POSTED February 3, 2009
Windows 7 Ultimate Beta testing
After my two meetings with Microsoft I was given a Windows 7 Beta Disk and the Avermedia USB unit to use when testing Windows 7 Beta and Media Center.
On the Lenovo R400 ThinkPad
Upon arriving back in Key West I contacted Lenovo about my wish to test Windows 7. They stated they did not at this point support that product but would send me a 100 gig hard drive to swap into the R400 so I could install and test Windows 7.
This article will be updated throughout these tests.
January 14, 2009:
I swapped drives after making a backup of the original R400 drive. The Windows beta disk was in the CD/DVD drive and I pushed the ON button at 3:40 PM. The install was done at 4:10 PM. Windows 7 started some updates at that point. They took 4 minutes to download. The Lenovo R400 restarted at 4:15 PM to install the updates. That ended at 4:24 PM. It worked without a flaw!
Windows 7 comes with Internet Explorer 8. I use Yahoo as my home page and Yahoo does NOT Officially Support IE8. Yahoo tells me to download Version 6 or 7 of IE or Firefox or Safari. I press to continue even though Yahoo says I will be living on the edge if I do. My Yahoo home page opens anyway. Yahoo mail and all other Yahoo options work fine. Unfortunately this dance continues each time I open IE 8 this is after 2 weeks of testing.
Windows 7 loads faster than Vista and XP but I have no software installed at this point. (This is not a timed test. Just my feeling.) Since I wanted to check out the Media Center first I plugged the AverMedia appliance into a USB port on the ThinkPad, connected my cable to it and fired up Media Center.
Media Center required a setup for my local area. It downloaded and installed the playcenter, Examined the Video signal, and, for some reason set up two tuners. (Comcast and Digital) I have no idea why. I can say The reception beat my previous experience with a Dell Media Center running on XP that I had for 4 years. Not sure if it is the R400 or the AverMedia unit but I see some really good video on all channels.
Installed CA Internet Security Suite Plus 2009. Seemed to work well but keep telling me that it could not update its databases. I would update all functions and it would come back with “unable to update” again.
Windows 7 Beta comes with Action Center. A little flag that alerts you to updates, issues, and other happenings with the computer or software. My first experience notified me of five updates. One of those was an AverMedia driver update. The other 4 updated fine. I sent a feedback report to Microsoft and, after a few hours there was another message for an AverMedia update and that one worked fine. I have had periodic updates throughout these tests. Some were Microsoft updating Windows 7 others were updates for drivers in the ThinkPad. Still others were to help with installs of non-Microsoft products. I feel like a well tended baby with all this assistance.
January 16, 2009:
At this point I downloaded and installed a trial version of Office 2007. This installed and worked with no issues. I did the same with MS Publisher. Publisher would not start. Windows suggested applying Compatibility mode. Once that was done there were no issues with the install.
Installed Adobe Acrobat reader 8.1.3 Worked fine. Used the Lenovo ThinkPad loaner for a few days and then had a blue screen crash dump had to restart the ThinkPad. Seemed to be no problems after restart. Sent feedback report to Microsoft
January 20, 2009:
Tested Media Center. Set up to record 2 hour inauguration. It worked perfectly. Playback was clear with no skips.
January 22 2009:
Downloaded and attempted to install a trial of Photoshop Elements 7. All efforts failed.
Used Compatibility mode to install the downloaded Photoshop Elements 7 software. That worked and it is fully functional.
January 29, 2009:
Total lockup while attempting to update CA security and type an article at the same time. Went to Error recovery. Restarted normally and all worked fine. After a number of days with these issues I removed the CA software and installed Vipre Antivirus and Antispyware from Sunbelt Software. It seems to be working and updating fine.
January 30, 2009:
Windows 7 Action Center fixed Intel driver and Fingerprint Driver.
Checked Device manager and no yellow Exclamation points showing with the exception of:
The SMBus Controller (or system bus controller)
PCI Simple Communication controller
I have tried several times to get win 7 to fix these but no success as yet.
These test notes will be continued as I add programs or find issues with Windows 7 Beta.