cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Windows 7 basic questions

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,279
Thanks: 72
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Windows 7 basic questions

Ok I've bitten the bullet and decided to upgrade Vista home premium to Win 7 home premium (it should arrive -via Amazon- Tuesday or Wednesday) To hopefully cure a couple of glitches I'm having with Vista startup. Oddly both of my computers (with Vista, both HP's) are now exhibiting the same fault. But there's no reason to elaborate any further on that as the decision has already been taken to upgrade.
It is years since I did any kind of O/s upgrading.
But I do have a couple of basic questions:
The partition on both computers that contains the Vista O/s?
a) can this be deleted; or
b) should it be deleted; or
c) does this happen during the upgrade anyway.
I do have the home produced disks for both PC's
How many PC's can I upgrade from the one copy of Win 7 upgrade?
out of preference I'd like to do my wife's Vista Home basic as well.
the above comments about the partition apply to this PC as well.
Are there any useful preparations I could usefully make prior to the upgrade, that I wish I had done afterwards?
Or do I just "bung" in the upgrade disk, and everything will be fine?
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
39 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,481
Thanks: 1,482
Fixes: 17
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

Not an expert......... as you already know Peter.!.... but I would suggest that you make a list of all the programs you have installed at the moment and use frequently. so that you can re-install them in order on your new windows 7 setup....
You could also start downloading the latest versions of any progs you have installed from downloads before..... (anti-virus , anti-spyware, malware, ccleaner, zonealarm, etc.) and put them either on a usb stick of a CD rom to save time.... would suggest you also transfer to CD any picture files, or any letters/documents, and your email address contacts....
If you use Open Office, then when you re-install it (from a new download??) make sure you check out the icon and disable "run at start up" as it will slow down the start up from boot....
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,847
Thanks: 121
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

The big decision to make is whether to install the upgrade as an upgrade to Vista (thereby retaining the programs you are running that are compatible with Windows 7 and quite possibly also retaining your glitches) or installing as a clean install.  In the latter case all your old files get shunted into a windows.old folder on your old Vista partition by default.   But you then have to re-install any non-Windows programs.  If you have a solid backup of all your data you could choose to reformat the partition before installing (with tha same caveat, obviously).
Unless you wear a patch over one eye, habitually have a parrot on your shoulder and are prone to muttering "Ah, Jim lad", it's one upgrade per disk (unless you bought the family pack in which case the answer is 3 upgrades per disk).  Shutter clearly isn't the right person to ask on this issue.
The preparation I would advise is to make a very careful note of what hardware drivers your computer is using.  Windows 7 has a habit of substituting generic drivers so, for example, if you have Realtek HD Audio Windows 7 will substitute a generic driver and you lose the useful Realtek HD Audio Manger at the very least.  There is a perfectly good Realtek HD audio driver for Windows 7 but you will have to download and install it yourself.
By the way, in my opinion you would be crazy to install ZoneAlarm on Windows 7 as Shutter suggests.  Windows 7 has its own perfectly good firewall which you can even fiddle with to block outbound programs if you really must.    
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,481
Thanks: 1,482
Fixes: 17
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

@ ReedRichards  Thank you for your confidence in my "suggestions"... as I said,... I am not an expert..... you obviously are. Cheesy
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,847
Thanks: 121
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

Sorry Shutter, I did not mean to offend.  I thought everything you wrote was good with the sole exception of the mention of one program that a few people still use because they haven't woken up to the fact that it is no longer necessary.  Which wouldn't in itself be so bad, if it didn't go wrong and cause problems from time to time.
I did three Windows 7 upgrades this week - does that make me an expert?
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,481
Thanks: 1,482
Fixes: 17
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

@ ReedRichards...... apologies accepted..... I use ZoneAlarm, and have not had any problems with it, apart from when VIsta came out, and something was amiss, but that was rectified very quickly when they realised there was a problem..... I am still using it now.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

Quote from: Petlew
How many PC's can I upgrade from the one copy of Win 7 upgrade?

Think about it, are Microsoft a charity?  Grin One and only one of course.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,279
Thanks: 72
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

As it happen I ditched using Zone Alarm a couple of years ago. I found it extremely intrusive, and didn't seem to serve any useful purpose that wasn't being cover by numerous other security products I had at the time including the MS firewall.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

As I understand it Windows 7 firewall doesn't have outbound protection turned on by default. You have to enable it and then add rules for any program you want to access the net
http://www.pcterritory.net/2009/08/enable-firewall-outbound-protection-in.html
Quote
Before I continue explaining how to enable Windows 7 firewall outbound protection I will have to tell you that this firewall is a bit stubborn, not like other third-party firewalls. This means when outbound protection is enabled, firewall is going to by default block any program from connecting to the internet including Internet Explorer, which means you will have to manually create rules to specifically allow individual programs to access internet. A bit unusual and time-consuming though.
http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/windows-7-firewall-outbound-protection/
Quote
Windows Firewall is great, but as I mentioned before it is also half-baked and this can be quite frustrating. Every 3rd party firewall tools will prompt you when a program tries to establish an outgoing connection. You could then easily accept or reject this outbound connection, sadly Windows Firewall has no such notifications. A huge bummer, if you ask me.
In Windows Firewall you have to manually create rules for every applications one by one, otherwise the outbound connection will be blocked for all programs

So if these reports are accurate any user with the default setting has no outbound protection. As far as I am concerned this is unacceptable
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,279
Thanks: 72
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

@ReedRichards, I was wondering about a clean install rather than the upgrade over Vista. I recall from earlier versions of Windows that it was possible to install clean from an upgrade disk. Do you know whether this is still an option or, have MS put a stop to this devious inroad of their income?
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,847
Thanks: 121
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

Sorry Petlew, I have taken us right off topic here.
Outbound firewall protection may be a must for computer experts like Oldjim but most computer users don't know enough about what goes on "under the the bonnet" of their computers to make effective use of it.  It either becomes "extremely intrusive", forever asking you if such-and-such a program can access the internet (as ZoneAlarm used to when I last used it about 6 years ago) or all the decisions are made for you (by default) as happens with most modern "Internet Security" packages that you pay for. 
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,847
Thanks: 121
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

Back on topic, yes you can do a clean install; not least because if you have XP Microsoft does not give you any other option.  By default the "clean install" will not reformat your (NTFS) partition.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

A comparison of the free firewalls
http://www.top-windows-tutorials.com/free-personal-firewall-comparison.html#Windows7Firewall
In my case I use Kaspersky Internet Security, as do a range of friends with varying abilities, and it looks after everything without popups on the default settings or with a few more popups on the interactive (ask me every time) setting
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

One thing you need to decide is whether to install the 32 bit or 64 bit versions.
To a large extent this depends on the total installed memory including that on the graphics card. If the total is more 4GB then I would definitely recommend the 64 bit system. Even if you don't have as much as that I would still use the 64 bit system for future proofing providing your hardware has the correct drivers available.
Note that installing he 64 bit system will stop you doing an upgrade install.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Windows 7 basic questions

Don't forget you can "try out" the install to make sure it works OK.
Don't enter a product key (but choose the correct version) and obviously don't activate. You can run for a while like this.
I found that extremely helpful in deciding whether to use the 64-bit version, gave plenty of opportunities to check drivers were OK etc. etc.
And yes, I've stuck with the 64-bit version, initially with 2GB RAM (which was fine) but now 4GB.