Sitting through lunch today between meetings and mail, I thought about what every self-respecting geek waiting for the release of Windows 7: what should I do in order to prep one of my older computers for this new OS?
Today, I thought I'd start with one upgrade to consider (and a point of failure I'd like to avoid): a new hard disk for my laptop.
Keeping in mind that as noted here (that the Beta will stop working on August 1, 2009), I intend to rely on my dual boot configuration for Windows 7 to fall back to Vista and then move to the RC… and ultimately to the release version of Win7 from Windows Vista. (I used this strategy for machines at home, as mentioned in my later post from the article "How To Dual Boot Vista and Windows 7" from NetworkWorld.)
To continue using your PC, please be prepared to reinstall a prior version of Windows or a subsequent release of Windows 7 before the expiration date. You won't be able to upgrade from the Beta to the final retail version of Windows 7.
Luckily, Jason Cross over at ExtremeTech obliges with his article, How To Upgrade Your Laptop Hard Drive, in which he steps through the how-to of moving the contents of your current hard drive over to a new one, likely larger given the incredible value per GB these days.
Considering the drive in our now out of warranty Dell Inspiron m600 successfully running on Windows Vista SP1 – even more so my so-called revitalized Notebook (Toshiba M200) – I think that I have the perfect candidates for new HDDs. With 1GB of memory on the notebooks already, the major upgrade investment for me is the HDD… and a good value considering a new 250GB drive will run you as little as $60. (I still remember fondly by original 20MB drive that I paid a small fortune for a then-new Mac Plus.)
If I had to consider the work needed to upgrade an old notebook, I'd probably buy a new computer given the cost of PC notebooks these days (never mind small notebook PCs for a moment). As I found in my post Me : "What kind of a computer should I buy?" for $679, I was able to get a new Sony with a 15" widescreen, Intel Core 2 Duo T5800, 250GB HDD, 4GB of memory, Wireless-N (draft 802.11n). We will upgrade this computer to Windows 7 as soon as it comes out on the market – it's the one PC at home (my wife's) we have not installed the Windows 7 beta for obvious reasons to husband/family IT Pros. 😉
In the example below, Lauren found even better in value for money, as noted on the page of the recent Microsoft television commercials.