I upgraded my desktop PC to Windows 7, which I’m very happy with, but it gave me more grief than it should have. I’ve owned computers since 1980, when I got my first Apple II, and I’m a bona fide computer wizard, so it should have been easy, right?
Well, not quite. The first hurdle was dealing with Windows 7’s insistence on wiping out your “Documents and Settings” — the only indispensable things on most PCs! Do you have any idea how much data I’ve accumulated over the years? Messing around with backing it up and restoring it was Not Fun. It was just as hard as if I were transferring my stuff to a brand-new computer, which I wasn’t.
The other hurdle was with mirrored drives. The more spendy versions of Windows 7 allow you to do disk mirroring, so all your data lives on two drives simultaneously. If one dies, the other keeps going, and you can slap in a replacement drive and get back to mirroring. No prob. And it doubles the speed of disk reads, which is nothing to sneeze at. (Disk mirroring is also called “RAID 1.” Don’t ask.)
But it’s amazingly difficult to figure out how to set it up. Why, Microsoft, didn’t you provide step-by-step instructions?
Some motherboards have the same capability in hardware, but they, too are always incredibly ill-documented.
But I’m up and running again, and Windows 7 seems quite a bit snappier than XP, though it seems to have some teething troubles, with the occasional odd bit of behavior.
A while back I bought a bargain-basement computer for under $300 at Staples to use as a secondary computer, and even el cheapo machines are pretty usable these days. So you might want to do it the easy way and get a new computer when you decide to switch to Windows 7. That’s called a “forklift upgrade” in the biz.