From Windows Vista to Windows 7 and Back

By | July 1, 2010

My home desktop is several years old.  I don’t game much, so keeping up with the latest and greatest isn’t really on my list of things to do.  If you’re a gamer, you want the latest and greatest because it gives you a richer experience.  And it gives you an edge over the competition; if you’re playing multiplayer. But, I don’t, so it makes little difference to me what my frame rate is.

But, all of that is really not what were here for.  Which is a tale of an upgrade gone wrong.

About a month ago, I got one of those nasty bugs that it seems a computer will get occasionally.  I thought I got it cleaned off.  Maybe I did and what was left was something else, or maybe it was just a tougher bug than I thought.  Either way, my system was compromised.  I spent about 7 hours (over several days) trying to clean the thing off.  I even pulled the hard drive and brought it to work to scan it as a secondary drive (this is useful because most viruses load into memory on start up, but only if they are on the primary/boot drive), but to no avail.  So, rather than waste even more time trying to clean the thing up, I made sure everything was backed up and started fresh with a format and reinstall.

Once I got the reinstall of Windows Vista done, I went straight to Windows 7 using the upgrade that I had bought for it late last year.  The install/upgrade went incredibly smooth.  In previous versions of Windows, it was always preferable to install the full version of the new OS.  Something about the upgrade process just didn’t work well and you would get some nasty errors.  Windows 7s upgrade process is a bit different.  When you do the upgrade, it gives you the option of doing a format and full install.  Pretty awesome.  Except for the part where I reinstalled Vista first…  oops.

One full install later, and I had a brand new install of Windows 7.  My first impressions were very good.  A lot of the feel of Vista that I had gotten used to, but minus some of the clunky-ness.  Alas, it wasn’t to last.  About a week later, I awoke to a login prompt.  That was weird because I don’t normally log out my home pc.  So, it only gets a login when it restarts.  My first thought, of course, was to think that it was Windows Update that had caused the restart.  Until I came home at lunch and found it at a login prompt again.  [Cut through a couple days worth of technical tinkering]

The machine was set to restart on error.  So, everytime it got a system error, it would reboot.  And, after watching the machine for a while, I discovered that it would get a BSOD after about 20 minutes of idle time.  To shorten the story again, I did diagnostics on everything I could think of to figure out what the BSOD was being caused by.  I gave up after about a week and a half of that.  My assumption is that a update from either Windows or from a hardware related driver replaced a system file of some sort or was causing the problem.  A repair install was no help and I couldn’t do a system restore because it would cause a BSOD if you went into the system restore console.  Once again, I was faced with a format and reinstall.

Luckily, Jake was around to talk some sense into me.  I did the reinstall/restore, but I only went as far as Vista this time.  Perhaps at a later date, I’ll try the upgrade again, but until then, I’m sticking with Vista.  After all, it was pretty stable up until I got whatever I got and had to restore it the first time.  And, maybe, just maybe, Microsoft will fix it with the first Windows 7 service pack.

Either way, I think I’ll likely stick with Vista until the machine needs replacing.  Some of the machines hardware wasn’t just barely good enough for Windows 7, so it might be better to just wait until I need a new machine and get Windows 7 on that.

Authors note: Jake suggested that I should write a post here (somewhat jokingly, I believe) as I’ve largely moved on to other things and Jake has taken full control of this site.  So, I thought I’d call him on his joke and surprise him with a post!  Surprise!  Also, if you like, my blog is over at Thatedeguy.

One thought on “From Windows Vista to Windows 7 and Back

  1. Jakob Barnard

    Hah I was joking as I was mocking you and you having to sit up all night to baby sit the servers, however it was a pleasant surprise! Welcome back to SGB 🙂

    It is very puzzling as to what wasn’t playing nice with Windows 7. New machine I built hasn’t had a single issue with it and has been insanely reliable. Though with MS products, your mileage will vary I suppose….


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