NOTE: I wrote this post back in August so the time references are a bit out.
I’ve upgraded my Toshiba Portege R500 from Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Ultimate. I’ve had the laptop now for nearly 2 years and it’s still running on the original factory installation of Windows Vista. I’ve loaded up quite a number of applications on it over time and was quite prepared to wipe it and start from scratch… only problem is that tonight I’m due to fly away for a business trip and I really didn’t want to have to reinstall everything from scratch. Ok – so I decided to do an in place upgrade. First step was to clear out some disk space – the laptop has a 64GB SSD drive and I had just 5GB free which is nowhere near enough for the upgrade as the upgrade needs a minimum of 16GB free for an x86 inplace upgrade and 20GB free for an x64 inplace upgrade (assuming you have x64 Vista there to start with). Ok – So I went through and removed a number of applications that I no longer used and got a few more GB of space, and then went for the big one… I have a 12GB OST file with my Outlook which I know I could delete and it would recreate when I started Outlook again. Ok – we have now 19GB free which is above the minimum. The next step was to remove my antivirus software. Yes – remove. This is one of my own personal best preactices when doing an OS upgrade of this type, so I uninstalled Trend Micro WFBS 6.0 agent from the laptop and rebooted. My laptop has no DVD drive so I copied the entire DVD to a 16GB USB stick and ran Setup.exe from there. It gave me the option to run a compatibility check which I did.
I then proceeded to do the upgrade – it baulked at PerfectDisk which did not show up in the compatibility check – I guess that is because the initial check is still a beta (bear in mind Win7 is not publicly available for another week or so – I got it early as I’m doing demo’s next week to the partner community). I removed PerfectDisk and rebooted – but the Upgrade would still not proceed. I figured there were remnants of PerfectDisk there so I went over the registry and removed them all manually. Great – the upgrade proceeds now without a problem. The upgrade goes through a number of phases and I must say I was very surprised at how long it took on my laptop. I mean, my laptop is not the fastest laptop around, but the upgrade kept on going with regular updates to the screen which gave me the impression things were moving along, albeit slowly. After 4.5 hours, the upgrade finished. I rebooted for the first time and logged on. It was a fair bit slower than normal, but I expected that after the upgrade things will take a little while to get going. I checked on the free disk space and found that I had MORE disk space free than I did before I started – a whopping 23GB free AFTER the upgrade. I guess that Windows 7 has cleaned out all the old service pack files and so on that was part of Vista before.
So far so good – I’ll play with Windows 7 some more over the coming days and post more about the results and the cool features I see.