Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7 64-bit

As I promised in yesterday’s post, Windows 7 and the Era of 64-bit, I deleted the partition on my machine containing Win 7 beta and installed a 64-bit version of the Win 7 RC.

I have to say that my first and most immediate impression is — I am disappointed.

Why?

SyProp_64

click on images = large

Because: the only thing that clued me that I was now “rolling with the 64” was — if I looked at my system properties — I could see a tiny, normal-sized line of text saying “64 bit Operating System”.

There was no banner — anywhere — that trumpeted, Success: CONGRATULATIONS PAUL! You are now rolling with the big dogs!

No balloons fell from the ceiling.

A marching band did not fill the room and play We Are The Champions.

There was, in fact, none of that.

There also wasn’t any glitches, snags, hang ups, curious error messages… and, when I clicked on Device Manager…

DevMgr_64

There was no yellow exclamation points, red X’s, etc., indicating that I needed to put on my safari outfit and go on a device driver hunt.

Huh.

So I tried plugging in a few USB devices — a camera, a multi-function printer, a joystick, and a storage device (I was, after all, all dressed for the hunt). All of them auto-installed with no action on my part — not even a click “Yes, search for drivers on the Internet”, or any of that.

Huh, again.

So I feel totally robbed. I was fully expecting to have to do some work… some troubleshooting… some driver hunting… feel some Installer’s Aggravation.

I was looking forward to it actually, as I thought it might make for some article fodder.. you know, Tech Paul Goes In Search Of The Elusive 64-bit Driver or What Size Hammer Made 64x Win 7 Fit My Machine.. or some such.

All I got was…
Fresh Windows 7 Install_Desktop

And, darned my luck, Windows Easy Transfer worked flawlessly too.

Huh.

Maybe (hopefully) I’ll run into trouble with networking… stay tuned.

[update: I did recently encounter a headache trying to install a device. See, Troubleshooting Installing Programs On Win 7]

Today’s free link: to see all my Win 7 articles, click Windows 7 articles.

Today’s free download: Click here to download Windows 7

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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May 27, 2009 - Posted by | computers, file system, Microsoft, tech, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , ,

14 Comments »

  1. I was wondering if the Windows Easy Transfer would work.

    My problem is that I want to transfer from the laptop I would be upgrading. Is that still possible?

    Like

    Comment by gadzooks64 | May 27, 2009 | Reply

    • Gadzooks64,
      Windows Easy Transfer is designed to move your User Profile from an “old” machine to a new machine, and it can do so via a special USB cable, over the network (LAN), or with the use of USB attached storage (an external hard drive, or very large thumb drive). That last method can be used for same machine transfers, and is how I did mine.
      I started by booting to my Vista installation, and used WET (advanced “customize” settings) to copy to an external hard drive. Then I booted to the new Windows 7 and used WET to “import” the profile from the external hard drive.
      To move all my installed programs, files, etc., required roughly 20 GB’s.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | May 27, 2009 | Reply

  2. I will probably end up waiting until Windows 7 is actually released before installing it on my machine. I’m just too busy (aka lazy) to install the RC that I downloaded.

    My concern is that I will have driver issues but I’m encouraged that you didn’t have any issues.

    I don’t recall the WET being able to move programs as well as data. I did use an adjunct software transfer tool (Beta) that is no longer recommended because it is not compatible with Vista SP2 to move software from an XP machine to a Vista machine in the past.

    The vast majority of the software I use is free so that’s not an issue really. I don’t mind tracking it down and re-installing it and I have the disks – or the download link – for those programs that I own so that I can reinstall them as well. I would prefer to have a completely fresh install of all the programs so I don’t perpetuate any registry errors that I might have in the previous installation.

    So now that you have it installed do you notice any difference in performance?

