As we all know, October 22 was THE lauch date for Windows 7. And, as we all know, we got to play with the betas and the RTMs and were happy as little clams. Well, we is not a good term, since I hadn’t tested it yet, so I took the advice of my friend Edwin and installed the RTM on my old media server. And here’s my take on Windows 7.
First, let me point out that my media server is an old Athlon XP 2200, with 2 GB of RAM and XP SP3 as an OS. Which, for its time, was a pretty good deal. I had upgraded the HDD with SATA controllers and a Blu-Ray Burner drive (the only optical I have right now, and yes, I overdid it!) and it ran like a dream. I took the liberty of switching my OS HDD with a brand new drive, so I could do a clean install. So imagine my surprise when at the beginning of the installation, I was requested to put in the SATA drivers. I mean, under normal situations, I wouldn’t have thought less, but expecting the hype of it, I would have thought that it had some legacy drivers on it to not be needed for the continuation of the install. So I had to use my work laptop (thank you Nagnoi) to look for my SATA drivers, transfer them thru my thumb drive and get the ball rolling.
After the driver fiasco, the installation went smooth. Really smooth. Less than 20 minutes and I was another convert into the Windows 7 hype. That is until…
I log in as it should and everything looked great! I got to see my desktop on my 52 inch Plasma TV (did I mentioned that?) and it looked great…until I noticed that my resolution was not up to par. So, no problem, just a little change in resolution and everything will be honky dory. Or so I thought. Upon further inspection, I noticed that my video card had a problem with the drivers. Yes, Driver Wars V, The Drivers strike back! As any troubleshooting guide will tell you, download the newest drivers. Now, my card was bought not too long ago (4 months to be precise), so imagine my surprise, when on the ATI site, I discovered that my card has been deemed “Legacy” and will not be supported for Windows 7 features or drivers. And they did not recommend you used Vista drivers (which side note, it is a great idea that you can use Vista drivers and they will be compatible). You can imagine my smile.
Not to keep me down, I go and setup my media services for the streaming and enjoyment of my recollected media. I do not recognize a particular song, so I clicked on it and (join me here folks) imagine my surprise when no sound comes out of my AV equipment. After 2 hours of double-checking my AV equipment (yes, I’m a sucker for punishment), I re-check my device manager. ‘Lo and behold, no drivers for my sound card. Driver Wars VI, Return of the Drivers! I have a Creative Labs Audigy 2, which for its time, was a pretty sweet card. Still is. At least Creative had drivers for it.
After hearing the sweet sound (pun intended) of victory, I prepare my media services to run. But Murphy had other plans. The media services could not run, since no video card was detected. That did it! No more! Switched back my old drive and continued to use my old XP as my media server.
I’ll blame my experience to be that it was an old machine and that the version was RTM. Still, I’ll probably still use my old XP media server and install a fresh copy of Windows 7 on my work laptop. Hey,Windows 7 RTM looked good and installed fast, but it still has a few minor things to iron out. At least for old machines. Your mileage may vary.