Windows 7 Install – Is It Over Yet?

The instructions basically said, "Stick this in your drive and wait."

So I did.

Setup initiated and before long I was looking as a screen that warned me to uninstall four programs before continuing. Since all of them are programs I don't use, like Dell Modem Diagnostics, I naturally ignored the warning. Windows also warned me that the installation would take up to… "several" hours. Those of you who have installed a significant number of programs (defined as: more than zero) know that "several" could mean anywhere from a half hour to… infinity!

So the first bit of good news is that it took exactly "several" hours "more or less."

There were a number of reboots and too many moments when I didn't know whether the install was going OK or whether the screen had frozen. Luckily, the overall progress was smooth and flawless…

Until the very end.

That's when I was asked out of the Microsoft blue for the "Product Key." That's the string of numbers and letters Microsoft uses to validate your windows install… and which I didn't have because Vista had come pre-installed.

No problem, the message tells you where to find it – "a multi-colored label on the side or bottom of your computer."

So I looked at the sides – no label, of course. So now I have to look on the BOTTOM? Of my running computer that I dare not interrupt? Well, I took the pile of debris off the top of the case and… it was like when they found the "Big W" in Mad, Mad, World. There… right on top… was that beautiful multi-colored label! I was never so happy to see a sticker in my life!

I entered the code and mere moments later… I was told the key was invalid.

No problem, I put the Caps Lock on and re-entered the crap.

Same result.

Being a baseball fan, I carefully entered the string a third time and… struck out. Hey, I said I was a fan, not a player!

Now here's where it gets interesting….

There was a checked box below for "Automatic authorization from the Net" That sounded GREAT!

One problem,,, the "Next" button was grayed out. Amazingly, unchecking the "automatic…" caused the "Next" button to be clickable.

So I clicked it…

And my desktop appeared!

Am I validated? Who knows. Am I concerned that I'm invalid? HELL YES! I saw something somewhere about a thirty-day test ride, and besides, this is MICROSOFT, you fool!

I'm sorry, my frustration was showing… you're not a fool, I was transferring because I hate being the fool – so regularly.

So let's deal with the good for now….

As I said, there was my desktop in all it's blue glory! The trouble is, my desktop had been a shade of medium brown two hours ago! So I brought up my browser and… there was the familiar battleship gray… which had been gold two hours ago!

And the desktop and browser fonts were a lot smaller…

The bottom line is, Windows 7 has returned all my settings to default, including the welcome screen that had been a lovely scene of the view out my back door. No problem, it should only take a week or so to get all the settings back to the way they were. My desktop and browser are already back… except that I couldn't just click the theme I'd been using – because that's gone. I had to obtain the colors from a networked computer using a color picker.

And there's more bad news (that I know about). Windows Mail is also gone… Let me put that another way… the email program I'd been using is GONE!

OK, that's not completely accurate. It's still there, it just won't run… no mater how much administrative approval I lump on it! I learned from the web that the emails and settings are still there – just waiting to be imported by "your new email program"… which I, of course, don't have!

But at least Microsoft is consistent – they did the same thing when they eliminated the great Outlook Express from Vista… and replaced it with WINDOWS MAIL! This time there's not even a replacement, something about an anti-trust settlement…

But there is a bit of actual good news – I haven't had any programs not work yet (other that's Microsoft's own Windows Mail, of course) and Windows 7 does seem to be the slightest bit faster than Vista, even if it boots slower. But I may be able to tweak that slow boot, and the tweaking starts as soon as this posts.

But get this, When I went to save this column to my usual folder, I got a message that said, "You don't have permission to save to this folder, would you like to save to My Documents?" This is what drives me nuts. I'M THE ADMINISTRATOR! Who do I need to get approval from? And they said the security restraints that I turned completely off in Vista were less troublesome in Windows 7? All I know is that I never had to have someone approve my saves in crummy old Vista!

So will that person please identify himself already?

One last thing… the Windows taskbar that used to be populated with rectangular icons of running programs that took up a lot of horizontal space when "several" programs were running? That's gone too…. replaced by square icons of the running programs… That transforms the horizontal space the icons used to take up into VERTICAL SPACE they now take up! (see below) So… more taskbar space, less screen space… does that seem like a great tradeoff to you?

Pictures are not to scale, they are merely meant to show the difference in height between old and new, and if you look at the clock on the right, you get the best idea. The Windows 7 taskbar is about 50% taller.


Edit: My Windows 7 is activated! Unless I misread something, the installation directions were incorrect – they wanted the product key for 7 – inside THE BOX!, not ON THE COMPUTER!

How could I have misread that?!?

Also, you can shrink the taskbar by using SMALL ICONS. That makes the running programs icons the same size as every other icon. Now THERE'S change you can believe in!

Which reminds me.. screw Scumbama!


