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Jun 3, 2004

EDIT: The OP has been edited to reflect the existence of Windows 8 and what that means for currently on or migrating to a previous version like Windows 7.

Discussions pertaining specifically to Windows 8 (including Windows 8 UI Syle Apps and info on upgrading to Windows 8), Windows RT, and related products such as the Microsoft Surface, should go in their specialized threads (see threads section below for appropriate links).

Welcome to the Windows Megathread! This thread is intended for asking questions, giving advice, and general discussion on the Microsoft Windows series of operating systems. Is something broken? Tech support questions should not go in this thread! There's a dedicated subforum for that.

The Windows 8 Thread
The Windows RT Thread
The Windows 8 UI Style Apps Thread

The Windows 7 Discussion Thread
The Windows Home Server Anticipation/Discussion Thread
Leveraging Group Policy

News and Rumors:
Microsoft Watch

Paul Thurrott's WinSuperSite
Ed Bott's Windows Expertise
The Microsoft Vista Team Blog
The Microsoft Exchange Team Blog

Information Sources:
Daniel Petri's Windows IT Knowledgebase
Windows Licensing FAQ
Windows XP Product ID Guide

Microsoft Software Forum Network
The Green Button - Windows Media Center Discussion Board
MSDN Forums

Internet Explorer 9 is now available for Vista and Windows 7. It will show up in Windows Update, or you can go here for a manual installer:

Service Pack 1 is now available. The final build number is 7601.17514.101119-1850. This will allegedly be the only Service Pack for Windows 7.

Download here (X64 is 64-bit, X86 is 32-bit).

A retail disc, by default, will only install the edition of Windows 7 labeled on it. However, going to the "sources" folder and deleting the "ei.cfg" file will allow for a ballot screen early in the install process allowing the installation of other versions. Note that this won't allow the installation of Windows 7 Enterprise (this is a separate ISO). You can go to this link for an easy ei.cfg change/remove from ISO utility, no other ISO tools required (note: tool doesn't work on SP1 integrated discs yet, hopefully will be updated soon).


Why is upgrading to Windows 8 Pro only $40 and upgrades to Windows 7 Home Premium, if I can even find them, are over $100 (over $200 for Professional)?

There are several likely reasons, including Microsoft being frequently berated by Apple because Apple's OS only has one edition and is now $30ish, and Microsoft trying to bring as many people to Windows 8 as possible. Regardless, this makes Windows 7 upgrades hard to come by and will only get worse with time, and given the considerable difference in price it's an important question to ask yourself. Just realize that if you MUST have Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 and can't upgrade to Windows 8, you will probably want to get whatever you need ASAP while the getting is still good. The most significant thing missing from Windows 8 is Windows XP Mode; for more specifics, consult the Windows 8 Thread.

What version do I buy, tl;dr edition.

- If you don't need XP Mode or the ability to join a domain, buy Home Premium.
- If you need XP Mode and/or the ability to join a domain, buy Professional. Professional includes ALL Home Premium features.
If you want to make a more informed decision, read the more detailed version differences at the bottom of the OP.

Q: How do upgrade licenses work? Does the previous OS have to be installed or is there a way to install it "clean"?

Generally, a previous valid OS must be installed, but there are some funky workarounds. Read this link for more info.

Q: What scenarios require a clean install? What scenarios allow the choice of clean or upgrade install?


Clean install only (files are backed up to a folder called Windows.old and the system is then effectively clean installed. All software and drivers must be reinstalled. Note that the presence of the previous copy of Windows counts for upgrade editions of Windows 7, even though it's being "removed")

- Upgrading from Windows XP
- Upgrading from 32-bit Windows Vista to 64-bit Windows 7
- Upgrading from 64-bit Windows Vista to 32-bit Windows 7
- Upgrading from Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Home Premium
- Upgrading from Windows Vista Enterprise or Ultimate to Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional

Choice of Clean install (see above) or Upgrade install (programs and drivers are preserved and don't have to be reinstalled. Some software may have to be removed or upgraded either before or after the upgrade process)

- Upgrading from Windows Vista Home Basic or Home Premium to any version of Windows 7 on the same bit architecture
- Upgrading from Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate on the same bit architecture
- Upgrading from Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate on the same bit architecture

Legal restrictions with upgrade editions

Note: end users and stores are going to cheat some of these points like crazy, it's inevitable; treat talking about license-bending as you would talking about pirating software here.

Note 2: These are the rules according to Microsoft's EULA and should be treated as legally binding in the United States and Canada. Although the EULA is identical worldwide, some aspects of it may not be enforceable in some countries (e.g. apparently Microsoft can't tie OEM editions to specific hardware in the EU, but this could just be a rumor)

- If you buy an upgrade edition, you MUST have a licensed copy of either Windows XP or Windows Vista.
- If the OS you're upgrading from is an OEM version (came with your computer and has a COA sticker on the case), you MUST install the Windows 7 upgrade to the computer it was originally installed on. No transfers, you play by the same rules as the OEM version of the original OS.
- Purchasing an OEM edition can only be done with an accompanying hardware purchase (I believe that officially, the hardware must consist of motherboard + processor as a bare minimum). That OEM edition can then only be installed on that particular hardware. The Windows 7 OEM license can be purchased up to three months following the hardware purchase. The COA sticker must be affixed to the case the hardware is installed in.
- Once upgraded, you may NOT install the previous OS license to another machine or sell that license (eBay sales are shut down frequently for this very reason). You also can't have any form of dual-boot or virtual machine configuration; only one OS or the other can be installed at a given time. Downgrading is allowed, but the Windows 7 installation must be removed. Those wishing to dual boot will have to buy a Full version.
- Upgrades must be for the same base language as the OS being upgraded (i.e. you can only upgrade an English OS to an English version of Windows 7).


