Friday, November 6, 2009

Windows 7 first thoughts

I replaced Vista on my laptop (the M1330) with Windows 7 a week ago.

I used an upgrade version of Win7 and installed on a new blank HD. I used this procedure from the My Digital Life blog.
Workaround 3: Clean Install and Activate Windows 7 with MediaBootInstall Registry Hack

I won't reproduce it all here...but the summary is you change one registry entry and then activate.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\OOBE change MediaBootInstall from 1 to 0.

So what do I think so far? Well remember I did replace the original HD with a new one (Seagate Momentus 7200.4 ST9500420AS 500GB 7200 RPM 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s). So some improvements will be because of that...this isn't a scientific analysis.

Having said that, I ran all the tests on the original HD and never showed any thing unusual or any slower than average speeds.

So, the Vista with the old HD took about 3 to 3.5 minutes to boot to something useful...yes horribly slow...every step along the boot took a lot of time.

Win7 with the new drive boots to...

first sound (welcome screen) 43 sec.
login prompt (I swipe with the fingerprint scanner) 53 sec.
desktop is on internet (wifi) (skype plays login sound) 75 sec.

I don't care who you are...those are resonably fast times. It is fully useable by the time skype logs in.

Other things...quickly comes out of standby. No noticably difference in battery life.

Improvements...under Vista, when browsing my network, it took a couple of minutes to get enough info for me to actually browse...Vista took all that time just to populate the doesn't take HD speed to browse the network.

Win7 pulls up the network devices and populates it with device icons as quickly as XP pulls up computers on the network.

When you reactivated the display after Vista turned it off, it would always come on full bright, no matter where it was set before...Win7 brings it back to the original brightness.

I have the same eyecandy settings that I had on Vista, and on this machine they are smooth and snappy...on VIsta they took a lot of effort it seemed.

Interesting to note, if you have the HD space, Win7 will create a 100meg system partition (like swap in linux?) I think that helps the speed.

So if you hate your Vista install then jump ship and get Win7.

I think I will get another copy and replace my aging XP install on my gaming/editing machine...or at least dual boot?

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