How Not to Upgrade from 32-bit Windows 7 to 64-bit Windows 7

Until I purchased my latest computer, I had never given much thought to the difference between the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of Windows. In fact, since I had been using the 32-bit version of Windows since Microsoft first introduced Windows 95, I had never experienced a need to upgrade to the 64-bit OS — despite the knowledge that my previous laptop’s processor supported it. I had even found the need to upgrade negligible when I began using Microsoft’s Windows 7 Ultimate since I was satisfied with running Windows 7 in 32-bit mode. By running my system in this mode, I also found I had no difficulty using Windows XP to operate an older program that I had installed in the days before Windows XP came out.

My satisfaction with the 32-bit system and the way it interfaced with my existing software was obvious when I chose to download the entirety of my antiquated computer system’s program library in preparation for its installation onto my new laptop. However, while I had been careful in my preparations to ensure that this download would result in my new system mimicking my old one, I had not thought about the new laptop arriving pre-installed with the Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium version complete with SP1 revision software. As soon as I saw this, I knew that if I wanted to take advantage of the Windows XP mode, I needed to install either the Professional or the Ultimate version of Windows 7. Obviously, then, that meant that my first order of business was to upgrade the new laptop to Windows 7 Ultimate with SP1 with 64-bit support. The upgrade took only a few minutes and went off without any issues.

Problem 1

Mistakes I Made Changing from 32-bit Windows 7 to 64-bit Windows 7After I finished the upgrade, I installed Windows XP mode from a CD I had made back in 2010. Once again, the installation appeared to go perfectly. So what’s the problem? Simple: Even though it appeared to be installed correctly, XP mode would not activate. The hourglass just continued to spin and spin, but nothing happened.

Thinking that maybe there was an easy fix out there, I went to Microsoft’s site for installing Windows XP mode and learned two things:

  • There is a 64-bit version of Windows XP mode
  • If you have Windows 7 with SP1, the install process has changed.

With this information in hand, I downloaded the new file, uninstalled the old Windows XP mode, and then re-installed the new file, and all was well.

Microsoft Windows Virtual PC has more information about Windows XP mode.

Problem 2

Before I proceed, let me explain that while I use a software called One Click DVD Copy, it is not being done to circumvent any copyright laws. One Click DVD Copy requires DVD43 to function properly and, when activated, can make copies of homemade DVD movies. However, before reloading it onto my new system, I had downloaded and installed what I thought was a fresh copy of DVD43 only to find that my One Click DVD Copy failed to function.

At the time, I wasn’t sure if it was the One Click DVD Copy software or DVD 43 that wasn’t working properly. Upon searching the Internet, however, I was able to locate a 64-bit copy of the DVD43 plug-in. Once this plug-in was in place, the One Click DVD Copy software worked without a hitch.

Problem 3

The next issue I encountered was when I attempted to install and sync my iTunes account with the new laptop.

Everything seemed copacetic until I tried to download the iTunes purchases to my Apple iPad. Once I did this, you would have thought my system was going to have a nervous breakdown. I lost my USB connection and my hard disk sounded like it was going to jump out of the laptop. However, as soon as I uninstalled iTunes, the system returned to normal operation. Obviously, I was disappointed as I had never had such issues with iTunes when using the 32-bit system.

I am not alone, though, since I have read other reviewers who claim to have experienced a similar problem. That sent me on a quest to find a solution that would allow me to download iTunes with 64-bit support. (Success!)

Problem 4

This issue occurred with my Microsoft Wireless Notebook Mouse 3000. It appeared that the auto setup installation was flawless, but the next morning when I booted up my system, the mouse didn’t work.

This is the same mouse I had been using on the old laptop and the only issue I had ever experienced was the need to replace the battery. Of course, then, my first thought was that I needed to check the battery — which I did. It was well charged, so I tried changing USB ports to see if one of them was not working properly. Still no mouse.

That meant that once again I had to set off on a quest to find the hidden answer as to why my mouse wouldn’t work on my new system. After searching through the mother lode of available material out there, I once again found what I needed at Microsoft’s site where I downloaded and installed the 64-bit version of the software for this particular mouse and it now works perfectly.

