Monthly Archives: October 2009

Windows 7 Solution Center

To facilitate and focus on problem fixing and provide solution for issue related to Windows 7 to end-users, Microsoft has launched an one-stop portal called “Windows 7 Solution Center”.  

It covers a wide range of topics, including install, upgrade and activate, performance, safety and security, Internet Explorer, entertainment, and productivity.

Visitors will be presented with Resource Page that provides direct links to several key resources such as Windows 7 Home Page,  What’s new in Windows 7.

IT-Professionals: Visit the Windows Client TechCenter on TechNet,

Can my PC run Windows 7?, Visit the Windows 7 Help & How To Center and Windows 7 system requirements.

The Key Resources page also features top solutions such as Installing Windows: Recommended links 32 bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions, How to backup your data on a Windows-based computer and link to Windows 7 Compatability Center, and top answers from Getting Ready for Windows 7 forum. Of course, it also allows user to ask the community by posting questions in the Microsoft Answers Forums.

Go to Windows 7 Solution Center

77 Tips for Windows 7

The Flood of information on Windows 7 has started.
Here is a gem at Microsoft TechNet – 77 Windows 7 Tips

The Windows key now performs a wide variety of functions.
Here are a handful of the most useful ones:

The 14 Best Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

64. Win+h – Move current window to full screen
65. Win+i – Restore current full screen window to normal size
      or minimize current window if not full screen
66. Win+Shift+arrow – Move current window to alternate screen
67. Win+D – Minimize all windows and show the desktop
68. Win+E – Launch Explorer with Computer as the focus
69. Win+F – Launch a search window
70. Win+G – Cycle through gadgets
71. Win+L – Lock the desktop
72. Win+M – Minimize the current window
73. Win+R – Open the Run window
74. Win+T – Cycle through task bar opening Aero Peek for each running item
75. Win+U – Open the Ease of Use center
76. Win+Space – Aero Peek the desktop
77. Ctrl+Win+Tab – Open persistent task selection window, roll

Windows 7 Launch Party

Finally it’s done. After a hectic couple of weeks of installing Windows 7, understanding it and preparing for the launch party it’s done. Quite a relief. Windows 7 works! No glitches, no BSODs or whatever. Just ticks along smoothly, fresh as ever.

Eight out of eleven invitees turned up for the party. Not a bad hit ratio considering how much follow-up I did. The Tea and Snacks were wonderful, thanks to my wife. Amongst the guests there was one Prof. of Physics and a writer, one Air Marshall of IAF, one former IBM Marketing executive, one who used sell aircraft engines, two financial consultants, one former MD of a large IT company and one running an IT support company.

All are PCs. No Macs!

I first explained the background and concept of the Windows 7 launch party. The party organisers had suggested four themes for the party.

W7Party-FamilyFriendly

Family Friendly Fun Theme Topics

* Windows Live Movie Maker – Auto Movie, Titles and Captions and Effects etc.
  * Set Computer Time Limits and Game Limits – User and Parent Accounts
  * Importing Photos from Camera – Using Windows 7 and Photo Gallery
  * HomeGroup Networking – Share Music, Movies and Documents

W7Party-Photos

Photo Palooza Theme Topics

* Add Art to Photos using Windows Paint
* Edit your Photos with Windows Live Photo Gallery
* Create a Panorama with Make Panorama feature of Photo Gallery

W7Party-MediaMania

Media Mania Theme Topics

* Create a Playlist in Windows Media Center
  * Record TV shows on computer
  * Touch Screen – Using Touch features with Windows Media Center
  * Play To Feature – Stream your media to devices connected to your network

W7Party-Settingup with Ease

Setting Up With Ease theme Topics

* Windows Help and How-To
  * Windows 7 Search and Task Bar
  * Custom Desktop
  * Snap, Shake and Peek
  * Web Slice and Accelerators

Instead of keeping to only one theme as suggested by the party organisers, I decided to cover all points in my presentation.

As an opening point of interest I had collected a set of interesting videos of Kylie TV Ads for Windows 7. These were packaged into a Movie with the help of Windows Live Movie Maker. The initial introduction and the theme pictures as well as all subsequent segments were also packaged into separate movies. These movies were played automatically in sequence by a Batch File. This allowed me to pause after each segment to answer any questions. (The 25 year old DOS Batch File still lives in Windows 7)

This was the complete presentation sequence.

Name Contents
1. Introduction and Party Themes. As described above
2. Sample TV Ads Watch the Kylie Videos Here.
3. Windows Tour Find out What’s New and Different
4. Getting Around the Desktop Learn how to use the new desktop. You can also download a guide here.
5. Personalising your PC Learn how to change your desktop settings. You can also download a guide here.
6. Finding your Files Learn how to use the new search function to find your files. You can also download a guide here.
7. Additional Programs Etc. This PowerPoint presentation covered Microsoft Security Essentials, Windows Live Essentials, Windows Live ID and links to additional free programs  you can install on your Windows 7 machine. These details are available elsewhere on this blog as a list.
8. It’s My Idea A series of Ads on windows 7
Sponsored Windows Video Channel on YouTube.

Some Photos of my party.

 

Thanks to all my invitees for coming to my Windows 7 Launch Party to make it so memorable.

And also Thanks to Microsoft for the Special Signature Edition of Windows 7 Ultimate.

