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Monday, January 30, 2012

Upgrade Vista to Win7 takes 5 hours - why?

With various upgrades and new hardware in the house only one machine was left running Vista, my wife's Gateway laptop. It has a 1920x1200 screen that she runs at a different DPI to read it easier. Once you do that Chrome screws up and you can't use the upper right button to minimize, maximize or close it. Vista was also having some other issues and since it was the only copy running in the house I decided it was time for it to go.

I had a buddy with exact same hardware do the upgrade and it went smoothly for him. I had a Win7 Ultimate DVD from a MS one day conference so there was no cash outlay. Just to be safe I used my Win7 Ultimate 64bit DVD hoping the key from MS would work. The MS conference DVD just listed 32bit but this was running 64bit Vista and I sure as heck did not want to downgrade that.

Put in the DVD and started the upgrade process around 2 PM. It got down around 7 PM. Really? Why the heck did an upgrade take that long? I really have no idea. It had 6 steps to the process and various steps would get stuck at 20% or some other percentage for over 30 minutes. I just left it alone checking on it every so often and finally the percentage would move. I thought that would only happen during one of the steps but it happened over and over. Plenty of space on the HD and this is not a slow machine but it really drug out the process.

Once that was all done I had to grab some patches off the web and reinstall the video driver with a couple of reboots to make sure it was all happy. Running like a champ and she likes the enhancements offered by Win7. Chrome works, you can right click on task bar items such as Word to see and open recent files, task bar is cleaner, easy to move items between monitors, shake to minimize all others, etc. Plus it is much easier for me to do phone support if every computer in house on same OS. Only the file / print server is on XP. I feel no real need to upgrade that box right away although I do feel the printer / fax / scanner support under XP for the Canon printer we have is a big buggy.

If I would have known it was going to take that long I would have started it earlier in the day. I was worried the upgrade would screw up so I have been putting this off. With a friend pulling it off on same hardware I felt better but I was also using a MS key from a slightly different OS, 32 vs. 64 bit, but all accounts on web said this would work. I did not want to lose any of her existing programs - Quicken, MS Office 2010 and others as she uses it on a daily basis. Anytime you upgrade someone else you want it to go perfect otherwise you hear about it for days. Doing your own hardware is not so bad, you can put up with a lot, but dealing with others is a bear.

Feels good to have this off the books. Nice way to end the weekend and she is happy. I also took some weekend time to rip more of my CD collection to give me some variety of tunes at work. I listen to a lot of older music (80s, 90s) and I have it all on legal CDs that just sit in a cabinet. Good to be able to hear the old hair metal at work. Listening to "The Dark Saga" from Iced Earth right now. My son wanted to try some other songs out too and along the line we lost some stuff I ripped a number of years ago. He wanted Adam Ant back in his play list. I will have to listen to that today too. Good stuff.