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Microsoft 7, The Upgrade Play by Play, Expanding Files Fix, And More

| October 23, 2009 | 19 Replies
*Windows 7 Bootup

*Windows 7 Bootup

I put myself through yet another Microsoft Upgrade Process as an “early adopter”  just so that I could understand better what everyone will be experiencing when they choose to upgrade their Microsoft Products (If possible, the best practice is to do a “clean install”).   All in all, the Upgrade process went fairly smooth although, it took me much longer than I anticipated and over twice as long as when I upgraded a system from Windows XP to Vista.   My Vista Premium Upgrade Play by Play is here:

The two biggest issues that I had in this upgrade were as follows:

1. After running the Microsoft Windows 7 Compatibility Checker, which can be found here  (and also on the UPGRADE DVD), I was given a “clean slate”.   Upon starting the upgrade process itself I was notified by a more thorough “checker” that “Windows will affect the following features:”

  • Windows Mail is no longer included in Windows 7 (Not a big deal if you are running Outlook) AND you are able to download the Microsoft Windows Live e-mail program here as an able substitute.  The good news is that if you have been using Windows Mail, the upgrade process WILL SAVE all of your current messages and then re-import them into Windows Live Mail when you download and install it.  I’ve tested this feature and it DOES work.
  • A number of my programs were listed as incompatible with the UPGRADE but would work upon un-installing them and re-installing them afterward including: Pinnacle Studio 12, ATI CATALYST Control Center, and iTunes.

2.  The biggest issue for me came when I got to 21% at the Expanding Windows Files section.  I’ve done enough installations to know when something is working right and it appeared to me that the the Windows 7 installation was STUCK at 21%.   I’ve also done enough UPGRADES  to realize that if you let the computer “do its thing” and give it enough time -it may still work.   After about 30 minutes into the 21%, I began to be concerned that the computer, indeed, had frozen -the only hope was that the mouse still “moved” and the hard drive light was still blinking… so, I looked online to see if anyone else was having the same problem.  Sure enough, I found many people having the same issue(s) that I was.

THE FIX: THE “INTERNET WISDOM” GATHERED INDICATES TO WAIT THIS ISSUE OUT!  MY SYSTEM FINALLY MOVED ON TO 22% AT ALMOST  EXACTLY ONE HOUR FROM THE “STICKING POINT”!  WAITING WORKED FOR ME.  -Hopefully, it will work for you too…. I know it’s easy to get “antsy” and want to push the re-boot button but, wait a long while before you consider doing so.

It seems as though people have been reporting this issue since the BETA stage (and the same-percentage-error-place on some VISTA installations) and apparently all the kinks have not been worked out yet.   Things like this become “deal breakers”, so I hope that some of you will find this and it helps you get through the process!  More on this issue here and here. 

My advice- if it “freezes” for you around these percentages…grab a coffee and watch a show and come back 30-60 minutes later and check it…still stuck? -grab another coffee…

I’ve put together a PLAY by PLAY list of installation timings of the operation during my Windows 7 upgrade that I hope may be helpful for anyone going through their own upgrade(s).  Hopefully, the timeline will provide some help in knowning whether or not the  installation is going well or “smoothly”.   The system that I performed the Windows 7 UPGRADE is typical of what I believe that many people upgrading to Windows 7 will own:

Sony PC:4096MB (3.25 GB available because of 32 bit limitations), 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 HT technology Intel CPU, 200 GB SATA HD, ATI RADEON 1050 with Dual Monitors, Netgear Wireless card (WG111 v3), and a working copy of Windows Vista Home Premium Installed prior to the installation. 

I really feel that since the advent of Windows Vista, regardless of what is stated or written in reccomendations, Windows users need to “MAX OUT” their memory to have a smooth experience (at least 4GB of memory modules).

The total time of my Windows 7 Upgrade, sans the first attempt, was 4 hours and 58 minutes! 

From looking online, it seems like the average Windows 7 Upgrade takes between 3-4 hours -mine was an hour longer.  Be prepared for a long install!

