Windows 7 - First Impressions

First off, apologies for the image here - for some reason, Blogger is telling me the images I am trying to use are being rejected by the server, so screw them ;)

Anyways - after managing to get Windows 7 for my Acer Aspire 8930G, I spent a couple of days backing up my files, downloading drivers and what-not...  Taking a deep breath - and making sure I had my Vista recovery discs to hand - I put the disc in, rebooted and selected Boot From Disc...

Now, the last install I did of any kind was Windows XP, and those installs often seemed quite hit and miss.  I DO have Vista on my actual computer, but in the three years I've owned it, its never needed a reinstall.  However, last week, I DID reinstall Kellies old laptop with Vista, and it took several hours, but being that it's just a bog-standard laptop, it didn't have any problems or anything.

So, with XP and Vista installs under my belt, part of me was dreading a completely New-To-Me system install.

After 15 minutes of it doing it's thing, it rebooted and - lo and behold - gave me the "Starting Windows for the first time" message...

Now, I should interject at this point, this is actually the second time I saw this message while doing this install.  However, the first time, I got an error saying "Unable to complete install" and it froze up.  So I called a mulligan on that one, and am ignoring it as teething problems.

So, Windows did a few more whirs and clicks, "Creating Desktop" and voila!  It loaded.  So, being the smart person I am, I open my drive of pre-downloaded driver files and... er... blonde.  For some reason, I had downloaded all the Windows7 Professional files, not Ultimate.  And, not wanting to tempt fate, I decided to bin them, and fired up the wireless.

It connected pretty much instantly - no hassles with drivers there then.  Loaded Internet Explorer - for the sole purpose of downloading Firefox - and installed my new browser.  Straight on, loaded up and online without any hassles, and set to downloading all the updated drivers from the Acer site, and the graphics drivers from nVidia.

While waiting half an hour or so for that little lot to download, I set to fiddling with settings and buttons and everything else.  Mainly, you can tell that it's very very similar to Vista, but with enough differences to make you hunt around and figure out various things here and there.  As usual, I stripped the Start Menu down, taking most of the crap off of there I never use, then set to fiddling with themes and background images.  Then, I just sorted of wandered around the Control Panel, playing with various things.

I DID notice that - as I had been told by James in the first place - Win7 has a LOT of drivers with it, and will know what most things are.  And, to give it it's dues, it recognised a lot of the things that are already on here.  The Webcam, Bluetooth, Wireless, Graphics... All on, albeit with propriety drivers.  Things like the Touchpad, Fingerprint Reader and Media Controls - they needed to be downloaded.  But, just to make sure I had everything up to date, I got the lot.

All the drivers installed, and a couple of reboots later, my computer was fresh as a daisy, running like a dream, full 1920x1080 resolution, 5.1 sound... All very nice.

So, next up came software.  Avast, MalwareBytes Anti Malware, CCleaner, MSN Messenger, Adobe Reader, WinAmp, WinZip...  All the while making sure I am downloading the 64bit versions where applicable.  Everything installed without any problems.  Here and there, Windows DID ask if that program installed correctly, and as far as I could tell, it was more like Vista having a panic attack asking if you're really really sure you want to do something.

Quite by accident, I clicked on a video file in one of my folders, and, expecting to get an error message to pop up, I was more surprised that it actually played.  I checked my download list, and hadn't installed any of the codecs needed - usually I have to install two codecs for video, one or two for sounds... But surprisingly, this worked without hassle.

So, being a glutton for punishment, I tried another one, which worked.  And the next, and the next too.  So, as it stands, I haven't installed any of my codecs for anything.  Which is a bonus.

After all my software was on and running, I pressed the "Update Windows" button.  When I did this on Kellies Vista laptop last week, I had to chuckle at the 108 Important Updates, and further 60 or so Recommended Updates, so thinking it'd be similar I stood back... In total, there were 51 Important, and 3 Recommended.  And it turned out Windows had already downloaded them for me.  So after ten minutes of installing, and a reboot...  Job Done.

In total, I think I went from a freshly formatted hard drive, to a fully installed and updated machine in less than three hours.  Most of which was the computer whirring, or downloading, or installing, or updating.

It has to be said, I love Windows7.  I runs well, it's fast, it's very pretty, and while I like the feature of the random wallpaper, being so anally retentive, I don't like them all, so will have to get a load I DO like!  I like how you can pin things to the taskbar, and how the jumplists work.  I like the system tray customisation tool, the new device manager, and I love the fact you can actually remove Internet Explorer...

I'm sure over the coming days and weeks I will start fiddling deeper and deeper into the system... But Windows7 gets a big fat thumbs up from me :)

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One Response to “Windows 7 - First Impressions”

Posh Totty said...

been using windows 7 for about a month now and it gets a big thumbs up from me too