Dale Dietrich
friedman: always supply your comparative advantage
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Windows 7 Beta – First Impressions, Problems, Bugs, Likes and Dislikes

Categories: geekhow-tosmall officewindows 7
Tags:

Windows 7 Beta - Start screenOn Sunday January 11, 2009, I upgraded my 64 bit Windows Vista  production PC to the 64 bit Windows 7 Beta (‘’W7B’) (available here until Jan 24 February 10, 2009).

The installation was straight forward. It took about two hours to complete on my system (I understand clean installs can be done in about 20 minutes). After answering a few questions, the upgrade took care of itself.

[Update: On Sunday January 18, installed W7B on my Lenovo x41 Tablet in dual-boot mode. So far so good. I hope to write a separate post about my tablet experiences with it soon.']

Below I describe the problems, bugs, likes, dislikes and other observations I’ve made after constantly using the beta in a production environment for five days.

1. Upgrade Problems, Issues, Bugs

The upgrade went smoothly for the most part. But, I did experience the following problems, issues and bugs:

  • Windows Desktop Gadgets Do Not Work When UAC is Shut Off: This bug took me several days to isolate. As you’ll read below, I shut off UAC because, among other reasons, Woopra wouldn’t start automatically with it turned on. Isolation was tricky because when you first turn off UAC, the gadgets don’t immediately disappear. But they will be gone after your next reboot. In my case the next reboot came after I installed a sound card driver (see below). For days I though my sound card driver was knocking out my gadgets … until I found this article explaining the bug. Suffice it to say, in Windows 7 Beta, if you turn off UAC, your gadgets will disappear. For now I’ve set UAC on the lowest settings to keep my gadgets going. This means Woopra won’t auto-start any more (see below) and I have to manually bypass the UAC warnings each time I manually start it up.
  • Multi-monitor & Screen Resolution Setup Issue: I have four monitors connected to my Dell XPS rig. Both: (i) the Windows 7 Beta - Chante the appearance of your displays screenrelative positioning settings (ie: where monitors sit next to each other); and (ii) the screen resolution settings s (ie: 1900 x 1200);  used in Vista were futzed up after the upgrade. Plus, the procedure used to adjust the relative monitor positioning has changed in W7B. It took me some time to figure that out. To adjust each of these settings in W7B, right click on the desktop and select ‘Screen Resolution’  (click image for larger view). From there you can position your monitors and set the screen resolutions back to where they should be. 

  • Sound Card Driver Knocked Out: My Creative Sound Blaster Audigy  2 ZS audio card worked just fine under Vista. The W7B upgrade knocked it out. When I used Windows 7 to look for updates to the driver, the system said I had the latest version. I downloaded the latest driver from Creative (here) and when I tried to install it, it gave me this error message:

    ’Your Version of Windows Operating  System is not supported by this product. Please upgrade to Windows Vista or later versions before resuming installation’

    Ha! For a few days I used the sound card built into the motherboard, but later I tried using the next-to-last Vista driver available from Creative and it works fine.