Looking back on these minor issues, and acknowledging that the majority of new laptops come with the Windows 64-bit pre-installed on them, I have to admit that Microsoft has done a very good job at getting software and hardware companies to offer 64-bit software or drivers for this rendition of Windows. I personally believe that the benefits of using a 64-bit version of Windows far outweigh any negativity or issues that may occur.

Regarding the 64-bit version of Windows that came pre-installed, I was asked the following question:

I read that the new laptop you purchased came with Windows 7 64-bit. I have Windows 7 Home Premium with 32-bit and I want to upgrade to 64-bit. Can I upgrade over the old version?

The answer to this question is, unfortunately, no. The 64-bit version of Windows 7 requires you to start with a clean install. Personally, unless you have a free weekend to kill, I see no benefit to installing the 64-bit version unless you are adding more than 3 GB of RAM to your computer. I also informed the person asking the question that the 64-bit version has been offered by Microsoft since Windows XP was released for home use. In addition, you must remember that your CPU must support 64-bit or it will not work. I received this reply back:

I have a 32-bit processor. :-(

So for him, my answer was discouraging, but for others of you out there who may be considering upgrading your system to a Windows 7 64-bit or are planning on buying a new computer with Windows 7 64-bit pre-installed, you may wish to check out the Microsoft Compatibility Center. The company lists all compatible software that will run on Windows 7 including which software products are 64-bit compatible. The list is quite extensive.

Comments welcome.

Why Support Call Centers Should Return to the US

As many of us already know, most of the major companies based here in the US have outsourced their call centers to foreign countries. The two most popular countries for support call centers are India (with an estimated 350,000 agents) and the Philippines (with an estimated 400,000 Filipinos manning the call center phones).

Armed with this knowledge, it makes sense that some of us have experienced how difficult it can be to understand the person on the other end of the computer support hotline. This is annoying not only for the caller, but also for the agent; when discussing a complicated or technical computer problem, the language circumventing the issue is difficult enough for the average person to comprehend. So, while both parties may have done their best to resolve the problem requiring the agent’s area of expertise, the frustration on the part of both parties can result in both the caller and agent being highly critical of the other when later discussing the conversation with their peers.

Why Support Call Centers Should Return to the USDespite this issue, though, I don’t believe that this is the only problem faced by Americans when it comes to foreign call centers. To me, one of the most critical areas of concern is the outsourcing of American jobs. However, I don’t believe that this subject is one that can be addressed by political standards when it comes to who we elect to office since it doesn’t take a conservative or a liberal, a Democrat or a Republican, to see what is happening. In actuality, it only takes an educated American to see how this has affected the job situation for all of us since numbers indicate that Americans have lost approximately 750,000 jobs to overseas markets. So you may be asking yourself why companies would choose to move their entire support operations out of the United States and relocate them to a foreign country. The theory is that companies have chosen to outsource these jobs to foreign countries because these countries don’t require a minimum wage and the company still gets its regularly expected tax break, regardless of where its operations are located. While this might be great for the companies who have increased their profits, how is it affecting the US economy that continues to struggle with an unemployment rate that has been difficult to lower? One might think that patriotism alone would suggest that some of these companies might consider bringing some of these jobs back home.

To force some of these jobs back to America, some folks in congress have been tossing around the idea of punishing companies that use foreign countries to provide their technical support via call centers. I don’t personally believe that this is the right way to to handle the situation. Instead, I feel that we need to go back to our country’s earliest foundations and concentrate on creating and manufacturing a superior product that the rest of the world has either a need for or just simply has a desire to own due to its quality. That literally means that we, as a nation, need to return to our earliest work ethics as well as develop a better understanding of our role in the relatively new global economy. Once we accept and garner support for this knowledge, we will gain the insight that we can no longer isolate ourselves from the need to change our focus to one that is more competitive when it comes to any business, including call center support.

This concept is nothing new as several years ago I watched a Discovery Channel program concerning the Honda automobile company, in which it took the viewer through Honda’s history. In the documentary, Honda was depicted as being able to create a winning strategy and product that beat out its American competitors. The company’s goal was a no-brainer; it simply chose to build a superior quality automobile at a lower price.