First Attempt:

0:00 – Insert the DVD
0:01 – Search for Updates and downloaded a number of updates
0:02- Check Compatibility
0:03-The green progress line keeps resetting (I really hate this-when it gets to the end it starts over…why not make it one progress line?)
0:07- Installing Windows Begins
0:09 – A list of potential issues with hardware are presented to me
0:10- I decide to abort the install and make sure I have downloaded all hardware/software upgrades that I might need based on this list

Second Attempt:

PHASE 1 and 2 -Copying Windows Files/Gather Files and Settings (2 Hours and 6 minutes)

0:00 – Insert the DVD
0:01 – Search for Updates and downloaded a number of updates
0:02- Check Compatibility
0:03-The green progress line keeps resetting (I really hate this-when it gets to the end it starts over…why not make one progress line? Deja-vu?)
0:07- Installing Windows Begins
0:09 – A list of potential issues with hardware are presented to me
0:10 – This time I “choose” NEXT!
0:11- Copying Windows Files appears (2127 MB)
0:15- Still 0% on Copying Files
0:17- 6% of Copying Files and a target file number appears (316207)
0:36- 17% of Copying files and (270533 of 316207)
0:44 -20% of Copying files and (316207 of 316207)
0:48 -21% of Copying files
0:50 -30% of Copying files and a new target number appears (892360)
1:20 -50% of Copying files (335503 of 892360)
2:05-100% of Copying files (892360 of 892360)
2:06 Windows States it is now “Expanding Windows Files (2224 MB) and at 21% (Note this is the spot where it seems to get stuck (see above) AFTER the reboot).

Continued…

Phase 3 -Expanding Windows Files (1 hour and 15 minutes)

0:00- Windows Attempts to Restart
0:04- Computer Still Doing something and the screen is telling me that “Windows needs to Restart” for 4 minutes (this is weird -again you think it is stuck…)
0:05 -The computer finally “restarts”
0:06- I see the Windows Start Screen with the cool, floating, colored balls that form the New Windows 7 Logo
0:07- Upgrading Windows Appears on the Screen with the Vista “Mouse Circle” pointer
0:08- Back to “Expanding Windows Files” and at 21% It appears to be stuck and/or frozen here…wait it out -see above.  Many of you will not have this problem…
1:07- FINALLY, 22%!!!
1:10- 50%
1:15 -100% ..WHEW!

Continued…

Phase 4 -Installing Features & Updates (2 minutes)

0:00- Phase 3 Begins
0:01- Hard Drive Whirls…
0:02- “Windows Needs To Be Restarted”.  Phase 4 ends… Wow, that was fast considering…

Phase 4 -Transferring Files, Settings, And Programs (2 hours and 30 minutes)

0:00- Computer restarts
0:01- Starting Windows Screen Appears
0:03- Setup us updating Registry Settings Appears
0:04- Setup is Starting Services Appears
0:05- Transferring Files, Settings, And Programs Appears
0:06- “Installing Devices appears on the bottom of the screen”
0:09- Screen Blanks numerous times (probably found the graphics card)
0:11- WiFi and Network Devices comes alive
0:12- “32%” shows up on the screen and “328 of 1208567″ transferred (This goal number is the summation of the two large numbers “gathered” above).
0:19- 40% (241386 of 1208567)
0:49-47% (445434 of 1208567)
1:06- 58% (788533 if 1208567) Note: it appears to freeze here as well!
1:20- Still at 58%
1:30- Still at 58%
1:40- Computer Reboots/Restarts
2:00-Now at 63%
2:30- 100% Reboots and Restarts

Continued…

Final Phase: (5 Minutes)

0:00 Enter Product Key
0:01 Enter Time/Settings, etc.
0:03 Preparing to Start Windows
0:05 Login Screen!!!

Postlogue: I have had very little trouble with any of my programs and the transition actually was pretty smooth (minus the freeze scares).  All of the hardware on this machine did end up working with Windows 7.   There are many new features of Windows 7 that I am enjoying and plan to write about in my next post. 

Please feel free to comment about your Windows 7 installation experiences in the comment section below.  Also, if this “Play by Play” was helpful to you in any way -please let us know about that as well!

                  

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Category: Everything Else, Featured, Software-Hardware

About the Author ()

Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is the creator of many education websites, lecturer, clinician, trumpeter, and conductor. He is currently the Associate Chair of Music and Fine Arts at Grove City College, PA and the Vice President of TI:ME. He also writes for DCI Magazine, In-Tune Monthly and has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. Find out more at his website jpisano.com.
  • nickdangiolillo

    Wow!

