Windows 7 up and running
As I mentioned in my previous post I planned to upgrade, or rather wipe the drive and install Windows 7 last weekend (24th Oct 2009) and as expected it went very smoothly. First off, before starting I copied my Vista partition to another drive (just in case) and backed up my documents and preferences. I use FireFox Portable so all my bookmarks and addons were all nice and safe on a seperate parition. Next I compiled a list of all the applications that I use and would need to reinstall afterwards. Finally getting rid of those pesky little files that applications leave on your drive even after uninstalling. So, with that done I restarted my computer and booted from the 64Bit install DVD (Windows 7 retail packages come with both 32bit and 64bit discs this time, much better than Vista). The installation of Windows 7 on a blank partition took about 45 minutes. Once completed I checked on the various system settings (virtual memory page file on a seperate drive), small icons in the task bar, etc. And then set about starting the much longer task of reinstalling applications, starting of course with firewall and antivirus (Vipre and PC Tools Firewall Plus). Oh, by the way, I didn't have to configure my network at all, Windows 7 correctly setup my network and I could browse the internet without any settings tweaking. Nice. Due to the number of applications I use the complete process took about 4 hours, fortunately I had collected most of the installers I would need prior to starting. Also, the Windows 7 nVidia graphics card drivers no longer require a restart after installing so I could continue installing without interuption. The only app requiring a restart being the antivirus. Drivers weren't an issue either; in fact I didn't really have any problems with Vista 64 either. Samsung released printer drivers on the day of release, Creative had Win7 drivers back in July, and nVidia were ahead of the game as well. All in all I would have to say that Windows 7 installation has been the smoothest setup I've ever seen from Microsoft. As for using Windows 7; so far I'm very impressed, everything is much faster (but it usually is with a clean OS install). I'm now researching some of the new Windows 7 features to see if I can utilise them in AutoWallpaper (especially the 64bit wallpaper blending).