Monday, November 16, 2009

Windows 7 Installs

What a weekend......great foot ball. Finally got Windows 7 installed and humming on all three of my machines. Let's go to the details straight away.

Basement PC
Upgraded to Win 7 Professional. Was real easy....took little less than one hour and 30 minutes. this i the one that is connected to my projector and the images are stunning. Watched two movies over the weekend....and WAF was very very high. I am using the Nvidia video settings on both my media PC's and it is very rich in colors and pictures look stunning.

Wife's old Laptop - Dell D600
Upgraded to Win 7 Professional again from XP. Upgrade went real easy. The laptop has 1Gb or Ram. Win 7 is definitely faster even on this old laptop. Had an issue with the ATI Radean 9000 driver. Was able to load the driver in XP mode and all is well.. I am only having occasional sound issues with the Sigmatel audio driver. But it has improved after couple of different installs with 2-3 different drivers.

Main Media Pc in the living room
Upgraded from Vista Home Premium to Win 7 Ultimate. This update was the most painful. It took more than 7 hours for me to figure out. Here are the issues I faced.

1.SATA drives are showing up as IDE during boot. I had to look at the internet and install a ton of things to get AHCI mode. I am stil not sure if everything is accomplised...but the drives show up as SCSI in device manager and I guess it is okay. But the sad part is there is lot of noise during shutdown and reboot compared to vista and I am not happy about it. Planning to open the machine and follow the sound during a reboot...maybe sometime this week.

2.Second issue was with the install itself. It will hang everytime on "Completing Installation". It took a long time for me to figure out. I was trying to do the install with USB keyboard and mouse. that was the first issue. Secondly PC was connected to LCD tv. that was the main the hell am I supposed to know that? I connected a CRT monitor and regular keyboard/mouse and install went well after that....this is after 7 hours of breaking my back and mind to figure out what the hell was the issue. What If I did not have a CRT monitor? that really sucks.

3.Got all software installed. Media center was alright...but OTA HD had lot of stutter and even the TV programs recorded in vista had occasional stutters. I was googling all day saturday to fix this and nothing worked. I updated all drivers - Hauppage, nvidia etc etc. nothing worked.

4.Mediabrowser was also giving issues. It would not either show some of my folders or would not show all the DVD's inside the folders and was driving me crazy...

finally on sunday evening ...fixed both the issues. Unchecked the "Movie Playlist" in mediabrowser and fixed all my issues....WTF....could not make sense of this one. Secondly...changed the resolution from 1920*1080 50hz to 1920*1080 60hz and the stutter was gone. Double checked my vizio TV manual to make sure this wont fry my TV.

Win 7 is just awesome from a HTPC media center stand point. All the easy shorts cuts and tricks you can do to move and resize windows and stuff...they are all great.

Here is what I use from software stand point.
Win 7 ultimate - main media PC to do Tv recordings.
Media browser to manage mymovies
Heatwave plugin for weather info
donated 3$ and got the channellogo plugin. Worth the money. It looks real nice in the guide.
Shark codecs for mkv, xvid etc etc.
DVDFAB and DVD Shrink
Coretemp to monitor my CPU temperatures
VCD clone drive for loading ISO images
Power DVD 7.2 for my bluray

Will post pictures soon.