Well ya'll I finally did it, I loaded Windows 7. I have five (well seven total but only five are useful) laptops and three are now running Windows 7. The specs are as follows:
Toshiba Tecra M9
4 GB RAM, 64-bit 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7700, 110 GB hard drive - 32-bit Windows Vista Ultimate Edition SP2 configured with 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate Edition (post RC build) VHD Boot. Just under a year old.
This is my primary work machine. When I turn on my laptop my boot options are now Windows Vista or Windows 7. A friend of mine had a pre-configured VHD file for me to use. I just copied the VHD and a couple of other files to the root of my C drive, ran a couple of batch files, and voila..... I'm running Windows 7 from a VHD file on my computer. I was able to join the corporate network from directly within the VHD - it's recognized as a totally separate computer as far as the domain is concerned. I ran Windows/Microsoft Update twice and got all the drivers needed to support the Aero interface and sound card. I also connected it to my home wireless network. Only one issue for me to troubleshoot - I've been unable to rate my computer's performance. The Windows Experience Index keeps timing out as it trys to rate my computer. I'm thinking I might need to flash the BIOS. Other than that it works great.
Toshiba Tecra M4 Tablet PC
2 GB RAM, 32-bit 2 GHz Intel Pentium M Processor, 60 GB hard drive - Windows 7 Ultimate Edition RC - Clean installation. A little over three years old.
This is the computer I talked about in a previous post having to replace the motherboard three times. It also has a bad graphics card and I need to have replaced as well - I've been needing to do this for about a year so it's not Windows-related problem. However, this problem is keeping me from successfully rating system performance - time to call the helpdesk. This used to be my demo machine, but hardware problems caused me to ask for and get the Tecra M9 as well as a Lenovo (I use the Lenovo for Windows Server 2008 & Hyper-V). In spite of everything, Windows 7 loaded easily and boots boots and runs really fast. I used a DVD to do the installation. I ran Windows/Microsoft Update twice and found all the drivers I need to support Aero and my sound card. Haven't flased the BIOS in a while so will do that this weekend.
Dell Inspiron 1501
2 GB RAM, 64-bit 1.6GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile Technology Processor, 75 GB hard drive - Microsoft IT Corporate Windows 7 Image - 64-bit Windows 7 Enterprise Edition RC + 32-bit Office 2007 SP2 + 32-bit Office Communicator R2 and Office Live Meeting Add-ins - Clean installation. Just over two years old.
I got this computer from the Exchange team about a couple of months before we RTM'd Exchange Server 2007. It's my backup and test machine. I've been using this as a playground and it was one of three computers I have at my house that had Windows XP (the other two laptops with XP are both about six years old) - the perfect reference for when my friends with XP call for help. I loaded Windows 7 using PXE boot and Windows Deployment Services. This first two times I tried to do this it failed, but then I flashed the BIOS and it worked perfectly. It took about an hour but when it was done my laptop was joined to the domain and I only needed to run Window/Microsoft Update once just to pull down definition updates for Windows Defender. I've very impressed with use of WDS, WAIK, PowerShell and Windows Server 2008 in general by our IT team. Again Windows 7 boots and runs pretty quickly. I plan to uninstall Office 2007 and load the 64-bit Office 2010 Technical Preview next week.
My initial thoughts: So far so good for Windows 7. Once I get the chance to really dig into the interface I'll do a separate post on what I've learned, what's changed, gotchas, etc. A little tidbit for now - Windows 7 definitely uses memory more efficiently than Windows XP or Windows VIsta and performance in general is better than all previous Windows OS.