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Last post Author Topic: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7  (Read 13213 times)

xtabber

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First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« on: March 12, 2010, 05:44:17 PM »
This is the first really compelling reason I have seen for switching from XP to Windows 7:

http://arstechnica.c...fun-for-xp-users.ars


Stephen66515

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2010, 06:02:51 PM »
This is the first really compelling reason I have seen for switching from XP to Windows 7:

http://arstechnica.c...fun-for-xp-users.ars




Solution: Buy older HDD's =]

Deozaan

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2010, 08:08:13 PM »
Very interesting.

Though probably by the time these HDDs become mainstream, Windows 8 and Ubuntu 13.4 and OS XI will be out and one of them ought to be better than XP by then. :)


f0dder

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2010, 07:43:00 AM »
This is the first really compelling reason I have seen for switching from XP to Windows 7:

http://arstechnica.c...fun-for-xp-users.ars
Solution: Buy older HDD's =]
Solution: partition your disk manually before installing XP - problem solved.
- carpe noctem

IainB

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2010, 09:05:31 AM »
@Deozaan:
Quote
"...probably by the time these HDDs become mainstream, Windows 8 and Ubuntu 13.4 and OS XI will be out and one of them ought to be better than XP by then."
Hear, hear.
It is still not beyond the bounds of credibility that this whole 512 v. 4096 bytes thing is nothing more than a crafty collusion - an unholy alliance - between Micro$oft and the hardware manufacturers.
Think that's unlikely?
Remember:
(a) The MicroSoft and HP email exchange covering up the serious performance constraints in Vista.
(b) It was Microsoft who deliberately crippled XP Vista so that it could not address more than 4GB of RAM. (Now, who on earth would have thought they would have done anything like that?)    :)

Added 2010/03/14 1523hrs:
Re point (b), please refer: Licensed Memory in 32-Bit Windows Vista
Quote
That 32-bit editions of Windows Vista are limited to 4GB is not because of any physical or technical constraint on 32-bit operating systems. The 32-bit editions of Windows Vista all contain code for using physical memory above 4GB. Microsoft just doesn’t license you to use that code.

Well, to say it that way is perhaps to put words in Microsoft’s mouth. I say the restriction to 4GB is a licensing issue because that’s how Microsoft’s programmers evidently have thought of it. The 4GB limit is retrieved from the registry by calling a function named ZwQueryLicenseValue, which is itself called from an internal procedure which Microsoft’s published symbol files name as MxMemoryLicense. If you remove this check for the licensed memory limit then a restriction to 4GB is demonstrably not enforced by other means. Yet I must admit that I have not found where Microsoft says directly that 32-bit Windows Vista is limited to 4GB only by licensing. The supposed License Agreement doesn’t even mention the word memory.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2010, 08:27:30 PM by IainB »

f0dder

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2010, 10:23:09 AM »
IainB: hold back your conspiracy theory horses, there!

There's pretty sound technical reasons for going to 4096-byte sectors, but that's covered elsewhere. Western-Digital has actually gone to lengths to make legacy OSes support these drives at all - exposing 512-byte sectors and doing internal handling (which is a fault imho, they should've exposed 4k sectors and dropped legacy support), and even adding a "offset-by-1" jumper so people who can't figure out how to manually create partitions (which solves the performance problem 100%) don't get the performance problems.

As for the 4GB limit in 32bit XP, keep in mind that 4GB is the logical memory limit for a 32bit OS. Yes, since the PPro we've been able to address more than 4GB in 32bit mode, but it's done through "memory windows" - which is mostly useful for running a crapload of apps at once, or pretty specialized big applications. Basically server stuff... so while the limit might suck, it's fair enough they don't want a client OS potentially eating server OS marketshare.

What really sucks about the 4GB limit is that it's on physical memory addresses rather than "available memory", which has given all those "I have 4GB but can only use 3.25GB" problems... and that's something you can thank fscktarded 3rd-party driver developers for. XP RTM supported 4GB-total, but because of people thinking "oh, we're on 32bit, we only have to handle PHYSICALADDRESS.LOWPART", users experienced BSODs. And following tradition, Microsoft bent over for sucky 3rd-party developers instead of saying "go fix your crap if you want it to run on Windows".
- carpe noctem

Darwin

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2010, 10:42:55 AM »
And following tradition, Microsoft bent over for sucky 3rd-party developers instead of saying "go fix your crap if you want it to run on Windows".

True, in a way, but really, what choice did they have? You can rest assured that lots of those 3rd party developers WOULDN'T have fixed their crap/End users wouldn't have updated to the new builds and end users would have continued installing and trying to use the problematic products.

End result? MS gets smeared by the pundits, maligned by Apple's marketing, and their support system gets hammered by irate customers. MS would get 100% of the blame, whether they deserved it or not.

OK, so same old same old  ;D
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: March 13, 2010, 10:44:33 AM by Darwin »

f0dder

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2010, 10:44:50 AM »
And following tradition, Microsoft bent over for sucky 3rd-party developers instead of saying "go fix your crap if you want it to run on Windows".
True, in a way, but really, what choice did they have? You can rest assured that lots of those 3rd party developers WOULDN'T have fixed their crap/End users wouldn't have updated to the new builds and end users would have continued installing and trying to use the problematic products.

