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Microsoft Begs Win 7 Testers To Clean Install

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the time-for-a-memory-wipe dept.

Upgrades 420

Barence writes "Microsoft is imploring millions of Windows 7 beta testers to perform a clean install of the forthcoming Release Candidate, rather than upgrade from the beta. 'The reality is that upgrading from one pre-release build to another is not a scenario we want to focus on because it is not something real-world customers will experience,' the company claims on the Engineering Windows 7 blog. Those who attempt to install the Release Candidate over the beta will find their path blocked." I've read complaints that reviews of new Linux distros often focus too much on the installation process; Microsoft seems to understand that complications at installation time (dual booting? preserving an existing data partition?) can sour one's experience pretty thoroughly.

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Microsoft Begs Win 7 Testers To Clean Install (4, Funny)

Taimat (944976) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521431)

....linux

Re:Microsoft Begs Win 7 Testers To Clean Install (-1)

flibuste (523578) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521483)

Why would I clean-install Linux where tingz like Ubuntu 9.04 (beta, just like Windows7!) installed itself without a glitch from a previous version, without anyone telling me I should erase my life beforehand?
Did I do something wrong?

Re:Microsoft Begs Win 7 Testers To Clean Install (3, Funny)

Taimat (944976) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521523)

I think you missed the point... Clean install linux **INSTEAD** of windows...
Whoosh!

Re:Microsoft Begs Win 7 Testers To Clean Install (-1, Redundant)

flibuste (523578) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521763)

oh duh! Sorry about that. So I should re-install Windows'95 other a rather old XP one just to be sure?

Re:Microsoft Begs Win 7 Testers To Clean Install (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522171)

lol wut

Windows does what without a clean install? (4, Interesting)

thtrgremlin (1158085) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522185)

Being in a bind and needing to setup a machine with Ubuntu at one point, all I had with me was an Xubuntu 6.06 alternate CD. Installed and updated to 9.04 alpha 5 quickly and fairly easily. There was one small issue that required me to use dpkg to force the installation of a package apt-get would not let me upgrade (mutual dependency conflict) and with almost no prior knowledge was resolved in
If someone was trying to install XP, but didn't have a disk and asked "Well, I got a Windows 95 CD, shouldn't I be able to use that and just update?", they would probably get a lot of weird looks... but the appropriate response would be "No, it isn't like Linux".

Hell, I once had a broken Gentoo machine I could not fix, I gave up and with no external media or even downloading an iso just switched it over to Ubuntu in a couple of hours... though in all honesty, I hope never to do that again.

Re:Microsoft Begs Win 7 Testers To Clean Install (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27521551)

Yawn.

Red? (0, Offtopic)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521441)

Why is this news in red on the frontpage? And, I understand what they are saying BUT shouldn't they be asking vista users to upgrade from it?

Re:Red? (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521507)

BUT shouldn't they be asking vista users to upgrade from it?

No, because nobody in their right mind would buy it unless it came pre-installed on a new computer.

Re:Red? (5, Informative)

onezan (908534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522039)

I know, don't feed the troll. however, it should be noted that 7 is really quite good. i've been a windows user, a mac user and i have tried every flavour of linux for 10 years and i stand by my opinion that Win7 is an excellent OS. Each has their strengths (and i have each installed on various machines for various jobs), but everyone shouldn't be assaulting every MS news item just because it's MS.

Re:Red? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522441)

I am Ethanol-fueled and I am not trolling.

I've defended Microsoft here before. I dual-boot XP and Linux and I will keep that configuration for the forseeable future.

However, as myself and others in the know have stated over and over again, Vista is a slow, bloated mess and there's no real reason to upgrade to Vista or 7 aka Vista SP2. Everybody knows that. There are only 2 reasons to "upgrade" to Vista/7 from XP:
  • Keeping up with the Jonses, aka the "Oooh, shiny" factor
  • Games, since DX10 isn't officially available for XP

I'll buy Microsoft's next OS after they boot Ballmer and allow engineers, and not marketting droids and content providers, to dictate its design.

