Posts tagged windows 7 review
Well I figured its time to re-review Windows 7, in my previous review I did hammer on it a little bit but the major issues were due to the age of the machine that I was trying to install it on. There was a lack of driver support for some of the older equipment in the box.
Well I have built another machine for the office and decided to test Windows 7 again and see what it is all about.
Mainboard Gigabyte EP45-UD3P
4GB DDR2 Corsair Dominator 5 5 5 25 Ram
250GB Seagate 7200.11
Intel Q6600 Quad core
BFG Nvidia 9600GT
Seasonic 650W PSU
Antec 300 Tower
The previous disk that I had for Windows 7 would not allow an install to occur. Missing win install dll was the error that came up during the installation. So I grabbed a fresh copy of Windows 7 (this time I opted for the 64 bit version) and started again, just as the previous time I installed 7 it went very smoothly and installed as quickly as Vista does.
The majority of the drivers required were automatically installed with the installation. Again though there was no drivers for the onboard lan, out comes the driver disk from the motherboard box. Once the driver was in I was able to activate windows and the updates began to download. So far so good!
The first things that I noticed was the new desktop tools. The side bar is now removed making way for free gadget placement on the desktop. Right Click >Personalize to find that the interface for desktop customization is much easier to navigate through. The options are listed on the bottom of the panel with nice big icons. The same old customization tools are present however there is more choice of color for the windows and there are some nice default themes. But wait what is that desktop slideshow tool I see? Using the browse tool I was able to navigate to my favorite wallpaper folder and I see a select all button. When pressed it selects all of the images in the folder and the slideshow options are available below. I cannot beleive what I am seeing here, the one feature I have wanted in Windows for years, can it be real? YES it is Windows 7 uses a slideshow for the desktop wallpaper. I am overwhelmed with awe as I am now able to have my favorite wallpapers change at set intervals.
The rest of the interface is just as described in my previous review.
Just as I was thinking all is good with this new installation, time to play some video files and check out Media Player 12. The interface in media player 12 has changed again, I am not sure if I like it this time. The enhancements tools are nowhere to be found and the player seems to be separated from the library all together so that you can have the library and the player open at the same time. BSOD oh yes part way into the video the dreaded Blue Screen Of Death! well thats not very good. After a few attempts at playing videos with constant Blue Screens its time for diagnostics.
- Updated all drivers for sound and video – No fix!
- Downloaded Windows 7 Video codec pack – No fix!
- Disabled sound in biot – No fix!
- Switched to the 64 bit player (Vista and 7 Default to using x86 player) – No fix!
- Checked the error logs!
After getting into the error logs I was able to find out that there is a hotfix for a transer protocol which was causing the BSOD. Send off email to Microsoft and request the hotfix. 5 minutes later I recieve an email with the hotfix download and install it on the machine. Very hesitantly I open up a video and to my amazement I am able to watch through the entire video. Keep in mind this is the Beta 7000 Build so I cannot expect perfection.
The dreaded experience index is still present in windows 7. Although there is a much larger range of numbers so no cap out at 5.9 like in Vista. Something is not right here however my index is listed as 2.9 due to disk data transfer rate. I tried to enable AHCI instead of IDE in the bios for the SATA drive but it caused BSOD on boot. Not willing to go through another hassle of debugging this glitch I reverted back to the IDE control interface for the SATA drive.
I was able to get the drive performance to 5.3 by disabling the Write Caching on the disk which is good for now. The rest of the Experience Index was acceptable so no need for any major tweaks here. Now that the system is up and running I move some files around, the transfer speeds of files is far superior to that of vista.
I use multiple computers with same keyboard and mouse utilizing Multiplicity by Stardock. The application installed smoothly and needed no addition setup to run on Windows 7 and I am able to use concurantly with Vista 64bit on the other computer.
I haven’t had a chance to go any further into the OS and play with performance but Windows 7 really does feel more responsive than Vista and even with the hassles I faced it does seem more stable than Vista aswell. The OS itself seems like it is lighter as there are less applications integrated with it now. The live essentials pack is downloadable and there are WAY more options for removing windows components in the control panel. Overall I would have to say the Microsoft has gotten it right with this OS. I cannot wait to see the Release Candidate.
