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  1. #1
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 has been released

    For those with Win7 (or Windows Server 2008 R2), SP1 is now available:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...ice-pack-1-sp1

    For home users, I see a couple of notable changes include a bug fix for HDMI connection issues after a reboot, and enhanced support for hard drives using Advanced Format, typically 1-2TB drives.

  2. #2
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    I will have to give that a crack on my win7 VM.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  3. #3
    Senior Member gman26's Avatar
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    How much for W7? Is it worth it to upgrade from Vista?

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    In my opinion XP was worth paying for to avoid Vista.

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gman26 View Post
    How much for W7? Is it worth it to upgrade from Vista?
    Doesn't matter what it costs, it's a significant improvement over Vista.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
    In my opinion XP was worth paying for to avoid Vista.
    I feel just the opposite. It wasn't until SP2 arrived that WinXP was much more than Win2000 with a facelift, really. Vista, on the other hand, easily smashed XP into pulp on several practical fronts, including a full range of 64-bit versions for those of us with uses for >3GB of RAM, and far greater out-of-the-box security thanks to the abandoning of unrestricted Admin rights by default (not to mention ASLR and later SEHOP).

    How much for W7?
    Price depends on the version you want (OEM or retail, Home/Pro/Ultimate). For me, intending to buy one copy and use on my current PC, then on my next PC, and my next one, and my next one, the retail version would be the right one since it has full transfer rights, unlike OEM. So I'd be looking at $265 for Win7 Pro, my favorite flavor since it's capable of Software Restriction Policy and has more backup/restoration capabilities than Home.

    Is it worth it to upgrade from Vista?
    7 has a lot in common with Vista; I use both 7 and Vista, and like some of Win7's new features, but don't feel any huge compulsion to ditch Vista Ultimate at home yet. If I had a solid-state disk, then 7 would be a clear winner for me since it's SSD-savvy. If I had software that only worked in WinXP, then Win7 Pro with its free virtualized WinXP Pro would be an incentive (I do use this capability at work).

    One thing I do NOT like about Win7 is the crazy new Taskbar. That's always the first thing to be eliminated, I dredge up the traditional Quick Launch toolbar and put that full-width with large icons, then de-group the window buttons so it doesn't play games with me. To each his own, huh?

  7. #7
    Senior Member gman26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    I feel just the opposite. It wasn't until SP2 arrived that WinXP was much more than Win2000 with a facelift, really. Vista, on the other hand, easily smashed XP into pulp on several practical fronts, including a full range of 64-bit versions for those of us with uses for >3GB of RAM, and far greater out-of-the-box security thanks to the abandoning of unrestricted Admin rights by default (not to mention ASLR and later SEHOP).



    Price depends on the version you want (OEM or retail, Home/Pro/Ultimate). For me, intending to buy one copy and use on my current PC, then on my next PC, and my next one, and my next one, the retail version would be the right one since it has full transfer rights, unlike OEM. So I'd be looking at $265 for Win7 Pro, my favorite flavor since it's capable of Software Restriction Policy and has more backup/restoration capabilities than Home.



    7 has a lot in common with Vista; I use both 7 and Vista, and like some of Win7's new features, but don't feel any huge compulsion to ditch Vista Ultimate at home yet. If I had a solid-state disk, then 7 would be a clear winner for me since it's SSD-savvy. If I had software that only worked in WinXP, then Win7 Pro with its free virtualized WinXP Pro would be an incentive (I do use this capability at work).

    One thing I do NOT like about Win7 is the crazy new Taskbar. That's always the first thing to be eliminated, I dredge up the traditional Quick Launch toolbar and put that full-width with large icons, then de-group the window buttons so it doesn't play games with me. To each his own, huh?
    How bout I just send you my PC? you sound like you know what you"re talkin' about.

  8. #8
    Senior Member gman26's Avatar
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    A seller on ebay has a copy of W7 listed; I asked about the authenticity - he claims it's good. Said it has 1 or 2 more installs, he only installed it on his PC. I didn't know you could do multiple installs of W7??

  9. #9
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gman26 View Post
    A seller on ebay has a copy of W7 listed; I asked about the authenticity - he claims it's good. Said it has 1 or 2 more installs, he only installed it on his PC. I didn't know you could do multiple installs of W7??
    OEM licenses are intended to be "married" to the PC they're installed on, and can only be transferred to a new owner (legitimately) with that computer. If he has an OEM license, he'd have to sell you the computer it belongs to for it to be legit, although some people don't accept this Microsoft-centric view of things. On OEM, the installation key is printed on the Certificate Of Authenticity, which must be adhered to the computer chassis.

