Family Software Newsletter #35 - January 12, 2010

Drag Racing Computers and Software -


-- Upgrading To Windows 7 --

-- Upgrading To Windows 7 --
If you currently have Windows XP, you might want to think twice about upgrading to Windows 7. Windows XP, Service Pack 3, is presently the most solid Windows Operating System in existence. Windows 7 is really Vista in disguise, but with most of the serious problems fixed. The User Account Control is still there, though now you have 4 levels to choose from rather than just off or on. That seems a waste, because in my opinion, you probably want to turn it off and forget about it. Oh, I don't know, "Are you really sure you want to do that?" Too funny.

In order to run Windows 7, you need at least:

a) 1 GHZ or faster 32 bit or 64 bit processor
b) 1 GB RAM (32 bit)/2 GB RAM (64 bit)
c) 16 GB (32 bit) or 20 GB (64 bit) available free space.
d) DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

If you're buying a new computer system with Windows 7 preloaded on it, you shouldn't have many problems. All the necessary drivers for the computer itself will have already been loaded. Of course, your existing printer and other hardware may not have drivers yet available. That's the chance you take.

Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 is a completely different matter. Since Windows 7 really is Vista, you can only upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 and be able to keep all your currently installed programs. So, you'd have to upgrade from XP to Vista first, then upgrade from Vista to Windows 7. Slick huh? Otherwise, you have to format your hard drive, or add a new partition, and do a clean install of Windows 7. That is starting over from scratch. Since your computer probably came preloaded with a lot of neat programs, and since you never get the CD's for those programs, they will all be gone for good. And, you'll be spending days reinstalling the programs you do have CD's for.

I decided to try and upgrade. Now, you can't just upgrade from basic Vista, it must be Vista, Service Pack 1. So, after you have upgraded using the Vista Upgrade DVD, you have to go to Windows Update in order to update to Vista, SP1. The first thing that happens is Windows Update issues the warning that you must UPDATE Windows Update before you can check for updates! So, I updated Windows Update. No big deal, but now, the updated Windows Update tells me that I have to download 100 Vista updates before I can get to SP1. Okay, let's do that I say. Two hours later, I'm ready to install the 100 downloaded Vista updates. After awhile, the installation locks up and I have to reboot. Only 29 of the 100 updates were installed. Guess what? It turns out there's a serious bug in the UPDATED Windows Update. At this point, I have no audio drivers, video drivers, or wireless drivers for the hardware on my computer. With an entire afternoon wasted, I decide to throw in the towel and do the clean install. Anybody want to buy a Vista Upgrade DVD real cheap?

Doing the clean install was easier. I created a new partition on my hard drive so that I could install Windows 7 as an additional operating system. Therefore, I have a dual boot system where I can select either my old XP system or a completely new Windows 7. The installation program allowed me to format the partition on the hard drive and the install went quick and, well… clean. The video drivers were still missing, no audio, and no wireless adapter. Going back to Windows 7 Update provided some fixes, but I had to go to the Dell website to find the missing video and audio drivers. However, the drivers for my wireless device are not available for Windows 7. The manufacturer says to be patient. I won't hold my breath.

Windows 7 is definitely faster than Vista, but I haven't found it to be any faster than XP SP3. Most of the new features (Touch Screen) require new hardware, so please read the fine print. XP Mode is only available in the professional editions of Windows 7, so don't expect to be able to download that feature. Unless you've purchased a completely new system, when you're all done, you'll have exactly what you had before, only it will look different. Anybody want to buy a Windows 7 Upgrade DVD real cheap?

-- REAL World Technical Support --
With Family Software, you'll get better technical support than anywhere on the planet. Why? Because, we design and/or use all of the products that we sell. All of my 40+ years of on-track racing experience and knowledge is available to you. Try to find that kind of information at any one of our competitors. You won't be able to, I guarantee it! Family Software cares about the racer and his/her success as a racer. We also want you to get the most value for your hard earned dollars.

-- Secure Ordering --

You can safely order directly from our web site. All of your information is handled on our Secure Server. We have established a privacy policy and it is posted on the web site. Our company is registered with the Public Eye for safe, secure ordering.

Bob Kodadek

SC 1596
Family Software - Drag Racing Computers and Software - 610.497.5561(Voice/Fax)

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