windows xp mode key no longer good work around Results


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Sure, I know I'm going to get a lot of static for this, but here goes anyway:

Left and right panes of Explorer windows are not synchronized. The inevitable result will be (and has been) that people will press the Delete key on the wrong item. This is a major design flaw which causes the loss of data. It is anti-intuitive to have the same window represent two different locations in the navigation pane and in the contents pane.

Shared folders do not have an icon indicating that they are shared. (The argument made by the Microsoft team that users wanted it removed because it cluttered the display is a lie.)

If you delete a file or folder in an Explorer window, the file or folder might not disappear from the display until you refresh the view. (This is probably a bug.)

With full row selection in the Details view of Explorer windows, it's harder to draw a selection box around a group of files. Full row selection can't be disabled. Users may unintentionally drag items to different locations when they are trying to draw selection boxes.

The functional Internet Explorer Icon can't be put on the desktop. Only a normal shortcut can be used. After more than a decade of having a functional IE icon on the desktop, which made our lives easier, arguments that not giving users the choice to have that functionality available from the icon do not make sense.

All Explorer windows which show folders open to the same size. You can't customize the size of a window for a particular folder. Being able to adjust the size of individual windows was one of the most useful features of windows. Removing the ability to personalize particular windows when personalization should be a core objective of any user interface is foolish.

The user can't create a secondary file association action which he would in Windows XP. The Microsoft UI team seems to have decided that removing functionality is a good thing. I believe that removing the Microsoft UI design team would be a good thing.

The user can't set security properties/ACLs/permission on multiple items from Properties because there is no Security tab like Windows XP for multiple files or folders.

Explorer toolbars can no longer be customized.

The "Details" metadata tab is gone from the file and folder Properties dialog. Metadata cannot be edited for popular file types without third-party add-ons.

The Details pane of Explorer windows cannot be disabled even though it takes up a lot of screen space to display very little information. And, sadly, neither the Details pane nor the Status Bar show the total size of a folder being displayed when no files are selected. The only way to get a folder's size is to view its properties from the context menu.

File lists in Explorer windows are automatically sorted. Auto-sorting cannot be disabled. This can be very inconvenient when working in folders with large numbers of files.

The user cannot execute multiple actions on a set of files from the GUI which was possible in Windows XP.

Autologon cannot be bypassed with the Shift key.

The user cannot set multiple connection icons, cannot customize connection icons, and cannot access connection status quickly from the connection icon all of which was possible in Windows XP.

There are no indicators of network activity in the Notification Area. They have been removed.

Easily customized searching is gone.

Taskbar buttons are now permanently grouped rather than displayed in the order in which they were opened. Grouping cannot be disabled (although some third-party tweakers offer ways to do this). This is anti-intuitive.

The user cannot disable jumplists in favor of old context menu. Jumplists are just another menu that changes unpredictably, making navigation more difficult for the average user.

The user cannot quickly access the Network Connections folder and actual wired/dial-up connections. It is buried several clicks inside the UI.

New network connections, such as VPN or dial-up connections, are made from the Network and Sharing Center. But they are not shown there. They're shown and available for editing in the Network Connections windows, in which you cannot create a new out-going connection. You can only view existing connections or create a new incoming connection. This is not logical.

File and folder security settings are still as cumbersome as they were in Vista, with separate dialogs used to view and edit settings. Many dialogs could be combined, and lots of extra mouse clicks could be avoided. If the goal is to clean up the UI, why this?

The new Start menu style cannot be disabled in favor of the "Classic" menu. The Windows Classic Start Menu was a masterpiece of sound ergonomic design. The new style eliminates the logical structured tree view of the Classic style and confines the menu to a small window in a corner of the display. The menu does not stretch as the number of menu items increases, making scrolling necessary.

The new Start menu style (actually introduced in Vista) lists folders below single items, completely reversing the format we've become familiar with over the years.

