Windows 7 Upgrade Experience
When I purchased my newest laptop back in July, from Best Buy, it came with a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it came out a few months later. Fast forward to December and I've since received the new operating system and have installed it on the laptop. Since a lot of people are going to be going through the same thing I put together some notes about the experience.
Because the promotion was for a version of Windows 7 that was the same flavor as the installed Windows Vista, I was given a 64bit Windows 7 Home Premium copy. Personally, I would have preferred Business or Ultimate but ok, fine Home Premium it is. At least this meant that I wouldn't have to do a clean install so I could keep all files and programs where they were (still backing up the data of course).
The upgrade package came with 2 discs; the Windows 7 disc and a driver upgrade disc. The instructions said to insert the upgrade disc first and I'll be prompted to enter disc 2 when required. Doing so started an upgrade program that inspected my system and warned me about deauthorizing my iTunes account which immediately made me feel good about the experience.
All told the install took around 3.5 hours and was like watching water boiling. I did it super late at night but I was still up and every time I would check on it I swear the progress rarely looked like it was making any progress. Still, it is Windows, so I was used to this; just wait and be patient, it'll finish. And eventually it did.
Upon first booting up there were a couple issues. One was my fault. The others... not so much. Probably the worst offense was that I had no Internet connectivity. I checked both my wired NIC and the wifi and both were working fine; I could connect to my router through both and I could find my Xbox and PS3 on the network. I just couldn't get online. I eventually found that this was caused by a conflict between Esets firewall (which I had disabled in Vista) and the native Windows firewall. Uninstalling Eset and reinstalling it solved the issue.
I also had an issue with my local Apache webserver working. After checking the logs it turned out to be a soft link I had created under Vista to link the conf directory (makes editing the files from my working directory that much easier). Creating a new link solved the issue nicely.
The last issue is with the touchpad; and I haven't really fixed it yet. At first, Windows thought the touchpad was a PS/2 mouse. This wouldn't be an issue except I like the scrolling functions on the touchpad and the PS/2 drivers don't support it. This seemed like a cut and dry driver issue except I installed all the latest drivers for my laptop that Gateway offered and it still doesn't work all that well. Yes, it's there but not in any real functional way. It's jerky and hesitant when it works (around 30% of the time). Not enough to get me to downgrade but still a pain.
I've never really had an issue with Vista but I was still excited about Windows 7. Even though there were a couple hiccups during the install, and that my touchpad isn't operating 100%, I'm still really happy with the experience.