Finally Switching Over to Windows 7

by Mike Chiasson on May 7, 2011 · 4 comments

windows server 2008Working in the IT field I am pretty well rounded with every operating system since Windows 3.1. My main work laptop uses Windows 7 (the newest Microsoft OS at the time of this writing), all my virtual machines run Win7 or XP, and my home PC that I am probably on the most is running Windows Server 2008 64 bit.

I know most people probably don’t have any clue what the difference between Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 are, but there are many. Fortunately I’d say about 99% of the features of each are available in the other, you just may need to download some additional service packs and what not. The reason I personally used Windows Server on my desktop is that I am bouncing around from Server to Server every day and when it came out 3+ years ago I thought it would make for a steady fast integration by using it as my main desktop. To that end it worked perfectly! When the 2008 Server edition of Windows replaced Windows Server 2003 I was probably more ready than most (not that there is THAT much of a difference anyways).

However the time has come where I have really become sick of a few nuances that the server edition has plagued me with. In an effort to remain efficient I’ve made the decision to format my desktop this weekend and restore it with the Vista disk it was originally shipped with. Then I will use a Win7 upgrade DVD on it and bring it up to speed with the new patches. I have a few video case studies I’ve been trying to prepare for people and I demoed one to a friend and he was confused the whole time because my computer didn’t ‘look’ like his. So this was also a major issue, that I was going to be recording some sessions about Virtual Machines and running a VM within a VM is like breaking the laws of physics so it would just be easier for me to start clean instead of demoing everything within a VM.

Here are a few major reasons I am making the switch:

  • Reliably installing the Windows Entertainment Services on Server 2008 is a nightmare, especially updating codecs.
  • Windows Hyper-V virtualization kills all normal use of the desktop. I had to uninstall this and go with VM Ware originally because Hyper-V was somehow killing all my port 80 speeds on FireFox (IE was fine…).
  • I hate 64 Bit. Let me save you all the trouble of this, if you want to run normal applications/printers just get a 32 bit machine. 5+ years into 64 bit error it is still a compatibility nightmare.
  • Facebook – Facebook Ads’ interface is a nightmare on most servers. The increased securities make the AJAX run like a piece of shit and your ads time out 20% of the time.
  • Program Compatibility – Numerous programs either server or desktop specific force me to go edit my registry so that you are ‘allowed’ to install on a specific OS. Just got tired of this.
  • Program Compatibility – Things like AIM won’t load on here so I use Trillian that I think its a piece of shit. Or maybe I just hate having to talk to my old ICQ friends.
  • DEP – Data Execution Prevention blocks nearly every utility/game so you have to go enable it for all the executables.
  • Sharing – Whenever anyone is over they have a shitfit trying to understand how to check their email on my desktop….really its not that hard everyone.

Windows 7

So I will be off the grid for most of today as I am performing backups, re-downloading software, and patching. Keep a look out in the upcoming weeks as I do have a few new angles to present to my readers.

*UPDATE 5/8/11*

A couple things that went a muck even for an IT Professional.

In my above statements I was hoping to ditch 64 bit but I forgot that I have 6GB of tripple channel RAM in my desktop. For anyone that doesn’t know, a 32 bit system can’t handle more than 4GB of RAM. You could still install a 32 bit operating system but it would only use 4GB. Since I have it setup in a tripple channel config this would lower the speed of my already lowered amount considerably.

My external hard drive that I back everything up on encountered an error while backing up a folder. While attempting to add a folder to a zip drive it coppupted the header of the zip and although that was easy enough to repair I did lose about 3/4th of the contents of the zip in the process. This was a tough loss but it was some work that I really wasn’t following up on and maybe it is for the best to just get it out of my head.

I happen to be heading to my Mother’s for Mother’s Day today and my younger sister’s desktop was dying. This was a good excuse to pickup a Win7 Upgrade Family Pack (3 licenses) for like $130 at Best Buy (*note Best Buy stores didn’t have it so I went to Staples and they priced matched). So this lowered my costs substantially as a stand alone upgrade is like $120.

Everything is up and going now and looking excellent. I already ditched my 2nd display in favor of the screen snap in features of Win7.

About the author

Mike Chiasson Mike Chiasson is the Director of IT for a publicly traded company by day and an Internet Marketer by night. He absolutely hates the words 'serial entrepreneur' but loves discussions about business. You can follow him on Twitter.

Dino Vedo May 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm

This is all greek to me but good luck!

Chris Temple May 8, 2011 at 5:15 am

There's nothing better than a lightening fast computer after a fresh install 🙂

Affiliate Manager May 10, 2011 at 12:39 am

Absolutely 🙂

Affiliate Manager May 10, 2011 at 12:40 am

I got a free copy of Windows 7 not long after it came out from the university I was attending (benefit of being an IT major) and I have been using it on all my machines since. Love it!

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