Re:Red? (0, Offtopic)

viking099 (70446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521517)

Stories with red headings are stories that are in the future. Generally it's just subscribed folks who see it, but every once in a while, you'll refresh at the exact right time where it's available for everyone, but still "locked."

Either that, or it's Chinese hackers attempting to mess with your head.

Re:Red? (0, Offtopic)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521529)

A red border indicates a new story with no comments, possibly as a symbolic way of saying "hot off the presses".

Re:Red? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27521887)

As others mentioned, it is for new stories without comments.

In other words, it is to signal the First Posters to get ready.

And when will this version stop working? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27521469)

And when will this version cease working? Aug 29th?

MS should give people more incentive to "test" their product unless the new version vastly improves upon the current release candidate.

Re:And when will this version stop working? (1, Interesting)

Narnie (1349029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521579)

Are you suggesting that MS should develop self-destructing betas to promote upgrading? What a radical idea!
UPGRADE OR LOOSE YOUR DATA!!!!

Re:And when will this version stop working? (4, Funny)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521667)

But I want my data to be tight not loose!

Re:And when will this version stop working? (1)

Narnie (1349029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521813)

haha... got excited and added an extra vowel
Please disregard, the word is LOSE.

Re:And when will this version stop working? (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522045)

Actually, for many people, the threat of having your data loose would be more intimidating than having your data lost. That means you, yes you, dear reader. I know about those pictures...

Re:And when will this version stop working? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522433)

If you know about the pictures of me and your mom then you also know I want a million dollars in cash delivered to the secret drop off location, dear writer.

Re:And when will this version stop working? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522135)

I misunderstood... I thought you were saying that if you did not upgrade, Microsoft would loose your private data upon the world. "Pay us or a Russian hacker gets your bank details!"

Re:And when will this version stop working? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522399)

I'm sure there's a joke in there bout having loose vowels when you get excited, but it would probably be pretty disgusting, so I won't pursue it, in order to protect the delicate sensibilities of /. reader...

Re:And when will this version stop working? (0)

thtrgremlin (1158085) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522233)

Didn't they do that with trial versions of Office 2008? Part of the installation process was to convert all office documents to the 2008 version. Either buy office, or pay someone to convert all your documents back. What is the cheaper and easier solution for most people? I think they got a few complaints about that one.

Be happy to (5, Funny)

thewils (463314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521511)

Just as soon as they release it on Pirate Bay.

Duh! (0, Flamebait)

zerosomething (1353609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521527)

Who's the dumb ass that expects a beta os to a upgrade a beta os to work? ROFLMAO

Re:Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522385)

Works w/ ubuntu...

Re:Duh! (2, Insightful)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522389)

It seems to work fine for Ubuntu Jaunty.

Same thing, different Tuesday. (-1, Troll)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521545)

...perform a clean install of the forthcoming Release Candidate, rather than upgrade from the beta.

Ah, doesn't it seem like we're "upgrading from the beta" almost every Tuesday anyway?

I know I cross my fingers and pray to the BSOD Gods every time...

Re:Same thing, different Tuesday. (4, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522129)

I haven't seen a BSOD in almost a decade.

Re:Same thing, different Tuesday. (5, Insightful)

Bio)-(azard (1421513) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522281)

I must agree, but a decade is pushing it. Any blue screens I have seen have been from nVidia or Creative drivers, or overclocking just a little too far. Not Microsoft's fault.

Re:Same thing, different Tuesday. (4, Insightful)

sureshot007 (1406703) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522283)

I haven't seen a BSOD in almost a decade.

You must not work in IT

Re:Same thing, different Tuesday. (5, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522403)

I've seen BSODs in the last five years, and I don't even use Windows very often.

- On ATMs
- On gigantic billboards
- On the ticket machine at a railway station
- On an interactive display in a museum

Oh, and on a PC I was using.

Re:Same thing, different Tuesday. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522417)

That's when I started using OSX, too!

What is the point in begging if they block their (0)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521553)

path?

That's like a toll booth worker saying, "I won't move the barricade unless you pay" so, please, please, please pay the $5.95 toll, even though you find it too burdensome..."