  • iTunes Auto-Launch Issue: iTunes no longer automatically launches when I plug in my iPhone. I need to manually start iTunes each time I want to sync it. Everything else about iTunes including syncing with AppleTV and my iPhone otherwise seems to be working fine.
  • Gadget  Issues:
    • AccuWeather Gadget Knocked Out: I used the AccuWeather Gadget in Vista. It doesn’t work under Windows 7 Beta. I switched back to WeatherBug, which does work.
    • 24 clock clipping 24 Clock Gadget Clipped: The ‘24’ Clock gadget gets clipped at the bottom (see picture). It still tells the correct time, however. So I’m using it as clipped for now.
  • AutoStart Issue: Some programs that I had set to auto-start in Vista do not autostarted after the upgrade. I’m still working through the issues for each one. But I know Woopra didn’t (and for now won’t, because of the gadget issue described above) start because its drivers are not signed (as required of all programs running under W7B). So UAC prevents its launch.
  • No Warning/Notices on Faulty Installs: I tried to install TeamViewer several times. Each time it looked like the install went fine but the program never showed up in ‘All Programs’ etc. I later remembered to use the ‘Run as Administrator’ mode to install the program. When I did, it installed just fine. You’d think W7B would provide some kind of warning/notice screen when installs are blocked owing to permissions/UAC issues. But, no, it allows the installation to run and finish as though everything went OK, right to the end, with no explanation as to why the app did not, in fact, install.
  • Skype: Earlier versions of Skype are not compatible with Windows 7 Beta. Fortunately, Skype version 4 is now compatible with Windows 7 Beta.
  • Windows Live Messenger, Windows Mail, DVD Maker Etc. Gone: As part of Microsoft’s plan to move Windows users to ‘Windows Live Essentials’, Windows Live Messenger, MSN, Windows Messenger (all various flavours of the same app) and several other Vista apps no longer ship with Windows. Indeed, I discovered that all of them were removed from my system when I did the WB7 upgrade. Grrrrr! To get WLM back, for example, I had to download it here.  During the install process Microsoft tried to get me to agree to: (i) change my default search provider to Microsoft; (ii) change my default home page to MSN; and (iii) get me to help them to improve search results by collecting information about how I use the web (click image for larger view):

    Windows 7 Beta - windows live essentials download settings screen
    Given how lucrative search is and how much Microsoft wishes to recapture this business from Google, I understand why Microsoft forces its W7 users to go through this process to get back apps that were previously included in Vista. There is no other rationale for this.

    TIP – Run Windows Live Messenger in System Tray using Vista Compatibility Mode: When you run WLM in Vista, an icon for it appears in the system tray. When you run it in W7B a taskbar button appears on the taskbar. If you want it to run in the system tray as it did in Vista, set it up to run in the Vista compatibility mode. To do this:

    - right click on the app in the ‘All Programs’ menu;
    - select ‘Properties’;
    - select the ‘Compatibility’ tab (see picture below);
    - put a check in the ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for:’ box;
    - select the “Windows Vista’ option in the pull-down menu (see picture); and
    - click ‘Apply’.

    Windows 7 Beta - run windows live messenger in Vista compatibility mode
    As far as I know, this work around will run with all Vista system tray apps don’t run in the system tray in W7B. I expect this will be fixed before the final release of W7B. 

  • Default .wmv Playback in Firefox: Firefox 3 is my preferred browser. When I access .wmv movie files (eg: video game trailers) on a website, I prefer for them to play  inside of Windows Movie Player (‘WMP’)  and not inline in my browser.  I want the full set of playback controls when I view web video content. The W7B upgrade, however, reset the Firefox defaults to play .wmv files (and other media types) within the browser.

    TIP – To Make .wmv Files Play in WMP: In Firefox select: Tools –> Options —> Applications tab —> for each media/content type default you wish to change on the left, select your desired playback method through the pull-down menus on the right (click for larger view):

    Windows 7 Beta - changing default media playback settings in firefox 

  • File Menu Disappears in Windows Media Player 12: When playing back video content the ‘File’ menu across the top of the player no longer appears. Pressing and the ‘Alt’ key when a movie is playing will display a vertical File menu. I have not yet found a way to return the File menu the way it was in earlier versions of WMP.
  • MP3 Corruption Issue: An early known flaw with W7B is that it can corrupt MP3 files (see here and here). The first thing I did after installing W7B was to install Microsoft’s patches to fix this issue. These patches will be included in future WB7 system updates. For now you can get the patches direct from Microsoft as follows:

    - Fix for Windows 7 x86 (32-bit)

    - Fix for Windows 7 x64 (64-bit)

  • Outlook 2007 .pdf Preview Issue: I use Foxit Reader to read .pdf files. Adobe Acrobat has caused nothing but problems over the years and is a prime example of modern-day bloatware. I removed Acrobat over a year ago. Prior to the W7B upgrade I was still able to preview .pdf file attachments inside of Outlook. After the Upgrade I cannot. I get this error message:

    ”This file cannot be previewed because there is no previewer installed for it”

    [March 3, 2009 Update: A possible longer term solution to this problem is the Foxit PDF Previewer. Though I tried it and it doesn’t work with Windows 7 yet.]