Explorer now has “Favorites” and “Library” nodes that can't be removed in the left pane. They waste space and present the same logical UI problems as having a menu that constantly changes, making it harder to find things. Items on menus and navigation links shouldn’t move unpredicably; it makes navigating harder, not easier. The Library does not make it clear to average users that files may be located on different computers or in different user accounts on the same machine. Accurate navigation requires that you know where you are and have a clear path to follow. These new “features”, as well as the new Start Menu, blur the path and make it difficult to know what you are looking at both on your computer and on the network. While this is less of a problem for expert users than for average users, average users must be the target audience.

Explorer no longer shows free disk space in the status bar. This is a big problem for portable drives.

Various hardware interfaces, including audio outputs and keyboard controls, are not restored properly after after waking a Windows 7 machine from Standby or Hibernate mode. The only solution is to restart the computer. These are major problems that will frustrate a lot of people.
If you drag a window to the side of the display, it automatically expands to occupy half of the display. In what way is that a useful “feature”? Who decided that filling half of the display would be a useful size for a window? (Some third-party tweakers allow you to disable this questionable “feature”.)

As with Vista, user interface design controls are split up into many different windows and dialog boxes rather than being conveniently accessible in a single dialog box as they were in XP.

During installation, you cannot specify on which drive the boot manager will be installed.
Overall, a lot of useful functionality and information have been removed from the GUI which should not have been, and there’s no way to get it back without third-party tools. While the GUI certainly needed cleaning, this is ridiculous. It’s as crippling and expensive as forcing the world to learn a completely new UI with the Office ribbon bar after more than a decade in which the world learned to use the menus.

Microsoft should realize that sales are up not because people are happy, but because we simply have to upgrade our aging machines. Balmer’s claim that he has “no responsibility for anything besides the making of money” will come back to bite him in the ***, hopefully very soon. Microsoft did the world a good service when it created a useful visual “language” for using computers. Drastic changes such as these only muddy the waters and make their products less useful. While it’s true that a significant, if uninformed, part of the population is satisfied with eyecandy, the rest of us are not so easily fooled.




*WARNING* This is a LONG spill, all in plain text and simplified so that
even non-techs should be able to understand it. Hopefully this will
assist some people in not only repairing their systems, but in making
them faster and more stable tools for them to use. It contains advice
on many things, many considered "common knowledge" to 'IT' people
everywhere. It is split into major sections, hopefully this will make
it easier to navigate. *WARNING*

Suggestions on what you can do to secure/clean your PC. Every attempt
has been made to be general and an assumption of a "Windows" operating
system is made here as well - although in some ways, this could be
adapted to any OS.

GENERAL UPKEEP AND CLEANUP
--------------------------

You should periodically defragment your hard drives as well as check them
for errors.

How to Defragment your hard drives
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=314848

How to scan your disks for errors
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=315265

How to use Disk Cleanup
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=310312

You should also empty your Internet Explorer Temporary Internet
Files and make sure the maximum size for this is small enough not to cause
trouble in the future. Empty your Temporary Internet Files and shrink the
size it stores to a size between 120MB and 480MB..

- Open ONE copy of Internet Explorer.
- Select TOOLS - Internet Options.
- Under the General tab in the "Temporary Internet Files" section, do the
following:
- Click on "Delete Cookies" (click OK)
- Click on "Settings" and change the "Amount of disk space to use:" to
something between 120MB and 480MB. (Betting it is MUCH larger right
now.)
- Click OK.
- Click on "Delete Files" and select to "Delete all offline contents"
(the checkbox) and click OK. (If you had a LOT, this could take 2-10
minutes or more.)
- Once it is done, click OK, close Internet Explorer, re-open Internet
Explorer.

Uninstall any software you no longer use or cannot remember installing
(ask if it is a multi-user PC) - but only if you are sure you do not
need it and/or you have the installation media around to reinstall if
you need to. http://snipurl.com/8v6b may help you accomplish this.