Re:What is the point in begging if they block thei (3, Informative)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521951)

They block it BUT also provide a work around in TFA if you feel the need to take the 'unsupported route'.

The block is much like a toll booth with a paper gate. It lets you know where to stop but you could just drive through it.

New install indeed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27521571)

Wow,while I can take my profiles and settings with me in linux from one distro beta or not to the next, when it comes to windows 7 we can't allow you to do that. Perhaps they should deploy the Jedi-Mind-Trick 2.0 - These are not the sectors you were looking for ------

no way in hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27521591)

The only way they are going to get me to install windows 7 is the same way they will get me to install Vista, after they pry my linux machine from my cold dead hands.

installation process still counts (4, Insightful)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521601)

After a recent update to an XP box (an MS automatic update) DAZ Studio [daz3d.com] , a piece of software I enjoy, stopped working. It is really the only reason I still have a windows box. The XP clean reinstall process went through without a hitch, but it took me a day and a half. I shit you not. Endless downloading of files and updates, far too many reboots. I hope this is remedied in Windows 7, because when it comes out I will probably get a new beefier windows box for DAZ Studio.

Re:installation process still counts (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521707)

Couldn't just uninstall the update?
Couldn't check with DAZ on wtf was going on?

I clicked that link and saw the creepiest dolls I've ever seen.

Re:installation process still counts (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521833)

Didn't know what update, and anyway I wanted to be fully updated since XP support is ending soon.

Just out of curiosity, what dolls did you find creepy? The Girl 4 has a curious combination of cuteness and creepiness. It is proving relatively popular.

Re:installation process still counts (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522501)

You know it was recent so just uninstall the recent updates and reinstall them one by one until things break.

Re:installation process still counts (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521893)

That's the reason that the only windows I run is via vmware workstation. Issue? Revert to snapshot. I don't bother with / trust the windows uninstaller, especially with some of the garbage I end up using in the windows world (exam study software is horrible)

Re:installation process still counts (2, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522087)

Well, same happens with my ubuntu install if I forget to burn a new copy of the distro. Updates take a loooong time.

Slipstream SP3 into that install disc you've got. That should cut down the update time.

They have a Mac version of Daz... (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522615)

There is a Mac version of Daz [cnet.com] , no need to use Windows if you do not want to.

It's much nicer working on a real UNIX system.

And low level format the disk too? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27521629)

For good measure.

Re:And low level format the disk too? (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521863)

and reflash the BIOS and so on... one can not be too sure.

Re:And low level format the disk too? (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522059)

Actually, I think the low-level format suggestion is wise.

Re:And low level format the disk too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522131)

i think they should nuke it from orbit. it's the only way to be sure.

Soft machines for testing (5, Insightful)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521631)

We test a lot - we produce software. And all testing platforms are defined as soft, meaning that the platform is to be completely scrubbed before new systems tests or that they are literally soft, as in virtual machines.

Whether testing an OS or a complex app suite, this is the way to go. When the item under test is the operating system, only upgrade when it is the upgrade process itself that is being tested.

We got this from the hardware community - always KNOW your testbed.

So-called beta testers that have had no real exposure to the known disciplines of testing are - in my opinion - not testers at all.

That Microsoft is trying to specify test parameters is very good thing.

Re:Soft machines for testing (2, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521709)

Mod parent up. He's spot on point. This is beta-testing, not production.

Re:Soft machines for testing (5, Funny)

fprintf (82740) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521961)

I have mod points, but decided I didn't like being ordered what to do. So I decided to f*ck it and post so I'd be under no obligation to follow your order. :-P

Re:Soft machines for testing (4, Funny)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522559)

and you got modded down for your insolence, which is kinda funny in a cosmic sort of way. Then again, so will this post.

Re:Soft machines for testing (5, Interesting)

Spuds2600 (141122) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521947)

It's also kind of a good thing that Microsoft has decided to send this 'beta' release to such a wide audience. Those that use Windows SHOULD all be beta testers of the software with the understanding that each successive release should start clean.