2. New Features & Functions I Like

  • Speed: Without doubt, the biggest advantage of Windows 7 over Vista is speed. Everything is snappier in Windows 7. Programs launch faster. The computer starts faster, shuts down faster and resumes from hibernation faster. One of my Windows Gadgets monitors the four CPU cores in my rig. While not a scientific test, by my simple observation the cores seem to be doing noticeably less work than they did under Vista for the same tasks.
  • Jump Lists: I’m finding the new ‘jump lists’ feature very useful. For example, when I right click on the Windows Explorer icon on the taskbar (or hover over the icon on the Start menu), a list of all the directories I’ve recently visited are listed for easy access. Right click/hover over Windows Live Writer (as depicted below – click image for larger view) and all the recent blog posts I’ve written/edited are easily accessible with a single click from the resulting jump list. Same with images recently edited in Paint.net, documents recently written in Word and so on and so on. Brilliant!

    Windows 7 Beta - jump lists
    TIP 1 – Jump List ‘Swoosh’ Shortcut: Rather than right clicking on a taskbar icon you can left-click swoosh your mouse (like how you swoosh lists on an iPhone to move them) over a taskbar icon to bring up the jump list.

    TIP 2 – PIN Frequently-Used Directories to Windows Explorer’s ‘Jump List’: When in Windows Explorer, drag and drop any folder onto the Windows Explorer icon pinned to the taskbar and that folder will appear in Windows Explorer’s ‘Jump List’.

    Note: If you look closely at the image above, you’ll see that I restored the Quick Launch Bar in W7B. I explain how to do this in a TIP further below.

  • Reduced Restarts After Installations: The need to restart the system after installing applications and updates is significantly reduced. For example when I downloaded and installed the new Skype Beta, Windows Live Messenger (see above) and an update to Windows Live Writer, I did not need to reboot my system for the install/change to take affect. Two W7B system updates were accomplished without the need to reboot. This is a huge improvement if it is implemented across all apps going forward. Love it!

    Note: I did, however, have to restart the system for the Windows Live Messenger change discussed above to take (ie: where I set it to run in Vista compatibility mode).

  • Free Floating Gadgets: In Vista, most gadgets were grouped together in the the gadget sidebar. Now you can scatter them around to any convenient place on your desktop.
  • Windows 7 Beta - sticky notes Free Floating Sticky Notes: WB7 has a free-floating sticky note application. Create as many sticky notes as you want, and place them anywhere on the screen. Right click to change their colour. Very useful for temporary note taking.

    TIP – Keep Stickies Alive: If you leave the new ‘Sticky Notes’ App running when you shut down W7B, it automatically runs the next time you boot the system – which makes me wonder, why didn’t Microsoft implement stickies as a new  gadget instead of a free floating App? I’d much prefer it that way.

  • Non-Combined Taskbar Buttons are Grouped: As you’ll read below, I dislike much of the way the taskbar now works. However, I do like how it keeps non-combined taskbar buttons for the same application together. For example, with Outlook running, if I later open an email and then open a contact, the associated task bar buttons for the newly opened email and contact appear to the right of the previously opened Outlook button in the taskbar – even if I had opened other applications in the mean time (click for larger view):

    Windows 7 Beta - taskbar button previews
    In Vista, if, say, I had opened a Word document after opening Outlook but before opening the email and contact, the Word icon would have been placed between the Outlook icon and the email and contact icons. So, all icons for any given open application are always grouped together on the task bar. Sweet.

