Hello Windows 7…

The best thing about Personal Development (PD) time is the ability to play with new things and call it "work". One of the things I thought I’d do while "working" today is install Windows 7 on my Dell m1330.

So far it’s pretty much smooth sailing… The install was very straight forward. Most of my drivers were installed successfully with Windows Setup or Windows Update. I’ve got Aero working and enabled the Superbar. My WEI is a bit low at 3.0, but this is most probably because the drivers for my SSD aren’t quite up to scratch.

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Before I formatted my disk, I used the Windows Vista Backup and Recovery tool to backup my entire computer to an external hard drive. The good thing about this is it uses Virtual PC’s Virtual Hard Drive (vhd) format that you can then mount as a physical drive in Windows 7. I’m still waiting on the ability to boot from it though…

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One interesting feature I stumbled upon when installing some extra drivers is the "Troubleshoot Compatibility" option in the right-click menu for applications in explorer. Here’s a scenario… Say you have an installer that works fine on Windows Vista or XP and you want to use it on 7. You double-click it and receive the new and improved UAC prompt.

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You hit Yes, but somewhere down the line something goes wrong…

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Now you can right-click the install and hit Troubleshoot Compatibility.

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You will be asked what’s actually wrong.

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If you claim it used to work, then you’ll be asked on which operating system it worked on.

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You’ll confirm what you just did.

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Windows will try to resolve the problem and run the installer again.

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If the installer succeeds or fails, you can tell Windows whether you want to save the settings you just used to run the installer, try again using different settings, or report the problem.

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This obviously doesn’t just apply to installers. It can be used on all applications.

I thought this was a pretty darn good improvement on the previously hidden screen in the application properties that achieved something to the same effect.

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Posted on 13 November, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks for the screen prints regarding the “Troubleshoot Compatibility” feature in Windows 7.

    I, too, have a Dell M1330 and I had the darnedest time with my display going blank when I unplugged my power adapter and I was only using my battery. I thought my battery was defected but I found out that my problem only occurred when I booted into Windows 7. I looked all over the net and could not find the solution. I was just about to go install Vista over again until I went into the Intel Graphics Media driver found when you right-click the desktop and select “Graphics Properties”. Next, click on the menu option on the left named “Display Settings”. In here, you will want to click on the “Power Settings” button. De-select the option “Intel Display Power Savings Technology”. This option was dimming my display to a level that was unreadable. Selecting “Maximum Quality” does also work but I just removed it because I’d rather let W7 manage when and how to dim my display. I hope others with a Dell with the Intel chip find this tip handy.

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