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Cavicchi

Switching to Windows7

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I must admit to being disenchanted with Vista Ultimate 64-bit OS. So, now I am considering Windows7. The problem for me is I have to upgrade to Windows7 Ultimate or buy the Home Premium "full version" and do a clean install. Considering the price difference of $20 dollars, I find it difficult to justify buying the Home Premium version and doing a clean install. Seems so easy to just pay $20 dollars more and do an easy upgrade. Is there any reason why you think that would be a bad decision?

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For starters I like Vista except for a few issues. Boot time and time to load a profile are horrible and explorer is slow to search. Windows 7 is nothing short of amazing compared to Vista.

As for your problem, I would stay away from anything Windows 7 Home. For some reason they forgot remote desktop - again. Get Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate but be wary of doing an in place upgrade. That's usually asking for trouble. So, get the Ultimate as it isn't much more expensive but do a clean install. More work but likely less trouble afterwards. And then wonder how Micro$soft made 7 so much more fun to use than Vista.

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It seems that you can buy an upgrade version to go from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Home Premium (or Professional) - you just have to do a clean install. Ars Technica writes:

For example, if you are going from Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Home Premium, you would do a clean install.

So get the Home Premium upgrade version if you're willing to use VNC (or similar) instead of RDP, or you just don't need to remote desktop. No need to buy the full retail version.

And to be honest, I'll echo HMTK and say I reckon it's worth doing a clean install even if you stick to Ultimate. While it's arguable whether it's worth doing a clean reinstall of your existing OS every few years, moving to a new OS means there's just too much useless crap left over after an upgrade, and while it can be a pain getting everything back the way you want it, you may find that some of the tools and tweaks you used just aren't necessary under the new OS. Write down everything you want to reinstall, image your existing OS and bite the bullet!

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For starters I like Vista except for a few issues. Boot time and time to load a profile are horrible and explorer is slow to search. Windows 7 is nothing short of amazing compared to Vista.

As for your problem, I would stay away from anything Windows 7 Home. For some reason they forgot remote desktop - again. Get Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate but be wary of doing an in place upgrade. That's usually asking for trouble. So, get the Ultimate as it isn't much more expensive but do a clean install. More work but likely less trouble afterwards. And then wonder how Micro$soft made 7 so much more fun to use than Vista.

The price difference between upgrade and Full is $100 dollars. My understanding is the Full version is needed to do a clean install. I could, for example, buy Ultimate Upgrade and install over my Vista Ultimate.

I have always done a clean install, never upgraded before, but saving $100 dollars is very tempting, aside from a lot less work. Why is doing an upgrade trouble? I would clone the drive after installing over Vista so there would not be a need to reinstall Vista again. But, there must be some other reason why you suggest not to upgrade?

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It seems that you can buy an upgrade version to go from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Home Premium (or Professional) - you just have to do a clean install. Ars Technica writes:
For example, if you are going from Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Home Premium, you would do a clean install.

So get the Home Premium upgrade version if you're willing to use VNC (or similar) instead of RDP, or you just don't need to remote desktop. No need to buy the full retail version.

And to be honest, I'll echo HMTK and say I reckon it's worth doing a clean install even if you stick to Ultimate. While it's arguable whether it's worth doing a clean reinstall of your existing OS every few years, moving to a new OS means there's just too much useless crap left over after an upgrade, and while it can be a pain getting everything back the way you want it, you may find that some of the tools and tweaks you used just aren't necessary under the new OS. Write down everything you want to reinstall, image your existing OS and bite the bullet!

My understanding is you cannot use Home Premium Upgrade to do a clean install of Home Premium, you need the Full retail version of Home Premium to do a clean install; the Upgrade versions are for people who have Vista, but you must upgrade to same level, such as Home to Home and Ultimate to Ultimate.

There is different pricing for the Upgrade and Full versions with price difference of around $100 dollars.

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Yes you can do a clean install with an upgrade DVD. You can always install without a key and then run an "upgrade" immediately afterwards.