  • Taskbar Preview Enhancements: Vista provided a preview of an app when you hovered over its button on the task bar. Windows 7 takes this further. As you can see from the image above, when I hover over any taskbar button associated with any open application W7B shows previews for all the open windows for that application. In the image above, I’m hovering over the button for an open email but you can see previews for that email as well as for the main Outlook screen on its left and an open contact on the right. You can then move the mouse over any of those previews to isolate/find that full-sized window on your desktop. For example, if a previewed window was under another window, hovering over the preview pulls that window to the top. Move the mouse away and the highlighted screen returns to its prior state. You don’t have to click your mouse for these previews to work. Hovering without clicking is all that’s needed. If you do click on a preview, the associated window becomes the window in focus. Very clever.
  • ‘Aero Peek’ (Show Desktop) Button: By hovering your mouse over the little rectangle on the bottom right corner of the screen (or by pressing Win+Space) the desktop is revealed. Move the mouse away, and everything comes back. No need to click. If you do click on the rectangle, all open apps are minimized (as did Show Desktop button in Vista). Click on it again again and everything is returned.
  • Automated, User-Selectable Backups: In Vista you could not choose what directories you wanted its backup function to back-up – making it useless for those of us that choose our own data file hierarchy structure. In W7B the user can choose which directories are backed up. And you can set W7B to automatically backup your selected directories at intervals of your choosing.

    This finally has the makings of the first truly useful Windows-based backup system! I haven’t tested it yet so I’m going to reserve final judgement on it until I do. I’m hoping this automatic backup system will result in a mirrored file-for-file backup rather than the proprietary mish-mash of unusable guck that Microsoft backup systems have provided in the past. I’ll test this at some point and update this post when I do.  For now, I rely on Second Copy (which still works fine under W7B).

  • Ed Bott’s ‘Six Vista Annoyances fixed in Windows 7’: Ed Bott wrote this terrific piece on fixes made in W7B to deal with Vista annoyances. Rather than repeat or summarize them, I’ll just link to them below. Suffice it to say, I am delighted with each of these W7B changes:

    - Vista Annoyance #1: That awkward Preview pane
    - Vista Annoyance #2: The overcomplicated Shutdown button
    - Vista Annoyance #3: Arranging windows, awkwardly

    - Vista Annoyance #4: Unpleasant User Account Control
    - Vista Annoyance #5: The ultra-minimalist Defrag utility
    -
    Vista Annoyance #6: The no-options backup program (mentioned above)

3. New Features & Functions I Dislike

  • Taskbar Issues & Quick Launch Gone:
    • New Apple Dock-Like Taskbar: Microsoft took a play out of Apple’s playbook. They removed the Quick Launch toolbar (which I use constantly) and implemented a Windows version of the Mac Dock (which I very-much dislike). In lieu of the Quick Launch Toolbar, launch icons for your favourite apps can be ‘pinned’ to the taskbar (click here to see a video on how the new pinning system works). That’s nice as far as it goes. But once you start launching applications from those pinned launch icons:  

         – the launch icon for the launched app disappears and turns into a running app icon; and

         – the remaining launch icons get  mixed in with the running app icons; 

      with the result that:

         – it’s hard to determine which apps are running and which are not; and

         – there is no remaining quick launch icon available to click on to launch another instance of that app (though you can right click on a running app icon, scroll up the menu and click on the app’s name to run another instance)
      TIP – Middle Click to Launch a New Instance: You can middle click on an already running app icon to launch a new instance of it. 

      After a few apps are launched, the ‘pinned’ launch icons can be anywhere on the taskbar. There is no consistent place to go to to launch the app you want. You now have to search the taskbar for the icon of the program you want to launch. It’s location will always depend on which running app icons are around it. If, like me, you run 10, 15 or more apps simultaneously, this quickly becomes an nightmare. GRRRRRRR!  I do not want icons for running apps mixed with icons for non-running apps. Short of returning the Quick Launch Bar (see below) there is no way around this that I can find. I really hope that in the final release the quick launch bar is formally returned or they provide a way to separate the active running app icons from the inactive launch icons.

