Rest day- installing Windows 7 beta


windows_7_vienna_logo-11Today is a day to wind down from the CES 2009 grind and for me that means installing the newly released Windows 7 beta.  I got an install DVD from someone at the Tablet meetup yesterday so today I’m installing it under Parallels on the MacBook.  The install actually went pretty smoothly as Parallels had an update last week to include support for the Windows 7 beta.  The only thing I can’t get working so far is sharing the 3G connection on the MacBook with the virtual machine with Windows 7 installed.  I’m playing with it now.  :)

UPDATE: after installing Parallels Tools in Windows 7 my connectivity issues disappeared.  This update was performed in Google Chrome under Windows 7 under Parallels Desktop.



@GoodThings2Life, I did a clean install to avoid residual issues. I wanted to give this OS the best possible test. It could be driver issues…but that would be tough to ferret out. I did manage to improve performance a hint by disabling the 2 devices without drivers.

Today it seemed a little better…but still have disk thrashing on bootup. Time to disable superfetch again, I guess. I think I’m nearly equivalent to Vista now…but didn’t have much time to work with it today.

I did have a driver issue with a Lexmark (bleh) printer at work. So much for 100% compatibility.


@GoodThings2Life, it seemed to me like the task bar was double the height, but if it is only 4 pixels taller as you say, then the difference is not worth complaining about :)
I did not know about being able to use small icons, when Windows 7 final comes out I will definitely install it again and try that, thanks for the tip!



It literally only takes 4 pixels more space vertically than the Vista start menu, so I’m not sure how everyone keeps making such a big deal of that. More over, right click, Properties, and set it for small icons. Problem solved.


@Tory and Johan,

Did you upgrade or install fresh? Since you both mention adjusting Vista to achieve better performance, I can’t help but wonder if some of those adjustments are causing issues in W7.

I also wonder if some of it is more to do with drivers than the OS itself. Then again, maybe it is just the Q1U model.

Aside from performance issues, I’m interested in hearing more about your impressions of the rest of the user interface, etc.

John in Norway

I’ve tried it on my OQO 02 and can’t get past the wifi not connecting, no screen brightness control and now, the mouse thingy has stopped working. Other people have it on theirs with no problems. Time to wipe the partition and try again.


I am very surprised by all the claims of increased performance with Windows 7. My desktop with a 2.4Ghz Intel Dual core processor and 2GB of ram handles Vista without any problems and after installing Windows 7 I did not notice any performance increase.

I think some people are comparing their regular Vista install (with anti-virus, and months of installing all sorts of other software) with a completely clean Windows 7 install and that is simply not a fair competition.

Because I don’t like how the taskbar takes up additional screen real estate, some driver issues, an issue with disk management and various rendering issues with IE8 I have decided to stick with Vista until Windows 7 comes out of beta, I also don’t really enjoy being Microsofts guinea pig :)


I am disappointed. Really.

I had managed to optimize Vista to the point where it was genuinely pleasant to run on my Q1U (the 800). I had no issues, and reasonably good speed. In fact, with the tendency of XP to get bogged down after a period of use, Vista had been comparatively solid for me. It wasn’t a speed demon, but it was acceptable.

Reading all the media accounts (including here on jkotr), my expectations for Win7 were high, and I couldn’t wait to get it on my Q1U. I backed up all my data and did a clean install, to ensure that I would have the best experience. How disappointing! I was met with the WiFi issue out of the box, so I knew how to fix that. Disabling the adapter pinpointed the issue immediately. Granted, out of the box Win7 is faster than Vista was. But compared to how my system ran after I’d installed Vista SP1 and done several tweaks, I’m very disappointed with Win7.

Overall, the system seems more sluggish. Video performance is lacking. I actually rolled back to the “official” Samsung drivers for the i945 in hopes that performance would improve. It may be a *little* better, but not much. I’ve installed old and new WiFi drivers. The latest ones (thanks, MD) seem to be the best–but things are still a little sluggish. I’ve had Aero off and on…no real difference. I’ve had superfetch off and on (which was the “silver bullet” under Vista…disable superfetch and everything improved)…no real difference. I’ve disabled system restore, windows search, and performed several other tweaks…still things seem to be sluggish compared to my optimized Vista installation.

I’m going to give it a few days…but if Win7 continues to feel sluggish, I’ll be moving back to Vista. I never thought I’d say that, based on what I’ve read.

Perhaps there’s something I’ve missed? Shoot, I even checked to make sure DMA was turned on for the hard disk.

@MD: Thanks for the link to the latest Atheros drivers. Prior experience had taught me to look for WiFi issues first.

