My Windows 7 upgrade experience

windows7ultimateFor the types of projects I do, I generally need to keep up with the latest technology. That, and the fact that I’m the early adopter type, led me to pick up Windows 7 Ultimate last week. I have three licenses, but initially installed it only on my secondary laptop – a two-year-old Alienware machine I bought when I started my consulting business back in early 2007.

I do like to play it safe, so I attempted to run the Upgrade Advisor program to confirm that my laptop would do well with Windows 7. Due to a glitch with my Vista system, I was advised that the Windows Installer had failed and that I should contact my “support personnel” for assistance. Uh, that would be ME.

I figured I would be OK with my relatively recent machine, so I took the plunge. After awhile, I returned to find that the Windows 7 install had failed due to remnants of Kaspersky antivirus software that I was sure I had uninstalled at least a year ago. After several failed attempts to uninstall it (resulting in that same message to contact myself for help), I found that most antivirus software companies have removal tools – and Kaspersky was no exception. (Get their removal tool is here.) 

That did the trick. The rest of the install was smooth sailing, though it did take the better part of 6 hours to run since I chose the option to upgrade rather than wipe out my hard drive and perform a clean install. It was my hope that doing so would preserve the many licensed programs I had downloaded from – but the track record here was a mixed bag. Some of the software does still work fine, but other programs have reverted to 30-day trials or require immediate purchase to be functional.

Most notable among these programs whose licenses did NOT survive the Windows 7 upgrade is Macrium Reflect, backup software I liked so much that I later bought licenses for two additional computers. Windows 7 Ultimate (along with other versions, including Pro) offers built-in backup software that can save files and a recovery image to a network drive, but I’m concerned that it states it won’t backup my installed programs – which would necessitate reinstalls should I ever need to restore from backup. No thanks. I’ll just shell out for another Macrium Reflect license.

Overall, my limited experience with Windows 7 is that it’s much zippier and programs seem to load much faster. My two-year-old machine now seems much quicker than I recall after spending a year on a newer, higher-powered primary laptop.

I’m not quite ready to upgrade our day-to-day work computers to Windows 7 (in part because our projects may require us to use Vista for at least another week or so), but now I am rather looking forward to it.

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