      TIP – Restoring the Quick Launch Bar: Thanks to Tim Sneath from this ‘The Bumper List of Windows 7 Secrets’ article for the following instructions on how to restore the Quick Launch Toolbar (from secret 13):

      • Right-click the taskbar,
        • Uncheck the “lock  the taskbar”
        • Choose Toolbars / New Toolbar
      • In the folder selection dialog, enter the following string and hit OK:
        %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
      • The Quick Launch Bar will be added to the right side of the task bar beside the system tray
      • Right-click on the ‘Quick Launch Bar" divider.
        • Uncheck the “Show text” and “Show title” buttons
        • Select view and choose “small icons" or large icons as per your preference
      • Use the dividers to rearrange the toolbar ordering to choice, and then lock the taskbar again.

    I have restored my Quick Launch bar, as you can see in the ‘Jump Lists’ image above, but have still left a few applications pinned to the task bar.

  • ‘Pinned Icons’ Take up too Much Space:  As you can see below, the ‘pinned’ icons for applications yet to be launched are spread out, wasting precious task-bar space. In the previous Quick Launch toolbar they took up much less horizontal space.  windows 7 beta - pinned icons on taskbar
    Note: See my ‘Jump Lists’ image above to see how much space icons take up in the Quick Launch bar.
  • Combined Icons: On top of that mess, the default taskbar button layout is ‘Always combine, hide labels’ (see image below).
     Windows 7 Beta - taskbar - always combine, hide labels
    Can you tell from the icons above that there are two open Word documents, zero open Excel spreadsheets, two open Outlook windows and five open Firefox windows (among other apps)? No you can’t. If you have steely eyes you’ll notice ribs beside the Word, Outlook and Firefox icons indicating more than one, but you won’t/can’t know how many underlying windows are open until you hover over the icon to preview them. 

    Combining taskbar buttons in this way is nothing new. It’s been a Windows staple for some time. I always shut this off . Ideally there would be a ‘Never combine, never show labels’. But there isn’t. For me, the best choice,  of the available three (see below) is ‘Never combine’. But I’m still stuck with labels. Grrrr!

    Windows 7 Beta - Taskbar Button default - Never Combine
    To make this change, right click on the ‘Start’ button,  select the ‘Tastkbar’ tab, then make your choice as per the image above. The same taskbar now looks like this when you choose the ‘Never combine’ option:

    Windows 7 Beta - taskbar - never combine
    It’s obvious now how many windows are open for each application and they are much more easily accessed. Notice the Excel launch icon mixed in with icons for launched apps even though Excel is not launched. This is just plain silly!

    For an in depth discussion of this topic, listen to the last 15 minutes or so of this Windows Weekly podcast with Paul Thurrott.

  • Customizable, Pinable Toolbars Gone: For years, with Vista and XP before, I used customized toolbars that I had pinned to the top, left and right sides of my monitors. I used these to quickly launch applications, to group similar apps together, to quickly access the directories and drives (networked and local) that I use the most. As far as I can tell, the ability to create and pin customizable toolbars to the edges of the screen have been removed. Toolbars can still be added to the task-bar (something I don’t do) but as far as I can tell they can’t be pulled off the taskbar and pinned elsewhere as they could in Vista and XP. I really hope this is changed in the final version of Windows 7. I suspect it won’t because this could interfere with the new gee-whiz window features of Windows 7 Beta  (see, for example, the windows compare function at the end of this video) that work when you drag windows to the edges of the screen.
  • Reliability Monitor Gone Moved: The Reliability Monitor which was a mainstay in Vista, has disappeared moved. To find it you must click on ‘View system history’ option in the ‘Maintenance Section’ of the ‘Action Center’ (Control Panel –> System Security –> Action Center). Be sure to click on the little arrow as shown in the diagram below to reveal the ‘View system history’ option (click for larger view):

    Windows 7 Beta - reliability monitor - view system history
    Alternatively, type ‘view problem history’ into your Start, search box and click on it when it appears in the search results.

    The ‘Reliability Monitor’ now looks like this (click for larger view):

    Windows 7 Beta - new reliability monitor
    Note, I had a lot of crashes early on when I was futzing with sound card drivers and trying to isolate why the Gadgets were disappearing.   

