Upgrading the PC

I decided it was time to upgrade my PC. My main task was to replace the Windows XP on my dual boot Windows/Linux work computer with Windows 7. The hard drive that was running Windows had some errors in the diagnostics so I bought a new 500GB drive to install the new OS. I decided that a memory upgrade made sense while I was at it, so added a new stick that upped the memory from 1.5GB to 3GB. The OS I purchased from NCSU at a special price as a staff member. Went to the store to buy it, but was only available as download so I downloaded and burned to DVD a copy of Windows 7 professional 32-bit.

After putting my new memory stick in the computer I wanted to check that it was good so I downloaded a free program called memtest. It took about 30 minutes to run and check and found no errors. While I had the computer open I decided to test whether the software RAID that I was running on Linux actually worked. The configuration is RAID 1 or mirrored, so that supposedly if one drive fails my computer still works. To check this I disconnected each disk of the array in turn and tried to boot. Between tests you need to re-sync the array and I didn’t figure this out right away since it doesn’t do it automatically as I thought, but you have to add the disk that you removed back into the software.

Windows 7 install was fairly easy. The only problem was when I tried to partition my 500GB drive into a 300 GB C: drive and a 200GB D: drive it popped up with an automatically added 100MB partition that caused me to go back and read some, but did get the install into 2 partitions as I wanted. I was happy that the DVD contained many default drivers so I didn’t have to go searching for old CDs like when I installed XP. My CD drivers for the Nvidia Geforce 7300 didn’t run so I downloaded that from the Nvidia website.

So far Windows 7 seems to be a nice upgrade. Generally faster booting and opening programs and a nicer look than XP.