardware on Vista (and software) works on Windows 7 by “default” (yes I know it’s a beta so bugs are to be expected, but generally speaking…)?

  13. The Geek

    @Robert

    We should probably have a Beta 2 or RC release, and most likely would be able to upgrade… but there’s no way to say for sure at this point. That’s why I recommend doing a separate install… it’s a beta, afterall, meant to be used for testing =)

    Drivers are the same as Vista. Software, as far as I can tell, pretty much all works… it’s the same kernel, so there shouldn’t be too many problems.

    I’ll be testing a whole bunch of software on Windows 7 in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for a lot more Windows 7 related articles.

  14. Aravind Jose T.

    Freakin walkthrough.
    Thanks a lot.

    I’m still on WinXP, and that too SP2.
    Will W7 run on a system, where Vista wont ?

  15. rabuksak

    wow, just wow. excellent write-up geek. this is better than all the other reviews i’ve read, combined. however, that’s pretty much what i expected from you anyway. ;-)

    thank you. i’m anxious to see your further reviews of W7′s parts.

  16. SFlummox

    Pretty pictures!

    I’ve been playing with the pre-release preview and Beta 1, and the features I like best are PC SafeGuard (new version of SteadyState) and native support for mounting VHDs.

    @Aravind Jose T.: I’m running Windows 7 on a single-core, P4 1.50GHz processor with 500MB of ram. You won’t magically get Aero effects from W7 if they weren’t available in Vista, but it seems much more stable than Vista was on this fairly old system.

  17. soraxii

    I’ve been using it for a couple weeks now and the only software i have problems with is frostwire, and log me in. that’s for what i have tried so far.

    Windows 7 is amazing. I have been a fan of the flair of vista but didn’t upgrade due to issues.

    I love 7

  18. Stephen

    Internet Explorer 8 is INTEGRATED?? Didn’t we just go thru this with the Justice Department back in 2k?? Does that mean Firefox, Opera and the like will not perform as well cuz MS will try to make their product more programmatically accessible? Sorry…this is MY version of Microsoft anit-Trust.

  19. The Geek

    @Stephen

    Perhaps I should have said “Installed”. The same way IE7 is installed in Vista by default, and previous versions of IE are always installed in Windows.

  20. Zeta

    :( i should have waited to buy my laptop till this became standard OS. :D looks awesome

  21. Aravind Jose T.

    @SFlummox

    Thanks a lot.
    So, that means, it will run on my Athlon 1.66 GHz with 1GB of RAM , huh ?!!

  22. Bobby

    I have Vista Home Premium now, after I upgrade to Windows 7 today and when the beta ends… will I be able to go back to Vista with all my files and desktop still in tact? Same with upgrading to Windows 7, will I have the same files and desktop?

    Thanks

  23. minimeister

    Great writeup but Windows public beta 7 does not appear to be available

  24. The Geek

    Looks like there is a quicker link to get to the beta:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd353205.aspx

  25. Isaac

    Nice feature!

    Looking forward to hearing about more exciting features and performance increases in Windows 7.

  26. Daniel Spiewak

    Looks like a Mac. Seriously! :-) The new taskbar is basically the Dock on translucent steroids. The “Libraries” is Mac’s media chooser (and no, you don’t get used to it, you turn it off). The desktop peek thing is a lot like Exposé with a Vista twist. And of course, everyone’s favorite Spotlight clone in the Start Menu.

    With that said, I like what I see. Much slicker than Vista, which was pretty visually-polished to begin with. It remains to be seen whether or not this will repair Microsoft’s broken PR; but either way, it should be a nice release.

    Incidentally, you may have wanted to turn on subpixel rendering of fonts before you took those screenshots. Some of the text as “got the jaggies”. :-)

  27. Bob B.

    Great writeup, I can’t wait to play with the beta this weekend.

    A couple of questions about the new “homegroup” password:

    1. Can you override the suggested password with one of your own choosing?
    2. Does this password replace the requirement for individual user passwords added in Vista SP1?
    3. Is peer-to-peer networking once again as easy to setup as it was in XP? (And does Win7 play well with XP?)

  28. Kitsune

    Ok, I have a few questions.

    “If you want to test it on the same machine as Vista, you should dual-boot. I would recommend against using the upgrade feature unless you are very brave (also note that it only supports upgrading from Vista SP1)”

    1)How do I duel-boot? How does it work and what does it do?
    2)I downloaded SP1, so would I be able to /safely/ upgrade windows?

    Thanks.

    (P.S. I heard that beta 2 or something similar’s going to be released some time in July. I don’t know if this is true or not!)

  29. Vin

    It would be helpful if you could show a benchmark comparison of Windows 7 32bit vs Windows 7 64bit and include the standard programs such as Photoshop, encoding video/audio, gaming, etc.

    By the time this is released, anyone that has a computer that supports the min requirements would probably also have a 64 bit cpu.

  30. The Geek

    I am going to write up an extremely detailed dual-booting guide for Windows 7 and XP or Windows 7 and Vista (or even triple-booting). Look for that in the next few days.

    In the meantime, Lifehacker just posted a quick guide on it: http://lifehacker.com/5126781/how-to-dual-boot-windows-7-with-xp-or-vista

  31. Stephen

    I am interested and seeing wndows beta 7 how can I get it I am using vista 32 bit and like to see how it works

  32. Abdul

    I’d love to see the new features for Media Center

  33. Erick

    Any idea on pricing. Since so quick between the two and Vista was kind of pricey, will there be tiers maybe? Upgrade from XP for 300, upgrade from Vista for 200? I certainly hope so, otherwise I’ll wait until my next PC…may anyway.

  34. Bob Eisenberg

    By far the worst annoyances with Vista are the programs that simply will not install.
    I have a number of examples, including iTunes (YES) where a program will not install on
    one system but will install on a twin (identical system).

    Please
    a) help us fix this problem with Vista
    b) tell us whether Windows Vista + 1 has the same problem

    Ever yours
    Bob Eisenberg

  35. Spacegold

    Nice job, Geek. And the system looks very intersting. It looks like what MS should have waited to release instead of Vista. Having just spent the better part of two years coming to terms with Vista and finally reaching a resonable comfort level with it, I am not about to put beta anything on this machine. Nor spend one penny on a new operating system. Besides, this Walmart Special does not have a DVD burner. Windows 7 will be old hat before I ever use it. Nor will I be sucked into the “cloud” by windows Live. If I ever do get Windows 7 I will find a third party moviemaker.

  36. Anand

    I think the main important question is: Is this FAST? or as SLOOOOOOW as Vista?

    I bought the latest Sony with 4 Gigs of RAM and Core2Duo processor and Vista is so slow that my older XP Pro machine seems faster.

  37. Callum

    It’s Vista, running KDE4 without the one thing that stops most Windows users from royally b0rkening their box. Congratulations.

  38. Jerry Patrick

    If you are going to talk dual-booting I would like to dual-boot Windows XP with Ubuntu 8.04.1.
    When I installed ubuntu on a older PC it had that option on the disk. But old PC just had a new hard drive and no OS.
    Love your work!!

  39. ibbill

    almost all the annoyances and bugs removed ALMOST hope they fix that up.We deserve a system that is going to run well.

    Bill

  40. Today's Tech

    Good job guys!

  41. 7SeVeN7

    anyone know if there is any mirror site to download W7, MS servers are too busy,and im also getting error page(not surprised!)

  42. Ranga

    Great writeup. Thanks!
    Since Vista is too much botched up and disappointing, it would be apt if M$ offers free upgrade for all Vista users. !

  43. Corey

    “If you don’t like the taskbar functionality, you can revert back to the Windows Vista method by opening up Taskbar and Start Menu Properties (right click \ Properties). The “Taskbar buttons” setting will let you turn off the single icon mode, and you can choose “Use small icons” to turn off the big icons.”

    just fyi, it doesn’t change functionality at all, just Icon size. it still has all the features. might want to change that to “If you don’t like the taskbar size…”

  44. ComputerScience

    Seems like Micro$oft servers are all busy. You won’t be able to download it so soon. Maybe there are other possibilities. Although I have one question : Is there any difference between this Public release and the leaked internet version already available ? Thanks.

  45. The Geek

    Looks like the TechNet link might not be the right one. Need to grab from the original link at Noon PST / 3pm EST.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/default.aspx

  46. Jordan

    Thanks Geek, this is a really informative write-up.

    I’m wondering how it does on reading files across OS’s. Currently I’m dual-booting Vista Home Premium 64 and Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex x86-64, and while Ubuntu can read/write files off of the Vista partition, Vista cannot find the Ubuntu partition.

    Does Windows 7 find the other OS’s partitions and have read/write capability for them?

    While we’re on the topic, you don’t happen to know a way to make Vista find Ubuntu’s file system as a drive, do you?

    Thanks,
    Jordan

  47. Nitalane

    I have a question.. Many months ago DEP shut down my IE “to protect my computer” How do I get it back? I have been using Firefox and like it, but some contacts insist on using IE – like H-P PC updates. So I would like to have it at least available for that reason. I have “Googled” and done other research and have not found an answer. Thank you!!!

  48. Maanoj Rakhit

    What I admire most is the simplicity — the way you present things.
    http://technet.microsoft.com/e…..53205.aspx also led to error message.
    Incidentally, how large (MB) is the download? Thanks.

  49. deutsch

    Vista drivers? Vista kernel? More effect? It is not a small and useable operating system. Vista is bad, because big, slow, and have very much problem. Why continue this line? I need a good, fast and stable operating system, not a 3d online game. Will be smaller and normal Windows, or only this one line will continued?

