I installed the Windows 7 beta (32-bit) on my wife’s MSI Wind netbook with great success. In fact, it was flawless. So I decided to give it a try on the second Media Center computer (HTPC) that I just finished building using the 64-bit version. My results were as positive this time. Here a summary of why Win7 Beta didn’t work for me on my HTPC:
- Drivers. The drivers for the motherboard (Nvidia 9400) wouldn’t install from Windows Update and were over a month old. (At least I was able to install the latest drivers on the Nvidia website.)
- Lockups. The PC locked up twice during the install and once afterwards, requiring a power-off reboot. This makes me nervous about stability going forward.
- Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre won’t run. They don’t have Win 7 support yet and forum posts suggest it will be some time before they do. I want to watch Blu-ray movies, so this is a major issue. I could buy PowerDVD 8, but I don’t care to make an redundant purchase of software that I don’t like as well.
- LogMeIn (remote screen control application) won’t install. I can get by without it by using Windows Remote Desktop, but I really like how LogMeIn doesn’t blank the TV screen when I take control from my laptop.
- My online DVD backups won’t play. This is might be due to Arcsoft TotalMedia Theater causing a conflict, but I’m not going to continue troubleshooting due to the other issues.
- I can’t play MKV video files without a complicated install procedure. A simple install is available for the 32-bit version of Windows 7, but not the 64-bit version. With so many other things not working, this is just one more reason not to devote any more time to a lost cause.
These are not operating system problem, but rather application and driver issues. By the time Win 7 is launched, the applications and drivers I require probably will be compatible. But right now, they aren’t. So I’m wiping the drive clean and switching back to what works: Windows Vista 32-bit.