I recommended that he start troubleshooting by running the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor on his target machine and see what it reports. It may very well be the case that the hardware fails to meet minimum requirements, and something is impeding the usual warnings and error messages to that effect that would normally appear inside the install process itself.
Next, he might try booting from the install media (after burning an ISO if he is working from a download), or perhaps using the ultra-snazzy new (and free) Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool. By booting from an installable image, he may be able to sidestep whatever is hampering his install difficulties in the present circumstances (assuming, of course, that the Win7UA doesn’t flag issues that need to be addressed before an install can complete, or even begin–in that case, he must first remedy those issues before trying again).
But this, alas, is the real nub of the potential problems with a quasi-legal version of Windows 7. While MS will cheerfully and thoroughly support upgrade or full retail install problems by phone or Web chat, you won’t get a peep out of them on OEM versions. That means you’ll need to turn to somebody else who knows more about Windows than you do for help instead, and hope they’ve got the time to assist you in figuring out what wrong, and how to fix it.]]>
I was forcibly reminded of this the other day, when I ran the program to refresh my memory about its operation to answer a question from a student in a class I’m teaching right now. At the time, I noticed several programs that needed updates, including Acronis True Image Home (now available in a Win7-friendly 2010 version) and also Norton Internet Security (also now available in a 2010 flavor as well). The only program still showing–Alex Feinman’s handy little ISO Recorder utility–is actually also updated to version 3.1 (which supports Windows 7 and works fine on my system), but mis-reports itself as vesion 3.0 (which predated Windows 7 and didn’t support the new OS 100%).
Contrary to what you might expect, it may be worth running this tool again on systems you upgrade to Windows 7 after the upgrade is complete, just to make sure all the software is up to snuff as well.]]>
Drat! I’d kind of hoped that would happen yesterday or today. I’ll keep an eye on this, and let you know when that status changes. In the meantime, this tool does the job reasonably well. You can also visit my “guided tour” of the previous version dated 6/22/2009. Because this tool shows no obvious or apparent changes, it should still give you a pretty good idea of what this latest version of the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor can do, and how it works!]]>
Once you download and install the program, you’ll launch it from the Start menu. Thir produces a startup screen.
Click the “Start Check” button to perform the upgrade review of the machine upon which the software is running.
Wait several minutes while the hardware check is underway.
When it’s complete, a report appears as shown. It will tell you what kind of upgrade you can perform (if any), indicate any components on your current OS that may not be available in Windows 7 (for my Vista Ultimate install that includes Windows Mail, now supplanted by Windows Live Essentials Mail, parental controls that are no longer supported in Windows 7, and Ultimate Extras which are likewise gone, gone gone).
If you’re curious, you can also click on the System Requirements link to see how well your system meets Windows 7 minimum install requirements.
If you’re even halfway thinking about upgrading any machines to Windows 7, you definitely want to install and get to know the beta version of this tool. At 6.3 MB, it’s a pretty speedy download.]]>