  50. Earl Truss

    I wonder if the behavior when dragging a window to the edge of the screen is configurable. I like the way it works now where the window just goes off the screen. I would definitely DISlike the currently described behavior. I can’t think of any case where I would want dragging a window off the screen make it take up half the screen. That’s just so counter intuitive to me.

  51. jd2066

    @Nitalane: You are asking a general support question and thus would be better served by posting your question to the HowTo Geek forums. There are many more people monitoring the forums for questions and answering them then in the article comments. I’m only looking at this article because I’m interested in Windows 7.
    Sense I am already answering you, I will answer your question: DEP will not normally shutdown Internet Explorer. Usually when DEP shuts down Internet Explorer, it is a caused by a bad add-on. It’s common for computer manufacturers and other programs to install Internet Explorer add-ons that don’t always work right. Check out the article at http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/troubleshooting-internet-explorer-on-vista-locking-up-or-running-slowly/ for more information on fixing that.
    If that doesn’t help then post on the forums where either I or someone else will help you with it.

  52. Brazilianboiii

    dose this only work for Vista or XP?

  53. jstud8

    The release says you have to have Vista SP1. In case anyone missed the download, here’s a quick link:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/stevecla01/archive/2009/01/09/link-to-public-download-of-windows-7.aspx

    Remember to install from whichever bit copy of Vista you have.

    I’m curious if you can install the .iso from a virtual rom drive like Daemon tools…

  54. Terry Anderson

    Yes, really well written, thanks alot, looks like i will be up all night waiting to download Windows 7, i keep getting “Server too Busy”, but hopefully will be worth it

  55. rocky6190

    It seems that the download is no longer available, maybe 2.5 million downloads have been completed, is there another way to download Windows 7? (a direct link would be great, ive searched everywhere but to no avail)

  56. Robert

    Seems as though they stole the the task bar design from Mac. Seems too similar to be a coincidence.

  57. ComputerScience

    You can try out this link : http://blogs.msdn.com/stevecla01/archive/2009/01/09/link-to-public-download-of-windows-7.aspx but I don’t know exactly if the 2.5 million product keys were already given or not. Geek said something about Noon 3pm EST. They already gave the keys or we’ll have to wait some hours until M$ will post a link on Windows 7 site ?

  58. The Geek

    According to the official Windows blog, they are delaying the release for a little bit because their servers can’t handle the load.
    http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windows7/archive/2009/01/09/update-on-windows-7-beta-availability.aspx

    They are supposed to post again when it’s ready. I’d also keep your eye on Lifehacker, as they’ve been keeping updated on the situation:
    http://lifehacker.com/5127558/windows-7-beta-available-pulled-no-eta-on-product-keys

  59. jstud8

    Thanks Geek, is there any place to watch for the product key for the users that were fortunate enough to get a copy?

  60. The Geek

    @jstud8

    You’ll want to check the Windows page linked at the top, but I’d also check that blog link I just posted… or even Lifehacker.

    I’ll also update this comments thread once I see it, but it could happen while I’m away from the keyboard- all the other sites have more than one person working there =)

  61. Big Dave

    Does 32bit Windows 7 implement PAE which will allow the system to use more than 4GB of RAM (Like Windows Server Enterprise Edition)?

  62. ComputerScience

    I got my keys! You need to have a Windows Live account and to be logged in – then try using the links !! The countdown has starteeeeeeeed! Regards!

  63. ComputerScience
  64. 7SeVeN7

    i found that W7 has been posted on several “warez”sites,but id be VERY CAREFULL!!
    in using them prolly dodgy at best……….

  65. Bobby

    URGET QUESTION! I’m about to upgrade i need help

    I have Vista Home Premium now, after I upgrade to Windows 7 today and when the beta ends… will I be able to go back to Vista with all my files and desktop still in tact? Same with upgrading to Windows 7, will I have the same files and desktop?

    Thanks in advance…

  66. Nitalane

    Hello again – - – I just want to thank you so much for your suggestions on how to get IE back. I did what you said about cleaning everything our and starting over and IT WORKED!! Thank you, thank you!!!

  67. The Geek

    @Bobby

    You can’t roll back to Vista. You need to install in a separate partition (see link to lifehacker in the comments above).

  68. The Geek

    Looks like the product keys are available, maybe:

    http://lifehacker.com/5128018/windows-7-product-keys-available++for-some

  69. Mike

    Where is the Calendar function in Windows Live Essentials?

    @Earl: the automatic “take up half a screen” function is great when you have a widescreen and your browser or word processor is needlessly wide when maximised.

  70. Mike

    @Bobby: If you want to go run BETA software and guarantee rollback from an upgrade then you need to make your own provisions, like taking a disk snapshot with Acronis BEFORE you trash your system.

  71. Anakin Skywalker

    I can only laugh at everyone here that absolutely insists on having the
    latest model, ie Windows 7. If you can get it loaded. Then it stops
    working on August 1,2009. Then you get trapped in the “update paradigm”
    once again. If you like your loaded mp3 files, know exactly where they
    are, and just got the infamous dreaded Media Player verion xx.yy to work
    properly, then : [ I quote from this site ]:

    “Windows 7 Bug

    There is a known bug in Windows 7 that will potentially damage some mp3 files if you load them into Windows Media Player. You’ll want to make sure to install this patch, or turn on automatic updates once you have Windows 7 installed… it should update automatically.”

    So here is the scenario: [What I ask people that want a pc/laptop/whatever]:
    > What do you want to do with it?
    Do you want a huge operating system that thinks it’s a 3d online matrix game console
    or do you want a STABLE OS? From what I hear & see you can give me a FREE copy of
    VISTA [beta1/2/3 with updates to come for yet more bugs..] and I will REFUSE to load it
    onto MY pc. Even if you GIVE me a new pc to handle the 3d OS. Why?
    1). I’m crazy about stability.
    2.) I like Firefox
    3.) I like my mp3 files just as they are.
    4.) My VPN modem works fine. All my driver files work fine. My settings are all tweaked
    finely with help of the MMC console. My backups [.bkf] work fine. Everything works,
    even my anti-virus (Avast) & Firewalls integrate 100%. I can dual-boot to another OS.
    5.) The greatest spoof of all is that my OS is stable because ALL automatic updates (read as
    automatic screw-ups) have been turned OFF. My Firewalls & anti-virus scanners block
    the nasties that try to come through to the OS.
    6.) What exactly is WRONG with XP Professional then? It’s the best OS Microsoft ever
    brought out in terms of stability. So play all you want in the 3d sandbox. Frustrate yourself.
    Load & unload the OS’s. Lose your mp3 files. [Did you back up everything-data & system
    settings, separately? Oops... ]
    7.) I’m going on the net now with my Firefox Macro’s, have fun!

  72. Matt

    Great post. Not sure about the task bar yet, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.
    Matt

  73. jstud8

    Just woke up, anyway I thought I’d share some things:

    I followed the Geek’s directions and created a new partition from my main HD, only 12 gigs.

    I used Daemon tools to mount the .iso file and was able to install from there with no problems.

    I initially had some problems with Windows 7 not recognizing my wireless card, kept showing up as “Unknown Device” in addition with the “Windows Update” not working. This was sometime yesterday early afternoon.

    Earlier this evening (oh around 8 pm central standard time, usa) the Windows Update started working, updated my wireless card, and now so far the Wireless has been working beautifully.

    I don’t know if it’s just me or what but the OS “seems” faster than Vista, and there is a lot more eye candy.

  74. dajavax

    @Stephen

    Yeah, Internet Explorer 8 comes with Windows 7. Maybe it shouldn’t as you say, that way people won’t be able to download Firefox and no more fights about this browser. Yeah, that’s a good recommendation. You should tell Microsoft. Now really, you need a browser to start with, and maybe you should stay with IE 8 as it integrates with the superbar. I like Chrome more, but it doesn’t, I’m sure it will in the future though.

    @Anakin Skywalker

    1. Windows 7 is more stable and has better performance than XP.
    2. Firefox works in Windows 7.
    3. Everyone likes mp3 files as they are, that’s why no one is changing them, Windows 7 has no issues with them when you have all the updates.
    4. Oh yeah all that works fine anywhere.
    5. Updates can be turned off in any OS. (Though that’s stupid)
    6. WT*… Windows XP is a 7 and a half year old OS. Man, that’s about a decade, technology is something that changes really fast this days, upgrades are NECESSARY for everything to work as they should, don’t get stuck with XP, the problem with it was the long time it took to take Vista out, people got used to XP and wouldn’t upgrade. If you keep being stucked that problem will become bigger, imagine in the future everyone using 3D computers or something and you don’t wanting to upgrade your Windows XP because that’s what you know how to use and you’re still stuck, c’mon.
    7. Fine, do it, did you download firefox with IE by chance?

  75. bigminisachin1231

    just an update – I JUST got a key from the microsoft servers using the lifehacker link http://lifehacker.com/5128193/how-to-get-your-windows-7-beta-product-key

    It’s right now 1:11 PM on the east coast here, January 10.

  76. Studed

    As already asked in a previous post, when doing a install of Microsoft 7 in a dual boot, will the OS recognize your other programs from your Vista drive or do you have to re-install all programs to work with 7??

  77. The Geek

    @Studed

    You will have to reinstall applications if you are doing a clean install into a dual-boot.

  78. Studed

    Thanks for that Geek… So the only way of accessing a person’s programs would be through the upgrade install? Don’t think I’d feel comfortable about this after Aug 1st or if I wanted to go back to Vista.

  79. 7SeVeN7

    i need some SERIOUS HELP!!
    when i use the vista partitioning tool as outline in lifehacker, the max size i can get is 799MB,if ANYONE can help me it would be GREATLY APPREATED!!!

