Window 7 from Beta to RC and happily no clean install!

In January I updated my Vista to the Windows 7 Beta and was surprised how good the migration went. Also the impressions after a month use were great. I was looking forward to RC to make it even better. However, before RC got released there were some rumors that a clean install would be necessary. This got me very worried, but unfortunately with the instructions here I could migrate from Beta to RC without any hassles, or with hardly any hassles.

I hate clean installs (and new PC's), because they are far too much work and a big hassle. In general I always manage to loose stuff. My data is always stored in corporate storage or in my SkyDrive and is not really an issue. However, many settings and preferences are  spread around and hidden somewhere on the operation system. I either can't find them, forget them or they are impossible to back-up property. I try to minimize the use of locally installed applications and use web based services instead, but still the checklist for clean install is huge. I will just give you a sample of how it would have looked.

Preparation before install

  1. Just to make sure copy the whole user folder to a safe location
  2. Find my local Outlook archive and store safely. Unfortunately corporate server based storage is not enough so the only alternative is local storage.
  3. Find the Google Chrome and Safari bookmark files and store safely

Perform the clean install, hoping that no additional driver downloads are necessary.. but with a Sony it's not very likely this will be the case.

Configuring for work

  1. Download and install Adobe Reader, Flash
  2. Download and install Apple iTunes, QuickTime and Safari.
    1. Restore the iTunes libary from the user folder
    2. Restore the Safari bookmarks, unfortunately XMarks (more later) doesn't support Safari for Windows yet.
  3. Download and install Google Chrome, Google Talk plugin.
    1. Restore the Chrome bookmarks and make Chrome the default browser (see Safari)
  4. Download and install Opera
    1. I only use for testing, so no bookmarks required
  5. Download and install Firefox
    1. Install XMarks and download the bookmarks
    2. Install Firebug and developer tools
  6. Download and install XMarks for IE
    1. Download the bookmarks
  7. Download, install and configure Skype
  8. Download, install and configure TweetDeck
  9. Microsoft PowerPoint
    1. Install SP2 and additional security updates
  10. Microsoft Outlook
    1. Install SP2 and additional security updates
    2. Restore the local archive
    3. LinkedIn Toolbar
    4. Plaxo Toolbar
  11. Microsoft Live Meeting
  12. Microsoft Live Messenger
  13. Microsoft Communicator

... this is only the bare minimum. On top of this there is a bunch of applications that I occasionally need and it's best to immediately install them.

  1. Microsoft Project
  2. Microsoft Visio
  3. Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
  4. Microsoft Virtual PC
  5. Picasa

... and now I most likely still forgot some stuff.

The best thing about Windows 7 is the improved performance, boot times and battery life... This allows me to significantly extend the life cycle of my hardware and thus minimize clean installs.

4 comments

Is Windows 7 available at 64-bit?

Recently rebuilt my XPC w/ XP64 after my hard drive crashed. But I cannot find an HP all in one 1210 printer driver. So I need to upgrade.

cb,

You can download a 64bit version here:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/download.aspx

A,
nice x64, and no longer a horse race to get the RC and keys

W7 downloader would not instantiate via Chrome, IE8 purred.

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