Quick Windows 7 Experiences

  • I downloaded both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the public beta
  • Installed the 32-bit version of Windows 7 into Virtual PC
  • Installed the 64-bit version of Windows 7 into Sun’s Virtual Box 2.1 (of which I am a fan)
  • Installed the 64-bit version into a new partition on my Dell XPS1330
  • On the Dell, after the first boot into the explorer, Windows 7 gathered some more drivers to ensure the inbuilt webcam and NVidia drivers were installed
  • Internet Explorer 8 renders fast. Very fast.
  • Our home wireless network was found quickly; and working after applying key
  • Office 2007 installed (+post-install updates) and Office Communicator (work VoIP, chat)
  • Windows Live software installed perfectly
  • I can remote desktop from my primary workstation to Windows 7
  • Other essentials to be installed and configured on Dell XPS 1330 for daily use
    • Visual Studio 2008 (why not 2010? Edge releases + Edge releases is no longer standing on the edge of one cliff, you are on a precipice)
    • Live Mesh. I’ve read on twitter this is coming.
    • Apple iTunes (you download the full 64-bit client and install: this is in the Readme)
    • Microsoft Expression stuff
    • Windows Home Server connector for backup
    • AVG Free for anti-virus
    • VPN + Smartcard drivers
    • Join correct work domain
    • Telstra NextG Internet access
    • Google Chrome
    • Text editors, FTP client (Filezilla)
  • Things to test out:
    • Xbox/Media Center connectors with DIVX codecs [deferred at the XBox has RRoD’d on me, now send off to Microsoft for rest, recreation and repair]

Updates, 12th January 2009

  • Chrome on Windows 7: small command line change at launch, and it works.
  • Windows Home Server software installed first time.

Updates, 13th January 2009

  • Took Dell XPS 1330 (and accidently left the thing at my desk, don’t ask how I did that!) to work and joined the Microsoft domain. Done. Downloaded some other bits and pieces ready to install
  • Under VPC at home: Installed the VPC additions to provide mouse in/out and other nifty tools. Note: ensure you have VirtualPC 7 SP1 installed, and the additions will work.
  • Tim Sneath’s THE BUMPER LIST OF WINDOWS 7 SECRETS has 30 secrets that will make Windows 7 rock
  • It is getting to a point where I will be running Windows 7 native, and Vista under VPC for extreme edge case applications. Wow. This is only a beta.

Updates, 15th January 2009

  • Once connected to internal network with a fresh-restart, Microsoft IT login scripts automatically installed the latest Anti-virus software.
  • XPS had a BIOS Upgrade for some reason: done (now A15)
  • Live Mesh client updated today: installed and working; applied appropriate directories into my mesh.
  • Ultra-surprisingly, my USB Smartcard reader just installed and worked first time.
  • Microsoft VPN connection software installed and worked first time
  • Installed Palm Treo as a sync device. Tell Treo to “setup PC on next connection”, downloaded latest software, reconnect Treo, device drivers installed and Windows Mobile Device Centre does the rest. That is, it worked first time.
  • Adobe Master Collection CS4: Just installing InDesign CS4 and Photoshop CS4 with OpenType fonts (for some later testing). Avoiding Acrobat Professional as this usually mucks around with too much operating system guts: installing printer drivers and add-ins to MSOffice apps. [note: please consult Adobe on their formal position on Windows 7!]
  • Visual Studio 2007 Professional. The big daddy. done, and working! Need to install the other bits like F# etc etc.

Updates, 19th January 2009

  • Windows Media Center has changed in Windows 7, and it happened that I had a spare AVERmedia ExpressCard/34. The drivers were not a part of Windows 7, so off to the Dell downloads. Installed the Vista drivers; and re-inserted the card. After pointing Windows 7 to the x64 drivers: installed! Windows Media Center launched; scan for DVB-T on the small antennae: and we have it installed. Including getting the ABC instream
  • Installed the current Microsoft builds of Office Communicator 2007 and LiveMeeting 2007. OK, tested and working in production.
  • Send Feedback actually worked for me today. Shock horror. According to the engineering team: for feedback to work, you need to ensure your Windows 7 Beta is activated.
  • iTunes installed; but having difficulty telling iTunes that it’s music is on the other Vista partition (E:) rather than the default C:. Probably user-error.  (yes, user error: fixed in 22 January update)

Updates, 22nd January 2009

  • Bigpond NextG USB installed and working with x64 Vista drivers, and creating a simple dial-out connection (hint: dial *99***1# ; username: youraccountname@bigpond.com). In other words, just like Vista x64, I am avoiding the Telstra Bigpond connection manager.
  • iTunes: needed to recreate the Library, with the Preferences>Advanced, Music Folder Location set to the external source. New Library is created, pointing to the location (therefore: no copying of music/video to your install drive)
  • Tortoise SVN 1.5.6 installed. Needed for IronPython and Witty builds. Next step is Git for IronRuby source code access
  • Updated/changed to Windows Mobile Device Centre 6.1 which seemed to correct speed of access to my Treo Pro.

Needs Fixing (have reported these)

  • Bluetooth not seen by Windows 7, although activated on XPS1330. Drivers installed, but no go. Probably something in my hardware configuration?
  • The Intel Wireless Link 4965AGN driver seems to stall Shutdown (not sleep) and when waking from sleep, fails to correctly wake the card. Cannot disable/renable to get DHCP. Solution is a complete reboot. Drivers on Dell site are circa late 2007. Probably a driver issue in the current Windows 7 beta?

4 thoughts on “Quick Windows 7 Experiences”

  1. Hi Nick,

    Great info regarding Win7. I’ve been running it for a few days now on my Dell E6500, and had similar issues with Bluetooth. Ended up installing the XP drivers (in compatability mode – vista drivers were a vista only msp patch). and it has been working a treat ever since. Might be worth a shot :).

    1. Brett

      Thanks for the update. I found a similar work-around; installing the Vista x64 drivers using one of the low-level installers (rather than the chaining installer) and the Bluetooth was activted, found and is now working.


  2. hi interesting readings, i also found same problems with bluetooth, it gets stuck at the “connecting” state is that what happened to you aswell? i tried to install drivers from dells website but it didn´t work for me. could you explain to me how you managed to fix the bluetooth issue, i didn´t quite understand how you solved it. btw i have xps m1330 the same as you do. thanks in advance

  3. Jens

    Bluetooth on the Dell XPS 1330 and Win7 build 7000 was a little convoluted.

    This step through of a work around I found some weeks ago may help:

    “After some experimentation over the weekend, I was able to get this to work on my Dell XPS 1330. Yes, I am using the latest Vista drivers from Dell.com.

    The default R1401353100_216Setup.exe wait for the Bluetooth to be “activated”; the device is not in the device tree; and turning off/on the Bluetooth via the wireless on/off switch (right hand side of the XPS 1330) did not activate the Bluetooth. Therefore, all you can do is “Cancel”

    Instead of using the default installer, I decided to go straight to a lower-level installer (that is probably just chained from the initial installer) from R1401353100_216Win64Inst.exe

    This installed all the drivers in the appropriate places in Windows 7 (without complaining its not Vista x64)

    Restart, and the hardware was found. Drivers installed OK; Created a Bluetooth Device to my Treo Pro. Working.

    I agree, this is a little around-a-bout; Might be more of a Dell installer issue than Windows 7? I am not sure.”

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