Windows 7 RC review – part 2
Testing the RC.
Installation: changes and fixes
You will not see many installation changes between your beta and RC setup experience. Upgrading from the beta directly to RC is not possible — and the reasons for this are understandable: When you upgrade, some registry keys and files from your beta re still kept in place, which means that you could still have a set of bugs exploited which you would not have if you were to custom install 7.
You can, however, upgrade from Windows vista. You will notice that your upgrade process is more detailed, with a status bar on the bottom of the window describing the current “stage” Windows setup is performing. This is something new in Windows — and in some cases, it is helpful to know where your setup is at the moment.
Windows 7 will now probably install on your old XP machine, if you have one. I would suggest that you have at least 1 GB of ram, though. Seeing how Ram prices are going down now a days, this should not be more than a $20 investment, though, and you will be up-to-date with the latest Microsoft OS release.
If you are using a netbook, you have 2 options. You can simply mount the image in a virtual DVD drive (such as using a program called Virtual Clone drive) and mount the image in it (creating a virtual DVD drive by doing so), or there is a more complex method of actually shrinking your windows 7 DVD image down to a reasonable size. (useful when using an etbook with 4 gigs of SD)
This link explains how.
If you have no vision, installing 7 can be a bit difficult – especially when booting from the DVD. The only possible way you could run set up is either within Windows itself (such as through XP/vista), or by creating an unattended DVD image of Windows 7 using Waik (Windows automated Installation kit).
However, I am planning to investigate the needed keyboard shortcuts you need to push in order to start install (and whipe your partitions clean).
Tip: to have the ability to choose a windows edition during install (there are 5 windows 7 editions similar to the ones found in Vista – Starter, home basic, Home premium, Professional, Ultimate. Enterprise is also a choice for businesses which request it.), delete the eh.cfg file found in your sources directory of the DVD .iso file. You can delete this file using Magic iso or another iso editing tool.
Windows 7 RC usability:
For those who have followed past reviews which I have written, you are familiar with what I said about the RC performance and how it functions.
If you have used the beta release only with your assistive technology of choice, your experiences with the RC will be quite similar. For those who use JAWS, for example, you will sstill receive the dreaded “The freedom scientific mirror display driver… run setup with the option -r to perform a repair…” message. In fact, for me, I was plagued by this notice for 1 week after every machine restart. Fortunately, I have found a work around this problem.
If you receive the “mirror display driver not working” message after every reboot, do the following:
0. if your JAWS runs and says “no window is active…”, run the runtime JAWS version by typing x:progra~1freedo~1runtim~110.0jfw.exe into your run dialogbox which you can access by hitting Windows+R). This will run the 40 minute runtime jaws release which does not need video hooks.
- 1. Hit the windows key to bring up the start menu. type in device manager or part of that word and arrow down to the device manager option.
- 2. expand the display adapters tree view and hit the delete key on the “freedom scientific mirror display driver” item.
- 3. hit ok. When asked to restart, DO NOT DO so.
- 4. now, press windows+R to access your run dialog again. type in x:windows\system32\drivers (where X represents your main drive windows is installed on)
- 5. navigate to or locate the file fsvidmir.sys. delete this file.
- 6. now, in the start search edit field, type in programs. open up the programs and features window, and delete your copy(s) of jaws. Yes, if you have multiple JAWS copies, erase them too. be sure to REMOVE SHARED COMPONENTS or else this will not work!
- 7. After a restart, reinstall jaws. tip: if you have problems locating the installation file of JAWS (lost CD ETC), download the latest release from hj.com and save it as X:j.exe . this way, after restart, you can simply type c:j.exe and run the installer this way. (hit alt+R after entering x:j.exe into the run dialog, where X is the drive you have the Jaws installer saved on)
After installation completes, restart your computer and see if the video intercepting message comes up again. Repeat these steps if so — and BE SURE TO ERASE THE FSVIDMIR.SYS FILE!
Window-eyes, curiously, did not have this video intercept problem. By far, however, System access remains the most usable screen reader for Windows 7.
There aren’t any bugs off hand which I have found. If you have ran the beta in the past — or any other windows 7 build, the feel of the OS should be the same. Windows 7 is not a “major” windows release — but it is a huge step from what Vista and even XP users have come to see Windows as.