    The same problem I had with the inability to pin a ‘Create a Restore Point’ link to the start menu or the taskbar (see below) exists with the new ‘System Monitor’. You can, however drag a link to it to the desktop and add that link into the Quick Launch Bar (see Tip above for how to restore the Quick Launch Bar).

  • User Account Control (UAC) Better, but Still Annoying: I had shut off UAC in Vista. The upgrade process turned it back on. I understand that big changes have been made to UAC to make it less annoying, but I still don’t want it. For example, I run Woopra all day, every day, to monitor website traffic. When I run it with UAC turned on, I get this UAC Screen (click for larger view):

    Windows 7 Beta - UAC screen
    Even when I clicked ‘Yes’ to authorize Woopra , every subsequent time I launched Woopra , the same UAC screen comes back. This will happen for all unsigned apps in the 64 bit version of Windows 7. And, as I mentioned above, if you’ve set up one of these apps to automatically start on each system boot, it will not boot so long as UAC is turned on.

    To turn UAC off, I clicked on the ‘Change when these notifications appear’ option (circled in red) to change my UAC settings to ‘Never Notify Me’ as follows:

    Windows 7 Beta - UAC settings screen 
    This solved the issue, got rid of UAC once again. But, as pointed out above, there is a bug in W7B. If you shut off UAC you loose all your gadgets.

  • No Way to Pin system tools like ‘Create System Restore Point’ to the Start Menu or the Taskbar: I create system restore points before doing anything that may result in bit-rot, whether it be before installing a new application, changing registry settings, making novel configuration changes to apps – whatever. I want a fast way to restore my system to its prior state should something go wrong.

    In XP I had always had a shortcut to ‘Create Restore Point’ on my Start menu.

    With Vista, there was no direct shortcut available, but I was able to create a shortcut to the ‘System Restore’ screen which had a link to the “Create a Restore Point” screen.

    Unfortunately in Windows 7 Beta there is no way that I’ve found to pin the ‘Create a Restore Point” function to either of the Start Menu or the Task Bar.  Grrr! 

    I can, however, place a shortcut to it on the desktop or to the restored ‘Quick Launch Bar (see tip above) which seems really odd. This is not optimal because there are dozens of icons on the desktop that are constantly changing.  To place a link to ‘Create a Restore Point’ on your desktop or Quick Launch Bar:

    - type ‘create a restore point’ in the search box above the ‘Start’ button
    - drag the ‘create a restore point’ search result to the desktop and/or the Quick Launch Bar.

  • 4. Other Observations

    • All Other Applications Run Fine: I run an extensive array of applications. Save for the sound card driver problem and the Skype, Woopra and Live Messenger issues discussed above, so far every other application runs exactly as it had in Vista – only faster.
    • ‘Windows Experience Index’ Score Decreased:  My WEI score decreased significantly.  My vista score was 4.3. My Windows 7 Beta score is 3.2 (gaming graphics being the lowest score). Same hardware. Go figure.
    • HomeGroup Won’t Be Useable By Most: While great in theory, the new ‘HomeGroup’ functionality only works if all your systems are using Windows 7. It will be years before this is useful in most households. In my experience only power users upgrade their operating systems. Most people will only get Windows 7 when they buy a new computer. The other computers in their home will continue to run XP and Vista for years after a household’s first Windows 7 purchase. Hence, this nice new feature set will only be useful for most users years from now – unless they bring out Vista and XP updates to work with it, which is unlikely.

    5. Mixed message re: Ability to Upgrade to Future Commercial Release

    My biggest concern arose  after installing the Beta when I discovered this warning on this download instructions page:

    The Beta will stop working on August 1, 2009. To continue using your PC, please be prepared to reinstall a prior version of Windows or a subsequent release of Windows 7 before the expiration date. You won’t be able to upgrade from the Beta to the final retail version of Windows 7.