I'm sure a lot of the "beta" testers are simply people that are very very hot to try out the new (and supposedly improved) release of Microsoft's new OS.... they often are just savvy enough to format and reinstall windows and nothing else, and don't really know how to 'test' software.

The 'soft machine' concept is really something that users should be introduced to when installing the beta Windows software. A window should pop explaining the concept, and advising that trying to upgrade a beta to a new beta or release candidate could cause massive problems, and the only way to truly experience the improvement of the build is to start from scratch.

Microsoft should continue this trend they started. I believe that with the wide variety of hardware and software out there, it has the capacity to allow Microsoft to build a vastly better product, and understand what it takes to build an OS for the less savvy computer individual.

Re:Soft machines for testing (2, Informative)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522107)

That Microsoft is trying to specify test parameters is very good thing.

Wouldn't they be interesting in finding out what might happen to paying customers when they buy the product and try to upgrade?

Re:Soft machines for testing (5, Informative)

colonelxc (1467119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522369)

That Microsoft is trying to specify test parameters is very good thing.

Wouldn't they be interesting in finding out what might happen to paying customers when they buy the product and try to upgrade?

They are interested in upgrades from Vista to 7. What they aren't interested is in upgrades from Win7beta to Win7RC (or 7full).

Re:Soft machines for testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522391)

This is for upgrading 7 beta to 7RC, nothing more.

Re:Soft machines for testing (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522523)

I would also say (and I know lots of people will disagree) that from a user or user support standpoint, clean installs are preferable. Unless you know exactly what you have installed and what all your settings are, it's very hard to predict what might go wrong in an upgrade process. On the other hand, if you know exactly what you have installed and what all your settings are, then it probably won't be to hard to get everything back up to speed after a clean install anyway.

But even if you're not going to do a clean install (which I don't *always* do), it's a good practice to be prepared for a clean install. Keep backups of all your documents, and keep the original disks of all your software. If you make important changes to your settings that you won't necessarily remember, document those changes. For example, not only do I backup /etc on my Linux boxes, but I have a habit of keeping a backup on a separate box of only the files that I've customized, along with a package list of what's installed on each machine. I back up my full profile (regardless of OS) to make sure my personal settings are preserved.

The point is, if you're doing it right, a clean install shouldn't be too big of a deal. If you need to make the same customizations on lots of machines, come up with an imaging strategy.

So it's official now? (2, Informative)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521633)

Back when I still bought microsoft software, if you wanted to upgrade you'd buy the upgrade version, format your HD and install the full version you borrowed from a friend. It was the only way to get a working product. Win 3.1 to win 95(b or c because a was the suck), 95 to 98(SE because 98 plain also sucked), and from 98 to XP(pro because, well, you know).

OK, it wasn't the only way to get a working product:
1) you could buy the full version every time, but you already had the prerequisite license, so why buy full when an upgrade SHOULD have given you a working product.
2) it wasn't the year of Linux on the desktop yet, and it was before OS X 10.2 was released.

Re:So it's official now? (3, Informative)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521867)

I seem to recall upgrade versions of Windows being just fine to install fresh--though it would ask you to insert the previous version's disc to ensure that you possessed a copy.

Re:So it's official now? (5, Informative)

viking099 (70446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521905)

Or you could install the upgrade on a clean disk by inserting your old media at the appropriate time.

I've been installing Windows ever since 95 and not once have I been forced to install an older version before "upgrading" to the newer one. I just wipe the drive, show the installer I have an older version of Windows, and get the exact same thing as a full OEM verson.

Re:So it's official now? (1)

Raven_black (453663) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521967)

luckly the XP pro upgrade disk allows you to do a clean install unlike 95...don't know about 98

Re:So it's official now? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521975)

Um you do know that upgrade media, always could do full installs all you had to do was insert the media from a qualifying prior version during the install. I installed onto black HDDs all the way up through win98se by offering the installer my Windows 3.0 disk 8 (I think it would ask for ) during the install.

