My dinner with Windows 7

Our fears that the new OS would take forever to install were unfounded

Those of you tuning in to see our review of Windows 7 will have to wait until Oct. 22, the day the new operating system goes into general release and the day we post our review. But today, we are busy as beavers in the lab doing the legwork for that review.

More on Windows 7:

How to upgrade (relatively) painlessly to Windows 7

Inaugural Windows 7 update addresses security issues

Windows 7 makes reviewing interesting

I had allotted a bit of time to install Windows 7 on some new systems, and given my past experience with operating system upgrades, had figured that I would be spending lunch and dinner, and perhaps my midnight snack, with the new OS. I’ve read articles, some of them right here at GCN, that claimed that some users -- in specific circumstances -- could spend as much as 20 hours on the upgrade.

I can report that unless yours is a very special case, the day-long install estimates are way out of bounds. I don’t think the new OS could run on a system that is so slow that it would take almost a day for the install. It wouldn’t meet the minimum requirements.

You can see how low Windows 7 can go in our previous review where we rounded up old systems to see what would work and what wouldn’t.

But for a modern system, it won’t take anywhere close to 20 hours. Case in point: I just finished installing Windows 7 on a very modest 1.6-GHz laptop. I did a fresh install and it was finished in 1 hour, 40 minutes. That is about par for the course compared to other OS upgrades I’ve sat through in the past.

Now, there will likely be conflicts. In the same install, I noticed that the laptop with the brand new Windows 7 OS was silent. Somehow, W7 lost the audio drivers in the move from Vista to W7, which is strange because it was an Intel integrated sound driver, which should be the simplest thing for the new system to discover.

So yes, there may be some odd quirks that might keep some people late at the office. But at least for me, I plan to have dinner at home tonight. And I can thank Windows 7 for that.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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