Windows 7 Lessons learnt from W7 installation


New Member
Hi, I inadvertently posted this on so I thought I would repost it here. Regards

In case it is you that likes challenges and you can learn benefit from my lessons learnt in trying to install Windows 7 on an old machine, then I have done my bit. No doubt others have come up with similar solutions so maybe this is old news but here goes. This is written for the casual user. PC details are at the end of this posting and comments are welcome. I am chuffed with myself as regards being able to (finally) type this on a W7 machine connected to my home wi-fi LAN. I chose my son's PC, the one he managed to damage the XP operating system on, so tests risks were low. Just as well.

I downloaded the 2.4 GB ISO image and burnt a DVD, so far so good. Then I discovered that my son's PC had a CD drive so off to Carrefour to buy a USB external NU slimline (I don't own shares, I am just impressed with their product.) I used F8 to select a boot from the DVD and off the installation went! I thought "gosh this is too easy". In DOS 5 days (and after that) I had one obstacle after another such as low-level and high-level HDD formatting. Then my LCD monitor lost sync and I thought "oh no!". I could no longer see what the eff was happening.

I waited for awhile, enjoying the stripes across the screen, before seeing something that looked like the product key page. So I carefully typed in the key and beat enter and no doubt made a hash of it because - no go. Bravely I reset. I tried again, and ended up at the same place, the monitor giving me the middle finger repeatedly. Then I must have got it right because the screen changed, judging by the changed zig-zag lines. Still stripes though. So - reset again, but this time I decided to start up in safe mode, so F8 once again. That worked. Lesson one - remember to beat the F8 key when needed.

So I decided to try Internet Explorer and amazingly that worked, without installing any wi-fi drivers! (There were Windows updates in between all of this fun and games over a few days.) After reading up on this forum I discovered a useful W7 URL so off to the NVIDEA site and I discovered an auto detect option. A massive download followed with their most recent driver software - no go. Try again with an older just as massive driver. Ditto for try two. Try three - I specified a driver manually this time and downloaded only 80MB. That worked! Lesson 2 - the NVIDEA auto dectect option might not be so reliable.

I also found that Device Manager was reporting an unknown PCI device, drivers not installed. I checked everything and decided that this was a "ghost device" seeing as everything else was accounted for and after stringent visual inspections. Seeing as the device does not exist, I disabled it. I cant't see it so it can't do any harm if it is also switched off.

Great! A stable video image! Now to try to change the display resolution. I was politely informed that I did not have the necessay authority to acces that option. Control Panel? Ditto. Recycle bin? You got it. "Maybe that is due to the security policy" I thought or choosing a profile with no password initially. So I logged off, hoping to try to find a way to create a new user profile. Then I ended up in an endless loop, continuously getting the option to log in, clicking that and ending up back there. I am proud of myself. No expletives, just an increase in determination. I beat the reset button and used F8 again, yes and this time I could ceate another adminstrator account in safe mode and logon with a new account, which I defined having a password. (The first account also had administrator rights but I suspect it was was lying about it.) . Lesson three - F8 is still the best!

So the new account boots. Yea!!!! Then we get this message: "Run DLL Error in C:~Windows~system32~NVCPL.DLL Missing entry: ExportOEMDefaults". Sorry about the tilde instead of a backslash, looks like I chose the wrong keyboard. Also " and @ are swopped, so I have some typing challenges.

I ignored this exception like any good software engineer would and voila, I have a running system! (Or good enough to test from.) Next step - install software to see what breaks W7 or vice versa. Lesson 4 - you are allowed to ignore some errors.

For example I ignored the icon on the bottom right that says I do not have internet acces, because I have some evidence that I do!

So - keep posted, watch this space! Incidentally , so far I am impressed with the relatively fast W7 boot and the rapid shutdown, but this is a clean installation..... I am learning my way around, I was used to an "event viewer" that logs system errors and finally found something like it.

PC DETAILS AS PROMISED: AMD Athlon 64 3000+ MZNPV-MX 1.8 GHz; 1 GB RAM (895 usable last time I looked); W7 32 bit; NVIDEA GeForce 6150 #nFORCE 430 (on the motherboard 1024 by 768 resolution); D-Link 108G DWA-520 wi-fi; 20" Toshiba monitor 20V300M LCD (initially running in VGA mode at 800 x 600 to give a picture). Optical USB mouse HID compliant. 76309 MB SCSI ST 3808/AS hard drive. Several GB free.