Re:So it's official now? (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522027)

Back then you could do a clean "upgrade" install using the upgrade disk. All you had to do was put in the disk for your old version when it was requested. In fact Vista was the first version where an upgrade had to literally be an upgrade.

Not evil, business (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521677)

Since they announced this tidbit, people have been complaining about it... But it's just simple business. They -know- a clean install is the best way to go and it's still a pre-release product. I don't think it's unreasonable for them to require a free, pre-release product to be installed from scratch.

On the other hand, I'm sure glad I didn't try it on my PC, as I really don't need the hassle of a wipe and reinstall.

I have to think that future pre-release versions will have the same caveat, and the release version may as well. In that case, I'm content to just wait.

Re:Not evil, business (1)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522313)

I don't understand, who's complaining all that loudly about this? This is a perfectly reasonable request from Redmond. What type of person gets upset that they're being asked to perform a clean install of pre-release software if they've been using the beta of a closed, commercial operating system???

Understandable (5, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521689)

I can understand this. The RC is coded to handle upgrading from a Windows XP or Vista installation, it's not coded to handle upgrading from itself. A Win 7 beta installation's not going to match, it's going to have things already upgraded and other things upgraded to different versions from what the RC has. It's one of those situations that nobody who gets Windows 7 once it's released will ever have to deal with, and it doesn't make sense most of the time to have code in the release to handle a situation that can't happen. Except that it can happen if you happen to be part of the beta program, so you're warned loud and clear that the software isn't designed to do that so don't try it.

Now, if I were getting the RC, I would be testing upgrades from WinXP and Vista installs in varying states of disrepair. A clean install is easy. Upgrading from a fresh, untouched XP or Vista install should be easy. Upgrading from a Vista install that's an upgrade of an XP install, after having a couple of dozen games (with all their DRM), audio and video codecs (with their DRM), media players (with their DRM), browser toolbars, Firefox, Opera, Thunderbird, a double handful of applications that've gone through multiple upgrades, all after multiple malware-removal tools have been run multiple times to try and clean things up, all the while trying to preserve the D: (second partition on the main drive) E: and F: (the two partitions on the second (old) drive that got repurposed for holding your archives) drives... that may be a bit more interesting.

Re:Understandable (5, Informative)

Tawnos (1030370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522293)

Upgrading from XP is not supported. Only Vista SP1 is supported for upgrade.

Re:Understandable (1)

vigour (846429) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522557)

aaaah!

I'm too drunk to read that properly

Seems pretty reasonable? (3, Insightful)

thomsomc (1247152) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521701)

I might be missing something to troll about here, but it seems to me like they're asking us (the testers) to do what the actual, real-world scenario would entail, which is to install from a fresh computer or otherwise non-upgrade scenario. It makes sense from both a standard product testing perspective (do what the customer would do to determine what the customer would experience) as well as a technical perspective (bug fixes and functional changes galore from beta to RC, some involving files that might not change during the "upgrade" process). I think this is perfectly reasonable. I'll be happy to do a fresh install with the RC, it'll take a few more minutes but will better reflect the real experience of an initial install.

The funnest OS ever (-1, Offtopic)

QuincyDurant (943157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521733)

They can take my Mac when they pry my cold, dead fingers from the keyboard.

Re:The funnest OS ever (1)

jmccarty (1510147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521779)

They can take my Mac when they pry my cold, dead fingers from the keyboard.

Careful, they just might take you up on that offer.

Re:The funnest OS ever (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522267)

They can take my Mac when they pry my cold, dead fingers from the keyboard.

You can install Windows on your Mac and have the best of both worlds.

What's with the word 'begs'? (1)

SlipperHat (1185737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521741)

They just simply need to say, "Do a clean install, or we can't/won't help you if you have problems"

Re:What's with the word 'begs'? (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522033)

That's not good enough for a company like Microsoft. They need to block your ability to upgrade from one beta to another, because if they don't you're going to run into all sorts of weird problems because you followed an unsupported upgrade path and upgraded from one piece of test software to another. After you find these glitches, maybe you decide to blog about how much the new Windows 7 beta blows. Before you know it, some tech rag picks up on your blog, publishes a story about it, and it gets spread all over the Internet.

