Upgrading to Windows 7 – More complicated that it should have been


Introduction

This has proved to be a non trivial process. The install was not too bad, but I’ve had more than on problems before, during, and after. My upgrade experience has been complicated by the fact that I have been rearranging the topology of my network in the process, adding new hardware and generally complicating the process.

Preinstall

The first thing I wanted to do prior to installing Windows 7 was make a full backup of the system. Those that know about these things would way that was a wise and prudent thing to do.

Vista Backup Crashed

Vista backup has been prompting me to do a full system backup for a while, I’ve just been doing a weekly incremental backup. So, fumble my way through Vista Backup only to get the following.

“The backup was not successful. The error is: The system cannot find the path specified. (0x80070003).”

Diagnosis:

I think the error is about the output device for the backup. I have been backing up to a USB 2.0 external hard disk (my USB network – pivoting through a USB hub). Well this can be a bit “flaky” the drive can drop out (disappear in Windows Explorer). Sometimes it will come back with a view the computer in Explorer, sometimes it takes resetting the power to the disk.

Solution:

Find another:

  • Backup and recovery tool (more on this below)
  • Find another topology which makes things more stable (more on this below)

Finding Another Backup Tool

The lat Friday night was on. I looked at a couple of the main names Norton’s, McAfee. Both looked OK, a but bit pricy. Settled for Acronis® True Image Home 2010, had 2 features on the web site which grabbed me:

  • It’s cheap,
  • It has a 30 day free trial. Given I thought I was dealing with a dodgy USB connection to the external drive, I needed to test it to see if it would
    “skate over the cracks”.

Backup With a 10 Minute “Fix it” Time Window

The Acronis tool does help “skating over the cracks”. The USB drive did drop out a number of times, Acronis puts up a dialogue which gives enough time (10 minutes) to get drive back on line. After many resets, and taking a shower with a 8 minute  timer set (just so I could check that the drive had not fallen out, and my “time was up”), I achieved a full backup of the system.

Choose a Version of Windows 7

After looking at the feature sheet for Windows 7 ( Window 7 – Compare editions ), I decided that a upgrade of my “Home Premium” version of Vista to Windows 7 is all that I needed. The features above the “Home Premium” version of Windows 7 I did not think I need included:

  • XP mode in Vista (except for Civilisation),
  • Backup to network (the USB “network” had problems) but I did not think that I’d need it. It would turnout to be a problem (but it will be),
  • Join a domain (not applicable for my one machine network – but it could be – more on this later),
  • BitLocker – not something I feel the need for.
  • 35 Languages – default English is fine with me.

Installation Slow – But hangs at 62%

The slowness is something which I accept. It’s a big job to dance around all of the installed things, and put a new Operating System onto a machine.

Hanging at 62% posed a bit of a problem form me. I’ve only one machine at home, and that was somewhere between Vista and Windows 7, and I needed the internet to check up on what I should do. Only solution was to go into the work office, and look it up on my machine at work. There is a note to myself here to think seriously about getting a second machine (possibly a net book – 10 inch notebook – but I’d love a Microsoft Courier or what ever they call it when it comes out).

The hang at 62% is a known bug. ( Upgrade stops responding (hangs) at 62% when you upgrade to Windows 7 ). The solution:

  1. Terminate the install/upgrade if Windows 7. A pretty painless part of the process.
  2. Let the process unwind the Windows 7 install. This took over an hour. Something which I sort of expected, but maybe not that much.
  3. Get back into Vista, and jump up onto the internet. Lookup the web page in the above link.
  4. Run the “Fix It” on the preceding link.
  5. Start the Windows 7 upgrade process again.
  6. A couple of hours later I went to bed.
  7. Next morning, Windows 7 is installed. I could dig into the logs and see just how long this upgrade took, but life’s too short to spend reading logs for processes which have worked.

Mission Accomplished?

Not quite, there’s a bit of sweeping up to do. I’ll get to that in the next post.
A seek peek at what is still to come.

  • A Terabyte of network storage.
  • Windows 7 features:
    • what you can’t do with “Home Premium”.
    • what I don’t like!
  • Rearranging my network topology.
  • Upgrade options, and plan, to move from 802.11g (thankyou Mr Telstra for old technology) to 802.11n.

 

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