Spod, do you know of any free version VNC server that runs as a service under Vista/7/2K8?

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Yes you can do a clean install with an upgrade DVD. You can always install without a key and then run an "upgrade" immediately afterwards.

Spod, do you know of any free version VNC server that runs as a service under Vista/7/2K8?

Yes, I did find that about using an upgrade to do a clean install, but it requires some kind of double-install and that does not interest me. If I were going to do a clean install, I would buy the retail version and bite the price bullet. What I really want to know is why you suggest the clean install over doing an upgrade?

I would clone the drive after installing the new OS--I make regular images of my hdd with Acronis on another internal hdd in my computer..

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You can do a clean install with the upgrade version, but I understand it likes to see your existing installation before it installs. It will then format your C: drive and install a completely fresh copy of Windows. Agreed, the full version is easier, especially for subsequent reinstalls. But if you clone the freshly installed and activated Windows 7, then you'll only have to do this once.

I'm using Ultra VNC with Windows 7 64-bit RC. It's set up to run as a service. I know the RC is Ultimate, so it includes RDP, but I'll be using Home Premium when it's out, and I wanted to make sure VNC would be usable. Which it is, as long as Media Center isn't full screen. When it is, VNC comes up black until I hit the remote [Windows] key.

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You can do a clean install with the upgrade version, but I understand it likes to see your existing installation before it installs. It will then format your C: drive and install a completely fresh copy of Windows. Agreed, the full version is easier, especially for subsequent reinstalls. But if you clone the freshly installed and activated Windows 7, then you'll only have to do this once.

I'm using Ultra VNC with Windows 7 64-bit RC. It's set up to run as a service. I know the RC is Ultimate, so it includes RDP, but I'll be using Home Premium when it's out, and I wanted to make sure VNC would be usable. Which it is, as long as Media Center isn't full screen. When it is, VNC comes up black until I hit the remote [Windows] key.

I now have Vista Ultimate 64-bit installed. I ran the Windows Upgrade Advisor and it said my hdd controller was not found! I wonder if that has something to do with my having AHCI disabled? I have 2 SATA hdd's and 1 SATA DVD burner installed--no RAID. I just use the second hdd for making backups.

I don't doubt doing a clean install is best, always done that way before, but I was wondering what the reason(s) why that was true. Someone in the field told me they improved the upgrade process, going from Vista to Windows 7 (not a clean install) and he also said a clean install is best. I guess I am just getting lazy in my old age. :) I probably will go with doing a clean install as not one single person has suggested doing the upgrade, and I will buy the full retail version because I like having that just in case. I sure do hate having to reinstall all the programs, files, drivers, etc.

Now I am concerned about that AHCI thing. I don't have a problem with Vista in that regard, so I don't know why the Upgrade Advisor has a problem with my Controller when it does see my SATA hdd.

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Don't know what your hardware is ,but I don't think you will have a controller issue with 7.As I'm sure you are aware if you think there may be an issue just throw the driver on a flash drive and 7 will find it.In the shop I work in you would be surprised how many laptops and desktops we have installed RC1 on.Some folks dislike Vista that much.Hey you get 7RC1 free for months and it works well.One lesson we learned was a clean install works best.The upgrade option seems to work but there are some apps that still have to be removed and reinstalled.Also the upgrade just does not feel right.I cannot explain that to you it's just something you'll have to take at face value or not.Have fun with the install.

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Don't know what your hardware is ,but I don't think you will have a controller issue with 7.As I'm sure you are aware if you think there may be an issue just throw the driver on a flash drive and 7 will find it.In the shop I work in you would be surprised how many laptops and desktops we have installed RC1 on.Some folks dislike Vista that much.Hey you get 7RC1 free for months and it works well.One lesson we learned was a clean install works best.The upgrade option seems to work but there are some apps that still have to be removed and reinstalled.Also the upgrade just does not feel right.I cannot explain that to you it's just something you'll have to take at face value or not.Have fun with the install.