Q: What Anti-virus programs work?

Pretty much any major anti-virus software, including AVG, Avast!, NOD32, VIPRE and others will work if you install their latest versions.

Looking for a free solution? AVG and Avast have free versions for non-commercial home use, and Microsoft Security Essentials can be installed for free for home users and small businesses of 10 users/devices or less. You don't even have to go far for Security Essentials, as it will show up in Windows Update if no AV software is detected.

Q: Game sound goes down in volume by 50% when I attempt to voice chat in it. What's happening?

Windows 7 auto-detects the use of VoIP solutions and does automatic volume adjustments to compensate. You can disable this using the following steps:

- Go into the "Sound" section of "Control Panel".
- Click on the "Communications" tab.
- Change the option to "Do Nothing."

Q: How does this new taskbar (Superbar) work?

If you pin an application to it, it becomes something like a shortcut, where if you click on the icon, the program is launched and then the icon becomes the program's "taskbar mode" for lack of a better term. Some programs (i.e. InfraRecorder and some unzipping programs) will have added features like showing a green progress bar over the icon. Note that some programs require some modification (read: updating) in order to completely support this; expect more programs to start supporting this as Windows 7 becomes more and more mainstream.

Q: What happened to the tray now?

In a sense, the tray is being somewhat phased out, or at least rethought in light of the superbar's features stated above. All taskbar icons by default now get hidden behind a ^ that appears next to the time. Clicking on this will open a small window with all the tray icons. You can customize this to force some of your tray icons to be always visible for preserved functionality (like if you have to see a "new mail" icon in a tray program, for example) or simple personal preference.


Q: What are the system requirements for Windows 7?

If your system can run Windows Vista, it's almost guaranteed to be able to run Windows 7. In fact, some of Windows 7's system requirements are actually LOWER than Vista's (the installation footprint is smaller), and most people find that Windows 7 performs faster and more smoothly for general use than Vista does. For completeness' sake, here are the official requirements:

- 1 GHz or faster processor (Hardware Virtualization is recommended for Windows XP Mode, but not required if you're running Windows 7 SP1)
- 1 gig of RAM for 32-bit, 2 gigs for 64-bit (note: I can vouch that the 32-bit version will "work" on 512 megs, but don't expect to do anything fancy)
- 16 gigs of hard disk space for 32-bit, 20 gigs for 64-bit (exact footprint size varies depending on what edition is installed, for 32-bit it's typically between 6 and 10 gigs)
- DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Q: Should I install 32-bit or take the plunge to 64-bit?

You should almost definitely install the 64-bit version unless one of the following is true:

- Your processor doesn't support 64-bit (some Netbooks, older processors like Pentium 4s and single-core Intels). If you're not sure if your processor is capable, you can check your current system for compatibility using SecurAble available here.
- You have a piece of hardware with no 64-bit driver (older printers especially can be problematic with this)
- You have software like Cisco VPN that won't work in a 64-bit OS (note: if you get the Professional or higher edition of Windows 7, you can potentially run it through Windows XP Mode)
- You want to be able to play all Windows games using Gametap (note: Gametap is actively working on this, and most of their newer titles will work in 64-bit, but some of their older ones won't. This is also only a restriction for their Windows-based titles -- their DOS, console and arcade games are 100% compatible)
- You're doing an in-place upgrade of a 32-bit version of Vista and don't want to reinstall everything.

64-bit means taking full advantage of systems with 4 gigs of RAM or more. The 64-bit version is standard on almost all preinstalled systems other than netbooks, so there's definitely market pressure to ensure software and hardware is supported on 64-bit systems.

The days of 64-bit meaning hunting for drivers or not being able to run software are mostly a thing of the past. In fact, Microsoft has already stopped producing 32-bit server OSes (Windows 2008 R2 and its variants are 64-bit only; Windows Server 2008 is Microsoft's last 32-bit server OS).

Q: I have no DVD drive. Any alternative ways to install?

Yes. You can start the installer within an existing OS as long as it has some way of getting to the files; USB drive, external HD, whatever. Even when rebooting to continue setup, it will do everything it needs to do beforehand so it doesn't need to access any external media during install.

There is also this official Microsoft tool for making a bootable USB key installer from an ISO file.

(For the sake of simplicity, in this section, "upgrade" refers to installing Windows 7 over an existing OS in a way that preserves existing files and installed applications (a.k.a. in-place upgrade), and not to anything license-related. For licensing details, see the end of this OP)

Q: Can I perform an in-place upgrade of Windows XP to Windows 7?

No. Upgrading from Windows XP is not possible (nor will it be in the Final, although migration tools will be provided) and requires a clean installation.

Q: Can I in-place upgrade my 32-bit OS to 64-bit?

No. You cannot upgrade using a different bit architecture (i.e. 32-bit to 64-bit or vice versa) due to massive differences between both builds in terms of drivers and how software is installed and handled (system files and registry entries go to completely different places so the OS can run 32-bit programs correctly on the 64-bit version). A clean installation is required in these situations.

Q: Can I in-place upgrade from Vista Business to Windows 7 Home Premium?

No, only upgrades to an equal or better equivalent version are allowed.

Q: So if I have Vista Ultimate, I can only do an in-place upgrade install to Windows 7 Ultimate?


Windows XP Mode

Q: What is it?

Available as a separate download for Windows 7 Professional or higher, this basically runs a Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 Virtual Machine, which is seamlessly integrated into Windows 7 and allows running programs that otherwise wouldn't run on Windows 7.

Note that this does NOT do any fancy DirectX or anything like that. The graphics hardware emulated is an S3 Trio with 64 MEGS of Video RAM. In other words, anything that puts a significant strain on graphics hardware, like games, isn't going to work acceptably if at all; this is a Business-use feature for running old/proprietary software in a corporation that won't work on Vista or 7 natively. If you're a home user, there's a very low chance you would have any use for XP Mode, let alone require it, but for some companies it's a godsend.

