Since Microsoft has been generous enough to share the Windows 7 RC with everyone, and because Jon has enjoyed it so much, I decided my Eee should be running Win7. Getting Windows 7 is fairly easy, download site and key available from Microsoft and Microsoft TechNet. Both have the same information, the former looks prettier, while the latter offers a more utilitarian experience. Either one will get you what you need. Oh yeah, the ISO is about 2.5 GB, so make sure you have a bit more than that available on the machine that is downloading it.
Next up is getting the image somewhere useful. You have two choices:
Burn a DVD and then hook up an external DVD drive to your Eee…
Bootable Thumb Drive
Not wanting to deal with #1, I chose option #2, as I believed it would be much faster (no DVD to burn) and less hassle (no external DVD drive to acquire). Now, how do you make a Thumb Drive bootable? An excellent question, for which I turned to google.
First off, you need to get rid of any extraneous crap, like say…
U3, which I had previously done on my handy dandy 4GB Sandisk Cruzer Titanium.
Once that is done, you should follow the directions David Gonzales wrote on his blog post entitled How to install Windows 7 with a USB flash drive.
The instructions there (along with a RAR file, which is also available there) enabled me to quickly (under 30 minutes — most of which was waiting for the extraction of the iso file) get a bootable thumb drive.
After doing the hardware swap, I inserted my thumb drive and booted the computer.
At which point it began loading Windows. I want to quickly point out that I did not have to make any changes in the BIOS (in fact I have yet to visit the BIOS) to boot from the thumb drive.
What follows is a timeline of the installation process…
7:27 PM Correctly detected my Language Settings
7:28 PM Setup is starting…
7:29 PM Agree to License
Custom (advanced) instead of Upgrade (as there was nothing there previously)
Playing around with the hard drive settings, seeing if there was anything I needed to configure (there wasn’t)
7:31 PM Installing Windows…
7:35 PM Installing Windows… Expanding Windows files (39%)
7:40 PM Installing Windows… Expanding Windows files (94%)
7:41 PM Reboot #1
7:42 PM See the Windows load bar… “Setup is updating registry settings…”
7:43 PM Installing Windows… Completing installation…
7:45 PM Installing Windows… Completing installation…
7:46 PM Reboot #2
7:47 PM See the Windows load bar…
Setup is preparing your computer for first use
Setup is checking video performance
7:48 PM Windows 7 Ultimate — Name and Computer Name
7:50 PM Figure out a password; then enter windows key; Configure Automatic updates; Set clock
Interesting, windows asks if my wireless is Home, Work, or Public — I like that
7:53 PM Finalize Settings
7:54 PM Preparing your desktop… ooh it has a fishy and now says it is installing updates.
Under Half an Hour to install Win7 — Very nice
7:57 PM Plugged in my USB Mouse and it popped a message saying that it was trying to get the driver from Windows Update; then the screen went black, but all the lights are still flashing…
8:02 PM ok… not sure whats going on. Tried hitting power button and Ctrl-Alt-Del… no luck. 10 Second Hold Down engaged.
8:03 PM Start windows normally and ooh mouse works
Time to install other stuff!
8:05 PM Start with Acrobat Reader
8:09 PM Time for Firefox
8:11 PM Time for CCP
8:14 PM Time for VLC
8:15 PM Time for Picasa
8:17 PM Time for OpenVPN
8:19 PM Time for Skype
8:23 PM Time for WinRAR
8:24 PM All Done!
A bit later I decided to install some games, notably:
Starcraft via Blizzard’s download
9:14 PM Says 42 Min to download 1.22 GB
9:47 PM 362 MB of 1.22 GB — 28% — About 83 Minutes
10:32 PM 905 MB of 1.22 GB — 72% — About 29 Minutes
Then I found the “don’t throttle me” option…
10:38 PM 977 MB of 1.22 GB — 78% — About 22 Minutes
Then I got bored and decided to sleep the machine.
When I woke the Eee it restarted the download without a problem. It did not automatically start the install though. Install went smoothly, however patching did not. Had to manually get the latest patch from Blizzard rather than downloading, because of this error: STORM_ERROR_REQUIRES_UPGRADE.
Trying to install the patch failed initially because of this:
Blizzard PrePatch v2.62 compiled on Mar 27 2003
This program patches Starcraft Broodwar
Log created at 8:08 am on 06/21/2009
ERROR: unable to create file ‘C:\Program Files\StarCraft\bnupdate.exe’
Access is denied.
RESULT: Prepatch failed
Then Windows asked me if the program ran successfully, and if not would I like to run it as an Administrator. I did and got a new and slightly more interesting error:
Blizzard BNUpdate v2.133 compiled on Jul 24 2008
Log created at 8:05 am on 06/21/2009
This patch upgrades Brood War from version 1.04 to version 1.16.1.
ERROR: unable to apply patch to file ‘C:\Program Files\StarCraft\StarEdit.exe’
RESULT: Patch failed
Apparently, I’m not the only one with this error, and it seems to be caused by using the download that Blizzard provides, or is at least slightly related to that. I will do more digging and let you know what I come up with in a subsequent post.