Now Enjoy a small movie made with Windows Live Movie Maker. I think it illustrates the Art of Movie making more that the facilities of the WLMM.

Sample Movie prepared with Windows Live Movie Maker

Windows 7 Installation on my Desktop

My desktop configuration was running a Vista Ultimate 64 bit edition happily for last nine months.

Desktop Configuration:

Intel DG965RY Board with 2.4 Gz Core2Duo CPU and 4 GB Ram,
One 250 GB and one 500 GB hard disk.
NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS display card with 512 MB memory,
Microsoft Life Cam VX7000,
Logitech Z10 USB speakers.
LG DVD writer,
HP G3010Scanner,
HP 1010 Laser printer.

The C: partition is 70GB and contains only the system and programs. Documents are in D: partition of 65 GB. Pictures in E: of 155 GB, Movies in F: of 165 GB and Music in G: of 150 GB. There is a X: partition of 95 GB to hold Ghost images, Downloaded programs, Page file  and other sundry items.

The Vista Ultimate was running with about 30 GB free in C: drive. I decided to keep the C: partition be at 70 GB for Windows 7 as I expected the space requirements for the new OS to be less than that for Vista.

I decided to do a clean install of Windows 7 as I had all the original programs. A clean installation is always better as it gets rid of all the garbage build over a period.

The Windows Launch Party pack I have received has a Windows 7 Ultimate signature edition in both 64 bit and 32 bit version. I decided to install the 64bit version as all my programs were already working satisfactorily under 64bit Vista Ultimate.

I will now describe all the steps I carried out in getting the Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit version working on my desktop. These steps may seem a too elaborate but in my experience this extra time is always well spent.

1. Cleanup of Existing Vista Ultimate installation: I first removed all unnecessary programs from the system and ran disk cleanup to delete all unwanted files from C: drive. I also removed all system restore points to free space. Then I defragmented the C: drive and took a ghost image backup of C: drive. If you don’t have Ghost program you can take an image backup of C: using the Vista Backup program. After the image was prepared I restored it on the C: drive to make sure it can be used, if required. I also created a separate folder on X: Drive called Windows 7 Programs and collected all the programs to be install on the new Windows 7 installation there. I checked for new versions of these programs and downloaded them in this folder.

2. Installing Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit: With my Vista installation running I inserted the Windows 7 disk containing the 64 Bit version and followed the on screen instructions to install Windows 7 on my desktop. Some 20 minutes later my desktop was running Windows 7. On a machine with one DVD drive everything will be automatic till the time you have to select your country and language etc. On a machine with two drives the setup may fail to restart properly after initially copying all files with a message on the screen to select a CD drive. If this happens just remove the installation disk from the DVD drive and hit Ctrl-Alt-Del to restart the setup.

3. Setting Initial Options: I normally set these options to improve the system operation. In FOLDER OPTIONS > VIEW a) Check – Show Hidden Files, Folder and Drives and b) Uncheck – Hide File Extensions for Known File Types. I like my display fonts to be set to medium (125%) to improve readability. I also activated display of desktop icons for My Computer and Network.

4. Move Documents to D: I like to keep all my documents in D: drive. This separation of program and documents helps to save the documents in case you have to reinstall Windows. Also it reduces the size of the Image Backup file. I have created a folder  D:Docs to hold the documents. In Windows 7 it is very ease to move the documents. Open the User Folder from the start menu and D:Docs folder from My Computer. Position them side by side on the desktop using Windows 7 snap feature. Selected all folders from the User Window and drag them to D:Docs. Keep the Shift key pressed to make this a move operation.

5. Disk Cleanup and defragmentation: During installation of Windows 7 the files of the old Vista systems are saved. It is necessary to delete these files now and recover the space. You will free more than 10GB with this step for a normal Vista installation. You must choose "delete system files" in disk cleanup for this step. After this I defragmented the C: drive to reduce fragmentation that happens during installation and subsequent cleanup.

6. Windows Live Programs: Next step was to download and install Windows Live Programs for mail, photos, movie maker and Live writer from Windows Live site at http://www.windowslive.com Unlike previous versions of Windows these programs are not included in Windows 7.

7. Install Antivirus program: I chose to install Microsoft Security Essentials Anti Virus program downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/antivirus-partners/windows-7.aspx This program is free, works very well and updates silently with the Windows Update facility.

8. Install application programs: System was now ready to install all my application programs like MS Office 2007, Nero, Zune, Adobe Acrobat Reader etc.

9. Final Cleanup: After all programs were installed, I did a disk cleanup to remove the temporary files created during installation, removed all system restore points and then defragmented C: drive. I also setup a daily defragmentation schedule to make sure the hard disks remain at peak performance.

10. System Backup: Now that everything is working, I took a System Ghost Image backup of Windows 7 on C: drive. This image is almost half of a similar Vista Image.

This completed installation of Windows 7 on my desktop.

Windows 7 Ultimate – Installed

I am hosting a Windows 7 Launch Party as part of Microsoft’s Promotion Campaign for Windows 7. It will be officially launched on Oct 22nd., I am planning to have my party at home on Oct 24th.

Yesterday, I received a Signature Edition of Windows 7 Ultimate as part of the Windows 7 Launch Party. The package contains both 64 bit and 32 bit editions of the system to be launched on Oct 22nd.

I have installed it successfully on my desktop today.

A full report on the complete process and my experience will be posted in a few days.

It’s looking good as of now.