  80. The Geek

    @7SeVeN7:
    If you read my article above, you’ll find some links for how to fix the shrink volume problem.

    @Studed

    I definitely don’t recommend an upgrade.

  81. 7SeVeN7

    now im neven able to shrink the volume to create the 799mb partition!!!

    HHHHHHHHEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!

  82. 7SeVeN7

    LMAO i seen it but didnt READ it, i figured i would have no problem using the vista shrink volume an create a new partition ,

    thanx for all ur help!!!

    you and this site rulez!!!!

  83. Urichhai

    HMMMM!! hey anni Did you say XP SP2??? and is it that maybe your system needs to be upgraded? We that download Betas do so that maybe when it becomes RC it wont be buggy. Downloading Betas is not for everyone just as upgrading to a newer OS is not for everyone. 7 is downloading and when I hit a bug it will be reported back for a fix, Thats what betas are for!

    by the way “Hey Geek great job Dude!!!!!”

  84. 7SeVeN7

    WOW!! got win 7 all installed,but have SERIOUS wepage flickering problem, now whats causing it,i havent a clue, even when im hitting each key the webpage flickers,i was prompted to install my drivers for my nivida vid card (NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT (Prerelease – WDDM 1.1) (version-7.15.11.7923)
    yes sent in my feedback to MS , if you have heard of any others having this prob, or have heard of a fix for this can you let me/us know , also just noticed it has been getting steadly worse :(
    suppose its the active X ??

  85. 11101101

    looks amazing like KDE4, but much more costly, and has more issues.

  86. dajavax

    @7SeVeN7

    the driver for my NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 got installed automatically with Windows Update… do you have windows update enabled? if it isn’t solved that way then download the vista driver from your computer manufacturer’s website… and if it’s custom made… then check the nvidia website

  87. CHOPPERGIRL

    Vista was slow because a *lot* of crap was turned on by default. If you turn that stuff off it runs the same speed or faster than XP… turn off that memory caching Superfetch crap, turn off search indexing, turn off the firewall and all those services you don’t need.

    The problem with VISTA was drivers, and its still going to be the same with Windows 7. You still won’t have drivers for your midi port, your old joystick, your gigabit lan card, your scanner, your webcam, your printer, and half a dozen things you had to do without when you go over to Vista. Keep an XP machine on the side, and you’ll see that XP machine starts to get some heavy usage when you need to do anything you can only do under XP (in my case, it was my laptop).

    In the end, if you don’t need memory above 3gb, there is no reason to run Vista. XP is a better choice, as long as you enable DEP for programs to make it a bit hardier against viruses, and be totally paranoid not to download any executable crap from the internet.

  88. Moe

    Do you really need a CD to do this installation? And how do u do it.

  89. Moe

    Do you really need a CD to do this installation? And do you pop it in while installing it or before.

  90. Lenny

    Just wanted to thank you for the a very good early review of Win7 Beta 1.I do not like the fact that in 6 months it just stops working; they should allow it to continue, and even provide a means to pay up and keep/ But als thats the way it goes. Thanks again… installing today!

  91. Kyle

    I still don’t get why they are taunting it as a new release instead of just an update to vista, since it basically still IS vista.

    At least offer us Vista users a huge discount. Jeez.

  92. Lenny

    Question?? If I install clean in Duel boot, in August or before cna I simply remove Win7 and delete the partion to recover disk space and avoid a re-install of vista?

  93. GoodBytes

    You know what is really annoying in Windows 7? is that when you maximize a window or program, the boarder doesn’t lose transparency and tun dark like they did under Vista. This make it not nice, distracting, and not useful at all.

  94. maanojrakhit

    Thanks CHOPPERGIRL.

    How do we turn those off? I have been there before but forget how to get in again. Actually I am with Vista Home only for 3 months and not as familiar with approaches as I was with XP.

    You are right about drivers. My 3-yr old and yet functioning beautifully HP Laser Printer wouldn’t install. Vista won’t allow my Adobe Acrobat 6 Pro. And so on. Amount of time I have lost is phenomenal. Finally I restored my Compaq Pressario to XP but on AMD Desktop I am stuck with Vista.

    Here is a sample. I quit all programs on Vista and went to Windows Task Manager. It showed in Application Tab no entry, in Processes Tab CPU Usage if totalled all did not exceed 1 to 4% but CPU Usage Tab showed 50% and Physical Memory 50%. That made me wonder if Vista is so hungry that it needs 50% of AMD Athlon 64X2 Dual Core 4000+ CPU and also 50% of 2GB Memory even during idling hours?

  95. jack7h3r1pp3r

    i’m super psyched to use it i just got a copy last night and planning to install today

  96. maanojrakhit

    CORRECTION TO EARLIER POSTING: Here is a sample.I quit all programs on Vista and went to Windows Task Manager. It showed (1)Application Tab no entry, (2)Processes Tab (CPU Usage Column) not exceeding 1 to 4% (in total)(3)Performance Tab CPU Usage 50% (4)Performance Tab Memory 50%. That made me wonder if Vista IS so hungry that it needs 50% of AMD Athlon 64X2 Dual Core 4000+ CPU and also 50% of 2GB Memory even during idling hours?

  97. D

    I love the info you send me. It is very helpful!!
    Can you answer me a question – I have acrobat 8 prof and windows vista. Do you know how to create a doc in say word 2007 and then convert it to a pdf so people can fill it in that is relatively easwy to do. I can do form fields and all of that but it is very time consuming.
    I have tried reading the helps on this and I guess I am really slow or something as I don’t get it. It just saeems like this should be fairly simply to do somehow!
    Keep the info coming I love it!!!!!!!

  98. Shaun Camilleri

    1.Would it be worth changing over from Vista to 7? Vista has/is a bad experience.
    2. Would it be possible to upgrade from Vista to 7 and would Microsoft offer a discount in return for Vista?

    This is what I would like to read about concerning 7.

  99. cw

    The new quickbar is not especially good is it?
    Now one has to wade through lots of click,as with vista i could get were a wanted with one click.
    And the start menu is a joke..
    Pls fix this Microsoft!

  100. John

    I installed on my second hard drive (D:) and everything went pretty smooth. Havent gone to Vista in last two days! LOL!
    I did have a problem with Windows 7 finding my drivers for my Netgear WG111v2 54 Mbps Wireless USB 2.0 Adapter and my hp psc 2175 all-in-one printer after the install.
    I went into Device Manager and they were there with the yellow triangle/exlamation point. Since I have my other drive (C:) with Vista, I right clicked the device and clicked update driver software and choose Browse my computer for driver software and just had it search my C: drive. and it installed them. Thats it…..Works well.

    I just wish Windows 7 had DreamScene like Vista! I miss my Animated Background!!!!

  101. motang

    I got my grubby little hands on the Beta and got the activation code via TechNet and I have to I am very impressed by Windows 7. Finally I found a Windows version to replace my XP Pro! :)

  102. John

    Oh and MR. GEEK! You are the BOMB! I have learned so much from you! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOU DO!!!!!!!

  103. Dan

    This is from an xp users perspective: I have been using it all day trying it out to see if I like it.

    I will have to say it’s incredibly fast especially since I’m running it in virtualbox along side of my xp with a 4 year old laptop with 1.5g of total ram.

    So far I haven’t found anything wrong with widows 7, but I guess there just aren’t any new features that make me actually want to go out and buy it.

    If I was a vista user, I would be happy about this version of windows cause it seems to run alot faster, but as an xp user, meh.

  104. captain crumbcake

    havent tried another beta called windows 7, however windows vista home basic I have and been running it
    night and day for well over a year and it performs great when done this way.

    From not computer manufactures disk with the O/S and or other stuff on thier, but from the Microsofts windows vista upgrade anytime cd with vista home basic 32 bit on it.

    A: do a fresh install with all new hardware be it you have any installed in computer before fresh install.
    B: do not turn on windows update, however leave windows error reporting turned on at least for a couple of hours.( DO NOT USE WINDOWS UPDATE UNLESS IT REALLY HELPS GET MORE EXPLAINED REASONS BELOW )
    C: Do not install all these so called tweak programs unless they can be proven to make the windows score go up even a .1 yeah thats right get it. Tweaks what.
    D: Leave it one let windows decide what is best for my computer
    E: Leave windows defender on real time scan
    F: Leave windows firewall on with only core networking and block all incoming connections checked and make sure to click on OK afterwards to initialize.Unless you must have incomming connections for torrents uploads/downloads etc
    G:Defrag your hardrive with windows defrag its built into the O\S as well remember that
    H:CCleaner tweaky cleans safley and does effect very fast a few seconds boot times and once logged on very fast system responsiveness.
    I: Setting up a public network can increase you security.
    J: creating a internet user only account without adminstrative privlages to go online makes it where even you cannot even access core hardware settings registries etc so how much could hackers , torjans etc, be it they could get pass windows firewall, defender real time scan on for known and unknown software check on and remember to click ok to intialize.

    ( Everytime I have installed anyupdates or many so called tweak programs or even service pack one
    my windows vista by fresh install of the o/s only went from like have a turbo, to not in boot up to log one to online performance)

    Also be it device manager update only or windows error report only does not report you need any new drivers etc take the advice that is built into the O/S and monitoring.

    Example ( 2006 video card drivers for a 7600 gs that came with windows vista out performed 2008/9
    drivers by around 100% ) and it only installed 3 drivers widows vista plug and play did..

    And correct was device manager this time and many times when it concluded these were the best drivers for my hardware.

    ALso windows vista score , and maxed out settings gameplay was much better.

    Remember device manager that can search for updates and windows error reporting feel, smell, and hear your O/S and the configurations of the hardware, software, and generally from my experinece
    let windows choose what is best sinces its the O/S and fact is you not.