Q: What exactly is this for? Why do I want an older OS?

Businesses everywhere rely on software that can't be made to run in Windows Vista/7. Frequently, they will only run on a specific version of Internet Explorer, usually IE6. In many cases, these aren't off-the-shelf programs, but programs specifically commissioned by and programmed for the company, and are almost invariably under budget, rushed, and programmed by a monkey. This fact hurt Microsoft considerably, who saw several businesses "trapped" with Windows XP and for whom upgrading was literally not an option due to their dependence on the horribly-programmed software.

Windows XP Mode seeks to eliminate such issues, allowing businesses and power users alike to upgrade their OSes and gain all sorts of new features and improved security, while still allowing them to run their old, otherwise-incompatible software. This also has the added bonus of allowing software requiring a 32-bit OS to run on Windows 7 64-bit. And, lest we forget, this solution is FREE; alternative solutions require a separate purchase of a Windows XP Pro license.

Q: Any special system requirements for XP Mode?

Not anymore; as of March 18th, the requirement for Hardware Virtualization has been dropped via an update. While having Hardware Virtualization will give you better performance, Windows XP Mode will now work regardless of your processor's features. The download is about 500 megs and installation just over a gig.

Q: So how do I set this up?

After installing, launch "Windows XP Mode" from the "Windows Virtual PC" folder in the Start Menu. Set a password for the default "XPMuser" when asked, set options accordingly. Give it a few minutes to set up the initial image, which by default has Service Pack 3, Internet Explorer 6, and IE7 and IE8 moved into "optional software" on Windows Update. Install your software within this virtual machine, and then log off. Application shortcuts will appear in a subfolder in your Windows 7's "Windows Virtual PC" menu.

If you need a shortcut for something that isn't a program with an install routine (e.g. a program you just unzip, a website URL etc.), create a Windows shortcut (.lnk file) in the XP Mode virtual machine and move it into "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu" in the XP Mode virtual machine.

Note that performance in this VM isn't stellar, don't expect to run anything I/O or processor intensive, this is more of a just making basic stuff work setup. Some other VM software vendors, such as VMware with VMware Player and Workstation, will import an XP Mode VM and may provide additional options.

Software incompatibilities

While Windows 7 has settled in the computer world well and compatibility is excellent, some companies haven't done the necessary tweaks to their software yet to ensure full compatibility. There are some slight UI changes, particularly in the taskbar, that some programs may behave oddly with. In some cases, running them in Vista compatibility mode can fix the problem, but expect updates to several pieces of software in the coming weeks and months that will fix the odd kink and take advantage of the new UI features. Windows 7 is built off the same codebase as Vista, so it's not as major as the upgrade from XP to Vista.

Some software may require special hack-like steps.

There's almost no software (and no "major" software) that works in Windows Vista that flat-out will not work on Windows 7.

Post-RC questions (RTM/Final-related questions)

Q: What about the Express Upgrade program?

If you bought a computer after July 26th with Windows Vista Home Premium or higher, you can get the equivalent version of 7 mailed to you for S&H. Check with your computer manufacturer for details.

Q: So are there a billion versions of this too, just like Vista?

Yes (technically six), but Microsoft has learned from their mistakes and is only actively marketing two versions: Home and Professional. Also, unlike with Vista, where the Home versions and Business were forked (Business didn't have some of Home's features and vice versa), Windows 7 has a straight version-feature progression, meaning Professional has ALL the features of Home Premium, and it's possible to Anytime Upgrade from Home Premium to Professional as a result.

Here are the six versions of Windows 7 (the recommended versions are in bold):

Starter: This is designed for netbooks and is only available pre-installed on certain entry-level netbooks. It has artificial hardware limitations (a RAM and CPU cap), and it's 32-bit only. It also doesn't come with anything fancy like DVD Playback support through Windows Media Player (you can install install another DVD Player program, though). That being said, licenses for it are very cheap, allowing netbook manufacturers to sell really cheap units with it (although some may go for a more advanced version of Windows 7 for more powerful netbooks). Also, Microsoft has backed off from an initial plan to limit the number of programs that could be open simultaneously with this version. This version DOES NOT limit the number of open applications.

Home Basic: This is only available in developing countries. It's like Vista Home Basic: no frills, no out-of-the-box DVD playback, stuff like that. It doesn't have any sort of hardware cap, though, other than RAM, and it's available in a 64-bit version.

Home Premium: This is the "Home" version that's generally available worldwide, preinstalled and in retail stores. Like Vista Home Premium, it has out-of-the-box DVD Playback, Windows Media Center functionality and some extra home use software.

Professional: This is the "Pro" version that's generally available worldwide, preinstalled and in retail stores. This version connects to domains and is the cheapest version of Windows 7 that features the XP Mode mentioned earlier. Unlike Vista Business, Windows 7 Professional includes all the features of Home Premium like Media Center and DVD Playback.

Enterprise and Ultimate: These versions are essentially the same thing, except Enterprise is sold, mainly as part of an Action Pack or Volume Licensing Agreement. Ultimate is its "available to the public" name. Both these versions allow booting from VHDs, and it has MUI support (i.e. every user account can run Windows 7 in a different language). MUI is NOT the same as merely typing in other languages, which is possible in every version of Windows 7; MUI changes the language of the user interface completely and is intended for use in large multi-national corporations that want every computer they run in their business to have the same base install, even across different countries and continents.

Q: OK, how much for each?


EDIT: Upgrading to Windows 8 Pro is $39.99 US until January 31st. Further, Windows 7 Upgrades are no longer being produced and have largely been phased out, especially in Brick and Mortar stores.

