Ahhh, it’s Windows 7 installation day. No, I don’t have a orgasmically-equipped lab that will get me up and running in a 30 minutes. Rather, like you, I am a mere mortal trying to get a sneak peak at Windows 7 and to see if a netbook will run it. I have not advanced beyond Windows XP and my sense this experience will educate me on what a operating system for mere mortals should be if Windows 7 by chance is not that.
So I’ve read the installation page and understand the requirements. That Microsoft says it “could take a few hours” means that in my case, it’ll take days. One of the things that bugs me is how complicated Windows has always been and how little of the massive operating system I use or need. Most consumers will get it pre-installed on a new PC. For its part, businesses wait years before moving their IT gatekeepers recommend moving to a new operating system.
And I am trying to install Windows 7 on a netbook! It’s to risky to do it on my desktop given for many reasons, including the fact that the release candidate expires on June 1, 2010.
This all said, the release candidate is still pre-release and could contains bugs. Installing commercial upgrade you’d buy at Staples when it is released to the world this Fall should be easier.
Below are two installation checklists annotated with comments on my ability to perform the tasks and to understand the requirements (I am a mere mortal, but I have been writing about computers since 1980, but being a journalist hardly qualifies me as a techie.).
To install and use the RC, you’ll need to know how to:
- Troubleshoot problems. You’re pretty much flying solo, so you’ll need to handle your own tech support, and rely on other RC testers for their know-how (total crapshoot in my case…I am sure I will run into things 1) I cannot fix, and 2) that take hours to figure out).
- Burn an ISO file to make an installation DVD (sorta know to do this…but it qualifies as an obstacle)
- Install Windows (that’s what this is all about, right? Done it before, but not in a long time)
- Backup and restore your PC (my PC could use a little restoration. It’s six years old. But I’m trying this on a netbook w no vital data. I will have to go an buy external CD and DVD drive & burner)
- Set up a network (Ok, I can get a wifi connection. Do they mean a 100 node network or something?)
- Create and use a system recovery disk (YES, YES, YES. I CAN DO THIS!)
- 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor (I have a 32-bit 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270..check)
- 1 GB RAM (32-bit) / 2 GB RAM (64-bit) (I have a 2 GB of 32-bit RAM…check)
- 16 GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20 GB (64-bit) (I have a 103.89 GB drive with 95.08 GB free..check)
- DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver (note sure here. I have the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 which supports some DirectX 9 features…It’s not enough to discourage me from trying).
Pray for me.