I now have an Hitachi 320GB SATA 2 drive and a 160GB Hitachi SATA backup drive. I have AHCI disabled in the BIOS. My MB is a Gigabyte EX38-DS4. I don't have any problem using Vista Ultimate 64-bit with my drives, so I don't see why there should be any issue in Windows 7. I ordered 2 Samsung F3 500GB drives and plan to install Windows 7 on one and use the other for backing up. I also have a Pioneer DVD RW SATA drive. My CPU is an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400.

Video card is an ECS 9600GT and sound card is an Asus Xonar DX.

I have decided on going for Windows Home Premium Full Retail version and doing a clean install. My only complaint about Vista is S-P-E-E-D. ;-) I am getting older and speed is more important now. :)

Oh, I don't know about adding that driver you mentioned after installation. I was trying to figure that one out now and explored the MB disk but couldn't find the Intel Matrix Storage Manager.

Edited by Cavicchi

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Don't know what your hardware is ,but I don't think you will have a controller issue with 7.As I'm sure you are aware if you think there may be an issue just throw the driver on a flash drive and 7 will find it.In the shop I work in you would be surprised how many laptops and desktops we have installed RC1 on.Some folks dislike Vista that much.Hey you get 7RC1 free for months and it works well.One lesson we learned was a clean install works best.The upgrade option seems to work but there are some apps that still have to be removed and reinstalled.Also the upgrade just does not feel right.I cannot explain that to you it's just something you'll have to take at face value or not.Have fun with the install.

I now have an Hitachi 320GB SATA 2 drive and a 160GB Hitachi SATA backup drive. I have AHCI disabled in the BIOS. My MB is a Gigabyte EX38-DS4. I don't have any problem using Vista Ultimate 64-bit with my drives, so I don't see why there should be any issue in Windows 7. I ordered 2 Samsung F3 500GB drives and plan to install Windows 7 on one and use the other for backing up. I also have a Pioneer DVD RW SATA drive. My CPU is an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400.

Video card is an ECS 9600GT and sound card is an Asus Xonar DX.

I have decided on going for Windows Home Premium Full Retail version and doing a clean install. My only complaint about Vista is S-P-E-E-D. ;-) I am getting older and speed is more important now. :)

Oh, I don't know about adding that driver you mentioned after installation. I was trying to figure that one out now and explored the MB disk but couldn't find the Intel Matrix Storage Manager.

I meant load the driver at install in case you want to enable ACHI.The drivers are easy to find on the Intel site if they are even needed.I know what you mean by lot older.I think you will enjoy the speed of 7 with your current setup. :D

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The AHCI thing is kind of weird. The manual states to prepare a CD start up disk, formatted floppy, and use the start up disk to get to the A prompt. You replace the startup disk with the MB disk and choose the right driver that will automatically go to floppy. Then, while doing the OS installation, you select load driver at the right screen and bingo! all is done. What is a start up disk?

As for finding the driver on Intel's site, I tried but couldn't get it.

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The AHCI thing is kind of weird. The manual states to prepare a CD start up disk, formatted floppy, and use the start up disk to get to the A prompt. You replace the startup disk with the MB disk and choose the right driver that will automatically go to floppy. Then, while doing the OS installation, you select load driver at the right screen and bingo! all is done. What is a start up disk?

As for finding the driver on Intel's site, I tried but couldn't get it.

If you've got the motherboard CD, I'd just look for the driver files on there, copy them to a flash drive, and you probably won't need them anyway. You were planning on cloning your existing OS before installing 7, right? :)

If Intel don't have a Windows 7 driver listed, you might still find something on the motherboard manufacturer's web site. It's a long shot, though. Far more likely is that Microsoft have already built in drivers for all Intel controllers in AHCI mode or otherwise, and you're stressing about nothing! :D

For info, a "CD start up disk" is a bootable CD that will get you to a DOS prompt without using the floppy drive. You will need to make sure it has DOS drivers for the CD drive. You are then expected to run something from the motherboard CD and that will automatically create a floppy with the driver. Presumably, the Vista driver, though that should work in Windows 7 as well. I've even heard you can use XP drivers in 7, though I've not had to try that.