U.S. Prices

Home Premium

Upgrade - $119.99 US
Full version - $199.99 US


Upgrade - $199.99 US
Full version - $299.99 US


Upgrade - $220 US
Full version - $320 US

Canadian prices (some of the regular upgrade prices may not be 100% accurate)

Home Premium

Upgrade - $129.95 CAD
Full version - $224.99 CAD


Upgrade - $249.95 CAD
Full version - $329.99 CAD


Upgrade - $279.99 CAD
Full version - $349.99 CAD

Q: What do I need to qualify for an upgrade edition of Windows 7?

Windows 7 upgrade editions are valid for upgrading from either Windows XP or Windows Vista. Note that certain types of upgrades, notably from XP to 7, or 32-bit to 64-bit, will require a complete reinstallation of your system, but from a licensing standpoint you'll be validated. See the first questions in the OP for more details about this.

General Windows FAQ

What's the best way to keep my Windows system maintained and clean?

    Do all of your Windows updates to plug any system vulnerabilities. Internet Explorer 7 isn't nearly as bad as previous versions, but an alternative browser like Mozilla Firefox is still recommended. For an anti-spyware, I like MalwareBytes Ant-Malware, but there's also Windows Defender, Ad-Aware, and Spybot S&D. On the anti-virus front, AVG, Avast!, and AntiVir all offer free clients for personal use, while NOD32 is the undisputed king of commercial anti-virus solutions.

    For keeping temporary files clean, Piriform's free CCleaner can't be beat - just watch out for the Yahoo! Toolbar option during install. Lastly, defragment your system drive every once in a while with Windows' built-in defrag program or Piriform's free Defraggler.

    One final note: leave UAC on. Disabling it can create several compatibility issues and make you vulnerable to modern viruses and malware on the internet (and if you think it can't happen to you, a few years back someone embedded a virus in their Something Awful signature that auto-triggered if you loaded a thread he posted in, so the fact that you're reading this makes you vulnerable, keep that poo poo on.)
I notice many system services in the Processes tab of the Task Manager and in the services.msc control panel. Should I disable the ones I don't need to improve performance?

    Don't bother. Disabling many of these services can break low-level Windows functionality, and the gains aren't significant (both as far as performance and memory savings go).
Should I disable my page file? I've got lots of RAM - won't Windows be faster if all of my working data is stored in memory rather than on the hard drive?

    Leave your operating system alone. It almost always knows better than you do.

    Disabling swap space won't actually stop swapping - Windows will still make a pagefile.sys. What you will end up doing by disabling swap is making sure that only private allocations (run-time data) cannot be written to disk. If the operating system decides it needs to free up more physical page frames, it's going to release copies of program text (executable code) instead. You may well end up swapping more than you did before, or the OS may swap things you need sooner, resulting in a performance drop.

    Writing out private allocations is often better, because many programs tend to allocate lots of memory and then not use it fully (or use it frequently). What would you rather have swapped out: data that is never or rarely used, or the executable code of the program you are running?

    Note for Windows Vista users: Microsoft has implemented a new feature called SuperFetch in Windows Vista that effectively accomplishes some of the purported benefits of disabling one's page file. SuperFetch prioritizes the programs you're currently using over background tasks and adapts to the way you work by tracking programs you use most often and preloading them into memory. With SuperFetch, background tasks still run when the computer is idle. However, when the background task is finished, SuperFetch repopulates system memory with the data you were working with before the background task ran. When you return to your desk, your programs will continue to run as efficiently as they did before you left.
    Thanks to Unabomber
Why is Windows telling me I only have ~3 GB of RAM when I have more than that installed?

    32-bit operating systems can only address up to 4 GB of memory. By default, Windows can only address up to ~3GB of physical memory, due to the paging file and video memory. This isn't a Windows limitation, but rather a limit of x86 hardware that has existed ever since the first x86 PC. In order to utilize your extra memory, you have to use a 64-bit operation system, which will obviously require a processor that supports x86-64 (Athlon 64, Athlon X2, Core 2 Duo, later-model P4s and Xeons, etc). Here's a list of memory caps in current versions of Windows:

    Windows XP Professional x64 Edition: 128 GB
    Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit: 8 GB
    Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit: 16 GB
    Windows Vista Business 64-bit: 128+ GB
    Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit: 128+ GB

    You may have read some things about adding the /PAE switch to your boot.ini in order to force Windows to use that extra GB of RAM that you might have. This is usually a bad idea for a number of reasons. You can read a lot more about the 32-bit memory limit and Windows here:
I want to see who is accessing my shared files in Windows 2000/XP. (Note: This is similar to netwatch from Win9X machines)

This OP is a work in progress, expect sudden changes as more information becomes available. Please post any useful information missing from here and I'll include it.

univbee fucked around with this message at 18:27 on Nov 2, 2012


Jun 3, 2004

Thanks for letting me know of a few adjustments, guys, OP updated.

Sparkyhodgo posted:

Believe it or not, this could be a deal breaker for me.

I put a question mark after it because it was something one person mentioned in the last thread kind of in passing. I'll try it later today, as I have the 64-bit RC installed, but I don't have hardware virtualization on this computer so I can't test if it'd work with that.

In any case, that whole game series is the kind of thing that I'm guessing will either work in the final by fixing some random thing not fixed in the RC, or someone out there will hack a way to get it working.

univbee fucked around with this message at 18:06 on May 16, 2009

Jun 3, 2004

Jewmanji posted:

I just finally made the switch from XP Pro to W7 (x86), and I'm having trouble gaining access to a lot of my own files, on account of "not having permission", even though my account is the administrator. This is true for some trivial folders, and some not-so-trivial folders. Anyone have any idea what might cause this? It would be really great if I could inject my old outlook .pst into this.