Edit 2: Damn, I forgot to add "politics" to the keywords

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About tedwest

A longtime veteran of comedy and political forums, I decided that I needed a more restful venue because... well... I finally hate everybody. Except my wife that is... and my ex-wife.. and... no, that's about it. I lead about as simple a life as one can, preferring activities that include anything that doesn't involve going out and seeing YOU! And I particularly enjoy what I call "Get the Bitch" movies on Lifetime. You know the ones where the intended victim finally does something so incredibly stupid that she forfeits her right to live, and from that moment on you're rooting for the stalker. Of course, it rarely works out the way you want, but when it does, the feeling you get is... well, there's nothing else like it, other than, maybe, eating chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and I'm proudly anti-wildlife, both foreign and domestic, and anti-environment - especially foreign environments. I think Howard Stern put it best when he said, "If fifty percent of the population died tomorrow, I can live with that." And I feel the same about the other fifty percent, so together, we've pretty much got it all covered.
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29 Responses to Windows 7 Install – Is It Over Yet?

  1. Lexann says:

    Next time get a Mac.

  2. TedWest says:

    I would if I wasn't so spoiled by the cheap prices and the enormous availability of free programs.

  3. Darcy says:

    I'm on a Mac too.

  4. Lexann says:

    I'm not really on a Mac, I just wanted to razz Ted for his whining. Actually I love my PC, and have never had any troubles with it. I'm still on XP, and will probably stay here. I've no motivation to upgrade.
    But I gotta add, as a side comment, I love the Mac commercials! Those two guys where the cool kid is a Mac and the geeky older guy is a PC always crack me up! Makes me wanna buy one for no other reason than the marketing!

  5. TedWest says:

    OH, you have a Mac? And Lexann doesn't? And both of you women are united in the common goal of giving me a hard time?
    That's what makes this all worthwhile!
    MSFT has really done on number on XP users – you cannot upgrade directly from the Win 7 upgrade disk. I believe that means you have to buy a new computer!
    But they have also done a number on everyone else. It's one thing when they disable Outlook Express and replace it with Windows Mail. It's quite another when they Disable Windows Mail and replace it with NOTHING. It literally took me a day to find another program, and ONLY Windows Live Mail, another MSFT product worked properly with the "send" function in the browser.
    As I said, I used 98 up until last year, so ten years, and I very much doubt they had to go through all this OS iterations because 98 still functioned well. And 7 seems stable, but the truth is, Vista was stable too once you learned all its nuances. Of course since the name was synonymous with trouble, Microsoft had no alternative than to change the name.
    And unlike yourself, I don't like the Mac commercials. I think they are misleading – like liberals. PC are cheaper and do more. If they cause more headaches, it's because they do more and are more popular so bad guys target them and not the Mac.

  6. Darcy says:

    Why yes, I DO have a Mac! PCs just don't handle graphics as well. I kind of like the commercials but I like the PC guy. I like the nerds.

  7. Lexann says:

    I kind of like the commercials but I like the PC guy. I like the nerds.

    Me too…but that's probably because I am one. 😉

  8. Lexann says:

    And both of you women are united in the common goal of giving me a hard time?
    That's what makes this all worthwhile!
    I live for no other purpose! 😉

  9. TedWest says:

    God, I love women!

  10. TedWest says:

    Listen, Mac, I don't know about the graphics thing, and I bet you're just repeating what you've heard? I probably have fifty graphics programs that do unimaginable things, and I'm proud to say that I created the rotating 7 in my first Windows 7 post.
    But I'm not trying to denigrate the Mac. I'm only saying that the rap about graphics is decades old and probably long sice been invalidated.

  11. Darcy says:

    Not true. I have more than 25 years experience in the field and I know what I'm talking about, I suspect you do not.

  12. TedWest says:

    25 years experience? And you're 29? WOW!
    And I said I don't know what I'm talking about. I only know what I know. But I'll put my graphics up against yours anyday… just name the place!

  13. Darcy says:

    OK, you asked for it!

  14. TedWest says:

    I did? I couldn't be happier! How many bits do you have?

  15. Lexann says:

    Ted, really, we don't want to see your bits…

  16. TedWest says:

    Great, a gang hurt!
    But I must admit I'm surprised at you, Lexann. Of the two of you, you seem like the nice one.

  17. Darcy says:

    That wasn't necessary! And I agree with Lexann.

  18. TedWest says:

    Oh there's a surprise. And if you're going to make "necessary" the criterion, then I have no business being here at all.

  19. Darcy says:

    Fine. Go away then… Wait a minute, this is your blog!

  20. TedWest says:

    Yes, I'm ashamed to say. And what's your excuse?

  21. JBodine says:

    Thanks for the levity. Do update from time to time on your findings using 7. I just recently bought a new laptop with Vista-64. Still getting used to it from XP. My desktop is still XP.

  22. TedWest says:

    Oh don't worry, I'll keep you posted on 7, and I'm glad you enjoyed this. I don't know why you did, but I'm glad!

  23. JBodine says:

    For the pure comedy called, Life

  24. Lexann says:

    But I must admit I'm surprised at you, Lexann. Of the two of you, you seem like the nice one.
    Don't you mean the quiet one? You know, it's the quiet ones who always turn out to be serial killers…

  25. TedWest says:

    Or did you mean "cereal killers?"

  26. TedWest says:

    If I might paraphrase Paul Ford in It's Never Too late, There's all kinds of comedy, Edith. Life happens to be the kind of comedy that's not funny.

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