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Windows 7 Upgrade

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 , Posted by Bradd McBrearty at 4:27 AM

I have a habit of ruining operating systems. Seriously. I probably re-install more than anyone I know. (Save perhaps Johnny Perkins who re-installs for a living... heh...) Recently I did, I don't know what, but it resulted in 3ds max crashing every few minutes. Even after a re-install of Max, the problem remained. So I headed over to Microsoft and grabbed the Free Windows 7 beta.

A few things to note-
First of all, this was the easiest change over ever. Mostly due to a windows VISTA feature I wasn't even aware of- The User folder. Vista creates a nice little folder with your name on it, and inside are context related folders for Music, Documents, Downloads, etc. I'm a big fan of getting to my stuff with the fewest clicks possible, so I began using this system almost exclusively. (And to make life even easier, I opened up my 'start' menu, and right clicked on the 'Bradd' link and clicked 'Show on Desktop.') The only things I added were a 'Project' folder for my personal work, and a 'Collected Resource' folder full of handy junk I collected over the years; school projects, tutorials, and whatnot. When it came time to backup my data, I literally just dragged and dropped the 'Bradd' folder onto an external hard drive and I was set to go.

After reformatting my hard drive and installing Windows 7, all I had to do was drag the 'Bradd' folder back onto my desktop and everything was back to normal. All my files were right where I expected them. Now all I have to do is reinstall all my programs.

Here's a little rundown on what I've installed so far-
Drivers-
All the Windows Vista x64 drivers for my Dell XPS 1710 work perfectly. I downloaded the most recent nVidia drivers from their site.
Wacom Driver- I installed the Vista driver with no problems. If you find your pen reverting back to mouse mode, open your device manager and uninstall the Wacom Virtual HID driver.

Software-
Adobe Creative suite CS4 - Everything installed but Indesign. I'll look into why later.
Microsoft Office Suite 2007 - Installed perfectly.
Daemon tools- Doesn't work with W7, so I installed Virtual CloneDrive. (which is also free!)
UltraMon- There's a Beta version for W7, and my key from the previous version works with it.
Newsleecher v3.9 Final- Works just fine.
NetLimiter- Theres a (Free) Beta version for W7
Firefox 3.5.1 - Works perfectly, and the Flash plugin for Windows XP/Vista works just fine.
ESET NOD32 4.0.437 x64 - Works perfectly
Winrar x64 3.9 beta5 - Works perfectly, Originally I was using this to open .ISO's before discovering Virtual CloneDrive
Peer Guardian- This was a little tricky, but the tutorial at that link works like a charm. Actually easier than the Vista Work around. **As an added bonus, this workaround also removes the Windows 7 Beta watermark and build number from the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.**
ĀµTorrent- despite rampant rumors that ĀµTorrent calls home and sends user data in, I installed 1.8.3 anyways. The folks behind Peer Guardian recently took it off their Data mining ban list, so I guess all the fuss was over nothing.

I have more programs to install and I'll add them to this list at I go. So check back if you're curious about Windows 7.

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