Then, since everyone is eager to believe any sort of bad press about MS, everyone believes that Windows 7 is garbage, even though your glitches only happened because you decided to install one buggy piece of test software on top of a differently buggy piece of test software rather than wipe the machine like you're supposed to in any kind of test environment. Before you know it, MS is looking at a PR nightmare because someone decided to disregard standard testing procedure. I'm sure they would like to avoid that as much as possible.

Re:What's with the word 'begs'? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522447)

Before you know it, some tech rag picks up on your blog, publishes a story about it, and it gets spread all over the Internet.

Hah! Like that would ever happen...

Nuke it from Orbit. (1, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521759)

If the submitter had bothered to RTFA, they'd realize that Microsoft actually recommends that the user nuke the Beta install from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...

barriers to market and customer expectations (1)

thtrgremlin (1158085) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521821)

I've read complaints that reviews of new Linux distros often focus too much on the installation process

The complaints are generic that, imho, revolve around "Why are you focusing in <thing I can do easily> instead of <my strange special case scenario feature>?"

Sadly, while I can not hardly fathom difficulties in installing Ubuntu Linux, or many other distros, The incentive and ease for a non-techie person to TAKE THE INITIATIVE to install their own operating system MUST be very high. This means FLAWLESS in every respect with EVERYTHING. The fact that OEM's often must tweak Windows to get it to work in ways that are very difficult to repeat by regular users is not an issue for those with Windows preinstalled, or a special disk for their computer. I see OEM disks all the time that say "Only use with your machine". This is because it is customized to work. In my personal experience, I have never encountered a computer where retail windows just worked with everything; there are always several third party drivers that must be installed.

In this way, while it may not seem fair, until there are many time more machines in stores coming with preinstalled Linux, the expectation of the ease of use for the installer will be far beyond anything that has ever been expected of Windows.

And the same goes for updates / upgrades. Windows Update only updates core system components but can be setup to update Microsoft products, and works reasonably well in most situations. Apt-get, to simply say that it supports third party software, is grossly understating what it manages.

Blessing and curse for Microsoft is that Windows users will tolerate pretty much anything. No QA == no progress.

Is that so? (0, Offtopic)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521841)

Microsoft seems to understand that complications at installation time (dual booting? preserving an existing data partition?) can sour one's experience pretty thoroughly.

That's how we make Linux take over the desktop! Erase all partitions, and always use the whole hard disk! None of this "Mount / on target partition" business! Just wipe out Windows when Linux installs! Clearly, that's the remedy suggested here.

Except for the part where, y'know, not being able to dual-boot would actually kind of suck. I still need to play Touhou Project outside of school.

But that's really the only reason I keep Windows around (Touhou does not run perfectly in Wine, in my experience). If I didn't need the games, I would destroy that partition.

I'm sure there are other good reasons to dual-boot, too. Like, maybe you want a DEB-based system and a RPM-based system or something, right? Debian and Fedora, side-by-side? That doesn't sound useful? What if a binary is only available in one format and not the other? More reason to dual-boot than just "I need Windows for this one specific task."

Won't Install Windows 7 Again (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521899)

I don't think I'll install the RC or the retail product. My Windows 7 partition appears corrupted, and it won't boot. In XP I could do a repair install. With Vista and 7, the option for a repair install was removed. Is there any good reason for this?

I won't run an OS that I can't repair if I need to.

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (1)

master811 (874700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522015)

No the option is still there and always has been, you simply run through the process of putting disc in drive and booting from it and you will see an option of repairing. I've had done it loads of times for instance when installing XP as a dual boot and accidentally overwriting the Vista boot software.

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (3, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522237)

No, I've booted to the disc, and there is no repair install. Microsoft's support confirmed this option is completely removed and won't be returning. I was also talking to a Microsoft Evangelist yesterday at an Exchange 2007 demo yesterday, and while he said it is an issue he gets a lot of feedback and complaints on, it doesn't look like Microsoft will ever add it back.

