Home > Miscellaneous > Clean install windows 7, Don’t upgrade…

Clean install windows 7, Don’t upgrade…


I’ve just been having a flick through Microsoft’s Windows 7 Application Quality Cookbook and I’m already certain that those deciding to upgrade to the OS from XP or Vista are going to be in for a world of hurt unless everything that’s installed is bang up to date come release day – and even then there’s room for problems.

The cookbook is basically a big list of things that are likely to cause people problems when they shift to Windows 7. Here’s the top 11 listed in order of most likely to cause problems:

  • Internet Explorer 8 — User Agent String
  • Internet Explorer 8 — Data Execution Protection/NX
  • Removal of Windows Mail
  • Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ) — Removal of Windows 2000 Client Support Service
  • Compatibility — Operating System Versioning
  • Server Core — WoW64 Is Now an Optional Feature
  • User Interface — Enhanced Taskbar
  • Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ) — Improved Queue Handling
  • Windows Server — Terminal Services
  • User Interface — High DPI Awareness
  • Removal of WPDUSB.SYS Driver for Windows Portable Devices

I can see three of these issues being particularly painful to those who choose to upgrade from XP or Vista to Windows 7:

  • Internet Explorer 8 — Data Execution Protection/NX
    Basically, any add-on that’s not DEP/NX aware is likely to crash the browser. Any and every toolbar or add-on could cause problems, and there’s no guarantee that DEP/NX compatible versions will be available at Windows 7 launch. Anything obsolete or outdated that’s installed it likely to cause users problems.
    While for tech-heads that’s unlikely to be a total show-stopper, for your average Joe Sixpack user who relies on IE, this could cut them off from all sources of assistance and make them have to fall back on Microsoft support.
  • Compatibility — Operating System Versioning
    OS versioning is always a bug-bear. An app that’s otherwise 100% happy with the new OS can be crippled when it comes across an OS version that it’s not expecting.
    Again, not disastrous for a tech-savvy user, but could be a real show-stopper for Average Joe.
  • Removal of WPDUSB.SYS Driver for Windows Portable Devices
    This change to Windows 7 is another gotcha waiting for upgraders. Microsoft has replaced the Windows Vista USB driver stack (WPDUSB.SYS) for Windows Portable Devices with a generic WINUSB.SYS driver. This means that there could be issues surrounding hooking up to Windows Portable Devices using legacy drivers and applications.
    Depending on your device and vendor support, a shift to Windows 7 could mean having to replace the device.

Bottom line, these issues mean that doing an in-place upgrade of an OS could be traumatic no matter whether you are starting with XP or Vista. This means that the old rules apply – for the best experience possible, you will need to nuke your existing install and start fresh. You’ll also need to take care installing legacy drivers to make sure that you won’t be introducing problems.

Categories: Miscellaneous
  1. August 29, 2013 at 11:57 pm

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