    Like

    Comment by gadzooks64 | May 27, 2009 | Reply

    • Gadzooks64,
      * The beta’s will expire, and need to be removed by July next year; so, yes, there’s merit in waiting.
      * You did indeed have to use a “companion” to transfer installed programs, and – yes – that has been ‘broken’ by the service packs and is no longer available. It is, however, essentially ‘baked in’ to the new WET. To transfer installed programs, you click on the “customize” (I think is the name…) link which allows you to specify files and folders for transfer — place a check in the Program Files and Program Data folders, and viola!
      * I have not had the chance to really test for performance enhancements, and will run it as my daily use machine for at least a week before I judge that aspect. Right now I’m mostly looking for compatibility issues, and things that won’t work on an x64.
      But I don’t expect to see any significant gains in “typical usage” anyway. (But I’ll take any modest gain in my gaming…)

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | May 27, 2009 | Reply

  3. Ooooh, good to know about the WET having program transfer baked in. I’ll have to check into that.

    I’ll definitely be one of the first few in line for Windows 7. As you know I’ve been wanting to upgrade to 64bit for some time now even though I’d mostly likely rarely enjoy the full benefits of 64bit processing but I’d like to at least utilize all of the RAM I have installed.

    Like

    Comment by gadzooks64 | May 27, 2009 | Reply

  4. Paul,

    Thanks for being the first to test the firmness of the “quicksand”. Great article!

    After your flawless experience, I just might give this a try. I look forward to a bunch of “huhs”, when I do. LOL

    Bill

    Like

    Comment by Bill Mullins | May 27, 2009 | Reply

    • Mr. Mullins,
      Thank you. I must say that – so far – I cannot tell any difference, and haven’t had to change any of my “way of doing things”. However, now that I know I’m not limited to 3 GB’s… and I am pretty certain my mobo will support 8 GB’s (at least, the Crucial Memory Advisor says it will) … I think a little trip down to the gizmo store is on my agenda!

      I don’t claim to be the first, though. In my own circle of acquaintances, that honor goes to a mutual friend of ours and fellow blogger — G.

      Folks, it is always an honor when Mr. Mullins drops by my site. His website, Tech Thoughts was the very first site I put on my blogroll. I invite you to take a look-see, if you haven’t already.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | May 27, 2009 | Reply

      • It’s not easy being an elitist. lol.

        My whole reason of thought behind whether or not to load x64 or x86 was simple. I had too much ram.

        You computer tech guys make things way too complicated.

        Ok, going back to my comfortable realm – I gotta deck to finish building.

        Like

        Comment by g | May 27, 2009 | Reply

        • G,
          Yes… But, G? There’s no such thing as “too much RAM”!!!
          Any Geek could tell ‘ya.

          Like

          Comment by techpaul | May 27, 2009 | Reply

  5. Too much RAM?? Never! I have my HP laptop maxed out at 4GB running Windows 7 x64 (since public beta) and my gaming box has 8GB running Server 2008 x64. Unlike Paul my laptop is missing 2 drivers, but they are for the smart card reader, a device I don’t use, so it’s not an issue. The fingerprint reader installed perfectly, and I can launch different applications depending on which finger I swipe. I also get secure saved password protection, so even if my laptop is stolen and they crack my account password, the thieves won’t have access to all my online passwords as those can only be accessed with my fingerprint. I do have an issue with hibernation I haven’t been able to sort out yet, but I didn’t expect a zero problem installation.

    Like

    Comment by Dave | May 28, 2009 | Reply

    • Dave,
      Yes, I was flabbergasted by how smoothly my install went, and I am pretty certain that not everyone would have they same result. But I believe that x64 drivers are more available now than ever before, and that they are on their way to being ubiquitous. Also, some programs need to be 64-bit to work right, and those that work on Vista should work on Win 7 as well.

      I installed on a HP desktop, and it installed the memory card reader… but if it hadn’t, I don’t know how hard I would’ve looked for a driver — I don’t think I’ve ever used one.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | May 28, 2009 | Reply

  6. TechPaul,

    I have been following your reads on Windows 7 for months. Based on your findings, I can’t wait for the public release. Continue to keep us informed…

    Wonder what the “cost factor” will be when released…

    Thanks,

    Rick

    Like

    Comment by whatsonmypc | May 28, 2009 | Reply

    • I will probably not purchase a Windows 7 DVD and convert my Vista machines, so the price tag (whatever it turns out to be) won’t be an issue for me. I will however wait to purchase my next PC until it comes with Win 7.

      Unless Microsoft decides to break with tradition and offer it for $49.99. (That is the maximum price I will pay for software.)
      Can you imagine the stampede to the stores if they did that?

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | May 28, 2009 | Reply

  7. […] A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7 64-bit – Tech-for Everyone […]

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    Pingback by Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#13) « What’s On My PC | June 3, 2009 | Reply


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