You have to take ownership of the files on your drive (i.e. associate them with your account). You'll have to look at the "Security" tab under properties, then play around with settings like "Owner" in the "Advanced" section. Your old PST file should be fine, but back it up before trying anything with that.

Jun 3, 2004

The Wonder Weapon posted:

I have a question about how dual booting will actually work.

I have Vista Ultimate installed on Drive A. It has MS Word installed.

I put Windows 7 on Drive B. It does not have MS Word installed.

Obviously I can navigate to Drive A if I boot into w7, but can I run word from there? or do I also have to install it on Drive B?

First off, I hope when you say "Drive A" and "Drive B" you mean those as placeholder names like "Exhibit A" and not "A:" and "B:".

And unfortunately, Word expects several files to be present in the Windows system folders, not to mention registry entries to handle the product key and numerous other functions. It won't run without being installed in Windows 7 (it'll give error messages when executed). Likewise, it's impossible to install any Microsoft Office program without considerable space being used on the system partition.

There are some programs where this trick will work, but it's generally not recommended unless you know for a fact the software is encapsulated. Have a go on for some programs like that.

Jun 3, 2004

fishmech posted:

That's all well and good, but there's tons of places that need Microsoft patches and can't handle anything bessedes ports 80 and 443 being open.

These are the people who should be using the direct downloads, then. A torrent solution would significantly lower the stress on Microsoft's direct downloads, which would allow those who actually do need a direct download to not have to deal with crap-tacular speeds. The torrent solution wouldn't replace the direct downloads, merely complement them.

Jun 3, 2004

^^ have you tried taking ownership of the files? Are these files you created before upgrading to Windows 7?

Edited the OP with some info about the Superbar, tray, and 7-zip integration, and did some general cleanup and re-wording of things.

Jun 3, 2004

Microsoft's changed Windows 7 Starter Edition to longer have a simultaneous app limit, so it's basically becoming Home Basic with a hardware cap now. If the price is right, it could be good for some cheap upgrades (assuming it'll even be available as an upgrade edition, which isn't looking likely)...

Also, get Gmail Notifier Plus version 1.1 from here (my hosting).

Jun 3, 2004

Fancy_Lad posted:

This keeps coming up - any chance we can get it in the OP?


Factor Mystic posted:

This really cannot be stressed enough and should go in the OP.

It already was, but I've re-worded it and stuck it in a better place.

Jun 3, 2004

ElProducto posted:

I know that, but I guess I didn't specify that I already have the RC installed. So I can't just wipe it clean, I have to reinstall Vista and then wipe and install W7.

There are no guarantees this will work, but it's possible the same trick Vista had will work (upgrading a keyless install). So you still have to do two installations, but installing 7 is drat quick and will probably be less of a pain than Vista-to-7. This all assumes, of course, that Microsoft will keep the Vista upgrade shortcut for Windows 7 (which was an intended feature and not a bug, incidentally).

Jun 3, 2004

Ziir posted:

Edit: Actually, this laptop came with 32-bit Vista when I bought it a year a go. Why, Best Buy, why.

Pre-loading 64-bit Vista onto a computer is only just now becoming a "standard" thing. For quite a long time, computer manufacturers were pretty much only loading 32-bit versions of Vista to avoid support calls for why lovely program X doesn't work. Hell, even now, Gametap, a reasonably popular service, doesn't support 64-bit OSes (it's only just beginning to change, and will probably take a while to be a 100% support thing).

Currently, if you buy a Dell PC, the way it seems to be is that you get the 32-bit version if the system your buying's max RAM is 4 gigs or less and comes with less than 4 gigs of RAM, and if the max RAM is something like 8 gigs and the system comes with 4, you get the 64-bit version. This is pretty recent, though, I think a year ago you'd have been hard pressed to find a 64-bit OS pre-loaded on a laptop.

This SHOULD change with Windows 7, especially now that entry-level PCs are coming with 4 gigs of RAM as standard. The only company I know of right now that flat-out doesn't support 64-bit is Cisco, although odds are good their VPN software should work with XP Mode now (can anyone confirm this?) I'm curious to see how it'll be packaged in the retail editions; I really hope they issue dual discs on all SKUs this time and not just for Retail Ultimate purchases.

Jun 3, 2004

I love Best Buy's last line


Other retailers will also offer the presell, but they will not be able to compete with our Geek Squad services offerings in addition to the presell options.

I offer the same services and charge a hell of a lot less than $300 for an on-site call. Also, I know how to work around my "magic disc" not fixing the problem

Jun 3, 2004

Goddamn, Microsoft removing IE8 from EU versions is ballsy.

For what it's worth, in Korea, Microsoft has K and KN versions of Vista and XP, which specifically include LINKS to third-party apps for both Instant Messaging and Media Playback; in other words, Microsoft's "endorsed" third-party software before, and in one of the most internet-savvy countries in the world (although one could easily argue that Media Players and Instant Messaging software aren't as big a deal as a web browser).

For the curious, here's the media player page (the only one I know of is RealPlayer) and here's the IM page.

Jun 3, 2004

Rant about the EU and IE de-bundling fuckery in my new thread about it here:

Let's keep this thread on track.

Jun 3, 2004

Mahoning posted:

For the first time today I tried to open Pinnacle Studio 11 on Windows 7 64bit. It doesn't give me any error message. It kinda thinks for a second and then nothing. When I open the task manager, I see a studio.exe process.

I tried opening it in compatibility mode with the same results.

Any ideas?

Weird possible solution:

When it's done "thinking," it's possible the window for Pinnacle Studio 11 is active, even though you can't see it and it doesn't show up on the taskbar. Press Alt + Space Bar, you'll get the same menu you get when you click in the upper-left corner of a window; select "minimize," and if you're lucky it'll actually properly minimize into the taskbar, and clicking on its minimized state will restore it properly.

