Windows 7 beta 1 - first impressions and giving it a good test run

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Matt Barton
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Exciting stuff, Mark! I

Exciting stuff, Mark! I can't wait to get a peek and a poke at this OS.

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Mark Vergeer
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Photos showing the setup of the tripe boot system

C:\Windows XP
D:\Windows Vista (started installation from within XP but choose to do a fresh install on D:\)
E:\Windows 7
F:\DVD-rom

Started the installation from Windows Vista. Look what happened.

Just started the installation from within Vista after the Windows 7 beta 1 cd was inserted.


This is the drive configuration of the test machine. Hmm the photo hosting side does some crazy moire effect


The first screen show in the installation process.


The second screen shown in the installation process.


The first user interaction letting the user choose to 'update' the installation to the most recent version.


The ULA you have to agree to in order to proceed.


I opted to install it on the top partition shown here. Each Windows resides on it's own partition.


Copying files. Mind you Vista is still running - the installation is running from within Vista.


Expanding files and installing options.


The first reboot is initiated. Soon we're not in Vista any more!


Vista has left the building!


A definite reboot in progress. The BIOS screen.


The Windows 7 startup screen looks quite different and is reminiscent of Windows XP but then in a nice animated form. I like this a lot.


The installation continues and everything looks ok.


Installing and expanding files - this time running the Windows 7 kernel.


Installing and expanding files - this time running the Windows 7 kernel.


After completing this part of the installation....


...the second reboot takes place.


The multi boot menu shows all three OS'es residing contently on the same machine. Triple boot has been achieved. This all went very very smoothly without any real risk to the other Windows installations. With the EasyBCD utility it is fairly easy to remove the Windows 7 and Windows Vista entries and you can even restore the Windows XP bootloader with it. So removing the Windows Vista and Windows 7 installations in the future - if needed - will not be a problem.


Windows 7 is booting for the second time.


Now it is actually starting all the services like in the real Windows environment.


Hardware detection takes place here.


Great the Nvidia A6600 GT Graphics card is detected and contrary to the Windows Vista installation the native screen resolution is used. But there is a quirck as only 25% of the screen area is used/updated which makes me wonder. Perhaps it will still fail? Fingers crossed.


The installation procedure continues. But without any indication of reboot the machine does reboot.


Again the OS selection screen.


Preparing the system for first use.


Graphics card is profiled.


Regional settings and simple hardware settings - very much like installing OSX this is. Clean and simple. Good job!


Username and PCname are given.


The typing in of the serial number and the option to automatically activate Windows 7 the next time it reboots. I chose not to automatically activate.
If you don't type in a serial then and there you'll get a 30 day grace period. If you do enter the serial but opt not to activate it Windows starts to nag.


Time Zone


Network configuration.


Network configuration. I selected my network was the 'Home network'.


Network configuration. Microsoft has again changed the way the 'home' Windows network works. I wonder if it is compatible with Windows XP and Vista. Windows 7 automatically creates a strong password that needed to access the shared folders which are selectable here.


Another reboot is at h and.


Again the bios screen. This is another reboot in the installation process.


OS selection screen. Funny how XP became just 'earlier version of Windows'


Some more profiling after the boot screen disappears.


Desktop environment is created.


Activation seems mandatory after inputting a serial number - no easy grace period. Windows 7 starts to nag you and displays a bit of genuine Windows rhetoric.


Activation seems mandatory after inputting a serial number - no easy grace period. Windows 7 starts to nag you and displays a bit of genuine Windows rhetoric.


Some more configuration of personal settings takes place.


The Welcome screen doesn't open automatically but here I started it myself. Also there's no auto start of the sidebar. Is there a sidebar or are the widgets directly placed on the desktop? I guess I'll find out soon.


The start menu looks simpler than Vista and is a mix of XP and Vista.


I opted to activate as Windows 7 kept on nagging about activation.


I opted to activate as Windows 7 kept on nagging about activation.


Activation in progress.


Activation succeeded.


After activation the desktop image is not returned and remains black.The theme has turned a gloomy black. Is activation something dark and sinister?


The blue theme has become a perfectly functioning black theme - not really clear in the photo which looks like something has gone wrong.