    So will there be a ‘subsequent release’ of Windows 7 that is not the final retail version? Must everyone that participates in the beta, downgrade and then re-upgrade. That would be insane. That would be an enormous amount of work for nothing.

    6. To Be Determined

    • Long-term Recovery from Hibernation: One of my biggest disappointments with every version of Windows to date has been glitches with recovery from sleep and hibernation modes. While Vista did get more reliable over time, after a few days of putting the system in hibernation and coming out of it, glitches usually arose requiring a fresh restart. It will take weeks or months before I’ll be able to assess whether Windows 7 has advanced the hibernation reliability ball any further. 

      Five days in, however, I’m impressed. I’ve had no problems with hibernation whatsoever. If this can be duplicated on my laptops, that alone would be worth the price of the upgrade to Windows 7.

      [March 3, 2009 Update: Windows 7 does recover from sleep and hibernation modes on my primary desktop rig MUCH more reliably than under Vista. However there are some glitches – the most notable being that Windows 7 frequently and spontaneously turns itself on when in hibernation mode. On my tablet laptop it works perfectly – this alone is worth the upgrade to Windows 7 on my laptop.

     

    7. Other Windows 7  Related Links / Resources

    8. Conclusion

    For sure, I love the speed and some of the other new features mentioned above.

    With the ‘Quick Launch’ taskbar return workaround, the only major technical/feature set issue for me is the inability to create customizable toolbars that I can pin to the sides of my monitors. I’m sure I’ll get used to it if Microsoft chooses to keep the system as it is. I hope they do not.

    Most importantly, had I known that I might have to downgrade to Vista after August 1, I never would have done this on a production machine. If that ends up being the case it will take me months to reconstitute my system, just as it took me months to fine tune Vista x64 when I did a clean install from XP back in January of 2007.

    9. How did it Go For You?

    I’d appreciate any comments on how the process went for you? Did you have any glitches I didn’t have? Have you found any workarounds for the problems I’m having?

      Digg! Digg Del.icio.us  

      • Pingback: New Gadgets | Windows 7 Beta - First Impressions, Problems, Bugs, Likes and Dislikes

      • Jarel

        Good information Dale. One thing I would say is KEEP SYSTEM RESTORE ON. As far as I remember, I'm pretty sure you do. At some point my Windows installer became corrupted, so I couldn't install anything that was from a .msi without it crashing with the whole "send and error report" box. Thankfully I have System Restore enabled. I think after I installed Prince of Persia and I had a DirectX file missing error and tried to install the latest DX9.0c is when it all broke.

        • http://www.daleisphere.com Dale Dietrich

          You bet Jarel! I am a die-hard fan of System Restore. Since all my data files now reside on my networked drobo, I've set 50% of my C: and D: drives aside just for system restore files. It has saved my bacon more times than I can remember!

          • Jarel

            Correction to my issue. The real issue is outlined here:

            http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1822

            • http://www.daleisphere.com Dale Dietrich

              Huh! So far I haven't experienced this. I'm now writing this on my Lenovo Tablet with W7B installed on a second partition (thanks Mike). So far its all good here too.

      • http://edbott.com/weblog Ed Bott

        Thanks for the link! One quick correction – Reliability Monitor is still available, it's just moved and reddesigned. You'll find it in Action Center, under the Maintenance heading. Click View System History to see it.

        • http://www.daleisphere.com Dale Dietrich

          Thanks so much Ed. I have updated the post to add screen shots on the new reliability monitor and how to find it. I'm still disappointed that, like the 'Create Restore Point' utility, there is no way to pin system tools like these to the start menu or the task bar. These are tools I use all the time and want quick access too. Happily they can be pinned to the 'Quick Launch' bar for those who use it.

      • http://www.daleisphere.com Dale Dietrich

        You bet Jarel! I am a die-hard fan of System Restore. Since all my data files now reside on my networked drobo, I've set 50% of my C: and D: drives aside just for system restore files. It has saved my bacon more times than I can remember!