Psyc3d Updated Rating 8.5/10
I have read nothing but good things about Windows 7 and stories of people running it on 5 year old systems so when I got my BETA release Serial number I was exciting about testing it out.
My test machine of OS had Ubuntu 8 and XP Pro on seperate drives installed. There is no upgrade from XP so decided to install fresh. The machine is a Gigabyte Motherboard, 1GB DDR400, Geforce 2GTS, 2 X 80GB HDD, P4 2.6GHz CPU. I mainly use this machine to play videos and music at the office to save resources on the workstation.
First Glance (Boot to DVD and Install)
The DVD boots quicky and the first thing you notice is that the install screen has been completley redisgned and is very clean and efficient. Much better than the blue file copy screen from xp. There was a slight hang at the system check but other than the install is very quick and efficient.
Look and Feel
The first thing I noticed was the beatiful boot window for 7, the animated lights that form to make the windows logo is a welcome change from the old loader. First boot into the live OS is uneventful. I notice that the new task/start bar is VERY LARGE and is pretty much command central for the OS. For those of us that like to have loads of windows open at the same time and multitask like mad this is a great tool. There is only ever one instance of your application in the task bar. When you roll over it will list the open windows allowing you all the options to bring into focus, close etc.
I did find out the hard way though if you click a pinned application (quick launch) when you have one window open this does not open a new instance. You will have to right click to open a new instance. Not too much of a bother however considering all the power that you have from the previously launch only quicklauch that hasnt changed since its inception. The default wallpaper is very nice and clean. The overall feel is that of a cleaned up vista interface. Warning messages and alerts are present in the system try very un obtrusively which is nice.
Driver and Hardware support
The first problem arose when I had no network card driver found for the onboard network card. I kind of expected this so I installed another NIC, Still no Drivers found, I grabbed a third NIC from my pile and installed it again no drivers found. I went back to the onboard, grabbed the xp drivers from the manufacturer and tried them out. It worked I had the internet working. The next thing was to get teh Video and sound cards working, windows update found the creative driver for the sounds card. Now to tacke the video card, no drivers found. I grabbed some XP legacy drivers for the Geforce 2 from nvidia as there is no Vista driver. After installing the video card driver I was able to get access to higher resolutions and setup the video card. After a quick reboot we are up and running.
All hell breaks loose
I was all set, I thought, time to get anti virus running, Comodo won’t install as it is not certified for 7, but it is certified for Vista (I’m using it on my laptop). So I check the list of anti virus applications that microsoft suggests you buy. I noticed that AVG was in there so I figured if the purchase version will work then so will the free version. Luckily I was right and was able to get anti virus running. In the middle of trying to download the Live package everything freezes, I mean litterally freezes like it would if your CPU melted. Nothing from Keyboard, nothing on mouse no response at all.
I reboot the machine only to have it happen again and again and again at different time after loading windows. I never get in more that a few seconds after windows has loaded. Time to try safe mode, whaddaya know I am having no problems in safe mode so I reverse back to the driver install for NVIDIA. Reboot again and still freezing, I guess it must be the video card driver so back into safe mode I go and uninstall NVIDIA drivers. Reboot and its all working like normal again. After another bout of hunting for a Geforce 2 driver for Vista or 7 I give up and try to figure out how to boot back into my Linux drive. Of course no hope there Windows did not maintain the Dual Boot as always.
Well that is it for me on Windows 7, no support for older hardware, not even basic driver support for network cards. Even without aero there is no driver support for older video cards. The task bar is double height so you are forced to use the auto hide to save your desktop realestate. I am not impressed with this OS yet, maybe when it is out of Beta and tested I will upgrade the Vista 64bit machine in the office. At least there will be driver support for that hardware its all newer hardware. Microsoft has a lot of work todo before people will adopt another OS from them. Not all of the users out there have the latest in hardware for Vista and now 7. That was the major flaw of Vista, a lack of hardware drivers and suppport and it looks like the same thing is happening again in 7.
Back to XP Pro on the test machine.
Psyc3d rating of windows 7 as of writing:
I was so excited to try it out and I didn’t even get a real chance to go through it.
Page 1 of 1