I’m no stranger to Windows 7 – I’ve been running one of the early betas on a few computers for a while now, but have resisted shifting the whole house over until the Release Candidate was available. I got ahold of the release candidate this weekend, and spent pretty much all of Saturday installing it on the Dell Mini 9, my old Gateway MX6956, and more stressful, our MediaCenter computer. Each presented a different challenge, which Windows 7 seemed to handle quite nicely, after a bit of tinkering. Here’s the skinny:
Dell Mini 9 – After the install, I needed to install a few drivers, all of which are conveniently available in this thread. I did a few of the tweaks found here, and ended up with a fully working install on my 16GB SSD with 7.92GB free. Not bad for a full Windows install, really. I’ve confirmed that WiFi, audio, Bluetooth, and the card reader are all working great. Speed is on par with the previous Windows 7 install, and that’s awesome.
Gateway MX6956 – This is my former production laptop, reduced to a DVD player, basically. It was already running Windows 7 Beta, so upping to Release Candidate was no big deal. I was pleased to see that the Windows 7 installer recognized an older version of Windows, and threw everything from the C:/ drive into a ‘Windows.old’ directory, so that I could access my background images and the like, even after the fresh install. I had to install the Synaptics driver to turn off touchpad clicking, but other than that, this machine did not require any special drivers, and everything (WiFi, sound, memory card slot) just works – awesome.
Emachines T6003 – this is my Media Server, and don’t laugh, it was free. This machine was previously running Windows XP Pro, and has an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ processor, ~3GB of RAM, and uses an ATi Radeon Xpress 200 video card, which I believe is integrated into the motherboard. I first installed Windows 7 RC1 64-bit on this machine, and had everything working, except that pesky video card. Finding a good solution proved troublesome, so I tried just putting the 32-bit version of Windows 7 on there. I’m pleased to report that this worked much better, with less headache. Brilliant.
Tomorrow I’ll report on which applications I’m using on the various machines, as I’m sure many of you are wondering about software compatibility.