Fortunately for American workers, not only has Honda’s successful strategy kept it at the forefront of modern day car sales, but it has also continued to create American jobs. Honda’s quality has allowed it to charge a premium price so that it could continue to maintain assembly plants in the United States. In fact, the documentary presented the viewer with a tour of the new Honda automobile assembly line that the company had constructed in Greensburg, Indiana. So, while this is the newest in its efforts to be competitive, this is by no means its only plant in the United States as it has others located in Ohio and Alabama.

What fact surprised me the most was the way these plants work. To stay competitive, the Japanese have the parts for their vehicles shipped from Japan, they assemble them here in the states, and then they ship them back to Japan to be sold. This common procedure is also used by other foreign companies, like Toyota, BMW, Fiat, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, and Subaru, which also manufacture cars in the US. That makes me ask the question: If foreign companies can stay competitive using this process, why can’t American owned companies do the same?

I believe that this same philosophy should be applied to customer support call centers. There has to be a way for companies to bring the jobs back home and still be competitive. It may take, however, the American workers’ compliance to accept lower wages. So, while that may mean we can’t have all the Gucci or other high-priced items we feel we can’t live without, it might actually give us jobs that will put food on the table and a roof over our heads. This should be enough for us, but is it possible that we, as a nation, have become so spoiled with our ability to buy the newest and greatest gadgets that we won’t condescend to lower wages despite the fact that this basically prevents us from gaining a competitive edge in the marketplace. Part of the problem also revolves around our demand for cheap goods (most often made in China), which means that it is almost impossible for us to balance our trade deficit — a problem that can only be resolved if we begin to take pride in our workmanship and find a way to bring companies back to America.

To do this, I believe that we need to offer incentives to make it worthwhile for companies to relocate their businesses back to the United States rather than penalizing them for doing business overseas. Additionally, I believe that we need to create new courses of action that will create a demand for American made products to make us once again competitive in this new global economy. First and foremost, this will require an effort on the part of American companies to create incentives for American workers to produce quality products in a timely and affordable manner. It will also require the government to provide incentives for these companies to hire American workers and to bring jobs back to the US. We, as a country, then need to retrain our workers to meet the demand of these new jobs so that we can get America back to work.

This is my opinion on what needs to be done. What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Mobile Google Docs Gets 44 Languages

Google has gone a long way with their Google Docs project since it’s original founding. Moving to HTML-5 and mobile support, users have been able to view and sometimes edit online documents using their mobile devices. Until recently, support for languages other than English hasn’t been entirely available.

Google Docs has updated to support an additional 44 languages for mobile users this week, giving support to more users. The new rollout adds support for mostly Europian and Asian languages including, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Marathi, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

Editing functionality is still limited to iOS 3.0 and above or Android 2.2 (Froyo) and above. Users of older or less supported platforms may still be able to view docs.

At this time, language support is the only new feature added to mobile Google Docs in this update.

Google Restores Lost Gmail Accounts – Could This Incident Hurt Cloud Computing?

There are things that we experience in life that we never forget. When I was a senior in high school our history teacher mentioned something that I never forgot. As a youngster he recalled newspaper articles that covered the Korean war, which stated that only [fill in the blank] American troops were killed. He went on to state that the number didn’t really matter, especially if you were one of the ones that was killed.

Google Gmail suffered an outage for some 39,000 Gmail account holders, which was, the company was quick to point out, less than 0.02% of its entire account base of some 150 million users. The company also was quick to point out that its Gmail services were spread over multiple data centers and that the Gmail accounts were not lost, just misplaced. Google also stated that all of the information would be restored and every user would have their information returned.

I couldn’t even imagine waking up yesterday morning to have your Google Gmail stuff gone. My first thought would be, who do I call? Google has been criticized for a lack of phone technical support services and I recalled the problem I had when my own personal account was disabled several years ago. It took me four days of emails to get my account restored fully, which was a giant pain in the butt.

Many of you know that I have been beta testing Google’s Chrome OS Cr-48. When I had issues not being able to connect to the Verizon 3G, I posted a bug report and I was contacted by a Google representative. The problem was resolved and I felt like I had received special treatment from the Google Chrome OS team. But others who have had issues with their Gmail accounts have expressed the lack of support as a real concern.

Though I realize that the services Google offers are free, it needs to address the lack of technical support and the concerns users have. Since Google is trying to convince users to store their personal files online in its Cloud, what happens if your stuff is unavailable one day? What are we users supposed to do? Who do we call?