Jun 3, 2004

Xenomorph posted:

IP record woes

Fun fact: Microsoft sent similar DMCA complaints (I think) to people who had a torrent for Windows XP Service Pack 2 after its release. Not the whole OS, just the 250 meg Service Pack installer, which was notoriously difficult to download at the time due to colossal demand.

Companies like Microsoft want an insane level of control over the distribution of their code, and I think a big part of the reason for that is liability; if they let people distribute their files willy-nilly, someone out there's going to hack a virus into it which will gently caress up someone's computer with a retail installation, which Microsoft will then waste time and money fixing. I don't like it any more than you do, but at the same time I kind of see where they're coming from.

As for your "record" with the ISP, honestly, I really don't think this will haunt you in any significant way. I don't honestly see them going "a-ha! He did it this time AND two years ago". I myself got a notice for downloading something off a public tracker once; ironically, I think it was something like Pro Tools which REQUIRED special hardware to use at all (it was basically a dongle with an actual function), so what I was downloading was basically just a reinstall disc. Since then, because that ISP was found guilty of traffic shapingmy family now has THEM by the balls and they pretty much can't terminate our service ever if we don't want them to unless we do something blatantly illegal online.

Jun 3, 2004

noydb posted:

I didn't see this in the faq anywhere, but can I use the same product key on two different computers? I want to install win7 on my macbook By the way, I'm absolutely loving windows 7. I've been using it for two months now. The only hitch I've had has been some random trouble with my Netgear wireless nic. Every now and then I have to uninstall it and reinstall the drivers.

For the Release Candidate of Windows 7 you're fine, but the final will be one license, one computer.

Jun 3, 2004

Xenomorph posted:

I'm trying to remember how many floppies my copy of Windows 95 was. 12-14.

I know Windows for Workgroups 3.11 was 8 floppies. Only the first 6 were needed for the base install. I forget what the last two were for.

I'm fairly sure at least one disc was for printer drivers.

Are Canadian prices available anywhere? I'll update the OP with the news when I get home.

Jun 3, 2004

Honestly, I think the whole OS shenanigans really boils down to people just not even knowing about upgrading OSes. I think Windows 95, 98 and 2000 had a lot to do with this, as people's mental image of something with a year in a car. And the idea of having a '95 Honda Civic and "upgrading" it to a '98 is just insane fantasyland.

I think a lot of people out there just assume Windows only comes with a PC, that it's not really the kind of thing you buy separately, it's "just there." Those boxes in the electronics shop? Oh, they're just advertising to make sure you buy a new computer with that OS on it.

So, to them, it's not something you can "steal," it's some form of behind-the-scenes magic, like when a new radio station magically shows up on the dial that wasn't there before. Whoever's installing the OS is likely savvy enough to know what they're doing, but it's all too common for people to either have relatives, usually a generation or two younger, who will just install the new OS for them, or for them to buy a used computer from some sketchy computer shop that has a pirated version on it, with them being none the wiser.

MacOS I think is an even stronger example of this; very, very few Macs ever get upgraded past the OS version they came with (someone in the Mac troubleshooting thread was saying he works for an all-Mac company and they have every version from 10.2 onwards floating around on different machines, and attempts to streamline this have mostly been met with resistance or some other form of failure), and the ones that do are mostly from pirated copies. Hey, it was "free" when they bought their computer, why wouldn't it be free for them to get the latest version as well?

Jun 3, 2004

Canadian prices: $65 for Home Premium Upgrade, $125 for Professional Upgrade.

Jun 3, 2004

Sir Unimaginative posted:

From what tech news has reported, E versions aren't even available as upgrades.

(Note to self: Next time, quote the correct reply.)

EDIT: Here's what I've heard, although it's not 100%:

- Upgrade versions will be offered EVENTUALLY but not immediately upon release, they're aiming for Dec. 31st 2009.

- The full version will cost what the upgrade edition would have cost in Europe with Microsoft's normal pricing scheme (i.e. the full version will be relatively cheaper than in other parts of the world)

- Upgrade installs won't be possible.

univbee fucked around with this message at 02:04 on Jun 28, 2009

Jun 3, 2004

Got the U.S. and Canadian prices and discounted pre-order links up. Anyone have links to other countries, like the U.K. or parts of Europe?

Interesting thing I noticed is that the Ultimate edition of Windows 7, if we ignore the promotional pricing, is barely more expensive than the Professional edition, which really makes me wonder why they bothered. It's $20 extra to go from Pro to Ultimate; with that kind of price difference, they should have just dropped Pro and made it Ultimate. I was expecting a more dramatic difference, like with Vista.

Jun 3, 2004

One thing I'd like to mention: the "minimum requirements" for Windows 7 that Microsoft claims aren't the "true" minimum requirements. Windows 7 WILL run with 512 megs of RAM (better than Vista does, too), and it will install unmodified on an 8 gig partition, as many netbook owners can attest (it'll even fit on a 4 gig partition if you remove the backgrounds and crap like that). It's just you won't be able to do anything extra you'd typically want to do with the OS, like install Office and games and music and stuff. Microsoft learned their lesson from Vista (which really should have had a "1 gig required" minimum) and are forcing these new minimums for 7 to make sure people don't bitch about it being slow. But if you just want something basic and know what you're doing, it will work with less.

Jun 3, 2004

Biodome posted:

This is great news. I have one of those crappy netbooks with the 8gb SSD HD so if I can get Win7 on there anyways it would own. Do I just install it regularly and it will fit? How do I make it 4 gigs?

