Letters to Redmond

Moving up in the World

Readers recount their tales of Windows 7 migration.

Moving up in the World
In one of his recent blog posts, Doug Barney asked how readers' Windows 7 installs or migrations were going ("Windows 7 Migration Woes," Barney's Blog, Oct. 30, 2009). Luckily, I fall into the category of users who had a flawless upgrade experience from Windows Vista to Windows 7. I purchased a tricked-out HP Pavilion Elite back in

December 2008 that came preloaded with Vista 64 Home Premium: quad-core, 4GB and 1TB. In August 2009, thanks to MSDN Access, I was able to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit and followed the Microsoft instructions to a tee. My programs and data were backed up, the OS was upgraded and the applications and data restored without a flaw.

I was told in advance which drivers and applications would be incompatible post-upgrade -- and they were minimal -- so I uninstalled them and updated them after the upgrade.

In the three months since then, I've had zero problems with the fabulous new OS.

Greg
received by e-mail

I've been migrating computers since moving from DOS, and I must say that Microsoft has finally made migration a boring exercise with Windows 7. Boring because it did everything it was supposed to do, and I didn't spend time troubleshooting errors. It just worked.

I spent most of my time in two of three phases: pre-install and post-install. Pre-install consisted of making a fresh image in case I wanted to revert back to XP; making extra backups of specific data that I never want to lose because the XP migration is a fresh OS install; and using Microsoft's Easy Transfer feature, which did exactly what it said it would do. During post-install I worked on Easy Transfer, then decided which programs to reload on Windows 7, and installed them. The installation phase of Windows 7 on the PC was smooth and quick.

One of my concerns was that the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor told me that three of my hardware components would have issues with Windows 7. I assumed this was due to the driver being an XP driver, so I had Windows 7 drivers waiting. Turns out that the install disk had the correct drivers for the hardware already and set them up with no problems.

Clyde
received by e-mail

Problems Abound
I spent two days trying to upgrade Vista Ultimate to Windows 7. In the end, I got so fed up that I installed from scratch.

I've worked in IT for more than 10 years. Despite whatever headaches I've had with Linux and Unix installs, drivers and so on, I was always able to find a community of users willing and able to help. In Microsoft's case, because the company holds all the cards in its hand by way of its proprietary software, there's little support the community can offer. What's more, Microsoft itself seems surprised by the problems that have arisen, so the solutions it can offer are limited.

I originally thought Windows 7 would be a game winner for Microsoft. Now, I think we may see another Vista catastrophe.

Curtis
received by e-mail

As an MCSD, MCSE and MCDA, I figured I'd have no problem installing Windows 7 from the DVD Microsoft sent me. It should've been a clean upgrade for my quad-core system running Vista 64-bit with the latest service pack. Wrong!

First, the installation adviser demanded I uninstall Live OneCare, which I did, leaving my computer unprotected for several hours until installation of the free Microsoft Security Essentials.

It got worse. I rely on my database servers, and when I tried to install Windows 7 it demanded I uninstall the latest version of SQL Server, which I'd expected to be compatible with Windows 7. The uninstall wizards run per instance, so I had to run the uninstall multiple times for each of my server instances.

Finally, the Windows 7 installation then hung on a bogus warning that said I was trying to upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit or vice versa, when I was actually upgrading from 64-bit Vista and had selected 64-bit Windows 7.

At that point I gave up; the risk to my programs and data from upgrading to Windows 7 was unacceptable. It took all night to download the gigabyte -- plus needed to revive my database servers and an hour the next morning to install and configure it. As someone professionally committed to drinking the Microsoft Kool-Aid, this was a disappointing experience.

Martin
received by e-mail

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This page is compiled by the editors of Redmond magazine from your letters. Write to us at letters@redmondmag.com and if your letter is printed in the magazine, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free Redmond T-shirt.

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