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Heck both Win7 and Vista installation routines allow you to load a driver from a separate CD or flash drive, not just a floppy, you don't need to download a CD boot image...

Insert Windows 7 CD, boot off of it, when it asks to load drivers, pick that, insert a CD with the drivers extracted to it, Win 7 will search for it, load them, then you switch back to the Win 7 disc and finish the install.

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Heck both Win7 and Vista installation routines allow you to load a driver from a separate CD or flash drive, not just a floppy, you don't need to download a CD boot image...

Insert Windows 7 CD, boot off of it, when it asks to load drivers, pick that, insert a CD with the drivers extracted to it, Win 7 will search for it, load them, then you switch back to the Win 7 disc and finish the install.

I would load the driver onto a floppy since Windows 7 will be in the DVD. I was wondering how to do it in Vista that is already installed, but not an issue since I will be going to Windows 7. Do you think enabling AHCI would be worthwhile since I don't hot plug? I assume NCQ is automatically enabled without AHCI--correct?

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Do you think enabling AHCI would be worthwhile since I don't hot plug? I assume NCQ is automatically enabled without AHCI--correct?

No.

Disabling AHCI usually although means disabling NCQ (and hot-plug)

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Do you think enabling AHCI would be worthwhile since I don't hot plug? I assume NCQ is automatically enabled without AHCI--correct?

No.

Disabling AHCI usually although means disabling NCQ (and hot-plug)

Usually? I have read that in Vista NCQ is automatically enabled, but that could be false information. However, since you say "usually," there is still some doubt on this issue.

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NCQ is implemented as part of AHCI mode on the motherboard. If you have AHCI disabled then you don't get NCQ.

Is there any speed benefit by having NCQ? Or some other benefit besides hot plug?

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IIRC, Techreport, Storagereview, Anandtech, Xbitlabs, etc. all have discussed NCQ extensively.

Previously NCQ typically hurt single-user performance, but in the past 2 or 3 years pretty much all sites now just leave it on as the differences are negligible-- shortly after the WD Raptor 150GB days in other words. IIRC AMD southbridges still have issues with AHCI, though.

http://www.storagereview.com/php/benchmark...08&devCnt=2

NCQ and hotswap are not shared features, rather, both are part of the full SATA spec, which is not fully implemented until you go to AHCI mode. :)

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IIRC, Techreport, Storagereview, Anandtech, Xbitlabs, etc. all have discussed NCQ extensively.

Previously NCQ typically hurt single-user performance, but in the past 2 or 3 years pretty much all sites now just leave it on as the differences are negligible-- shortly after the WD Raptor 150GB days in other words. IIRC AMD southbridges still have issues with AHCI, though.

http://www.storagereview.com/php/benchmark...08&devCnt=2

NCQ and hotswap are not shared features, rather, both are part of the full SATA spec, which is not fully implemented until you go to AHCI mode. :)

But what performance gain for the single-user is there with NCQ? None? In other words, if you don't need hot plug, why bother with AHCI?

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Heck both Win7 and Vista installation routines allow you to load a driver from a separate CD or flash drive, not just a floppy, you don't need to download a CD boot image...

Insert Windows 7 CD, boot off of it, when it asks to load drivers, pick that, insert a CD with the drivers extracted to it, Win 7 will search for it, load them, then you switch back to the Win 7 disc and finish the install.

Copy the drivers onto a USB key. Vista/7 supports loading the hard drive controller drivers from USB, and it is faster.

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Heck both Win7 and Vista installation routines allow you to load a driver from a separate CD or flash drive, not just a floppy, you don't need to download a CD boot image...

Insert Windows 7 CD, boot off of it, when it asks to load drivers, pick that, insert a CD with the drivers extracted to it, Win 7 will search for it, load them, then you switch back to the Win 7 disc and finish the install.

Copy the drivers onto a USB key. Vista/7 supports loading the hard drive controller drivers from USB, and it is faster.

What is a USB key? I don't have any USB drives.

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