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There is a little battle going on right now in Twitterland between Mark Relph (@mrelph) and Rick Claus (@Rickster_CDN) on who's going to install Windows 7 on their Dell Latitude E4300 notebook first. Looks to me that Mark is winning but that's now why I'm writing this post. I'm writing it because I know that many of you have a TechNet Plus subscription that you may have received at TechDays (free for 6-months for attending TechDays), or purchased because it provides amazing value in being able to evaluate MS software without any time restrictions. Plus, you also get a couple of free support incidents worth the price of the subscription.
In any case, no matter how you got it, log on to Subscriber Downloads right now!! Why, you may ask? If you have been waiting with baited breath for Windows 7 to come out so that you can play with it, wait no more. It is available on Subscriber Downloads right now!! Not only that, you can also download Windows Server 2008 R2 beta as well so that you can test out both the client and server piece of the next version of Windows. In case you're wondering, yes, it is downloading to my machine as I write this post.
We'll keep you informed on more details and links on Windows 7 as they become available. In the meantime, if you are a TechNet Plus subscriber, download it, install it on a test machine (don't use it in production, please) and let me know what you think by posting a comment on the blog or sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In case you were wondering... Barnaby Jeans (@bjeans) beat us both due to a bad engineering sample Dell E4300 I started on and Mark Relphs bad DVD burn.
On my production Dell E4300 - it took a short 16 minutes from start to finish. Once the network was connected, it auto setup a HomeGroup and connected to the internet for driver updates. To Windows 7 credit (and to Dell's) all drivers except 2 (wireless smartcard reader and a fingerprint reader) were baked in and working.
Performance score - 3.9. three tenths of a point higher then vista install on same machine - go figure.
The install was painless on my desktop. Took a little longer than Rick's did. But then it also took forever to format the HD. Not so on the laptop. Broke down around 78% everytime. No useful errors either.
So to fix, I booted into WinPE, ran some ImageX commands on the .wim file, extracted to the HD, booted into recovery mode, told it to recover my computer, rebooted and went into the final stages of install. Turned out to be a bad driver somewhere down the line. I call it the XP-Win7 Halfling process. :)
Thanks for the feedback and testing. Might be worthwhile sending along the install log to see what it got hung up on.
The activation keys are currently unavailable. Please install without using keys and check back in a few days to claim the keys. Sorry for the inconvenience.
So you might not get your key today but you can STILL install :)
Yeah, good idea. Now all I have to do is find the log. :)
No deal - I can't download any of the packages from technet. File Transfer Manager says my validation succeeded but nothing gets downloaded. I tried other packages without success - there must be something wrong with the downloads because it worked fine at Christmas..
I'll try again later - good luck guys!
Daniel: I had similar issues, it seemed to the be transfer manager app. It seemed to work when I restarted the app.
Steve Ballmer announced during his CES keynote the immediate availability of the Windows 7 beta to TechNet