As some of you may know, I am an MVP over at Scot’s Newsletter forum, and have been a member of the forum since Scot started it. The main expertise of the forum is for Linux support, but there are also some great expert advice when it comes to Windows as well. So when I read this post this morning about one user experiencing problems with an upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 on a 3 year old PC, I thought I would share this users experience with you who read the posts here at Lockergnome.

The user, Eric Legge, stated the following information in his post:

Hi all,

I just performed an upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium from Windows XP Home for a relative with a Dell Dimension 3000 desktop PC.

The compatibility report did not indicate any serious problems with the upgrade.

Unfortunately after the final reboot, it can only boot to Safe Mode.

I tried Startup Repair from my Win7 repair disc, but it found nothing wrong with the startup.

There are no devices in the Device Manger with a yellow exclamation mark or red cross.

However, the computer failed to bring up the options to choose a Home, Work or Public network even though the wireless router was on and working and had been online with XP.

After I chose the Home network option with my own laptop, the setup required my wireless encryption key and then went online for updates.

Tomorrow I’ll try Safe Mode with networking to get online and get updates and drivers from Windows Update, if that fails, I’ll try connecting the PC by Ethernet cable to the router and then running the setup at startup from the install disc.

Any ideas would be appreciated because there are no reports of this problem on the web yet.

Other readers of the forum made some good suggestions, but when I was reading Eric’s post, my first thought was that I suspected a video display driver problem. At the end of his 2nd post, Eric confirmed this was the case and that the Windows 7 compatibility report should of warned him of this prior to the upgrade.

In his second post Eric stated the following from the compatibility report:

Windows Aero

Not capable

Your current graphics adapter won’t support the
Windows Aero user interface. Contact your PC manufacturer or retailer to see if
an upgrade is possible.

This should of alerted Eric to the fact that the video display may not work with Windows 7.

Finally he posted again with this conclusion:

Unfortunately the integrated graphics of the Dell Dimension 3000 is the Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics 2 chip.

This only supports DirectX 8 and Win7 requires a graphics card/chip that supports DirectX 9. Dell used a cheapo DirectX 8 chip in this 2006 computer. My own self-built 2005 desktop PC with an AMD Socket 939 motherboard has a Direct X 9.0 integrated chip and a PCI Express slot for a graphics card.

There is also no AGP or PCI Express slot for a graphics card, so the Dimension 3000 cannot be upgraded to Win7.

That shows the weakness in the compatibility report. It should have said that the graphics chip only supports DirectX 8 and that Win7 cannot be used unless the graphic card can be upgraded to a DirectX 9 card.

What this demonstrates is the importance of checking on the manufacturers web site to confirm that drivers are available for ALL of your hardware, prior to attempting an upgrade. Do not assume the upgrade will work without checking that Windows 7 will work prior to trying the upgrade process, especially when it comes to taking the leap from a machine designed for Windows XP.

There is one other thing I would like to share. Though Microsoft states that Windows 7 will function on a system with a processor of 1GHz and 1 GB of RAM, I seriously doubt that the user experience would be enjoyable on such a machine. Just my 2 cents.

Share your thoughts.

Comments welcome.

Scot’s Forum