You should also verify that your System Restore feature is enabled and
working properly. Unfortunately, if seems to have issues on occasion,
ones that can easily be avoided by turning off/on the system restore and
make a manual restoration point as one of your periodic maintenance tasks.
This is particularly important right before installing something major
(or even minor if you are unsure what it might do to your system.)

Turn off System Restore.
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=310405

Reboot.

Turn on System Restore.
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=310405

Make a Manual Restoration Point.
http://snipurl.com/68nx

(That, of course, will erase the previous restore point you have.)

Also, you should look into backing up your valuable files and folders.
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=308422

And keep your original installation media (CDs, disks) safe with their
CD keys and such. Make backups of these installation media sets as
well and always use strong passwords. Good passwords are those that
meet these general rules (mileage may vary):

Passwords should contain at least six characters, and the character
string should contain at least three of these four character types:
- uppercase letters
- lowercase letters
- numerals
- nonalphanumeric characters (e.g., *, %, &, !)

Passwords should not contain your name/logon name.

UPDATES and PATCHES
-------------------

** Side Note: *IF* you are about to install Service Pack 2 (SP2) for
Windows XP, I suggest you clean up your system first. Uninstall any
applications you do not use. Update any that you do. Download the
latest drivers for your hardware devices. Defragment and run a full
CHKDSK on your hard drives. Scan your system and clean it of any
Spyware/Adware/Malware and for Viruses and Trojans. Below you will
find advice and links to applications that will help you do all of
this. If this advice helps you, please - pass it on. Print it,
email it, forward it to anyone you think it might help. A little
knowledge might help prevent lots of trouble.

This one is the most obvious. There is no perfect product and any company
worth their salt will try to meet/exceed the needs of their customers and
fix any problems they find along the way. I am not going to say Microsoft
is the best company in the world about this but they do have an option
available for you to use to keep your machine updated and patched from
the problems and vulnerabilities (as well as product improvements in some
cases) - and it's free to you.

Windows Update
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/

Go there and scan your machine for updates. Always get the critical ones as
you see them. Write down the KB###### or Q###### you see when selecting the
updates and if you have trouble over the next few days, go into your control
panel (Add/Remove Programs), match up the latest numbers you downloaded
recently (since you started noticing an issue) and uninstall them. If there
was more than one (usually is), install them back one by one - with a few
hours of use in between, to see if the problem returns. Yes - the process
is not perfect (updating) and can cause trouble like I mentioned - but as
you can see, the solution isn't that bad - and is MUCH better than the
alternatives.

Windows is not the only product you likely have on your PC. The
manufacturers of the other products usually have updates as well. New
versions of almost everything come out all the time - some are free, some
are pay - some you can only download if you are registered - but it is best
to check. Just go to their web pages and look under their support and
download sections. For example, for Microsoft Office update, you should
visit:

Microsoft Office Updates
http://office.microsoft.com/
(and select "downloads")

You also have hardware on your machine that requires drivers to interface
with the operating system. You have a video card that allows you to see on
your screen, a sound card that allows you to hear your PCs sound output and
so on. Visit those manufacturer web sites for the latest downloadable
drivers for your hardware/operating system. Always (IMO) get the
manufacturers hardware driver over any Microsoft offers. On the Windows
Update site I mentioned earlier, I suggest NOT getting their hardware
drivers - no matter how tempting. First - how do you know what hardware
you have in your computer? Invoice or if it is up and working now - take
inventory:

Belarc Advisor
http://belarc.com/free_download.html

Once you know what you have, what next? Go get the latest driver for your
hardware/OS from the manufacturer's web page. For example, let's say you
have an NVidia chipset video card or ATI video card, perhaps a Creative
Labs sound card or C-Media chipset sound card...

NVidia Video Card Drivers
http://www.nvidia.com/content/drivers/drivers.asp

ATI Video Card Drivers
http://www.atitech.com/support/driver.html

Creative Labs Sound Device
http://us.creative.com/support/downloads/

C-Media Sound Device
http://www.cmedia.com.tw/e_download_01.htm

As for Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP, Microsoft has made this
particular patch available in a number of ways. First, there is the
Windows Update web page above. Then there is a direct download site
and finally, you can order the FREE CD from Microsoft.