If Google is to convince us to buy its Chrome OS computers and trust all of our important documents to it and it alone, Google will need to change its current support system. I want someone to call and I want to speak to a real person. I would also prefer to speak to someone who speaks English as their primary language.

Is this asking too much? What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – Google Gmail Blog

Google Voice Now Supports iPad & iPod touch

Since the launch a few weeks ago of the Google Voice iPhone app. The developers at Google have been working hard to make improvements to the powerful iPhone app.

One of the very amazing improvements is that Google Voice now supports iPad & iPod touch. Starting today, you can download the new version of Google Voice to your iPad or iPod touch and receive all the great features you get on the iPhone app.

While you can’t use your iPod or iPad as a phone, you can use the app to initiate Google Voice calls with your phones. Google calls this feature Click2Call. The user simply clicks the ‘Call’ button in the Google Voice app on their iPod or iPad and then select which of the phones they want to ring. Google Voice will then call your phone and then connect your call.

Among other things, Google made some other minor updates:

*When you enable Push Notifications, Google will automatically disable Text forwarding for you, so you won’t receive multiple notifications.
*You can send all callers straight to voicemail by turning on Do not disturb in the Settings tab.
*Place calls from the address book by adding a dedicated Contacts button to the Dialer tab.
*Sending text messages is now more streamlined since you don’t need to press the OK button anymore.

The Google Voice app is available to download from the Apple App Store today. You’ll need an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 3.1 or later and a valid Google Voice account. At this time, Google Voice is available in the U.S. only.

Apple Coming To The Express Lane

There should be an image here!While I have had limited dealings with them myself, I have generally found AppleCare to be much more welcome experience when compared to any other computer vendor’s support services. But as they say, there is always some room for improvement. And it is clear that Apple is on board with ensuring that everyone is getting the kind of support they need, when contacting the company for assistance.

Welcome to Apple’s Express Lane, a new idea for customer support. Designed to narrow down the issues being had with people trying to explain their issues when contacting support, it would appear that Apple is right on track with this concept. Does this mean that it’s going to solve everyone’s problems better than say, calling AppleCare? Not too likely. But it does provide a nice option as an alternative.

Now the big question of the hour is how people are liking this feature. Is it going to be a hit? Only time will tell I guess. But based on what I’ve seen of it, I think it’s the right idea and perhaps for those looking for online support for their Apple products, a long overdue solution. Speaking for myself, I am old fashioned and will stick to the phone for support.

TeamViewer For Cross Platform Tech Support

Normally when it comes to tech support, I find myself lending a hand to those in need without much distance involved. For so many things, being there is person is just easier. But in recent years, there have been a lot of great improvements that now allow people to support friends, family, and clients from their home offices.

Having used every application imaginable has given me a lot of insight as to the shortcomings of most remote control software options. Only recently have I seen more of them beginning to support OS X. And believe me, it’s about time. But sadly, this has left those of us using Linux distros such as Ubuntu largely in the dust. And setting up SSH with X Forwarding only goes so far.

Then I started using TeamViewer. What I love about using TeamViewer most is the fact that I am now supporting folks who use Windows and OS X, all from my Ubuntu box. Yes, I am providing tech support with all of the bells and whistles, without needing to boot into a Windows installation.

Another killer feature is that my Windows and OS X users can avoid anything complicated. Just download and run a non-installing quick help program. Boom, I am connected securely without dancing around firewalls or router configs. The “Instant Customer” support application is just what the doctor ordered when helping anyone out on either platform. Best of all, all of the applications are free for non-commercial users. Did I mention the remote support option for the iPhone?

From the strong data compression for speed to remote ctrl-alt-del and reboots, I could not be happier to see that TeamViewer decided to find a way to include the Linux users out there. It’s about high time.

[awsbullet:cross platform]

Apple Addresses iPad Wi-Fi Issue

Not satisfied with the iPad’s pesky Wi-Fi issues? Then it looks like the folks at Apple have you covered. Apple updated its support documentation to say that it will address the issue in an upcoming software update.

Officially, Apple has released that your screen brightness is to blame and to adjust it — this was a fix found by a user that Apple is now using as a solution. There is still no set time on when this update will be out, but with the way Apple updates products, it should be within a month or two. So hang in there, because a fix is on the way.