Some people have had success with some of the betas and vlite. No doubt there'll be more specialized tools once it's finalized correctly. As of the RC, you MUST have something like 6.3 gigs free on a partition, and if you have less than 7.5 it will warn you, so installing to an 8 gig partition is no problem. Once it's installed, you can add/remove the backgrounds, extra drivers and stuff like that to reduce the installation footprint.

Jun 3, 2004

wang souffle posted:

Does Home Premium really not allow you to connect via Remote Desktop? I'd like to be able to connect from work if possible. I checked the first and last few pages, but haven't seen any mention of this.

You can use a Home version to connect TO another computer configured as an RDP Host, but an RDP Host can only be a Professional version of Windows. This has been true for as long as there have been Home editions of NT-based Windows versions (i.e. since Windows XP).

Jun 3, 2004

Looks like build 7264 is out in both 32- and 64-bit versions.

Goddamn, I wish this would RTM already.

Jun 3, 2004

^^ Actually, I'm fairly sure the tablet features were in every version of Windows Vista; they were specifically trying to avoid what happened with Windows XP, where they had different versions of the OS depending on what hardware you had (with XP Tablet PC Edition and XP Media Center Edition).

Megaspel posted:

The Microsoft site says 64bit Windows 7 needs 20GB free disk space but it's only using 10GB on my other partition. Could I install Windows 7 onto a 16GB solid state drive or will it say it needs more space or some poo poo?

Yes. The "minimum requirements" as Microsoft has them posted aren't actually the true minimums, I think they're trying to prevent the whole "Windows Vista Ready" fiasco when Vista first launched. I'm not sure on the 64-bit version, but the 32-bit really only needs a 6.5 gig partition (with a warning if it's smaller than 7.5), it's just that you won't be able to install anything else unless you have a bigger partition (or remove components of the OS). This will prevent people from having a "minimum" computer and then not being able to install any other software on it.

I'm fairly confident the 64-bit version will install to a 16 gig partition.

univbee fucked around with this message at 20:32 on Jul 5, 2009

Jun 3, 2004

Ignited posted:

So I may have an old laptop with an xp key on the bottom - any chance that will work on a desktop if I download a XP ISO?

CD Keys on case stickers will only work with OEM versions of Windows XP. Attempting to use these stickers on a Retail copy of XP or one downloaded from Technet/MSDN will NOT work. You basically have two choices for disc.

Choice #1 is finding a Windows XP disc specific to your manufacturer. Let's say you have a Dell, and your sticker is for Windows XP Home. If you can get your hands on a Dell Windows XP Home CD, not only will it install, but it won't even ask for your CD Key or need to be activated. These discs come slipstreamed with special drivers which basically makes it so activation isn't required as long as the hardware you're installing the OS on is actually from Dell.
It's worth noting that I don't think every manufacturer actually has this kind of disc. I know for a fact that Dell, HP and Gateway do, but some other manufacturers may only have "system restore" discs. These will work, of course, but are much more specific and thus much harder to find (e.g. the Dell Windows XP Home CD will work on ANY Dell PC, desktop or laptop, manufactured within XP's lifetime, whereas a system restore CD would only work for a particular model or series).

Choice #2 is finding a generic OEM or system builder CD. These WILL ask for the key and require activation, but they will work with any CD key on a sticker on a system case.

Jun 3, 2004

I have no idea how it will work with Windows 7 (nor does anyone at this point), but here's how it works with Vista.

ALL upgrade installations from XP to Vista are REQUIRED to be launched from the OS being upgraded, and in the case of upgrading from Windows XP, it's required to be activated. Booting from the CD and trying to insert an upgrade key WILL NOT WORK! Once this is done, the ability to do a "clean install" is presented (everything gets moved to Windows.old as others have mentioned).

Ignited posted:

I'm thinking about choice two - how hard do you think it would be to find a OEM Win XP Home ISO so I can have that disk ready to go for when win 7 comes out. Also I hope this works, heh.

Well, any ISO you find is going to be by default. The generic ones are easy to come by, however, mostly trying to pass off as pre-slipstreamed ISOs (there was a guy called eth0 who did this with every single XP English variant every couple of months for a while).

Ignited posted:

Found a clean ISO of XP Home, found a key in the garage. I think I'm good-to-go for Oct, heres to hoping!

When you say "found a key" what format is it in? Is it stuck to a case? Is it blueish and does it have a metal strip in it? Does it say OEM?

Also bear in mind that OEM copies can only be installed on the computer they originally came with legally.

If it's a yellow/orange label that just has a product key on it, and it's stuck to a CD envelope, it's actually a retail copy.

Jun 3, 2004

that one guy posted:

I'm not sure where my CD or anything is for my copy of XP. I did find a program that lets you look at the registration keys for your installed MS products, however. When I upgrade from XP to 7, all I'll really need is the registration key - so this program should be sufficient, right?

It's too early to tell for sure, but Windows Vista required that the OS being upgraded was installed, and earlier upgrade copies of Windows required the media but no key. So it could be different, but since they've never done it historically the odds are against you.

Jun 3, 2004

For what it's worth, based on my past dealings with them in various regions, Amazon does NOT charge until the product ships, and I think if there's a problem with your credit card at that time (insufficient funds, expired card etc.) you're given a window of opportunity to make corrections, either by re-processing the card after making a payment or by updating your credit card info. I'm not saying this is for-sure the case here, but I'm sure they'll give you better odds than anyone else.

Jun 3, 2004

bradzilla posted:

So, as of right now, with $50 upgrade and RC 7100. I would have to do a fresh install of Vista, then reinstall Windows 7 over that?

Unsure yet, but it's likely.


Will my Vista key that I had before upgrading to Win7 still work?

Yes. Depending on the nature of the key, you might have to phone Microsoft to get it re-activated, but they're very easygoing about that; if you have a legal key, you're fine.