Direct Download of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP
http://snipurl.com/8bqy

Order the Free Windows XP SP2 CD
http://snipurl.com/8umo

Microsoft also have a bunch of suggestions, some similar to these,
on how to better protect your Windows system:

Protect your PC
http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/

FIREWALL
--------

Let's say you are up-to-date on the OS (operating system) and you have
Windows XP.. You should at least turn on the built in firewall. That will
do a lot to "hide" you from the random bad things flying around the
Internet. Things like Sasser/Blaster enjoy just sitting out there in
Cyberspace looking for an unprotected Windows Operating System and jumping
on it, doing great damage in the process and then using that Unprotected OS
to continue its dirty work of infecting others. If you have the Windows XP
FW turned on - default configuration - then they cannot see you! Think of
it as Internet Stealth Mode at this point. It has other advantages, like
actually locking the doors you didn't even (likely) know you had. Doing
this is simple, some helpful tips for the SP2 enabled firewall can be found
he

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/com...uy/cg0204.mspx

If you read through that and look through the pages that are linked from it
throughout - I think you should have a firm grasp on the basics of the
Windows XP Firewall as it is today. One thing to note RIGHT NOW - if you
have AOL, you cannot use this nice firewall that came with your system.
Thank AOL, not Microsoft. You HAVE to configure another one.. So we
continue with our session on Firewalls...

But let's say you DON'T have Windows XP - you have some other OS like
Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT, 2000. Well, you don't have the nifty built in
firewall. My suggestion - upgrade. My next suggestion - look through your
options. There are lots of free and pay firewalls out there for home users.
Yes - you will have to decide on your own which to get. Yes, you will have
to learn (oh no!) to use these firewalls and configure them so they don't
interfere with what you want to do while continuing to provide the security
you desire. It's just like anything else you want to protect - you have to
do something to protect it. Here are some suggested applications. A lot of
people tout "ZoneAlarm" as being the best alternative to just using the
Windows XP FW, but truthfully - any of these alternatives are much better
than the Windows XP FW at what they do - because that is ALL they do.

ZoneAlarm (Free and up)
http://snipurl.com/6ohg

Kerio Personal Firewall (KPF) (Free and up)
http://www.kerio.com/kpf_download.html

Outpost Firewall from Agnitum (Free and up)
http://www.agnitum.com/download/

Sygate Personal Firewall (Free and up)
http://smb.sygate.com/buy/download_buy.htm

Symantec's Norton Personal Firewall (~$25 and up)
http://www.symantec.com/sabu/nis/npf/

BlackICE PC Protection ($39.95 and up)
http://blackice.iss.net/

Tiny Personal Firewall (~$49.00 and up)
http://www.tinysoftware.com/

That list is not complete, but they are good firewall options, every one of
them. Visit the web pages, read up, ask around if you like - make a
decision and go with some firewall, any firewall. Also, maintain it.
Sometimes new holes are discovered in even the best of these products and
patches are released from the company to remedy this problem. However, if
you don't get the patches (check the manufacturer web page on occasion),
then you may never know you have the problem and/or are being used through
this weakness. Also, don't stack these things. Running more than one
firewall will not make you safer - it would likely (in fact) negate some
protection you gleamed from one or the other firewalls you run.

ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE
------------------

That's not all. That's one facet of a secure PC, but firewalls don't do
everything. I saw one person posting on a newsgroup that "they had
never had a virus and they never run any anti-virus software." Yep - I used
to believe that way too - viruses were something everyone else seemed to
get, were they just careless? And for the average joe-user who is careful,
uses their one to three family computers carefully, never opening unknown
email attachments, always visiting the same family safe web sites, never
installing anything that did not come with their computer - maybe, just
maybe they will never witness a virus. I, however, am a Network Systems
Administrator. I see that AntiVirus software is an absolute necessity given
how most people see their computer as a toy/tool and not something
they should have to maintain and upkeep. After all, they were invented to
make life easier, right - not add another task to your day. You
can be as careful as you want - will the next person be as careful? Will
someone send you unknowingly the email that erases all the pictures of your
child/childhood? Possibly - why take the chance? ALWAYS RUN ANTIVIRUS
SOFTWARE and KEEP IT UP TO DATE! Antivirus software comes in so many
flavors, it's like walking into a Jelly Belly store - which one tastes like
what?! Well, here are a few choices for you. Some of these are free (isn't
that nice?) and some are not. Is one better than the other - MAYBE.