    Thanks Joe! I’ve been looking at upgrading myself, and these types of “Real Life” experiences are a GREAT reassurance that Vista—> 7 Upgrades do work

    I did a clean install from XP to Vista on my home computer, but will probably do a Vista to 7 upgrade!

    Thanks for the literal minute by minute recap of your experience!
    -Nick

  • http://www.mustech.net/ Dr. J. Pisano

    Thank Nick, I am always glad to find out that I DO write useful stuff from time to time! :)

    Hope to see you at mid-west again this year! Are you keeping Randy under control?

  • MaestroC

    Joe,

    I’ve been using the beta of Windows 7 since February and have loved every minute of it. I did have some similar problems with installing it, but my biggest problem (as it has been with EVERY upgrade of Windows I have ever done) is finding some of my hardware will no longer work with the new OS. Going from 98 to XP I had to trash a printer and a scanner, and this time from XP to Win 7 I had to trash the video card in a different computer.

    Getting back to the install stuff, I highly recommend just wiping the drive and doing a clean install rather than upgrading from XP or Vista. The install will go a lot quicker plus the system just seems snappier and boots in far less time than with the old Vista install.

    One other thing, never assume that an upgrade install is going to go smoothly. It is probably an obvious statement but back up all of your documents to a DVD or off site service before you start installing or upgrading.

    One thing to check out if you have not done so already is the new Windows Home Group feature. Sharing files between computers was almost torture to set up for me on previous machines, but the Home Group thing in Win 7 was almost a no-brainer to share my entire music, photo, and video collection with any computer in the house (as long as it was also running Windows 7). I still have not been able to get it to connect to older XP machines though.

    Thanks for the post Joe! Enjoy Win 7!

    -Chad

  • http://www.facebook.com/toothiersla John Slattery

    Thank you for this. May I ask you how you are finding the whole experience so far? I am still debating on the upgrade.

  • hosey

    Thanks this could turn out to be very useful. I will eventually make the transition to Windows 7, I am still trying to get as much feedback as I can. So far its looking good so I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  • hosey

    Thanks this will be useful in the future. I will eventually make the transition to Windows 7, I am still trying to get as much feedback as I can. So far it seems to be making a good impression so I will keep my fingers crossed.

  • Jim R.

    A little trick for those of you who don’t like to sit around and hope your computer is working:

    You can press Shift + F10 during the installation to open a command prompt, where you can then run ‘TASKMGR’ to open the Task Manager… From there, you can access the Resource Manager from the Performance tab.

    The ‘Disk’ portion of the resource manager will tell you exactly what the machine is reading from and writing to..

  • pablodamasceno

    thanks. I was aaaalmost pushing the power button.

  • pablodamasceno

    “The upgrade was not successful. Your previous version of Windows is being restored.” =….(

    I guess I’ll need to do the clean installation

  • http://www.fimbestpractices.com/ David Lundell

    Thanks for the timeline this was a lifesaver, I had no idea that it would stall at 21%, but your post gave me the courage to hang on for a while and not it is done!

  • http://www.r-p-e.blogspot.com/ dave

    thanks – this was v useful. almost gave up myself at various points, but hung in – and it almost done!

  • http://www.mustech.net/ Dr. J. Pisano

    Glad to help!

  • gnv15

    My installation was freezing at 27% expanding files. Happened for several attempts. Shutting down Webroot antispyware and antivirus solved my problem :-)

  • http://www.mustech.net/ Dr. J. Pisano

    Glad you got it to work!

  • Siddharth K

    Mine is stuck at 21% for over a day now. I am upgrading from Vista home premium.

  • http://www.mustech.net/ Dr. J. Pisano

    Sorry to hear… Did you try disabling all running programs from your msconfig before you started?

  • Siddharth K

    Thank you for that. It was one of my antivirus components that was making the upgrade go slowly. All done now and Win 7 is working like an absolute charm!

  • http://www.mustech.net/ Dr. J. Pisano

    I’m Glad to hear it, I am really enjoying the Windows 7 release!

  • http://www.sktthemes.net/ SKT Wordpress Themes

    Wow thanks for this….i was installing a fresh install on one of my PCs and it just got stuck at 100% expanding windows. First time i just pressed the boot button without waiting but next time i listened to your suggestion and waited for 1.5 hours and when it finally got to the next stage.

    however i don’t understand one thing on one pc a month back installation happened in just 1-2 hours. Why on this PC it took so longer is still a question for me…

    All done now..thanks…

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