      • claudiokaist

        I'm using Windows 7 since it came up, and I love it… but now I'm having problem with Microsoft office word preview, I'm able to preview excel files but not word files, I got the message ” this file can't be previewed bacause of an error in the microsoft office previewer”
        … I'm just wondering if somebody had the same problem that could help me…

        Cheers,

        Claudio Kaist

      • claudiokaist

        I'm using Windows 7 since it came up, and I love it… but now I'm having problem with Microsoft office word preview, I'm able to preview excel files but not word files, I got the message ” this file can't be previewed bacause of an error in the microsoft office previewer”
        … I'm just wondering if somebody had the same problem that could help me…

        Cheers,

        Claudio Kaist

      • http://www.daleisphere.com Dale Dietrich

        Are you using Office 2007. The previewer in Vista only worked with Word 2007/Excel 2007. I presume its the same with W7B. I had originally used Office 2003 with Vista and was frustrated that the preview didn't work. It took me to realzie the need for Word 2007. Also, if you have both Word 2007 and Word 2003 installed on the same machine that may be an issue.

      • http://www.daleisphere.com Dale Dietrich

        Are you using Office 2007. The previewer in Vista only worked with Word 2007/Excel 2007. I presume its the same with W7B. I had originally used Office 2003 with Vista and was frustrated that the preview didn't work. It took me to realzie the need for Word 2007. Also, if you have both Word 2007 and Word 2003 installed on the same machine that may be an issue.

      • claudiokaist

        thanks, for the answer…
        I'm using just Office 2007, and works fine with excel files, but not with word files :( … and actually I have the same problem on two computers that I have windows 7… on vista machine it's working fine.
        I've also installed now the “http://tatham.oddie.com.au/files/PreviewHandlerPackSetup.msi” and it worked fine for different applications, just word 2007 files still not working..

      • Anonymous

        thanks, for the answer…rnI’m using just Office 2007, and works fine with excel files, but not with word files :( … and actually I have the same problem on two computers that I have windows 7… on vista machine it’s working fine.rnI’ve also installed now the “http://tatham.oddie.com.au/files/PreviewHandlerPackSetup.msi” and it worked fine for different applications, just word 2007 files still not working..

      • http://www.daleisphere.com Dale Dietrich

        Well, I can confirm it is NOT a problem with Word 2007 and Windows 7 Beta specifically because the preview function is working just fine for me in Windows Explorer. I use it all the time.

        My guess is there is something unique about how you are installing Word 2007 if the same problem exists on multiple PC's you've install the app on.

        If you solve the problem, please come back and post the resolution.

        …Dale

      • claudiokaist

        thanks, for the answer…
        I'm using just Office 2007, and works fine with excel files, but not with word files :( … and actually I have the same problem on two computers that I have windows 7… on vista machine it's working fine.
        I've also installed now the “http://tatham.oddie.com.au/files/PreviewHandlerPackSetup.msi” and it worked fine for different applications, just word 2007 files still not working..

      • http://www.daleisphere.com Dale Dietrich

        Well, I can confirm it is NOT a problem with Word 2007 and Windows 7 Beta specifically because the preview function is working just fine for me in Windows Explorer. I use it all the time.rnrnMy guess is there is something unique about how you are installing Word 2007 if the same problem exists on multiple PC’s you’ve install the app on.rnrnIf you solve the problem, please come back and post the resolution.rnrn…Dale

      • http://www.daleisphere.com Dale Dietrich

        Well, I can confirm it is NOT a problem with Word 2007 and Windows 7 Beta specifically because the preview function is working just fine for me in Windows Explorer. I use it all the time.

        My guess is there is something unique about how you are installing Word 2007 if the same problem exists on multiple PC's you've install the app on.

        If you solve the problem, please come back and post the resolution.

        …Dale

      • Pingback: The Daleisphere — Using Windows 7’s System Image Backup Feature

      • Pingback: The Daleisphere — The Windows Apps I Use and How I Configure Them

      • Pingback: The Daleisphere — How to Upgrade to Windows 7 Beta Release Candidate