In contrast to the wonders of the recent Microsoft advertising where everyone is trying to claim responsibility for Windows 7 (is it just me that sees this, along with the terrible launch party idea, as a desperate attempt to build the sort of community that open source software has?), I would like to make it publicly known that Windows 7 is not my fault. I’ve been working on installing it recently, and really don’t want to be associated with the palaver involved in doing so!
First off, it totally fails to recognise the controller my hard disk is attached to, so I have to add it in on install. This is a Silicon Image 3512 based SATA PCI card, and it also failed to recognise the ITE 8212 PATA card I tried. Once I’d installed I found that it seemed to think I had a USB2 CDROM drive attached, which I don’t, I don’t have one (well, bar a case in a box that is waiting for an ATAPI DVD-RW to be installed!). It also failed to detect my network card.
So after a reboot, just in case, I decided to take a further look. It seems that Windows 7 lacks drivers for my NIC (SIS 900), SCSI card (Adaptec 2940) and sound card (AC’97, either Realtek of SiS, depending on whether you believe the Gigabyte website or lspci!). The NIC and sound are on the motherboard, whilst the, admittedly old (it was purchased when I built my first 486!) SCSI card is PCI,
So, after some fun with Google, and a bit of downloading, I installed a Windows XP driver for the SiS900, and tried Windows Update. This found 22 updates, totaling around 155M give or take, and proceeded to install. Sadly, 5 updates failed to install properly, including the updated SiS900 driver and the AC’97 audio driver!! The others were the SiS AGP driver, Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool and updates for Windows Defender. Nothing critical then, just network and sound drivers and protection from anything nasty (which you won’t need with no network will you!).
Thankfully, after a reboot, another run of Windows Update, and another reboot, I seem to have a basic install of Windows 7 that works. I just need to decide what to do about the SCSI card, sort out anti-virus, and adjust my network settings (for some reason I seem to have been connected to two when I only have one, and I need to change the workgroup). Then I can start looking at getting some actual software installed to make the machine useful.
Anyone who claims Windows is easier to install and has better driver support than Linux really needs to think again!