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The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

Windows 7 for friends and family

It’s not always Microsoft’s fault…

For the last month or so, my mum’s Asus Revo mini desktop PC thing kept starting windows repair intermittently on boot and her local tech support man (I couldn’t get down to her) thought Windows updates were the problem.  Also when it did power up it was taking ages to start.  My inclination was a hard disk problem and as I couldn’t get it to start Windows at all I stripped the whole thing down (not the easiest machine to do this on), swapped out the hard disk and proceeded to install Windows 7 and the other stuff she would need:

It all took about 4 hours, and yes it rebooted several times and installed upwards of fifty updates, but I was out having meal during that bit, and when I came back it was all done first time. I then put the old hard disk in a drive bay enclosure and got her data off it and onto the new hard disk and so now the only reason I need to visit is as a loving son rather than an IT Professional.

The other deployment scenario I worked on at home recently was to upgrade our home machines with the acquisition of two barebones systems from Novatech. These machines were both running  Windows 7 and so all I had to do was move the old system hard disks across and fire up the new barebones machines for everything to work. Despite what I have read on some forums including Microsoft social you definitely don’t need to do a reinstall with Vista or Windows 7 as they  just auto detect the hardware, reboots and asks you to reactivate your Windows license.  The limiting factor on my windows experience score is now those hard disks, and I would need to reinstall windows if I wanted to swap those out too, of course.

While I would defer to my colleague Simon and the excellent Springboard resources for mass deployments of Windows 7, it was simple enough for me to do all of this.  So you could gain some kudos by doing your own local deployments like this for your neighbours, friends and family and perhaps spend less time fixing their issues and more time socialising with them as a result.