Sunday, November 8, 2009

Windows 7...some first thoughts

(Allison's Warning: You must have a technical dictionary to read this blog, at least she did.)

So, I have spent the last week attempting to upgrade to Windows 7..."simple" right? Hmmm...well here is how it went. Both Allison and I got some student deals from Digital River for Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.

So Wednesday the 22nd finally came and we downloaded the one person put it "instead of looking at a nice, shiny ready-to-install ISO of Windows 7, Digital River sent you a handful of random files and no ISO!" They decided that we would only want an .exe file since we are upgrading. Well, what can we Allison installed that on the desktop and it went fine. A little messy file structure since it wasn't a clean install...but it worked. It did have an "unknown device" still, but everything seemed to be working. Not too much of a new look, but some nice things. I really like the libraries and the homegroups look like they could be good. They give you many more options for User Account Control and their drivers seem to be good...after doing a Windows update. Quicken actually works better than it did on Vista. The changes to the taskbar seem nice and I really like that you can easily change the shutdown button to switch user (or whatever you want). Yes, I did also try the "snap feature"

But then I went to install it on the laptop. Clicked on the .exe and watched it take the 5 minutes to unpack everything...oops, it got an error for file permissions at the end...huh? Okay, try again running as administrator, nope same error. Maybe it was because I'm working on files from my side which are stored on Allison's desktop, change to Allison's side and rerun. Same problem. Okay, this is more try. Log on to Vista's secret "real" administrator account, this will work now...nope same error. Fall back on the thing that never the problem. Seems like lots of others are having the same issue, but others have no problems...hmm. After reading several forums I find that the problem is that Microsoft had the brilliant idea to send the upgrade to Windows 7 pro 64-bit as a 64-bit file. So, if you happen to be upgrading from...I dunno, Vista 32-bit (which most people are) you cannot run the file. Sent email to Digital River asking for "the fix" that they had.

Digital River sent a link to download the iso file b/c you have to do a clean install...yay! Download the file and burn to dvd and ready to go. Sadly by now it's Monday and we have classes for the next three days and I wanted the laptop working. So I wait until Wednesday...good choice as it turns out. I start the install and it gets 20% done and tells me that the file is corrupt...and since it is a clean install I've formatted my previous version. Call Digital River...closed. Check Microsoft support site...crashed (they must have upgraded to Windows 7 too). Call Microsoft help takes me to the store...get number for tech support. Call them...find out Digital River sent product key for Home Premium not Pro and they will only help me install Home Premium... transferred to store to try to get new product key. The MS store cannot/will not give me a new product key because I bought it through Digital River and they don't have the records...but tech support does and should be able to handle this...transferred back. The store rep failed to give any details to tech I tell my story again...they still cannot help me. Well...might as well see what help they can give me at least with Home Premium...transferred to the actual tech support person. After dealing with 10 minutes of repeating myself and having her repeat herself because of the foreign accent...told only Digital River can help with the tech support. Given the number for Digital River (complete with country code)...hang up and do a factory restore (didn't format that part of the hard drive) so my laptop actually works while I do some Greek homework.

Call Digital River the next day (nope the number didn't work...and they didn't have it listed...but thanks again goes to google...800-GOOG-411) to get a new iso and product key. Given the "all sales are final" line at first, but then they decide they should probably cancel the order and I can reorder. Cancel sent (will take a few days) and I go to can only order once per student email address...good thing we still have our MSU email product key achieved. Redownload iso file and works! Get everything installed and I'm having no problems. So Allison logs on and her side locks up every few minutes. Nothing in event logs. So I delete her account, defrag, run scandisk, and re-add her...still locking up. I tell her it's user error, but she insists on blaming the computer.

This seems to be a common complaint so the next day I call tech support...back to help from a foreign country. After giving the problem and 5 minutes on hold I was told to delete and re-add her :( So...I asked about the unknown devices...after another few sessions of 5 minute holds I was told that I should...reinstall. Put in a request for tier II help...which was surprisingly granted...but is through follow-up and hang-up. I'm supposed to have a call back in an hour.

Install on the laptop...take 4...figured I'd do this while I waited (good thing as they never called back). Everything works again...unidentified device still there :( Decided to ignore that and I get it all set-up and Allison seems to be able to use it without any trouble. I even managed to get some more Greek homework done during all of it and downloaded a trial of Everest (sweet program) and discovered the unidentified devices are my card reader on the biggee (apparently Allison didn't even know we had one)...and AMD's "away mode" on the desktop (helps restore from hibernate faster)...annoying...but it won't hurt anything...can also be disabled in the bios. So all seems well.

This evening I log on to check my email while watching some football. A commercial comes on advertising Windows 7 and how it won't crash as much...and my side locks up :( Hold down the power button to turn off and restart...log on and make it in to check email this time. Low and behold I have an email from tier II support. Apparently they wanted to confirm that I needed help by email (a day later) before they returned the call. Well, at least I knew that things weren't quite working still :) So email sent back to them.

The saga continues...

No comments:

Post a Comment