    Superfetch , and readyboost compliment eachother also leave both on and reccommend to keep on , and superfetch will not perform better or you speed increase be it you dumb down the graphics , in fact some programs will have conflict problems even games be you you even turn off 32 bit colors.

    Oh you can turn off remote computer access and in serives disable remote registy,
    also on Power supple settings you can max out power saving on USB and wireless be it you not using it, and in device manager you can disable any USB ports you are not using and wireless to even further save power.

    Remeber windows device manager updates, and error reporting is their for a reason.

    Also during gameplay or after your system has ran for a little while some reccomend turning off window error reporting so it dosent come on during intesive applications games, web browsing etc.

    ( Also recommended remember that this worked for me and my computer and hardware fast better than anything else)

    Also you can easily do a fresh install and at the begining and change your hardrive into two partions like 60/40 ratio and , and for games etc or other intensive applications I have two vista basics O/S
    on one harddrive one for games intensive applications , one for internet going online.

    A. Format
    B. AND DELETE ALSO
    C. when doing a fresh install.
    D: OR DELETE ONLY or combined I FOUND ALONE gets more off that hardrive get it.

    Oh and PCFLANK.com can help you learn be it your computer is secure.

    OH AND I LIKE TO ACTIVATE BY PHONE, DO NOT UPDATE ANYTHING OR ACTIVATE ANYTHING UNLESS IT HELPS AND OR NEEDED GET IT.

    TWEAKS WHAT OR WEAKS WHAT??????????????????????????????????????

  105. WhiteTiger

    Damn it! The only thing i can see here is Windows going closer to OSX. Microsoft needs some more creativity…

  106. Zoltan

    Thanx for the Win 7 tips. l’ll probably need them. My impressions were good in the beginning, BUT, BUT! BUT!… Win 7 coming back from it’s sleep looses WIFI, freezes, have to reboot. Once I even got a BSOD!!! Civilization 4 crashed a few times. Other than that… It’s nice. Not giving up my Vista-set-up laptop yet.

  107. Randahl

    One quick question, and I’m probably opeing a whole can of worms but …

    anyone thought setting this up on a Virtual Drive? ideas, horrors, heads-ups?

    Thanks in advance!

  108. Felix

    You can comment on Windows 7 Network Performance. Copy speed over 1GBaseT ethernet etc. And how effective security has been implemented without it being super intrusive to the user, etc!

    Aswell as Gaming performance. Maybe by using a benchmark tool on the Same PC running XP-SP3 vs Vista-SP1 vs Windows 7. Make some comparisons regarding real performance data and perception aswell as taking into account CPU & RAM utilisation running the same benchmark on the different operating systems.

    Give us some technical, brain scratching, data explained in simple english…

  109. Chris

    Wow! I’ve been using these things for ages. They’ve been out on the Mac OS X for a long time.
    Why wait… buy a Mac!
    I’m ‘not’ a PC

  110. Duane

    So far Windows 7 is very nice. Geek, I know it would be impossible to show this in this walkthrough but you forgot about the shake feature. If there are multiple windows open, you can grab the title bar and give it a quick shake. This will minimize all the open windows except for the one you are on. To reverse it just give it another quick shake and the windows will restore.

    They have also redesigned some of the live features. Windows Live Mail got a new face lift as well as Live Messenger. The toolbar also seems to have a favorites synch if you install the live toolbar. It seems to be working in IE8 but not in IE7. That;s getting a little out of the Windows 7 portion though. Again very nice walkthrough.

  111. The Geek

    @Duane

    Good point, I totally forgot about that one!

  112. Duane

    For those that care there are also some features that will allow you to shuffle your wallpaper. If you look at the screenshot above for personalization, you can click on wallpaper. If you hover over the pictures you will notice a little box that you can check. Select as many pictures as you like. Check the shuffle option and then select the interval on how often to change the wallpaper. Just note that this shuffle becomes disabled if you are using a laptop on battery power.

  113. Good_Bytes

    @Chris, sorry, don’t lie, you haven’t used these features.
    You just looked at some screen shot, and you go “OMG big icons at the bottom… they must have copy Mac OS! LOLOLOLOL!!!!”.

    This is one of many Mac OS failures that prevent proper and easy multi-tasking. Mac OS is per application focus. Windows is designed for multitasking. I don’t mean one is better than the other. This is a question of taste. It is like an argument of doing a very simple project in Object Oriented or not. Both ways have advantages and disadvantages,

    Windows 7 new taskbar is actually Windows quick launch, task bar, and alt+Tab feature all fused together. It is not even close to Mac OS bottom bar. It looks like one, but nope, sorry.

    Did you know did Windows 7 works on your Mac (if i uses an Intel CPU)? And did you know you can test the beta for Windows 7 for free? Yup! You can get it from Microsoft website.

  114. jd2066

    Wow, I haven’t seen this FUD in one place for a while now.
    Re upgrade discount: Yes, there will be a discount for upgrading to Windows 7. Whether it’s a small or huge discount has yet to be determined.

    Re Windows 7 drivers: While Windows Vista had some driver issues at the start, that had since been fixed for the most part and Windows 7 will keep the same driver model as Windows Vista so your Windows Vista drivers will work in Windows 7.
    If you buy a printer with Windows Vista today, it will work in Windows 7.
    As for the 3 year old printer that doesn’t work with Windows Vista, that is a Printer Manufacturer problem. Windows Vista left in support for older Printer drivers. If your Printer doesn’t work then the Printer Manufacturer didn’t program the driver correctly so it only works on Windows XP.

  115. jd2066

    Continued from Above:

    Re “Chris [...] They’ve been out on the Mac OS X for a long time.”
    Actually many things like the Windows Sidebar and gadgets were out in Longhorn Alphas before OS X got those features.
    It’s just in the 5 years from start to finish Apple and others were able to copy some Windows Vista features before they were done.
    Now Microsoft should have finished Windows Vista in less then 5 years but they did come up with some features like gadgets first.

  116. jd2066

    Continued from Above:

    Re Anakin Skywalker:
    Quote “I can only laugh at everyone here that absolutely insists on having the
    latest model, ie Windows 7. If you can get it loaded. Then it stops
    working on August 1,2009. Then you get trapped in the “update paradigm”
    once again.”
    It only stops working because it’s a beta. There are many programs that due the same thing and for the ones that don’t, it doesn’t matter as no one wants to keep using a beta version when the release version is out.
    Many people will just get Windows 7 when it comes out.
    Just some people like to see what is coming, they are the really early adopters of new software and hardware.
    A small percent of the public that will risk their computer stability to test new things.
    As for this “update paradigm” you are talking about, the same thing exists with Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux.
    Sure some will say both have cheaper upgrades then Windows but that is not relevant to the quality of the software.

    Re MP3 bug/stability question:
    Windows 7 is in a beta state for goodness sake. You can’t rely on a beta. Bugs like that will be gone when Windows 7 is released.

    Re “What exactly is WRONG with XP Professional then?”
    Here is a list for you:
    1. It doesn’t support SATA drives natively.
    2. It doesn’t support most USB Flash drives during setup to load drivers.
    3. It isn’t optimized for dual and quad core processors.
    4. It doesn’t support Wireless networks as well.
    5. It has less file sharing security by default.
    6. Internet Explorer 6/7/8 in Windows XP doesn’t have Protected Mode. Which makes it less secure.
    In fact because Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista and up have Protected Mode and Firefox does not then that makes Firefox less secure on Windows Vista.

    I could go on and on about things Windows XP doesn’t do that Windows Vista does do.

  117. jd2066

    Now for the general questions:
    Quote: “Where is the Calendar function in Windows Live Essentials?”
    The calender function is in Windows Live Mail.
    Why Microsoft put the calender function in Windows Live Mail instead of a seperate program, I have no idea.
    My best guess is want to clone the basic features of Outlook. Though leave out a few useful things so you have to buy Microsoft Outlook to get them.

  118. jd2066

    As for the kernel in Windows 7, it will be based on the Windows Vista kernel.
    The kernel is just being updated to be more efficient now at what it does.
    In general Windows Vista has a good system for all it’s components, they just aren’t as efficient at what they do as they should be. Microsoft did drop the ball a little bit.
    I like the kernel, Windows Explorer, Windows Sidebar, Windows Photo Gallery and many others things in Windows Vista a lot more then their Windows XP versions.
    There are a few problems but not much more then the problems Windows XP had when it first came out.
    I’m amazed by the number of people who have already forgotten the pain Windows XP caused when it first came out.

  119. maanojrakhit

    Thanks jd2066. You have presented some very valid arguments.

  120. maanojrakhit

    Incidentally, jd2066, could you condsider reacting to the following situation (I just want to understand it better) – “I quit all programs on Vista and went to Windows Task Manager. It showed (1)Application Tab no entry, (2)Processes Tab (CPU Usage Column) not exceeding 1 to 4% (in total)(3)Performance Tab CPU Usage 50% (4)Performance Tab Memory 50%. That made me wonder if Vista is so hungry that it needs 50% of AMD Athlon 64X2 Dual Core 4000+ CPU and also 50% of 2GB Memory even during idling hours?”

  121. Mike

    @maanojrakhit: During idling, I would sometimes expect to see bursts of activity due to background tasks like indexing, defragmenting etc etc.

  122. vista

    I have been using windows 7 for about three days. Every time I try to print windows will shut down the program I am using This is with software for my Kodak ESP-7. I called Kodak they tried for 2.5 hours to help. We had no success at no fault of Kodak they have some of the same issues with windows Vista.
    I love to read all your hints Help in your column.

  123. maanojrakhit

    Thanks Mike, that explains it.

