October 31, 2009
If you check out my Netbook Blog, you’ll see that I recently purchased a Dell 11z netbook system. The bad thing, is that it arrived with Windows Vista installed and not Windows 7 (which is what I expected). As such, I have to wait about 10 days to get the Dell OEM Windows 7 install DVDs in the mail (ugh).
So I’m in a dilemma– should I install all my standard apps under Vista and use my netbook for the next 10 days and then later wipe out Vista with a clean Windows 7 installation and RE-install all my apps again? I normally install about 10-12 standard applications that I use for my work (most of which take a considerable amount of time to install) and I don’t want to do these installations twice in such a close period of time. So, I decided to just install the FireFox web browser and use my new netbook at a very minimal level until the Windows 7 OS DVD arrives.
This morning, I stumbled upon a wonderful utility called Ninite which seems to be the answer to my prayers. The http://www.ninite.com web site has a list of programs that you can select, afterwhich you download an installer program that runs on your system and automatically installs all the selected applications using the default settings. So I was able to use this free service to download and install the latest versions of 18 different applications completely automatically. I launched the installer and 15 minutes later it was done, with no user interaction on my part.
Since I normally select all the default settings when I install apps, this utility was perfect for my needs. It also answers “no” for apps that try to install junk (like Yahoo toolbar add-ons, etc). What’s really nice, is that nearly all of my standard apps are among the listed available applications for installation, especially some of the programming apps I use.
So now I can use all my favorite apps on my new Dell netbook under Vista, and later do the same fast installation under Windows 7 and be up and running. Great, great utility!
October 27, 2009
After dumping the 64-bit version of Windows 7 and going back to the 32-bit version, the first thing I did after the OS install was to get my Belkin N+ USB wireless adapter working so I could download OS updates from the Internet. So I needed to run an installer program to install the required drivers for the Belkin device. When I tried to do so, I immediately got an “Application can only run on Windows 2000/XP/Vista 32/Vista 64 platforms” and the installer quit. What the heck? I was able to get the the 64-bit version of this installer to work on Windows 7 64-bit, but the 32-bit version won’t install in Windows 7 32-bit?
So, I called the Belkin support line by phone and spoke with their India out-source support person. In speaking with her, she obviously wasn’t much of a tech person and basically told me that the Belkin USB wireless adapter that I bought three weeks ago was not compatible with the Windows 7 OS. Her suggestion was for me to return the device for a refund. Now, that is absolutely ridiculous, since Windows 7 is based on the Vista OS, and as such the driver for Vista 32-bit OS should work with Windows 7 32-bit.
So after some googling, I discovered an answer to this problem: Troubleshooting Compatibility option
If you right click on an application, you will see the “Troubleshooting compatibility” item in the popup context menu as shown below:
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October 24, 2009
If you’re an Outlook 2007 user and are planning to upgrade your system to Windows 7, then you probably want to backup your Outlook database file. This is especially true if you are planning to do a “clean” installation, where all the data on your hard drive is completely wiped off when the new OS is installed.
What you want to do is copy your Outlook PST file which contains all your emails, calendar appointments, tasks, etc. that you typically use in Outlook. This is normally a very large file, and sometimes is hard to find on your system. The following link explains how you can find this PST file and back it up.
Next, you probably want to avoid having to enter all your various email settings again into Outlook to download and send messages. To do this, you can use the information available on that same link previously mentioned which explains how to backup and restore your email settings in Outlook 2007.
Finally, if you have “rules” defined in Outlook, you can export them following the instructions on this link. With these three bases covered, you should be ready for the Windows 7 clean install and can restore Outlook to its original condition after the upgrade.