Thinking About Upgrading To Windows 7?

With Windows 7’s release date just little more than three weeks away, you may be thinking more seriously about whether you’re going to upgrade to the new system when it arrives on store shelves. Microsoft’s track record with OS upgrades has been tarnished lately, and the company is determined not to repeat the same mistakes. One area in which the company took a lot of flack was the unavailability of device drivers for Windows Vista. Microsoft has that in the bag this time, or so they say. Upgrades should expect to find a plethora of drivers available on release day, which should make the process of upgrading smoother.

Upgrading From Windows Vista

If you’re upgrading your system from Windows Vista, you should have a smooth ride. There’s one caveat: if you’re running Windows Vista Home Basic, there’s no upgrade path for you. You’ll need to install the full Windows 7 product. If you’re upgrading from Windows Vista Home Premium, the upgrade to Windows Vista should be relatively easy. Your computer is already very likely to be capable of running Windows 7, and unless you have some very old or very dodgy devices, you should be in luck when it comes to drivers.

If you’re upgrading to Windows 7 from an older version of Windows (like XP), there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that Windows 7 contains a virtual environment in which you can run Windows XP. This will work for you if you have an older, irreplaceable piece of hardware or software that must run on XP. When you need to operate it, simply fire up XP virtually and run like the wind. Your XP drivers will work from the XP virtual environment. That won’t be the case if you attempt to run devices using XP drivers from the Windows 7 environment, though.

You’ll also need to verify that your older hardware is in good enough shape to run Windows 7. Microsoft offers a compatibility checking tool that will give your hardware setup the once-over to see if you need to make any hardware modifications before installing Windows 7. Older devices, smaller hard disks and minimum memory requirements are most likely to trip up old hardware.

If your hardware is seriously old… as in Jurassic or Pre-Colombian… you might want to consider just purchasing a low-cost desktop system that comes with Windows 7 already installed. Really old hardware is unlikely to meet the requirements of Windows 7. Even if you can get it to load and run, it’s performance will suffer tremendously and you’re not likely to reap the benefits of upgrading your system.

Troubleshooting Windows Driver Problems

Troubleshooting Windows Driver Problems

Troubleshooting Windows Driver Problems

Windows Driver Problems can be frustrating because they’re often difficult to identify. I always recommend using a product like Driver Detective to manage your Windows drivers. Driver Detective will locate, download and install drivers your system needs, update drivers that are already installed and remove drivers your system no longer needs.

Even with the expert management services of Driver Detective, you can still run into driver issues. Most users don’t understand (and don’t want to understand) exactly how their computer systems work. Driver problems can arise seemingly out of thin air, or they can arise immediately after a new piece of hardware has been installed in the computer. They can also show up after the OS or another hardware driver has been updated, installed or even removed.

One good tool for determining the overall performance of your system is called the DPC Latency Checker. This is a free utility that can provide immediate information on the performance of your computer. It can help you diagnose driver problems, though it doesn’t get specific about which driver(s) may be having difficulty. In other words, this tool will point you in the right direction when trying to troubleshoot system problems.

The DPC Latency Checker with a tutorial that will help you figure out how to use the program. DPC Latency checker is a small program, and there’s no installing to do, simply download it and run it.

DPC Latency Checker measures how quickly your system responds to your commands. As you open and close applications, DPC Latency Checker will graphically display your system’s response capabilities. Using this tool while you perform certain problematic tasks can help you determine what the system is doing. You may need to disable devices and then re-add them one at a time to determine which devices may be causing difficulty.

Once you’ve located the problem, you can disable the misbehaving device as a temporary measure. If you don’t have Driver Detective loaded, you might try locating the following to resolve the issue:

Apply all OS updates and security patches.
Uninstall the driver for the misbehaving device.
Apply all driver updates and patches for the misbehaving device. Check with the device manufacturer for the most up-to-date driver, and be sure to pay attention to the specific OS requirements of each driver. If the most current driver won’t work with your OS, locate the last good driver for your version of the OS and install that one.

Try the suspect device once a fresh copy of the driver is installed to see if your problem has been resolved.