Do You Have Questions About Microsoft Products? Give Microsoft Answers Forum A Try

All of us have had issues with a Microsoft product, whether it be Windows or Office,and  finding answers can sometimes be problematic. In an effort to assist users of their products, Microsoft has set up forums online that are being maned by Microsoft employees and  MVP’s to assist users in getting not only an answer, but more importantly a right answer.

On their site Microsoft states the following:

Welcome to Microsoft Answers, the community-based forums where you can search, browse, and post questions and answers. Thousands of community members—including Microsoft folks—are here to help. Get started by searching, or selecting a product on this page!

Products include Microsoft Windows 7, Vista and XP, Microsoft Office 2010 beta,  2007, 2003, and XP plus help with Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Live.

Comments welcome.

Source

Own An Apple iPhone 2G? Throw It In The Trash!

A reader sent an email to the head of Apple, Steve Jobs, asking a rather simple question. Will Apple support the iPhone 2G? The answer was short and simple from the head honcho. ‘Sorry, no.’ Which should come as no surprise to any of us. With the new phones already selling like hotcakes, why would Apple want to continue to support the old technology?

Here is the email conversation, if you can call it a conversation:

CLICK TO ENLARGE

Comments welcome.

Source

Google Doesn’t Need To Fear Murdoch – Even His Kids Disagree With The Old Guy

Just when you think that Rupert Murdoch is ready to pounce and change the way online news is doled out, up comes a piece on hos his family is turning their back on the old guy. It seems that News Corp involves his family and those that married into the Murdoch family. Now these siblings and their spouses and voicing their opinion about what they see as the future, minus the old guy. In one recent article it states that:

Murdoch’s son-in-law Matthew Freud, the London PR executive who’s married to his daughter Elisabeth, had sent an e-mail to Murdoch’s BlackBerry (Murdoch only recently began using e-mail himself). “I’ve given a quote to the New York Times, and you’re probably not going to like it,” Freud wrote.

The quote lived up to its advance billing—and quite a bit more. “I am by no means alone within the family or the company in being ashamed and sickened by Roger Ailes’s horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards that News Corporation, its founder and every other global media business aspires to,” Freud, the great-grandson of Sigmund, had told the paper. Certainly there was personal animus in the remark; in the left-of-center London social circles where Freud and Elisabeth operated, Fox is particularly loathed.

But the problem with these efforts is that Rupert Murdoch is not going anywhere. If anything, he’s been more active than ever, raging at his adversaries with the vigor of a man half his age. Over the last several months, he’s been waging a very public war with Google, trying to bend the freewheeling web according to his own rules. He successfully fought Time Warner to get the cable giant to cough up millions to broadcast his Fox affiliates. And he’s rebuilding The Wall Street Journal with an eye on destroying the New York Times, one of the most ancient of his enemies.

But whatever the situation on what Murdoch hopes to accomplish before he leaves this earthly life, there is one thing that is a positive. Not everyone in his castle supports his ideas.

Comments welcome.

Source

The Community Runneth Over

Recently, I asked you whether you had met anyone in “real” life who you had become friends with online. Over the weekend, I read a heart-wrenching post on Geeks. One of our long-time community members unexpectedly lost his mom two days ago. The poster talks about how he lives several hundred miles from his family. While waiting to travel home, he turned to his friends in our community for support.

The support was instant, and unconditional. This reinforces the fact that you don’t have to necessarily meet someone face-to-face in order to form a true and lasting bond. Many deep friendships are made online, only to have the involved persons never lay eyes on each other (beyond possibly webcams and photos). I see it happen every day. I witness the bonds that many of our regular community members share.

This is why I do what I do, folks… YOU. I love the community… the bonds that are formed… the lasting relationships that withstand time and distance. The community we have is why Kat loves her job so much, as well. She’s said it many times, and seeing the post from this community member just proves her point.

What are your thoughts? Have you experienced the real power of friendship through a virtual friend? How has someone(s) you may only know online touched or changed your life? Feel free to share your own thoughts on one of our community sites. There are a lot of good things being posted on a daily basis by all of you!