    Retail licenses, you're allowed to have it installed on any single computer at a time. If it gets activated too frequently, then you have to call on the phone and read a big string of stuff to a robot, which is a bit of a slap, but most people don't reinstall Windows frequently enough to trip that. If he's selling a retail license, he would have to remove it from all his computers permanently and give you the disc and the retail box that has the installation key and the retail COA (which are not one and the same, unlike OEM).

    Confused yet? He could also have an academic one, which AFAIK cannot be transferred, being for the student of the school that got him the sweetheart deal only. The safe money's on getting it from Newegg or another ironclad legit source.

  10. #10
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gman26 View Post
    A seller on ebay has a copy of W7 listed; I asked about the authenticity - he claims it's good. Said it has 1 or 2 more installs, he only installed it on his PC. I didn't know you could do multiple installs of W7??
    Do. Not. Buy.

  11. #11
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    One thing I do NOT like about Win7 is the crazy new Taskbar. That's always the first thing to be eliminated, I dredge up the traditional Quick Launch toolbar and put that full-width with large icons, then de-group the window buttons so it doesn't play games with me. To each his own, huh?
    I just turn everything off and it goes back to looking like Win2k. Except for the Rainy Day colors, my personal favorite.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  12. #12
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Anyone had any notable issues with Service Pack 1? I updated three Win7 Pro systems to SP1 here at work, no issues noted so far.

    After updating to SP1, there were a couple recommended follow-up updates available on Windows Update, and my WinXP Mode virtual machine also reported that there were some upgraded Integration features available, so I installed them as well.

    While I was at it, I chucked a refurb Radeon HD4830 into my work desktop, and threw on a refurbished 20" secondary monitor. Multiple monitors are soooo handy IRL

  13. #13
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    Anyone had any notable issues with Service Pack 1? I updated three Win7 Pro systems to SP1 here at work, no issues noted so far.

    After updating to SP1, there were a couple recommended follow-up updates available on Windows Update, and my WinXP Mode virtual machine also reported that there were some upgraded Integration features available, so I installed them as well.

    While I was at it, I chucked a refurb Radeon HD4830 into my work desktop, and threw on a refurbished 20" secondary monitor. Multiple monitors are soooo handy IRL
    I will try it tomorrow. I was hanging' with the DBAs today.
    --Ben
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  14. #14
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    Windows 7 was Vista SP2.
    'Nuff said.
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    I feel just the opposite. It wasn't until SP2 arrived that WinXP was much more than Win2000 with a facelift, really. Vista, on the other hand, easily smashed XP into pulp on several practical fronts, including a full range of 64-bit versions for those of us with uses for >3GB of RAM, and far greater out-of-the-box security thanks to the abandoning of unrestricted Admin rights by default (not to mention ASLR and later SEHOP).
    I was running XPSP2 by the time Vista was available. I was also ok with XP because it wasn't a step backwards from 2000. Everything that worked before still worked, and a couple new features (recent programs) popped up. Drivers were easy to get, and nothing broke. We got a new Vista box at work that had all sorts of issues with software we were running, sensor hardware we were using, etc. Additionally, it crashed all the time with no discernible pattern. For a computer which was never plugged into a network it seemed awfully buggy. Thank goodness it was 32 bit, or I would have had to deal with 64 bit drivers simply not being available. I understand this wasn't necessarily all due to Microsoft, but when a stable working system that is easy to alter is replaced by an unstable system that may or may not actually work, it leaves a sour taste. I also don't really like the way Vista or 7 look, but I'll also admit that I have XP formatted to look like 2000 (I kept recent programs on the Start menu) so I might be a software retro-grouch. Appearance aside I've had a great experience with 7. It doesn't crash, things install, drivers exist, and it has XP mode as a band-aid for legacy programs that don't exist in newer variants.
    Back at Rose-Hulman they never used Vista. The student laptops were left with XP until they moved on to 7 because the tech guys saw it as a minus there. On the other hand, the admin privileges are also defaulted off on those, so that wasn't an issue.

  16. #16
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    Vista was beta software. For as much as it crashed, as much software and hardware didn't work with it.

    Windows 7 still has issues but they're issues that only affect specific niches which Microsoft no longer bothers catering for, caring about and generally seems to go out of their way to purposefully not support them.

    So for end users Windows 7 is good.
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
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  17. #17
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    We got a new Vista box at work that had all sorts of issues with software we were running, sensor hardware we were using, etc. Additionally, it crashed all the time with no discernible pattern.
    As an erstwhile PC tech, that sounds to me like bad RAM, actually. I used Vista from the get-go, on multiple systems, and I think I saw one BSOD in the entire time. I'm not saying Vista was perfect on release, it did improve with both Service Packs, but it was pretty solid. I think the first test my Vista box got was to play through HalfLife 2 start-to-finish with an entirely stock Vista install, no additional drivers. Die, headcrabs, die!