  124. BP

    Will W7 Beta install on Virtual PC 2007? Seems like a better option than dual booting…

  125. Mike

    @vista: if Kodak progs/drivers haven’t been properly produced for Vista, then Win7 is not likely to solve this since the driver model is basically the same. There’s a good chance that Kodak are doing something sloppy or insecure that Windows is trying to manage. An awful lot of Windows code goes into special-casing fixes for problems with third-party software.

    You could try running the software in a compatibility mode, otherwise BECAUSE IT’S A BETA, then you should submit a Application Compatibility bug. If you can’t solve the issue then return to whatever you were using before; beta software is never a good idea for production systems.

  126. Will Raresheid

    I think if you hated Vista you’ll sort of hate this too. In my case i loaded it on a somewhat outdated but perfectly competent system that ran Vista 64 with no problems. The mobo is an ASUS K8N-E with the nVidia nForce3 250gb chipset and a 3200+ 64 bit Athlon proc (I’m not a gamer). Windows 7 does not load a NIC (Marvell), can’t even find it. Vista (as much as I crab about it) found it and loaded it, why didn’t 7?. I saw the blurb at the Microsoft site that users just want something that WORKS and not the headache that Vista caused and I cannot help but think that they culd have implemented the drivers from the socket 754 AMD in. It ran Vista fine and I think it could run 7 fine if given the drivers. BTW, I get a performance index of 4.2 on this box so it must be doing SOMETHING right, but with out the hardware support, I’m just another downsized schmuck that ain’t got a quad core Pentium.

  127. Good_Bytes

    Will, Windows Vista and 7 doesn’t support old technologies. If you have an nforce 4, than 100% of things should work. Already the fact that you are running a single core… well… Vista won’t like you. Windows 7 should be more optimized for it for CPU’s like Intel Atom for the purpose of netbooks.

    Also the Quad Core Pentium doesn’t exists. The Intel Core 2 or Core i (i5 (for mainstream) coming apparently) series are using a different architecture. Also Pentium is a 32-bit CPU.

    You should ask a person with more computer experience help you setup your rig of doom. It’s a drive problem, see Marvell website for Vista drivers of the appropriate type. (Meaning, if you ru Windows 7 64-bit then get the 64-bit drivers, 32-bit drivers won’t work. If you want the 32-bit driver work than youll need a 32-bit version of the OS.)

  128. Mike

    @Will: “Windows 7 does not load a NIC (Marvell), can’t even find it. Vista (as much as I crab about it) found it and loaded it, why didn’t 7?.”

    IT’S A BETA: FILE A BUG with Microsoft! Alert the hardware manufacturer – directly…. Neither of them will see random rants in comment threads.

    There’s only so much Microsoft can do for the hundreds of thousands of devices out there if the device manufacturers don’t write competent drivers.

    “I’m just another downsized schmuck that ain’t got a quad core Pentium. ”
    What other tech products have you bought lately that are future-proofed? I have HD TV but it precedes HDMI so poor schmuck me. Digital camera manufacturers change their storage cards and connection cables every other year, poor schmuck me. Car manufacturers change all sorts of shit year in and year out, poor schmuck me. All of those cost more than Windows, most of them cost more than my quad-core Pentium!

  129. jd2066

    > “I’m just another downsized schmuck that ain’t got a quad core Pentium.”
    I’m guessing you mean Intel Core 2 Quad Core as like another commenter pointed the Pentium brand only goes to Dual Core.
    The Pentium 4 was the last high end processor to have the Pentium brand. The Pentium brand is now used for the lower to mid range processors Intel sells not high end ones.
    Why they did that, I have no idea.

  130. Austin

    I must say that I’m not too impressed with all the visual stuff. They could have done better, but I am impressed with the overall speed and stability of this new Operating System. I’ve used it for probably a total of 14 hours or so and I must say that this OS is better in Beta than Vista is right now. It’s even faster than a clean install of XP (not by much, but that’s still very impressive). My test machine had the following specs:

    *3.2ghz P4 processor with Hyperthreading
    *1gb DDR2 667mhz ram
    *250gb ATA hard drive
    *256mb graphics memory

    it ran like a dog with Vista. It was fast and reliable with XP Pro SP3. With Windows 7, it’s a bit faster than XP was and it looks a billion times better than Vista. Besides that, it’s tons more stable than both of them too. What more could I want? Great job MS.

  131. Eon

    Does W-7 includes the fax?

    XP has a fax function. Got drop from Vista unless you buy Business.

  132. Good_Bytes

    It was in Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate edition of Vista.
    The public beta of Windows 7 is the Ultimate edition. So if Microsoft doesn’t change the editions, then I must say it will be the same thing.

  133. mattcat

    Commodo anti-virus doesn’t work with the beta version! Commodo firewall doesn’t work either.

  134. Rick

    @ Randahl,
    I installed Windows 7 from a virtual drive (using MagicDisc, to be precise) and it went fine. I ran the install off the virtual drive initially, it must have copied all files by the time it first restarted because after the initial run I didn’t have to mount the disc again. I only did the install as a Vista SP1 upgrade, I have no idea how you could do a clean install with a virtual drive (and it seems many people prefer a clean install over an upgrade.) Everything seems to work basically like other people are reporting from clean installs (Skype and internet security programs having issues, everything else is alright.)

  135. jd2066

    A clean install would work the same way as an upgrade. The Windows XP/Vista/7 setup within Windows works by copying all the needed install files to a temporary folder on the hard drive and then restarting the computer and booting from the temporary folder.
    The only difference with an upgrade is that the setup with gathers information on installed programs to help transition the programs configuration from one Windows version to another.
    The Windows Vista and up setup program is much smarter then lower Windows versions.
    The setup for Windows XP and lower just installed files over the existing installation so upgrades and clean installs left a lot of old files that weren’t needed around on the drive. Because of this most people do a format of the drive before a clean install which many people now refer to that as a clean install when it’s really “a drive format + a clean install”
    The setup for Windows Vista and up first moves all the existing Windows files to a folder named Windows.old, then performs a clean install and if it’s an upgrade it then takes the needed parts of programs from the old install and your files, and then moves them to the proper place in the new version.
    After that one can just delete the Windows.old folder if they want to. The setup can’t always migrate all programs and files so there may still be some things in the Windows.old some may want to move out of that folder manually.

    As you have seen upgrades this way work quite well unlike some of the past problems upgrading to Windows XP from a previous Windows version.

    [ Start Preachy Statements About Windows Vista/7 In General - Feel free to ignore ]
    This is one of many great improvements in that have been overshadowed by complaints of DRM/UAC/Performance issues with Windows Vista.
    Windows Vista is a great Operating System that I use everyday and now I miss the features I get with Windows Vista like Start Menu search, the details pane and symlinks when I have to use Windows XP.
    It really bugs me when people like the user “Anakin Skywalker” above slam Windows Vista/7 when they obviously haven’t seen taken the time to understand how Windows works, what features there are or even at least try to use it.
    I have used Windows Vista and read a lot about it and Windows 7.
    Some people just look at the theme in Windows Vista and say it’s no better then Windows XP but even if the theme isn’t better (which I think it is) that ignores all the improvements made to Windows that you can’t see.
    Windows Aero was a lot more then a pretty theme, it was a new video system that off loads video display work to the video card so the computer’s CPU has more resources available to it. Which is needed with today’s demanding programs like Video editing.
    [ End Statments ]

  136. Andy

    Thought I’d try out the new beta. Very impressed with it. Had some problems setting the wireless connection on my laptop but got it going in the end. Probably my error not Windows fault.

    I wonder what the price tag will be when it’s released properly from Microsoft? High I expect. But people are silly enough to pay for it, so it will stay high.

    Why would anyone pay hundreds of pounds for an OS when Linux is round the corner for free? 100 times more secure, 1000 times more stable and can do anything Windows can do and more.

    Anyway. Yes I was impressed with the new Windows 7, but would only use it in the future if it was free. ( Which it won’t be. )

  137. Mike

    “Why would anyone pay hundreds of pounds for an OS when Linux is round the corner for free? ”

    Because your average computer user can’t use it. They need to be able to have drivers and install software off the shelf, and have friends they can call up to help them.

    The only corporation I worked for that used Linux extensively spent so much time writing code, patching things together and trying to catch up with the Windows marketplace that it just sent man-years down the toilet.

    Of course Windows 7 won’t be free. Some coders like to be paid for their work. Some companies like to be paid for their R&D investment.

  138. maanojrakhit

    Nice reply, Mike.

  139. Commodore_pet

    Hi Geek,
    Thanks for the detailed article on what to expect from Windows 7 as the level of detail beats many of the trade rags out there.

    You noted “…The other thing to note is that Windows Mail, Calendar, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker and Contacts have been removed from Windows 7 and are now part of the downloadable Windows Live Essentials….”.

    Silly as it may seem, I suspect that it is Micro$oft’;s way of answering the free Google pack tools that are downloadable from their site (http://pack.google.com/intl/en/pack_installer.html). It will be interesting to see if Micro$oft keeps it that way for the final release or if they “enhance” the package instead.

  140. jd2066

    In addition to what Mike said, I have read about the Research Microsoft had done and it seems to be more then what the Linux community has done.
    Microsoft has user studies where they let normal users use Windows and tell Microsoft what problems they find using it so Microsoft has feedback to improve Windows.
    They also do a lot of work to research new things like the Ribbion UI.
    I suppose some in the Linux community may have some research and user studies too but probably not with the backing of billions like Microsoft has.
    Now does all their research end up with a product that everyone likes, of course not, you can’t please everyone all the time.
    And sure Linux does many things better then Windows but Windows also does many things better then Linux.
    Nothing is perfect.