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (1)

master811 (874700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522513)

Well it is definitely in Vista SP1, I can't see any possible reason why they would remove it, and am pretty sure it is in the 7057 build of 7 (although will need to check).

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522617)

There are repair options, which will look for problems and attempt to repair them, but it will not do a "repair install", which completely replaces all the Windows system files with good files from your DVD, while preserving your registry and settings.

I have a Vista SP1 DVD, and a 7057 build DVD (though I was running build 7000) and while repair options existed, the repair install option does not.

The automated repair tools on the DVD tell me I have no problems, but when I attempt to boot my computer, it goes into the repair options from the boot partition, telling me that BOOTIMG is corrupted.

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (2, Interesting)

kbielefe (606566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522511)

Now, that's an endorsement for an OS: "I've repaired it loads of times!"

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (1)

dword (735428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522063)

Is there any good reason for this?

Yup! It's the same reason you chose to install a BETA operating system next to another operating system.

I won't run an OS that I can't repair if I need to.

OTOH, you make an excellent point... just give 7 another chance.

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522263)

Vista, a non-beta OS also has the feature removed, and the final retail version of 7 won't have the feature either.

I won't run an OS that I can't repair.

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522485)

'I won't run an OS that I can't repair.'

The only way you know to repair an issue with an installed operating system is to select an option off the install CD called 'repair install' ? Seriously?

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522109)

I don't think I'll install the RC or the retail product. My Windows 7 partition appears corrupted, and it won't boot.

Did you file a bug? What the heck did you expect from a beta product. For all we know, this corrupt filesystem bug you encountered is the reason for Microsoft's clean-install statement. Perhaps every previous Windows 7 install has a corrupted partition. You could of been famous.

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522303)

No. I am aware of the reporting features within the OS (which I can't boot to) but I was not aware of a Microsoft bugzilla.

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (1)

thousandinone (918319) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522219)

I don't believe the repair install option was available in the Vista beta, if memory serves correctly. Can't speak for the XP beta.

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522321)

The repair install option was available in the XP Beta as I used it. It has been present since Windows 2000, but disappeared with Vista apparently.

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522373)

I don't think I'll install the RC or the retail product. My Windows 7 partition appears corrupted, and it won't boot. In XP I could do a repair install. With Vista and 7, the option for a repair install was removed. Is there any good reason for this?

I won't run an OS that I can't repair if I need to.

The repair install option is still there and the process is the same as in XP. You should have checked before assuming it was gone.

Re:Won't Install Windows 7 Again (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522419)

This simply is not correct. I thought maybe it was hidden, or in a different place. Microsoft's support confirmed the option was removed, and a Microsoft Evangelist yesterday confirmed that it will not return.

I'd like you to please point me to information that shows where this repair option exists, given that it doesn't.

Confused (5, Insightful)

hmar (1203398) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522149)

Why does it seem that so many people are keeping important data and programs on a beta?

My answer to everything (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522349)

Because they're idiots.

It's amazing what questions that answers.

I always fresh install. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522297)

It seems that my computer keeps catching the Linux virus. Can anyone tell me how I can prevent getting it

Why not always clean install? (4, Informative)

danheretic (689990) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522415)

Seriously, I don't understand the fascination with in-place upgrades. Why not clean install?

I use Windows (have to for work) and support it, and it's so much better to do a clean install. In fact, I recommend wiping Windows* every year or two and starting with a fresh clean install anyway.

*Anticipating the obligatory "fixed it for you" response: "In fact, I recommend wiping Windows and starting with a fresh clean install of Linux." If only everyone thought the same way...

upgrade/clean (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522425)

How many years has it been and Microsoft still cant do a simple file revision control system?

win7 doesnt like xp64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522573)

Microsoft seems to understand that complications at installation time (dual booting? preserving an existing data partition?) can sour one's experience pretty thoroughly.

Really? Then why when I installed win7 beta my xp64 dissapeared? Oh it doesnt even recognize another version of windows? After 3 hours of messing with the new BCD crap and creating a new boot.ini I finally got dual boot in the win7 boot loader. Sour, yes I am.

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