Symantec (Norton) AntiVirus (~$11 and up)
http://www.symantec.com/nav/nav_9xnt/

Kaspersky Anti-Virus (~$49.95 and up)
http://www.kaspersky.com/products.html

Panda Antivirus Titanium (~$39.95 and up)
http://www.pandasoftware.com/
(Free Online Scanner: http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/)

AVG 6.0 Anti-Virus System (Free and up)
http://www.grisoft.com/

McAfee VirusScan (~$11 and up)
http://www.mcafee.com/

AntiVir (Free and up)
http://www.free-av.com/

avast! 4 (Free and up)
http://www.avast.com/

Trend Micro (~$49.95 and up)
http://www.trendmicro.com/en/home/us/personal.htm
(Free Online Scanner:
http://housecall.trendmicro.com/hous...start_corp.asp)

RAV AntiVirus Online Virus Scan (Free!)
http://www.ravantivirus.com/scan/

Did I mention you have to not only install this software, but also keep it
updated? You do. Some of them (most) have automatic services to help you
do this - I mean, it's not your job to keep up with the half-dozen or more
new threats that come out daily, is it? Be sure to keep whichever one you
choose up to date!

SPYWARE/ADWARE/POPUPS/HIJACKS
-----------------------------

So you must be thinking that the above two things got your back now - you
are covered, safe and secure in your little fox hole. Wrong! There are
more bad guys out there. There are annoyances out there you can get without
trying. Your normal web surfing, maybe a wrong click on a web page, maybe
just a momentary lack of judgment by installing some software packages
without doing the research.. And all of a sudden your screen starts filling
up with advertisements or your Internet seems much slower or your home page
won't stay what you set it and goes someplace unfamiliar to you. This is
spyware. There are a whole SLEW of software packages out there to get rid
of this crud and help prevent reinfection. Some of the products already
mentioned might even have branched out into this arena. However, there are
a few applications that seem to be the best at what they do, which is
eradicating and immunizing your system from this crap. Strangely, the best
products I have found in this category ARE generally free. That is a trend
I like. I make donations to some of them, they deserve it!

Two side-notes: Never think one of these can do the whole job.
Try the first 5 before coming back and saying "That did not work!"
Also, you can always visit:
http://mvps.org/winhelp2002/unwanted.htm
For more updated information.

Spybot Search and Destroy (Free!)
http://www.safer-networking.net/en/download/index.html

Lavasoft AdAware (Free and up)
http://www.lavasoft.de/support/download/

CWShredder (Free!)
** No longer updated as of July 29, 2004 - however, still a great
product and should still be ran **
http://www.softbasket.com/download/s_8114.shtml

Hijack This! (Free)
http://mjc1.com/mirror/hjt/
( Tutorial: http://hjt.wizardsofwebsites.com/ )

SpywareBlaster (Free!)
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/sbdownload.html

IE-SPYAD (Free!)
https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/ehowes/www/resource.htm

ToolbarCop (Free!)
http://www.mvps.org/sramesh2k/toolbarcop.htm

Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner (Free!)
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/

Browser Security Tests
http://www.jasons-toolbox.com/BrowserSecurity/

Popup Tester
http://www.popuptest.com/

The Cleaner (49.95 and up)
http://www.moosoft.com/

That will clean up your machine of the spyware, given that you download and
install several of them, update them regularly and scan with them when you
update. Some (like SpywareBlaster and SpyBot Search and Destroy and
IESPYAD)
have/are immunization utilities that will help you prevent your PC from
being
infected. Use these features!