    @Commodore_pet:
    Windows Live Essentials is not in response to the Google Pack.
    It is just a bundle of the Windows Live software applications that all in addition to their normal features connect up to Windows Live services.
    Like Windows Live Mail can connect to Windows Live Contacts, Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Calender.
    Windows Live Photo Gallery connects to Windows Live Contacts so you can tag photos with your contacts and it also can connect to Windows Live Something (Can’t remember the name) to upload photos online.
    Windows Live Messenger connects to the Windows Live Messenger Instant Message service.

    You can still use the programs without using Windows Live services but the programs all recommend using them instead of other services like gmail or flickr or no online service at all (For Windows Live Photo Gallery).

    The only enhancing of the package is including Silverlight but that can be unchecked as can most all the included programs in the setup.

  141. jd2066

    > “It will be interesting to see if Micro$oft keeps it that way for the final release or if they “enhance” the package instead.”
    Actually, the final release of Windows Live Essentials is out now, you can install Windows Live Essentials on Windows XP and Windows Vista.

  142. jd2066

    Part of the reason for the Google Pack is alternatives to Microsoft and other software:
    Windows Internet Explorer – Google Chrome/Firefox
    Windows Live Virtual Earth – Google Earth (To be fair Google Earth came out first but only because Google bought Keyhole, Inc’s product in 2004)
    Various Toolbars – Google Toolbar
    Various Anti-Malware Tools including Windows Live OneCare and Windows Defender – Spyware Doctor/Norton Security Scan
    Various Picture Management Tools including Microsoft Digital Image and now it’s replacement Windows Live Photo Gallery – Picasa/Google Photos Screensaver
    Various PDF readers of which Microsoft has none, instead opting to made their own XPS format which Windows Vista and up reads and Microsoft Office writes too – Adobe Reader
    Windows Live Messenger – Google Talk
    Windows Live Call – Skype
    Various Media Players including Windows Media Player – RealPlayer
    Windows Search – Google Desktop
    Microsoft Office – StarOffice (No longer in Google Pack, Probably Google Docs is the replacement)

    Between Windows Vista/7, Windows Live and Microsoft Office there basicly is already a package of Microsoft software as most if not all come with PCs (I think Microsoft wants OEMs to install Windows Live Essentals like they already do with Windows and Office).

  143. Good_Bytes

    Yea, but Live is missing Windows Calandar… it was in Vista… why not under Windows 7.
    I mean it was light, easy to use, worked great. What I liked about it, is that it’s has just the essemtial features to get it’s job right. You are not submerged with feature.
    it’s trying to do something simple under photoshop… where you can use paint to do exactly what you want, precisely what you want let me add. Paint will do the job quicker.

  144. James

    how do we uninstall windows 7 after instlaling it on the Notebooks

  145. jd2066

    @Good_Bytes: The latest version of Windows Live Mail has a calender. I could see how it would suck if you used a different email program and wanted the Windows Live Calender though.

  146. roger

    i think i will play it safe and dual boot with 2 HDDs – if i come across anything, i dont want it to tank my currently important HDD (C: drive).

  147. jd2066

    @James: The same way as uninstalling Windows XP and Windows Vista.
    Which is:
    If you installed it in a dual boot: Move any data you want to keep to the main partition, delete the partition and extend the existing partition to fill the empty space.
    If you upgraded your current install: Backup your data, erase the partition with the install on it, then reinstall the version of Windows you want and restore data that was backed up.

  148. maanojrakhit

    Installed Windows 7 on second partion D:\ (Vista stays on C:\ as before).
    No problems so far. Thanks Geek and friends here who have given valuable advices. Now I have to take the next step. Hence, a few simple questions. Will I have to install on D:\ MS office 2007, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Reader, and whole lot of other application softwares that I use on a regular basis? Is there a simpler/quicker approach?

  149. jd2066

    @maanojrakhit: If you intended to use Windows 7 beta like your normal Windows Vista install, then yes you would need to install all of those on that partition. I would recommend against it though. Windows 7 beta is not meant for normal every day use and will expire in August so you would need to reinstall everything again in August anyways.
    It would be best to wait for Windows 7 to be released before trying to use it like normal.

  150. Maanoj Rakhit

    I love Windows Live Hotmail. Is there was a way to (1) select only some part of an email message and save it as a text file and (2) highlight a small part of that selected text before or after saving it?

  151. Good_Bytes

    Yes you need to, as these applications don’t run without running the setup.

  152. Rob

    I have Windows 7 Dual booted with XP and I like 7. But.. something happened yesterday and corrupted my XP. I had to repair it with the install disk and then recover some bad sectors from the drive. I have everything back now but I was a little nervous.

  153. Earl Truss

    From reading through these comments, there appear to be a LOT of people who are downloading and installing Windows 7 without understanding what a BETA version is and what will happen to them when the beta expires in August. Microsoft has listed the requirements you should think about before using a beta but either some people are not seeing them or are not understanding them Perhaps this is because of the shortcuts to the download page that were published various places that bypassed the normal route to the download files and keys.

    You should NOT use Windows 7 beta in your every-day environment. There may be issues in the beta that will destroy your data (like the MP3 patch that was just issued). You should have a separate environment from your every-day usage that can be wiped out and re-installed at any time. You should be sure to make frequent backups of your data on the beta system because you may lose that system at any time. The beta software will expire and be unusable at some time in the future (August 2009 currently) without any other warning and you may be unable to access any data on that system at that time.

    BTW I downloaded the beta and installed it a few days ago. I checked out the change to the behavior of the desktop when you drag a window partially off the screen. It’s not as unacceptable as I thought because the description of it here and other places left out part of the behavior. When you drag a window toward the edge of the screen, it goes off the screen as it used to UNTIL you touch the edge of the screen with the cursor. At that time, the window expands to take up half of the screen. If you then drag the window back toward the center of the screen, it automatically returns to its orginal size. The way it work is acceptable and actually might be useful, unlike the behavior that was originally described everywhere I read about it.

  154. Maanoj Rakhit

    I was hoping to see some kind of highlighter tool for highligting certain parts of text appearing in a web page before saving that web page for future reference. Currently I can do that by transferring contents of that web page to Microsoft OneNote and then highlighting it but a direct approach from the web page itself would be more welcome. I have given this feedback to windows and I am posting it here also, just in case the feature is already available and I have missed it, so someone can point out because I do not expect to receive a reply from windows in such situation.

  155. Maanoj Rakhit

    I would love to see one feature that I saw in Hotmail but missing in Windows Live Mail. Ex: I use a particular word in my mail but I am not sure if it is the right word for this occassion. Hotmail tells me various shades of meaning for that word but Windows Live Mail does not seem to do that. Have I missed it for some reason in Windows Live Mail?

  156. Maanoj Rakhit

    @jd2066 re: “I would recommend against it though. Windows 7 beta is not
    meant for normal every day use and will expire in August so you would need
    to reinstall everything again in August anyways. It would be best to wait
    for Windows 7 to be released before trying to use it like normal.”

    I do not dispute it but I have come to love it from so far whatever little I
    have seen of it. Do you think it would be unwise under following situation:
    I have Vista home Basic on C:\ and Windows 7 on D:\. Everything remains on
    C: as it is. I use D: for day to day use. Assuming that I have to give up
    Windows 7 for one reason or another, then all I may need to do is (1)
    transfer all my data files to C: and (2) format D:

    Please help me understand if I have overlooked something significant that
    can spoil my plans.

  157. Mike

    @Maanoj: “I was hoping to see some kind of highlighter tool for highligting certain parts of text appearing in a web page before saving that web page for future reference.”

    There are so many downloadable browser add-ons for doing that, why would Microsoft have to ship something in the box for IE8?

  158. jd2066

    @Maanoj Rakhit: Yes, that would work. You should just keep current backups of your data as beta products like Window 7 are not as stable as final releases like Windows XP or Windows Vista in all areas. Like the MP3 bug listed above.
    There is also a good chance that not all the programs you use will work in the Windows 7 beta.
    You can try installing them and some can be made to work but you will likely not get support from the software makers like Adobe because you aren’t used an Operating System version they support.

  159. maanojrakhit

    Whole desktop screen flickers continuously if I boot with Vista but remains absolutely stable when I boot with Win 7. I came to notice this particularly after I installed Windows Live Essentials on both operating systems. Has any one experienced this in a dual-boot scenario?

  160. medhawk

    Has anyone had problems with Media Center in the new Windows 7 beta freezing up the computer?

    I’m running it on a Dell B120 laptop with 2GB ram.

  161. Earl

    medhawk: I’m running a desktop with a 3 GHZ single processor with 2GB and an older, slow hard drive. I have a Hauppauge (sp?) USB2 TV tuner connected to cable. This setup but with a faster hard driver works fine with Media Center in Vista. Running with Windows 7 with the slower hard drive, it works but there is a slight but noticable pause in the picture every few seconds. I’m hoping this will not be a problem with the faster hard drive. There was a patch that was supposed to have fixes for poor performance in Media Center and Media Player and corrected a problem with MP3 files.

  162. Mike

    @medhawk: lots of programs freeze up on the beta. I usually have to hard reboot to kill them

  163. Lockheart555

    I downloaded from the original microsoft site. The downloaded file is default.aspx. How to extract this file onto image[.iso] so that i can burn it.

  164. Mike

    @Lockheart555: all you did is save the download page… I don’t think a few kB of HTML is going to be expandable into anything useful.

  165. Medhawk

    Thanks Gents,

    I expected a few rough spots and I too ha to hard reboot. All-In-All, the system isn’t too bad. At least it loaded onto the computer and runs well otherwise. Just needs a bit of tweaking :-).

