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Microsoft releases SP2 for Vista

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Microsoft, SP2, Windows Vista

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Windows Vista

The English version of Windows Vista SP2 is now available for download here. As Microsoft themselves put it on the page;

Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista (SP2) is an update to Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 that supports new kinds of hardware and emerging hardware standards, and includes all updates delivered since SP1. SP2 simplifies administration by enabling IT administrators to deploy and support a single service pack for clients and servers. Please see the Windows Server SP2/Windows Vista SP2 page on TechNet/MSDN for additional details and documentation.
Windows Vista SP2 TechNet
Windows Server 2008 SP2 TechNet
SP2 is an update to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista that incorporates improvements discovered through automated feedback, as well as updates that have been delivered since SP1. By providing these fixes integrated into a single service pack for both client and server, Microsoft provides a single high-quality update that minimizes deployment and testing complexity for customers.
Service Pack 1 is a prerequisite for installing Service Pack 2. Please make sure that your system is running Service Pack 1 before you install Service Pack 2.
Note: Windows Server 2008 released with Service Pack 1 included. Windows Vista SP1 information and downloads can be found on the Windows Vista SP1 TechNet page.
Windows Server 2008 SP2 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 – Five Language Standalone version can be installed on x64-based systems with any of the following language versions: English, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish.
If your system has additional languages please use the All Language Standalone to install SP2.

Basically most bugs have been fixed, and some additional functionality have been added, for instance the ability to burn Blueray discs from the OS. So if you are still running Vista, head on over an start the downloads.

What to go for; the 32 bit or 64 bit version of Windows 7?

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in HP dv9074ea, Microsoft, Opinion, Windows 7;, x64

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The common advice out there is that unless you have more than 4 GB RAM there really is no need to go for a 64bit version of Windows. Well, I think otherwise. Yesterday, I figured it was time to reformat and install Windows 7 RC on my recently returned laptop. It is a HP dv9074ea from 2006. It has a AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-56 processor, I have upgraded it to 2 GB RAM and it has two internal hard drives, initially both 80 GB drives, but one has been exchanged to a 500 GB one. I have been accepted into the Beta testing program for Windows 7 Norwegian Language Edition (x86) and heading the first advice I mentioned above, thus decided to install the 32 bit Norwegian Language RC on the laptop.

The install went fine, but I was greeted by something far from a clean device manager afterwards, and had to install Vista drivers in order to have the system running. I then went through the hoops detailed in my install guide. But things did not continue smoothly. Far from it. Norton Internet Security 2009 were not allowed to run its heuristic drivers (incompatible according to the OS), I experienced several systemwide hangs, and had to force a log out to have the OS respond to keystrokes on several occasions. After having installed several of my applications I ran a Windows Update and were met with the Office 2007 SP 2 download – a huge one. For me that was a decision point. I was not happy with they way my system was running. It seemed at times slow, non-responsive and flat out buggy. That coupled with the fact that I am now so used to the English version of the OS that I did not feel at ease with a Norwegian version, made me decide to reformat again.

This time I installed the English x64 version from a USB memory stick (check here for instructions on how to do it) and it took a total of 15 minutes from I restarted my machine, reformatted the C drive, installed Windows 7 RC to be greeted by the desktop. The Device Manager was not completely clean, but a Windows Update found the missing drivers and the system was really running fine. I have now installed almost all my frequently used applications and the system works the way I want it to – smoothly with no problems.

Funny fact; I even have a slightly better Windows Experience Index on the x64 version; 4.5 as opposed to 4.4 on the 32 bit version (both due to the integrated Nvidia GeForce 7600 Go video card).

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I am not completely sure whether this is due to the 32 bit OS or to inherent bugs in the Norwegian Language version of Windows 7 RC, but the user experience made it an easy choice. Yes I had to install everything again (not hard – just time consuming), but definitely worth it.

What are your experiences on this? 32 or 64 bit and why? Let me know…

 

AboKevins Laptop Hunt : Episode 2: My laptop returned today.

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Ad Campaign, HP dv9074ea, Microsoft, Personal

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One month and a day after my laptop died on me it returned from the land of the dead bits and bytes (Norwegian PC repair company Infocare). In my first post I said that I had asked HP for a repair under Norwegian consumer laws 5 year warranty. Not that easy. Since I bought the dv9074ea from Komplett.no I had to take matters to them…

So off to the phones… explaining my predicaments… logging a 5 year warranty reclaim on their website… getting a initial positive response and sending the very dead laptop off to Komplett. After verifying that my story was true, they then sent the machine off to Infocare which then repaired it by installing a new motherboard, replacing the DVD drive and updating the BIOS before promptly returning the machine to yours truly. At what cost to me? Nil, nada, nothing!

There are some horror stories of bad customer care at Komplett going around Norwegian forums, but I have nothing but praise for them. They have been very forthcoming and since I am writing this on my repaired and returned laptop I am a very satisfied customer. That’s the way it should be, and it sure guaranties that I will return as a customer.

So my Laptop Hunt ended me up where I was in the beginning; with my HP dv9074ea, a laptop that is soon 3 years old – aging would be a gentle way of putting it in the chronicles of PC life expectancy and relevance – BUT it not only runs Windows 7 RC well, it does so beautifully. I have been to some PC retail stores lately, checking out their offers and I have not seen many machines there that has a better Windows Experience Index score than mine…

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So that’s it. A happy ending to something I thought would be something completely different.

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