Yours digitally,

Chris Pirillo
@ Twitter
@ Facebook

If you haven’t checked out the newest Facebook music application, you are missing out!
http://chris.pirillo.com/facebook-music-application/

Do you turn to the Web in times of tragedy?
http://wp3.lockergnome.com/cellphones/2010/01/15/do-you-turn-to-the-web-in-times-of-tragedy/

Is a virtual friend a “real” friend?
http://geeks.pirillo.com/profiles/blogs/is-a-virtual-freind-still-a

Idapt to your gadget adapters!
http://chris.pirillo.com/idapt-to-your-gadget-adapters/

Are you looking for an easy way to come up with a great new domain name?
http://domains.tagjag.com/

If you’re interested in being a guest blogger on Lockergnome, now is your chance!
http://wp3.lockergnome.com/contact/guestblogger.php

Is everything these days networked?
http://wp3.lockergnome.com/theoracle/2010/01/15/everythings-zen-er-networked/

Are you a Netflix fan?
http://geeks.pirillo.com/profiles/blogs/netflix-2

Use the free Icon Generator to create simple logos and icon sets.
http://chris.pirillo.com/how-to-use-icon-generator/

GoToAssist can help you provide instant support to clients, friends, or family members.
http://www.gotoassist.com/chris

Where does the fault lie for the Google hacking?
http://wp3.lockergnome.com/theoracle/2010/01/15/people-microsoft-admit-to-google-hack-being-partly-the-fault-of-internet-exploder/

What kind of speakers do you have?
http://geeks.pirillo.com/forum/topics/what-kind-of-speakers-does

So, what DOES that little flag thing on your keyboard do, anyway?
http://wp3.lockergnome.com/blade/2010/01/15/whats-that-flag-thing-do-you-know-the-one-on-the-keyboard/

How do you solve issues with the trackpad on a MacBook?
http://geeks.pirillo.com/forum/topics/macbook-unibody-white-trackpad

Acronis True Image has sent over some amazing coupons and deals for our community!
http://chris.pirillo.com/acronis-true-image-coupons/

Check out the hottest new freeware and shareware apps.
http://geeks.pirillo.com/profiles/blogs/new-and-updated-apps-digest-42

If the FTC isn’t sure how to enforce the blogger disclosure rules… how do you think the bloggers feel? It’s confusing!
http://wp3.lockergnome.com/blade/2010/01/15/ftc-is-unsure-how-to-enforce-blogger-disclosure-rules-it-is-confusing/

Unfolding the napkin: The hands-on method for solving complex problems with simplicity.
http://wp3.lockergnome.com/windows/2010/01/15/unfolding-the-napkin-the-hands-on-method-for-solving-complex-problems-with-simple-pictures/

Is there hope within Windows 7 for better cloning and imaging?
http://wp3.lockergnome.com/themoderngeek/2010/01/15/is-there-hope-in-windows-7-enterprise-for-better-cloning-and-imaging/

Geek Squad Online Support – Has Anyone Tried This Service? What’s Your Opinion?

If you haven’t seen the commercial from Geek Squad it is fairly entertaining. A woman acts like she is fixing her PC by passing her hands over the keyboard and using other gestures. The real fact is her printer is being setup by an online tech. from the Geek Squad. Her husband is amazed by his wife’s technical ability, but he is unaware that his credit card is being billed for $49.99.

So I went to the Geek Squad site and took a look at some of the services they provide. Prices ranged from $149.99 for removing viruses from a computer, to a low of $49.99 for several other services that you can see at the link below.

Surprisingly their is actually a free service available to check whether your computer can be upgraded to Windows 7.

I’m curious. Has anyone used the Geek Squad Online Support services? What is your opinion?

Comments welcome.

Geek Squad Online Support here

My Wife’s Toshiba Is Back And Running Once Again

You may recall that I had to send my wife’s Toshiba laptop back fro repairs. It all started with the system causing errors and finally with a no boot situation. When one sends back a computer for repair there are always those thoughts in the back of your mind if the repair will be made properly. In this case the hard disk was replaced and reimaged and all appears well.

Kudo’s to Toshiba for a quick and painless repair. The entire process. including 2nd day air shipping took exactly 8 days. However, I sincerely hope that I do not need their services again. LOL

Now I have to remove all of the crap and

What has your experience been getting a PC repaired?

Comments welcome.

Can You Trust The Windows 7 Compatibility Report When Doing An Upgrade?

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