  166. Good_Bytes

    Hahaha! Nice one Lockheart555! :D
    You made may day, hehe :)

  167. Good_Bytes

    Oh that was serious… hmmm.. sorry about that, I thought you were kidding, Lockheart555.
    Yea you saved the download page. You want to download the ISO file. Simply click on the big download button on the page.

  168. Mike

    @Lockheart555: I’d also suggest that since this part of the process was so difficult for you, downloading and deploying the beta is just going to be a world of pain for you. You should find something else to do with your time…

  169. 21NT

    Is there a free anti-virus software for windows 7? I see that system points to Kaspersky, Norton and AVG, if I’m correct, but they aren ‘t for free

  170. 21NT

    Any suggestions about AV software, if it’s possible free would be fine. Win. 7 offers kaspersky, AVG and norton, but none of them is free, so I’d like to if some AV software that works with Vista, can be used with win. 7

  171. 21NT

    sry for double post, 1st one I could’n see at once :(

  172. jd2066

    @21NT: Indeed they aren’t free. You can try AVG Free ( http://free.avg.com/download-avg-anti-virus-free-edition ) which is free and it should work as it’s the same as the regular AVG, just with less features and some limitations ( See http://free.avg.com/download-avg-anti-virus-free-edition#tba2 for the limitations).

  173. 21NT

    I’ve just installed Avast 4.8 antivirus protection and it seems to work just fine, I’ve managed to update virus defs, though windows told me that something might go wrong :). but I think that it will be just fine

  174. dwindle

    I have 7 running as a virtual machine as we speak, and It’s quite happy. Boot time is definately faster, almost twice. Media Center seems the same, but I don’t use it enough to be sure. I can’t get Virtual PC addons installed without blue screening, which sucks for true anaylisys. The taskbar is much better, with a more Linux (KDE) like feel with live, ignorable icons. Media player was just a nice icon sitting quietly as it loaded, instead of the angry flashing thing I’m used to. The windows resizing thing is awesome, I’ve been using third party programs to do that for years. The UAC is way better, and probably the crux holding Windows back right now. I’m not sure I understood the post, but a Key is given at the point of download, making it (for now) fully functional. I hope they leave it this quiet. It gives me few if any messages, and those it does are read at my conveinience. I wish Control Panel was tweaked a little, preferably more options in less windows, or preferably an actual application like Tweak XP.

  175. maanojrakhit

    I have deleted partition D: on which Win 7 was test installed. How do I remove dual-boot option at every restart? Win 7 appears first so if I am not watchfull system automatically selects that after 30 seconds and then tells me that o/s is missing. This is bit annyoing. Is there a way to get rid of this unnecessary dual-boot option? Please help. Thanks.

  176. lnicole

    Basically, is there a way to “rollback” Windows 7 to XP so I can use my recovery disks and start over? It just wont read the disks…

  177. jd2066

    @maanojrakhit: You can use VistaBootPro or EasyBCD to remove the Windows 7 entry from the menu. When only one entry exists the menu will not be shown.

    @lnicole: The “rollback” feature was removed starting with Windows XP due to the fact the it is nearly impossible for a “rollback” feature to take user settings and programs from one Operating System version to an older version. Once the programs and settings have been converted to the newer system, you would need a time machine to figure out how they once were.
    You can prepare for the need of a “rollback” by creating an exact backup image of the current Windows install using something like Drive Image XML before installing a new version of Windows.
    The image would be really big and you would lose any new files created and programs installed when you restored the image though.

  178. brunlea

    i am new here and from i can gather. i finds that this site is full of richness source of informations and i certainly be coming back over and over again to learn more from Geek….smile

  179. Swapna

    Nice. Looks interesting. I’ll have to try this out at work. :)

  180. Sarge8888

    The Geek or anyone else,
    im thinking of trying this windows 7 as iv been wanting to for some time now. but i have a concern, i have a laptop i just bought with vista already on it. now i was wondering if i partion my 250gb HDD and have 2 OS’s on one HDD if that may be risky to my vista partion. what i was thinking of doing is reformating my new laptop(i havnt even opened it yet) and making 3 partions, 1 will be a backup(50GB), 1 will be Vista(150GB), and the last one will be Windows 7(50GB). now is that risky to have a beta on a partion? ie, coruption,errors,breaking of HDD, so on? please let me no what u think and if this would be a good idea to do. and any suggestion you have.

  181. Sarge8888

    Oh and one other thing,
    if not with the partion or just because would is windows 7 stable enough to use as the maine OS like just do a fresh install of win 7? id have 2 partions there 1 would be backup and the other for the OS. just a thought cause if its stable enough i may just want to use it instead of Vista. untill atleast the OS expires.

  182. Mike

    Sarge8888: As with Vista on XP partitions, Win7 will alter user permissions on your Vista partition which can be extremely maddening when you suddenly don’t have rights to folders you used every day.

    The ONLY safe thing is to have a disk image backup (eg Acronis TrueImage) and reapply that when you’re done with experimenting with the beta.

  183. Sarge8888

    ok so can i use Win 7 as the main OP instead of Vista. like is it stable enough for just general use no games tho but like internet,docs,adobe cs2, music, and so on? and if so or if not any suggestions? and thats all i have to ask. cause i like trying out new things.

  184. Mike

    It’s one thing to like trying out new things and another to deal with the frustration of dealing with when it all goes wrong, or you have to uninstall and recreate your Vista environment.

    I have applications like iTunes, Media Player, Picasa and even just Windows Explorer hanging on a regular basis. Usually I have to cold reboot because NOTHING will kill the hung process. I know from the beta forums that this is not uncommon.

    You may experience problems with your video driver like the screen going back to low resolution 5x a day or your desktop vanishing when you perform certain tasks, or apps fail because they can’t write to folders that they could to under Vista or XP.

    I would DEFINITELY NOT recommend anyone install the beta who is not aware of all these issues without having to ask.

  185. Good_Bytes

    No, that is called a computer that is not Vista and Windows 7 ready.
    In reality no one has a Windows 7 ready system as we don’t have official Win7 drivers.. we use Vista drivers and hope for the best.

  186. bebolinux

    Window7… beautiful… it’s similar to linux but isn’t free and such more ram

  187. Clarke

    I instaled Windows 7 Beta without difficulty nd find it very nice.
    When I tried to install my Kodak 5300 All-in-one printer the drivers are installed and must be Vista drivers but the program will not run at all.
    I am not able to print.

    All other things seem to function

  188. boe

    Although I think it is a clear step above Vista, I’ve got a list of issues with Windows 7 after serious testing.

    I like Windows 7 but I have some concerns that I’d like addressed before final release

    First thing – EVERYONE I spoke to even at the MS booth at CES said they want the UP FOLDER back in explorer – yes there are other ways to go back one folder but the up folder was convenient.

    Classic start menu – not an option – classic start menu makes it easier to support clients if they have key components such as network properties and my computer on the desktop. I’m not saying it should be the default but why not make it an option as it was in Windows XP and Vista? I realize you can put some icons on the desktop (not IE) using personalize.

    Media Center won’t let you click on album art cover once a song is already playing to play the new song from the album art cover. Seems only logical.

    Media Center – often has static in playback – using Audigy 2z sound card.

    Search works well but it would be great if the search in the start menu had a drop down just like run has in the start menu so you can repeat a search from your search history.

    Aero interface stops working without message so flip 3d stops with alt-tab – using the troubleshooting fix sometimes solves it by enabling desktop manager – sometimes it can’t – how do you manually enable Windows desktop manager – personalize desktop works but nothing to control the aero interface

    Since most current receivers and other media streaming capable devices will support .flac file playback, it seems a shame not to use the native media player in windows as a media streaming server – instead because windows does not natively support flac playback, we have to look at alternative hardware streaming solutions or mediaplayers similar to windows media player but with flac support such as tversity or Twonky or Nero

    Winver does not tell you if you are running 64 or 32 bit – computer properties would be improved if 64 or 32 bit was listed in the top section. It never states if you are installing the 32 or 64 bit version during installation.

    It would be nice if it was easy to see what version and build of windows you were running by going to computer properties or by running winver – currently it tells you Windows Version 6.1 – Build 70000 – it doesn’t say 7000 x64 081212-1400

    During Install if you attempt to install with a brand new drive it won’t install until you format the drive and reboot.

    There is no desktop icon for IE – this was very handy for clear items and change settings etc before going into IE.

    Do something with the 200 MB partion in disk manager so it is clear that it is a restore point or whatever – change the color of it, just make it more clearly defined.

  189. Pick Up Lines Guy

    The whole Windows 7 concept looks good. I am just leery of running a beta program with all the applications I have running at the same time.

  190. guytec

    jd2066
    reading your post it seems previous windows systems lack a lot so why upgrade

  191. GWM

    Installed the WIndow 7 Ulitmate Beta and it is very impressive. Stable, fast and boots up in less than a minute. Yes, that’s correct less than One minute. Things to know. You won’t be able to upgrade Win XP to this version. You must do a complete fresh install of the operating system on your hard drive. You can upgrade Vista to this version and I would highly recommend it when the final version is released. I have no major complaints except I did get a BSOD on an earlier build but upgraded to a newer build and the problem disappeared. Keep in mind this is a beta version. From the looks of it Microsoft finally got their act together and created a great OS here. About time.

  192. katyuwkangel

    RAWWR!!!

    I’ve upgraded to Windows 7 last night-keeping my files and everything, course, i’m exited over its cute layouts and new services! I LOVE IT!!