    In the big picture, Vista was a watershed. It no longer handed out Admin rights to anything & everything (including exploit payloads). This was unlike any previous version of Windows. Software that was stupidly designed on the assumption it would have Admin rights... freaked out. People who had become accustomed to never having their God-of-the-GUI status questioned before... freaked out.

    But in light of the changing security landscape, it was time for that watershed, whether people liked it or not. Microsoft did what they could to avoid breaking stuff, including virtualization of the file system and Registry to let stubborn old software live in The Matrix and think it's got Admin privileges when it really doesn't. They also continued to periodically release new "shim" updates to nurse specific software programs into working properly, even though it wasn't Microsoft's problem. But it was inevitable that Vista would get the backlash it did, for being different from "the way things have always been done" on Windows up 'til then, and for not being as backwards-compatible.

    So Vista was the bad cop for breaking with tradition, and Win7 is the good cop just for not being Vista. Well, whatever gets us away from Admin-by-default works for me

  18. #18
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Back when Vista came out, one of my customers was a nationwide company with 9000 desktops and 500 servers. They wanted the latest and greatest so we came up with a plan to upgrade all their stations to Vista. The first test was on a smaller office with only about 90 desktops (luckily only 4 different models). We pushed out the upgrade via SMS as well as doing 10 of them manually with upgrade CDs.

    Well... after a week, they had enough. Crashes galore and BSOD at a rate 100x worse than XP (actually infinitely worse on some stations as they never crashed on XP). Anyway the next weekend, we rolled back all 90 test-subjects to XP.

    Now that Win7 SP1 is out, we are looking at upgrading them again. Luckily in the meantime, we moved them to thin-client configuration where the desktops are just dumb-terminals, so we can do a clean-install with just remote-apps and desktops. Stupid thing is even though the installer enforces creating a limited-user account for everyday use, it leaves the Admin password as blank. So basically 99.9% Win7 stations out there are vulnerable.

  19. #19
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    Now that Win7 SP1 is out, we are looking at upgrading them again. Luckily in the meantime, we moved them to thin-client configuration where the desktops are just dumb-terminals, so we can do a clean-install with just remote-apps and desktops. Stupid thing is even though the installer enforces creating a limited-user account for everyday use, it leaves the Admin password as blank. So basically 99.9% Win7 stations out there are vulnerable.
    Actually, the blank Admin password isn't exploitable. Secondary authentication, e.g. RunAs, cannot be done with a blank password (from WinXP SP2 onwards), and the Secure Desktop (where Vista and 7 put their UAC approve/deny prompts) cannot be reached by apps running in the context of the user, even if they're an Admin-class user. The exception would be if the system's Admin has deliberately disabled these safeguards, e.g. in Local Security Policy. If your users are the problem, helping themselves to the Admin privileges when they're not supposed to, then yeah it's time for password protection

    Also, the installer actually does NOT create a non-Admin user account by default. The first account is still an Admin-level account, although all subsequent local accounts will default to Standard (non-Admin) users. But thanks to the split-token approach, even the Admin has substantial protection from userland exploits. Predictably, the bad guys are adapting to that by making malware that functions within the constraints of a non-Admin privilege level, which is one reason I continue to be a diehard fan of Software Restriction Policy.

    Sorry to hear about your client's crashy Vista boxes. That's not been my experience, nor the general reputation Vista earned at the AnandTech forums where I used to do a lot of troubleshooting assistance. Did they have enough RAM, out of curiosity?

  20. #20
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    ooooh, spiffy
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  21. #21
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    lol @ 1.0 WEI
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
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  22. #22
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasGuy View Post
    lol @ 1.0 WEI
    It's a virtual machine and only gets started when I really need it. Usually, I log into our Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services machine for running MS Office, etc. I also have an XP VM that is somewhat livelier than the Win7 one.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  23. #23
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    OK, I've never seen that WEI rating before. Not sure exactly what it means, but here's my rating on my new laptop. Looks like my hard disk drags the rating down.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  24. #24
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Let's see... the VM says: 3.5, 4.5, 1.0, 1.0, and 4.5. So the graphics are the killers for me. But then... it is a VM with 64M of virtual VRAM. I won't be playing any games on this one. Well, I do have an old copy of 4x4EVO at home that I might try...
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  25. #25
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    OK, I've never seen that WEI rating before. Not sure exactly what it means, but here's my rating on my new laptop. Looks like my hard disk drags the rating down.

    Correct.
    Replace your hard drive with a SSD and improve reliability and increase battery life ... not to mention a WEI score of 7+
    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

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