End result? MS gets smeared by the pundits, maligned by Apple's marketing, and their support system gets hammered by irate customers. MS would get 100% of the blame, even if they deserved little/none of it.

OK, so same old same old  ;D
Yeah, it sucks. They could have at least made a "USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!" option, though.
- carpe noctem

Darwin

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2010, 10:57:05 AM »
They could have at least made a "USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!" option, though.

Good point. I guess their legal department killed that idea - no doubt arguing (probably correctly), that the average user wouldn't read/heed the warning and MS would still be in the wringer. This *must* have been one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't decisions and they figured that the fallout from this course of action would be less costly than the other...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Innuendo

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2010, 11:32:23 AM »
(b) It was Microsoft who deliberately crippled XP so that it could not address more than 4GB of RAM. (Now, who on earth would have thought they would have done anything like that?)    :)

IainB, your theory might be believable except for the fact that there was indeed a 64-bit version of Windows XP that had no such limitation on RAM. f0dder's post stands well on its own outlining the why's of why 4 GB was the limit with the 32-bit version of Windows XP, but a person did not have to move to Vista in order to enjoy 64-bit goodness.

So.....no. No conspiracy theory here. Move along, people. :)

IainB

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2010, 09:11:57 PM »
@f0dder and @Innuendo:
My apologies. I made a mistake in my post above and have corrected it. Where I wrote "XP" it should have read "Vista".

@Innuendo: It is categorically not my theory, and it would appear to be fact in any event.
To substantiate this, I have added a relevant reference to my post above. The reference is to a separate post on a rather academic site called "Geoff Chappell - Software Analyst". The post goes into considerable detail on the access block and how you can actually hack the kernel to access all that extra RAM (but it may invalidate your Windows licence).    :)

When I started working in ICL in 1970, I was already qualified in accountancy and law, but ICL gave me some further training: assembler (PLAN IV on ICL 1900 mainframes) programmer training, and training in the ICL sales and marketing approach. I would in particular refer to the concept of "Lock-in" that we were taught about in the sales training. Understanding this concept gave me an added insight into corporate strategy that enabled me to take an advisably cautious and cynical view of the players' actions in the IT industry. Working in IT and as an IT and management consultant, I have since then seen some unethical corporate behaviours - sometimes borderline legal and sometimes downright illegal - that would make your hair curl. The latest of these was in 2007, and was leading to an international corporation knowingly planning to commit an offence against the laws in a foreign country in order to fraudulently claw back tax grants from that country's coffers - pure profit. The corporate executives signed into the idea and had even had identified which foreign statutes and other laws they were intending to circumvent or breach.

By comparison, the sort of unholy alliance I was suggesting above would be a relatively trivial example of this, and calling what I posted "conspiracy theory" could seem a tad excessive. Regardless, it would seem to me that the empiric evidence leads to the conclusion that "business ethics" is an oxymoron and a figment, and consumers ignore this at their peril.

Darwin

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2010, 12:42:35 AM »
IainB - I don't think that quote you've provided is accurate, primarily because as I understand it ANY 32-bit OS is limited to an upper limit of 4GB of RAM.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

IainB

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2010, 04:00:02 AM »
@Darwin: If you say you "don't think the quote is accurate", do you mean that I may have misquoted it? I just checked and it seems to have been correctly quoted. However, if you disagree with the article I quoted, then that's another matter and you might be better referring to the author. I did read through the whole thing and I couldn't see anything wrong with the author's apparently expert analysis - and he actually substantiates (tests and proves) what he is talking about - but then I am not qualified to debate it as it is not really in my field.
To get to the article, try the link provided in the post above.
Here it is:
Licensed Memory in 32-Bit Windows Vista

Carol Haynes

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2010, 04:45:34 AM »
Back to the hard disk issue - am I being dense or can you not set the sector size for formatting manually anyway in Windows XP and Vista ? So why not just tell XP you are are using 4Kb sectors?

f0dder

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2010, 06:45:51 AM »
IainB: the same that goes for 32bit XP goes for Vista as well - PAE (which 32bit XP also uses, it's needed for hardware DEP) is really mostly useful for server-ish stuff. "Cripple" the OS? That's a bit harsh word. Artificially limit? Yes. But the stuff I wrote above about buggy 32bit drivers still holds.

Carol Haynes: you're thinking about filesystem cluster size, not hardware sector size. 4k clusters is the default. And as mentioned above, you simply need to partition manually and make sure your partition is 4kb aligned.
- carpe noctem

Darwin

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2010, 09:22:01 AM »
[/b] If you say you "don't think the quote is accurate", do you mean that I may have misquoted it? I just checked and it seems to have been correctly quoted. However, if you disagree with the article I quoted, then that's another matter and you might be better referring to the author.

Yes, sorry IainB! I meant that I disagree with author, or, rather that from my understanding of the situation the author seems to be misrepresenting the situation slightly (see f0dder's reply above).
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Innuendo

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2010, 09:31:45 AM »
@f0dder and @Innuendo:
My apologies. I made a mistake in my post above and have corrected it. Where I wrote "XP" it should have read "Vista".