    Although, even though i have 2GB ram, it still seems to slow down when i got WMP, Firefox, UTorrent, antivirus, and Microsoft Office running (lol) Yup, my laptop, aint very fast with the specs of Celeron 1.73GHz processor, 2GB ram and 500GB hard =)

    Umm, grafics are the ones that kinda slow down…should have been more openminded towads my love for gaming and multitasking when i got this lappy for work purposes only.

    I have to say, i’m inpressed with this version of windows than i was with vista, course vista was better for me that xp… I did try to switch to xp after using Vista for a year..

    So far on the second day, no complaints only praises!!!

  193. Mark

    Hey Great Walkthrough.
    I was just wondering if it is possible to uninstall win7 now that i have it installed?
    Will winVista still be on my computer or will i have to buy it again?

  194. GoodBytes

    You have to format, go to a store an purchase Vista Ultimate edition. It must be Ultimate edition, anything else will make your computer explode in front of you. You have 10days once WIn7 is remove to get Vista Ultimate edition, else the computer will also explode. Time is ticking!

  195. Maanoj Rakhit

    Just in case any of you have noticed this -
    After downloading Windows7Ultimate Beta I specifically checked my ISP usage log – there was no debit for 2.5 GB download -
    So my question is: did Microsoft bear the cost of this Beta download as a favor to the tester community?

  196. GoodBytes

    I don’t think so. It’s probably an error from your ISP, or the system did not update yet. Be carful with that.
    I once saw my bandwidth limit at 0.56MB mid month.. I thought that the counter reset, and starting to download more things… 2-3 days it increased bit, and then BOOM all catchup and I passed my limit big time. Of course after a call, all that was corrected on my bill and not charged… (I never happen again, so I guess it’s no tricks from them, but actual problem)

  197. Maanoj Rakhit

    @ GoodBytes
    No. Months have passed since then but ISP hasn’t charged me for it. I am hundred percent sure of it.

  198. Maanoj Rakhit

    Has anyone faced a situation similar to the one described below -

    Defragmentation has been set at auto mode, scheduled for 21:00 every day but it never works by itself though my laptop is always on and functional at that time. I know this because Last Run column always shows Never unless I run it manually, in which case it only shows the date and time I ran it manually, even after several days have passed.

    Secondly, manual defragmentation is also not proper because after manual run finally it shows date time and 0% fragmented within bracket. And then, if I immediately (not after doing some work on respective drives, or letting the computer do it by itself, in which case one may argue that it got fragmented again) analyze it the system tells me it needs defragmentation. And then as I defragment it I see it doing the job laboriously running through each step like Pass 1: ..% and so on, and finally it tells me that defragmentation is complete and result is 0% fragmented. So, to check its validity I run it again, and the analysis shows me it needs further defragmentation and then of course, it takes another half-hour to defragment, and finally tells me its done, and no more fragmented drive. Then I analyze it again and find it still defragmented. This process goes on for umpteen number of times, and makes me conclude that Window7Ultimate (Beta)’s Defragmentation system does not work at all, be it auto or manual!

  199. James

    You guys are super, and I love your write ups. I got hooked by seeing the simple instructions on installing xp over vista, and since then i’ve been reading up other things. You guys are Great.

    Thanks

  200. David Nathaniel

    Hi, great article and very informative. Quick question; whats happends after the 30 day trial? will it go back to Vista or you wount be able to use your machine? or you’ll have to re-instal vista again??

  201. goodle geek

    goodle goodle goodle…its a big goodle…

  202. Jon N-C

    The new Windows 7 Release Candidate is available for consumers, and it won’t expire until June 1, 2010. Windows 7 is indeed a very nice piece of software … I installed it on a high end laptop and every driver I needed was there and automatically installed. A couple came in the first Windows update as well, and they were newer than the ones on HP’s website! IE 8 is still a tad bit flaky … MUCH faster than prior IE versions, but still not up to par with Firefox nor Chrome. I find it locks up for no reason … then releases itself. Very annoying. I am, however, not going to download Firefox nor Chrome since IE 8 is integrated … and the purpose of a beta is to test the integrated functions. Hopefully by the time the retail release comes about next year IE8 will be stable. Otherwise … great product. It’s nice to see Microsoft listen to their consumers and provide a rather slick operating system!

  203. aweysham

    Just about the best and most informative article I have read on Win 7. Many thanks for that.

  204. Ace

    Although I really like the new Win7, I have this thing about “eye candy” you know…customization such as those found in Windowblinds. For me, this is what you may call “bling” for my desktop and I absolutely love it and have to have it. I’ve heard that Win7 is not very “customization friendly” and I know that there are tons of people out there who are exactly like me and gotta have the “bling”. Is the final version going to give us the option to put on our “bling” or will we pretty much be stuck with whatever Microsoft decides to put in their “personalization options” function?

  205. berney2009

    does anybody know how upgrading to 7 will work? i have vista and i was just wondering if it will be like a windows repair disc and all of my data wil still be there or will it be like a clean install?

  206. koen

    it even backtracks very old software… i played Dungeon Keeper on it and it didnt even always run on XP :P
    very compatible… its a sight for sore eyes after Vista

  207. Tim

    Well done with the presentation Geek, I am also impressed on how often you actually replied to your viewer’s questions. Keep up the good work.

  208. karen

    You should warn people who have a pentium 4 1800mhz with a 128 mb radeon sapphire agp graphics card they will never see the glass effects of windows aero. I am beta testing Win 7 RC 32bit and the 64bit versions. I have run Vista on this same Pen 4 without a problem and wondered if there is a fix for this. I thought if Vist Ultimate had no problem nietherI have looked everywhere and found no fix.
    But I must say it works gloriously on my Quad Core with a gig radeon graphics card. I think the low end Pentiums may not be up to the trial of Win 7.
    When it works though on the Quad it runs old software like the oldest Age of Empires and even Lands of Lore 2 wonderfully. As well, it runs the new spectacularly. I love Win 7, however I may have to wait 3 years for the price to go down. Will the price drop any time soon from 300 Dollars? I waited several years for Vista and still had to pay 189 Dollars.
    But Like Ace said it would be nice if the old [2YEAR OLD] Pentium 4 had the bling, intead of the old Dos6.0/Win3.1 styles bar. The least Microsoft could do for those of us who want the bling is to give us that nasty looking XP Luna bar rather than Dos/Win or the plain silver bar.

  209. Mike Smith

    I installed windows 7 RC over vista ultimate and absolutlely love windows 7. I cannot say enough about it. Only problem I have run into is at times I can not unpin certain icons from the task bar. I haven’t spent a lot of time yet trying to find out why, but not really concerned.
    Windows 7 is a must have.

  210. Anuj

    I have downloaded a copy of Windows 7.
    How to check whether its RC RTM or beta???

  211. JUAN DIEGO

    Good Work, THANKS

  212. Jaspreet

    Very neat Screenshot walkthrough my friend.. totally Loved it!! Though the cynic towards MS could be toned down :P (kiddin.. i know it’s just your humble opinion towards things).
    What I’m most interested to look at the soon to come out release of Win 7 is its ability to “automatically” cope up with the version / compatibility issues with applications.
    I’ve got many applications at my workplace, which when I use on my laptop need specific configurations / versions.. for example, Cisco Webview – doesn’t work with IE8 or any browser other than IE6 or 7 for that matter.. What do I do there??
    Many locally installed or standalone custom build apps can be run simply by choosing an option to “Run in compatibility mode – Windows XP / Vista” or so but not all..
    So again, it’s the seamless transition factor that I find interesting. :)

  213. Lovvy

    cool post, it encourages to go live with Windows 7..

  214. Linda

    I am lost! I installed outlook and cannot find it! Can someone help!

  215. James Payton

    Hi there,

    I’ve got Windows7 Home premium, and it’s brilliant.

  216. HATE-THIS

    The only thing I truly – HATE – about windows 7. No matter what settings I change I just can’t get this to work like it did in vista / xp. For programs like skype, messenger, azureus etc, when I close the windows they are supposed to collapse down to small little icons on the right, NOT STAY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRAY. Small icons, on the bottom right, out of the way but accessible with a single click. As it it stands now, if I wanna IM someone I have to click 3 times where I just clicked -once- in xp / vista. In addition to that I have to put up with extra clutter in the task bar?!

  217. Ed

    Linda,

    Start >> All Programs >> Microsoft Office >> Outlook

  218. Dhayal

    can you explain how windows logo+tab create awesome view in windows 7?
    shell it works for windows xp? any software is there for that???

  219. Agus Gunawan

    Like Unix, Like Mac, Like the better ones.
    Still more Windows is Windows XP.

  220. kenneth

    Windows

  221. Mike

    I decided to leave this comment until I had a chance to really look over the actual OS that was delivered as Windows 7.

    In short it sucks and blows a real hard thing to accomplish, but Microsoft has managed it. I guess they needed something to justify all those human factors engineers. For me, and many I suspect, the “stuff” you get is not worth the hassle of what you have to get over. It is like coming home everyday and finding that the front door has been moved and the locks have been changed. The same thing goes for the new Office version and that stupid ribbon.

    I guess it is time to make the move to Linux, at least the OS is free even if it does change. The changes in Linux at least die off if no one likes them, and they seem to meter the rate of change. I also don’t have to pry off the hood of the operating system to change things with Linux, I can get any desktop manager I want. Try hacking the welcome screen sheesh, in Linux its a couple of keystrokes in most cases, in Windows they are so proud of that crappy welcome screen they have made it almost impossible to change even with third party tools.

  222. Rathore

    AsLaM U ALikuM to every One ! May be peace, bless and the mercy of ALLAH on all of you and also to those which make this site. Dear i like your site very much because i learnt from this site first time.
    So every one tell your good tricks every time

    Thanks every one ..
    Thanks one again!!!

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