Unfortunately, although that will lessen your popups on the Internet/while
you are online, it won't eliminate them. I have looked at a lot of options,
seen a lot of them used in production with people who seem to attract popups
like a plague, and I only have one suggestion that end up serving double
duty (search engine and popup stopper in one):

The Google Toolbar (Free!)
http://toolbar.google.com/

Yeah - it adds a bar to your Internet Explorer - but its a useful one. You
can search from there anytime with one of the best search engines on the
planet (IMO.) And the fact it stops most popups - wow - BONUS! If you
don't like that suggestion, then I am just going to say you go to
www.google.com and search for other options. Please notice that Windows XP
SP2 does help stop popups as well. Another option is to use an alternative
Web browser. I suggest "Mozilla Firefox", as it has some great features
and is very easy to use:

Mozilla Firefox
http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/

One more suggestion, although I will suggest this in a way later, is to
disable your Windows Messenger service. This service is not used frequently
(if at all) by the normal home user and in cooperation with a good firewall,
is generally unnecessary. Microsoft has instructions on how to do this for
Windows XP he

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/p...e/stopspam.asp

SPAM EMAIL/JUNK MAIL
--------------------

This one can get annoying, just like the rest. You get 50 emails in one
sitting and 2 of them you wanted. NICE! (Not.) What can you do? Well,
although there are services out there to help you, some email
servers/services that actually do lower your spam with features built into
their servers - I still like the methods that let you be the end-decision
maker on what is spam and what isn't. If these things worked perfectly, we
wouldn't need people and then there would be no spam anyway - vicious
circle, eh? Anyway - I have two products to suggest to you, look at them
and see if either of them suite your needs. Again, if they don't, Google is
free and available for your perusal.

SpamBayes (Free!)
http://spambayes.sourceforge.net/

Spamihilator (Free!)
http://www.spamihilator.com/

As I said, those are not your only options, but are reliable ones I have
seen function for hundreds+ people.

DISABLE (Set to Manual) UNUSED SERVICE/STARTUP APPS
---------------------------------------------------

I might get arguments on putting this one here, but it's my spill. There are
lots of services on your PC that are probably turned on by default you don't
use. Why have them on? Check out these web pages to see what all of the
services you might find on your computer are and set them according to your
personal needs. Be CAREFUL what you set to manual, and take heed and write
down as you change things! Also, don't expect a large performance increase
or anything - especially on today's 2+ GHz machines, however - I look at
each
service you set to manual as one less service you have to worry about
someone exploiting. A year ago, I would have thought the Windows Messenger
service to be pretty safe, now I recommend (with addition of a firewall)
that most home users disable it! Yeah - this is another one you have to
work for, but your computer may speed up and/or be more secure because you
took the time. And if you document what you do as you do it, next time, it
goes MUCH faster! (or if you have to go back and re-enable things..)

Task List Programs
http://www.answersthatwork.com/Taskl...s/tasklist.htm

Black Viper's Service List and Opinions (XP)
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm

Processes in Windows NT/2000/XP
http://www.reger24.de/prozesse/

There are also applications that AREN'T services that startup when you start
up the computer/logon. One of the better description on how to handle these
I have found he

Startups
http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_content.php

That's it. A small booklet on how to keep your computer secure, clean of
scum and more user friendly. I am SURE I missed something, almost as I am
sure you won't read all of it (anyone for that matter.) However, I also
know that someone who followed all of the advice above would also have less
problems with their PC, less problems with viruses, less problems with spam,
fewer problems with spyware and better performance than someone who didn't.

Hope it helps.

--
- Shenan -
--
The information is provided "as is", it is suggested you research for
yourself before you take any advice - you are the one ultimately responsible
for your actions/problems/solutions. Know what you are getting into before
you jump in with both feet.




Hi, I inadvertently posted this on social.answers.mictosoft.com 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.