Thursday, November 05, 2009

It's A Beautiful Thing

I spend my days fixing computers. I replace monitors, LCD panels, CD/DVD drives, motherboards and hard drives. When I replace a hard drive, or there is some major software malfunction, I reinstall Windows from the ground up.

Our organization is still primarily standardized on Windows XP. Even so, with each installation I find myself having to find another computer to download the driver for the network card. Once I have that installed, I have to install the drivers for the graphics card, the sound card, the chipset, and possibly several other components. It's a pain in the ass because all it does is take up my time. Even if I already have the drivers downloaded I still have to install them.

Yesterday, I went to a technical briefing for Windows 7. It gave me a lot of useful information about the tools that are available in and for Windows 7. In addition, I, and everyone else who attended, walked out with a complimentary copy of Windows 7 Ultimate edition.

As soon as I had it in my hands I was eager to update my primary desktop system. While I was at work today, I decided it might be a better idea to start on my laptop since it doesn't have as much data on it needing to be backed up, having recently been reloaded because of a hard drive upgrade. My laptop is a Toshiba L35 1.7GHz system with a gig and a half of RAM.

When I got home, I fired up the laptop and headed to the Toshiba support site to download Windows 7 drivers. All the necessary drivers were there but, according to documents on the site, Windows 7 installations are not supported for my unit.

So? I like a challenge.

Once I had all I needed and had transferred it to a flash drive, I popped in the DVD and rebooted. I ran through the installation of Windows 7 without a hitch. I was pleasantly surprised when, while it was still installing, it presented me with a list of wireless networks and asked which one I would like to designate as a preferred connection. In relatively short order and blessedly without any Microsoft propaganda cycling by on the screen, I arrived at my desktop.

The first thing I did was right-click on Computer in the start menu and choose Manage. I clicked on the device manager and saw that every single piece of hardware in my laptop had a driver. I saw the sum total of zero yellow triangles.

I wept with joy.

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