Quickly I changed to theme back to the original one with the nice tropical fish - we had one like that in the old aquarium way back.


The first website I opened in the Internet Explorer 8 beta is of course Armchair Arcade. And I posted a blog item from it.


Here's the drive configuration after the installation was succesful.


Of course Windows 7 includes a rating tool that is different from the Vista tool. Or is it? So how can we compare the two. Will software come with separate Vista and a Windows 7 ratings? More on that later.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Mark Vergeer
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Installing on real hardware - Success

The Windows 7 installation grinds to a halt after reboot, just like when I boot fresh from the DVD when I try to run the install from Windows XP
Right after the reboot when the mouse cursor is displayed for the first time the Windows Vista installation stalls and remains in this state with a movable mouse cursor but without any other activity on the system.

It becomes a success after I run the install from Windows Vista. I'll put up some photo's and descriptions of the fairly easy installation. The wierd thing is that Windows 7 does support my Graphics Card and my Monitor at native resolutions but Vista does not!!!!! Anyways - more to follow soon. This post has actually been made on IE 8 on Windows 7 Beta 1 and Armchair Arcade was the first website I opened.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Mark Vergeer
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Asus P4P800 Deluxe & AGP Leadtek Winfast A6600 GT 128Mb - PIV HT

Asus P4P800Deluxe, 2Gb RAM, AGP Leadtek Winfast A6600 GT 128Mb, P4 HT 3.4Ghz
on board sound and LAN.
Windows XP professional works great on this machine including the latest Nvidia PhysicX acellerated drivers.
Windows Vista has it's problems on the machine because I am not able to get the AGP A6600 GT Nvidia card working with the latest Nvidia drivers. The natively supplied drivers do work and Aero is anabled. This might cause problems with the Windows 7 installation and it might not. The Nvidia thing might be hardware related as this machine has been hit by lightening in the past which blew out the power supply - and after replacing that the machine continued to work.

C:\Windows XP
D:\Windows Vista (started installation from within XP but choose to do a fresh install on D:\)
E:\Data (target drive)
F:\DVD-rom

By choosing to run the Vista installation from within Windows XP one keeps the same drive letters in both Windows-versions and that makes this pretty easy. If you do a fresh install but boot from the installation DVD, the drive that you install Windows on becomes the C-drive is that particular Windows-installation. This way Windows Vista is installed on D:\ and is perfectly happy being on D:\ and XP sits on C:\.

From the Virtual machine installation I was able to observe how Windows 7 behaves when booting from the DVD.iso and installing it fresh that way. I tried booting from the Windows 7 installation DVD and the 64-bit version says it won't work on my machine and the 32-bit version boots but stops dead in it's tracks when the screen displays the Windows build a movable mouse cursor and a aurora background. I've remained patient to see if there would be any changes in this state and have observed it to remain like this untill I switched off the machine.
It could be that my hard-drive configuration throws off the Windows 7 installer when booted from DVD directly. I am going to proceed to run the install from Vista.

As I want the same drive letter configuration in Windows 7 as in my other Windows - and to actually get past the stalling installation - I think the best way to go about installing the Windows 7 beta would be to do the install from either Windows XP or Windows Vista and I gather the latter would be the best option and do a fresh install on E:\

More on that later.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
I'm keeping an eye on this

I'm keeping an eye on this tread for sure. I personally haven't had the Vista problems that others have had, but I guess I'd be up for upgrading to the latest OS if it had any real advantages. It's kind of disheartening, though, that MS is already moving on to "the next big thing" as though acknowledging that Vista was a failure. It's really better (IMO, at least) for an OS to have many years to really get all the kinks worked out and for developers to have a chance to really innovate.

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Mark Vergeer
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Got personal serial keys so I can actually activate the beta!

Today I did manage to get two 32-bit keys and a 64-bit key and I am downloading the images now. I am going to try it out on the machine I originally intended to install it on. This time with personal serial keys allowing me to activate Windows 7 and use it until the end of the summer. I am going to extensively compare it to Windows XP over the next couple of months to see if it is any better than XP. I figure it will be better than the Vista experience on the same machine - perhaps Vista is the Windows Me after all and Windows 7 the Windows XP that Windows 2K should have been.

I'll keep blogging about it.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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