Jun 3, 2004

Casao posted:

Of course, doing so is 100% against the EULA, since the key is invalidated by getting an upgrade.

I was about to argue this, then realized I was only looking at one particular case.

It's correct that the EULA forbids your using the license to get two Windows licenses. If you own Windows Vista and buy an upgrade edition of 7, legally you're entitled to have Vista OR 7 installed, not both. This includes dual-booting on the same system, or having a VM. You can, however, wipe your 7 install and reload Vista legally; in this scenario, it should be possible to have the key activated. It might require calling Microsoft, but it should be doable.

Jun 3, 2004

I wrote a big section about clean install vs. upgrade installs, and also did a separate write-up on legal restrictions. If I made any mistakes, let me know; this thread's been going in circles a bit and I'd like to get solid, detailed information on those questions that keep popping up so we can focus on other things. God, I hope this RTMs Monday.

Jun 3, 2004

Ice Trucker posted:

So one install per copy, it's against the license to install once on your home pc and once on your office pc or laptop?

Maybe it's Office I'm remembering allowing you to do this.

Correct. Retail versions of Office allow for this, no version of Windows does.

Jun 3, 2004

kapinga posted:

I was going to say we'll likely find out tomorrow, but it looks like RTM is delayed.

I can't speak to the reputability of the source, but they appear to have also been the initial source of the July 13th date.

Now that update says the RTM has been compiled (build 7600) and should leak soon. Well then.

EDIT: I had a look around and it looks like it's in the process of being uploaded to various locations, which seems to corroborate that link. Nothing on MSDN yet, though.

univbee fucked around with this message at 18:00 on Jul 12, 2009

Jun 3, 2004

Death of Rats posted:

Does anyone know if Windows 7 will be region locked? I may end up importing it from somewhere, 'cause the EU prices are prohibitive.

While it could theoretically be done with the product key somehow, no one I know of has ever done this. They will make it a pain in the rear end for you to get it, what with several companies not shipping software internationally (and it may even be against their Microsoft reseller agreement), but assuming you can get around that and get your hands on a copy it should install and play fine.

There's a slim chance some EU-specific software might get out of wack if it does some kind of forced "are you running Windows 7 E" check (e.g. some old Activision games had distinct US and UK editions that checked your Windows regional setting to make sure you were "allowed" to play). I think that's largely a thing of the past, though.

Jun 3, 2004


Isn't there DVD region coding and stuff too? I have some R2 discs and I recall there being issues trying to play some of them even after I set one of my DVD drives to R2 in firmware.

DVD Region codes are strictly a video thing, and not even a very effective one. It's a single byte in one specific file in the VIDEO_TS folder that determines region code. DVD discs that contain data (like software installation discs) do not have any region coding whatsoever. There are only two ways to do region coding for software:

Method 1: Make the game only work if the Country/Region setting in Windows is set to a specific country. This is, of course, laughably easy to circumvent if you know this. As I said before, Activision games like Quake 2 did this.

Method 2: Use some kind of I.P. address check to ensure complacency. Of course, this requires an active internet connection wherever the software is installed. Excluding MMOs (many popular MMOs like WoW and Age of Conan have separate North American and European servers, that are typically only accessible if you bought the client from those respecitve areas), the only case I know of this happening is with Valve's Orange Box, as there were a rash of people importing the game from Russia for like $5 when it $50 at that time, so they started region-locking those keys. Again, I can't think of any reason why an OS vendor would have any desire to do this, especially since that would stand a good chance of loving over someone who was traveling.

Jun 3, 2004


I was talking about DVD video, which is trivial to bypass now but may factor into Blu-ray region coding still. I only say that because I don't know much about Blu-ray yet.

Blu-ray discs do have region codes, but to a much smaller degree (there are three regions which are, roughly: A for developed world on NTSC, B for developed world on PAL, and C for poorer countries) and they can also be circumvented. AnyDVD-HD is a good way to do this, and I believe it works fine on Windows 7. I know there are free methods as well, although these are more complicated to set up and typically more limited in scope (e.g. you can use it to rip a Blu-ray to your hard drive but not to play directly off the disc). Also, HD-DVD had no region coding at all.

Jun 3, 2004

Cromlech posted:

Is build 7600 actually RTM or is it just people blowing their loads too early?

Premature ejaculators. Basically, the build 7600 BRANCH will almost certainly be RTM, but there will actually probably be a few 7600 builds with very minor tweaks; one of these builds will be selected as RTM, but since MS hasn't decided yet we don't know which one that will be. If we use Vista's RTM process as a guide, their RTM build was 6000, but they had 6000.16384, 6000.16385, 6000.16386, and a bunch of others with higher numbers like 17085. They decided, from the half-dozen or so that they had, that 6000.16386 would be the RTM version. What Microsoft will decide this time around is anyone's guess; while the 7600.16384 build COULD be the one chosen for RTM, I don't think that's terribly likely. A 16385 build apparently exists, and many people believe 16386 will be RTM to coincide with Vista.

This is all speculative, of course. Personally I think they'll make it not the RTM just to spite the internet and all the leaks.


Jun 3, 2004

I just tried Windows 7 on my first generation Asus EEE PC, but unfortunately the results were pretty lackluster. Even after using vLite, it's near-impossible to get it down to a size where the 4 gig main hard drive is useable, plus I don't think disabling the physical pagefile was an option. I messed around with it for a while and ultimately went back to Windows XP on it. I think 7 should work fine on netbooks that had Vista on them, and any modern netbook should be fine, particularly if it doesn't use a solid state drive (or has a very large one, like a single 16 gig drive or larger) and has a minimum of 1 gig of RAM. Looks like at least one of my computers will be stuck on XP.

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