Stump the PC Club is a free tech-advice column written by members of the North Orange County Computer Club, which has been in existence since 1976. Visit the club’s site at noccc.org. And don’t forget to stop by the Gadgetress’ home for the PC Club, at ocregister.com/link/pcclub, to find out how to ask a question and read past answers.
Previous articles on Windows 7 have discussed the details of installing the software and can be found at “All your Windows 7 questions answered, part I” (link: bit.ly/pcclub2) and “Windows 7 part II: How to upgrade” (link: bit.ly/pcclub3). This article will address other recent questions that have been asked on Windows 7.
Question: I’m enjoying XP, why should I care about Windows 7?
PC CLUB: A lot of you share this belief. Yes, Windows XP remains a robust, reliable, brisk operating system. At the same time, sticking with XP forever isn’t a slam-dunk, either. You miss out on better security, better looks, better search and a huge number of convenience features. And over time, more and more new products and services will require a more recent operating system such as Windows 7. But, if XP is doing the job for you, stick with it.
Q:: Microsoft omitted calendar, address book, photo, video, and e-mail software from Windows 7, how do I get these features back?
PC CLUB:: There are many ways but one easy way is to type “movie maker” into the Search box to get a download link to the Microsoft Live versions which are free. You also might want to read my column regarding Windows 7 and e-mail, at “Windows 7 e-mail survival kit, Part 1.”
Q:I have an HP Pavilion, model a6720f. If I install Windows 7 will it also set up a new rescue system on the D: drive?
PC: In a word, no! If you install Windows 7 and want to be able to rescue your system, you have to use a program such as Acronis Backup and Recovery available at www.acronis.com for $74 or Shadow Protect Desktop available at www.storagecraft.com for $79.95. These programs allow you to create a recovery image of your PC and place it on an external hard drive. There is also a free program www.macrium.com.
Q::I have now installed the full version of Windows 7 on my Panasonic Toughbook CF-18 D/E Mark II. I have done some research and found drivers to support video (Intel 945GM), but I am looking for a way to have the keyboard button on the front of the computer do just that, turn on the keyboard. Any suggestions?
PC Club: I’ve tried a clean install of Windows 7 on my 6-month old Fujitsu Notebook and some keyboard functions did not work. I then performed an In-Place upgrade with Vista installed and everything worked. You might try calling Panasonic or searching their Web site for the latest drivers.
Q::Will Windows 7 upgrades have the new “Windows Live Mail” program included in it?
PC: No, you have to download this free program and install it yourself from www.download.live.com but be sure to only install the programs that you want.
Q::Can I bring the Quick Launch toolbar back to Windows 7?
PC Club:Yes but you have to know where to look. It’s located at:
C:\ Users \ username \ AppData \ Roaming \ Microsoft \ Internet Explorer \ Quick Launch
Simply create a new toolbar and point to this location. You’ll have to enable ‘show hidden files’ to find it. You can do this by opening the Control Panel and selecting Folder Options. Select the View tab and place a check in View hidden files and folders.
|More on Windows 7:
Q::Will my 32-bit applications run if I switch to a 64-bit version of Windows 7?
PC Club:Most 32-bit applications will run without a hitch. But for some system-intrusive software, such as hardware drivers and antivirus software, you’ll need 64-bit versions. Some 32-bit plug-ins may not work in 64-bit applications.
Q::What’s the difference between the Upgrade and Custom installation options?
PC Club:Don’t confuse the term “upgrade” when it’s used to describe price differences with the term to describe the installation process. If you buy the “Upgrade” version of Windows 7, you’ll still have both the Upgrade and Custom options during installation. But the Upgrade option only is available if Vista has been installed on the PC. This moves your applications, documents, settings and user accounts over to Windows 7. If you’re not coming from Vista, you must choose Custom, which does a fresh installation. The Custom installation choice still preserves your old files in a folder called Windows.old. Also, the Upgrade process takes longer, and may bring along some unwanted programs.
Q::Clicking on a Quick Launch icon in Windows Vista would always launch a new instance of that application, even if one instance was already running. But in Windows 7, clicking on an icon you’ve pinned to the taskbar doesn’t do this. Can I replicate the Vista functionality?
PC Club:Not exactly, but you can get close. You can right-click on the icon and click on the program’s name in the Jump List that appears.
Q::My retail box includes 32-bit and 64-bit disks but only has a single product key. Will that key work for either edition?
PC Club:The format of a product key identifies a specific edition of Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, and so on) as well as whether it’s a full or upgrade product. But it doesn’t care at all about the 32/64-bit question. The key will work with either version.
~Ed Schwartz, NOCCC member. View his Web site at www.edwardns.com.