Kevin C. Tofel

Fernando, Microsoft is aiming for full driver support in Win7, i.e.: if it works in Vista, it *should* work in Win7. Obviously there will be issues and exceptions as this is a beta build, but I would hope that the vast majority of folks don’t have driver issues.


@Saad: Although I wouldn’t recommend using a beta OS on your primary computer, there are people over in the GottaBeMobile forums who are playing around with Win7 on the XT. I don’t believe they’ve run into any problems.


I also wanted to ask whether the drivers for XP and Vista work well under W7. I know this is machine dependent, but want to find out if anyone has had significant driver issues.


Did anyone try windows 7 on a Dell Latitude XT multitouch? Any issues? I would like to upgrade my XT from XP pro to windows 7 but I am hesitating since it is my primary computer…


@Jonathan:I believe it took longer because you performed an upgrade rather than a clean install. I did a dean install and it took about 20 minutes all up.


For me it’s the task bar improvements and the complete rework of UAC and Network Center. That sells it for me, but all the other stuff is icing on the proverbial cake.

It’s replacing XP on my system for full time use.



Been battling the 100% CPU issue in W7 on my Q1 and awas about to swap drives back to my Vista install. (I used a second, smaller drive as my test platfrom rather than wiping my current drive)
@scotty, not sure why it took so long. I used a blank drive and a targus USB drive. Install took about 30 or so mins.



@Jonathan – I don’t use os x, I am not a windows hater and I only use windows. I was disgusted by how long it took vista to resume from hibernation on my centrino 2 with 3 GB/ram. I run around different buildings often and I put it in hibernate to save battery (standby eats about 5% per hour). The more times you hibernate vista, the longer it takes to resume for no reason. After 3 times I would be sitting there while the meeting started, waiting more than 3 minutes for my vista to wake up. UNACCEPTABLE. With xp it was wake up and go as many times as you wanted. I don’t know how well windows 7 does this, but I plan to find out. I also hated UAC on vista, there is no way for me to alter the settings and be secure. It is on or off, so it is always off and useless. That has been fixed in 7. It’s better because it’s cleaner, faster (resources), and what vista should have been.

Kevin C. Tofel

I’m still tired from walking the floor this past week so I decided to install Win7 also. Then I realized: I don’t have Parallels on my MacBook! I own a license of v2.5, but didn’t install it on the new machine. Since I’m still in Vegas until tomorrow, I figured why not download the Parallels 4 trial? Did that over EV-DO and have Win7 humming along. :)

James Kendrick

I am still in Vegas and taking a rest day before heading out tomorrow. I am then at home for a day and then heading to San Francisco to meet with GigaOM. Busy schedule.


not sure why it took so long on your Q1U 800mhz, took less than an hour on mine. i only installed it to see how much better it ran than Vista & so far i am impressed

BIG NOTE – to anyone installing Windows 7 on the Q1U’s using the AR5006x wifi card, the default MS Windows 7 drivers cause 100% CPU spike. go into WMC & immediately turn off the wifi connection. then install the latest Atheros Vista drivers from the link below (Atheros finally fixed the CPU spike issue that completely crippled the initial Q1U launch devices)

Frank McPherson

Running Win 7 right now in a Virtual Box on my Windows Vista PC, and so far agree that I don’t see much significantly better than Vista.


Installed it under VMWare on my Mac Book Pro – fabulous. Blazing fast – no issues thus far, everything works as it should!


I confess that I like Vista. Now I have Windows 7 I am confused why people hate Vista but love 7. Whats so great about 7? I dont see anything too different. In fact the only thing a normal user would notice is the new style taskbar. The taskbar is decent but certainly not worth an upgrade. Oh yes. The upgrade took around 3hours instead of the 20-30mins reported elsewhere.
One more thing, WLM does not work anymore. I get the usual “Windows Live Messenger has stopped working.” This happens even after reinstalling Windows Live Essentials.


By the way going to the SongStyle Store here in Las Vegas before I head home. Going to go see the Sony P


James is at again, even on his rest day. :) I can say Windows 7 is running great on my MSI Wind.


I’ve installed it on an Acer Aspire One 16GB SSD unit and upgraded my 800MHz Samsung UMPC.

The Acer runs very nicely and the Samsung took 11 hours to perform the upgrade!!! But once it was upgraded it was bouncy bouncy.

VMware on my Mac Pro runs it blazingly fast (installs in 5 minutes) and required no special update to run it.

I’m hoping to score a Vaio P and run it there as well. :-)

Peter Cranstone

I have it running on both production PC’s – a laptop and desktop. Bottom line, it’s faster than Vista SP1, I would guess (early days) more stable and overall a serious piece of software. In fact I would say it rocks. So far I’ve only discovered a couple of issues and have resolved all of them.

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