That's okay, IainB. Everyone makes mistakes, but everything that f0dder & told you about WinXP applies to Windows Vista. So while you made a mistake in naming the OS the reasons the way things are the way they are remain the same.

Quote
@Innuendo: It is categorically not my theory, and it would appear to be fact in any event.
To substantiate this, I have added a relevant reference to my post above. The reference is to a separate post on a rather academic site called "Geoff Chappell - Software Analyst".

I don't want to sound snarky when I write this, but it's impossible not to do so. Who is Geoff Chappell & why should I believe anything he says? I've seen plenty a blog & post on the internet by software analysts, Microsoft MVPs, etc. who didn't know their arse from a hole in the ground. What makes Mr. Chappell different than the rest?

Eóin

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2010, 09:41:15 AM »
That Geoff Chappell article is pure sensationalism. MS never hid the details of what memory various OS's could access, and they always limited the Desktop OS's to a lower max than the Server Editions. Big deal, you still get what you pay for.

IainB

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2010, 03:57:11 PM »
Putting aside the possibility of this XP limitation being a "conspiracy" for a moment:    ;)

The ARS technnica post is rather informative. I might put them back into my Google Reader subscriptions after this. (I had removed them after their what I thought was an extremely stupid article on ad-blocking.)

Just in case you have not already seen it, in the comments below the ARS technica post, there is provided this rather elegant work-around:
Quote
Metzen | Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:13 am | permalink
Windows XP works just fine with properly aligned partitioned drives. The only part it fails with them is with the initial "blue screen" install process as that is hard-coded for the 63rd 512byte offset. But you can get around it. I know this because when I worked at HP we had this issue. Microsoft's solution was some registry tricks in WinPE to format the drive the "XP" way, but we found ways around it while maintaining the proper alignment.
The trick we used was:
   1) Install XP first
   2) ImageX XP to another HDD or over the network
   3) Reformat the drive and install Vista
   4) Copy XP to the hard disk
   5) Setup bcdedit to dualboot XP

And for just XP we would skip the Vista install but use the new Vista bootloader as opposed to ntldr. It worked just fine, and we got the "faster" properly aligned partitions.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/923332
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931760
DrPizza  below that makes this comment:
Quote
That's an interesting workaround--rely on Vista to do the stuff that needs to be large-sector aware, but then just stick with XP. And I bet it's quicker than running WD's alignment tool, too. Good idea!

zridling

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2010, 08:32:40 PM »
Allow me a predictable retort. Why is this a compelling reason to upgrade to Win7? Why not another OS altogether? Not making assumptions, but I don't understand the inevitability of sticking with Microsoft after XP or Vista.

Shades

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2010, 09:09:57 PM »
I switched to 7 and it is a mixed blessing at best. After installing 7 my PC just drops network connection for no apparent reason beside randomness. For this MS should be ashamed, especially if they want to sell to companies.

It pains me to say but for me the first reason is/was UAC. You could say that Vista was an option as well, but from personal experience with pre SP1 Vista I can say that the network stack in that one is even worse than Windows 7. That one was offensively bad.

AndyM

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2010, 09:21:13 PM »
Allow me a predictable retort. Why is this a compelling reason to upgrade to Win7? Why not another OS altogether? Not making assumptions, but I don't understand the inevitability of sticking with Microsoft after XP or Vista.

In my case because I know, own, and use Windows, Word, and Excel.  What would be the net advantage to learning a new operating system and how to share files and continue to work with all the other Windows/Word/Excel people? :D

Innuendo

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2010, 09:27:44 PM »
I switched to 7 and it is a mixed blessing at best. After installing 7 my PC just drops network connection for no apparent reason beside randomness. For this MS should be ashamed, especially if they want to sell to companies.

I haven't seen this before. What type NIC are you using over there?

mwb1100

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2010, 09:38:25 PM »
I was under the impression that hard disks had long ago stopped making the physical layout of data on the disk platters match whatever interface they had to present to device drivers on the PC.  So, similar to how the old BIOS Cylinder-Head-Sector (CHS) interface stopped having any true relevance to how the data was organized at the hardware level, the software might ask for data in 512 byte 'sectors' but the circuitry and firmware on the HDD would map that request to the true location on the platter, even if that were inside some other, larger sector.

Now there might be advantages to having a better interface or improving the software to be able to deal with larger sector sizes, but I don't think that how much space is taken up by ECC and sector identification are part of them.

Shades

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Re: First compelling reason to switch to Windows 7
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2010, 10:06:28 PM »
I switched to 7 and it is a mixed blessing at best. After installing 7 my PC just drops network connection for no apparent reason beside randomness. For this MS should be ashamed, especially if they want to sell to companies.

I haven't seen this before. What type NIC are you using over there?

Onboard (Asus PQ5LM motherboard), Realtek RTL8168C(P)/8111C(P) Family PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet NIC (NDIS 6.20).

The thing is that XP never gave me this problem, and that was very likely why my XP installation was botched beyond repair after a laptop was hooked up to the network, trusting that its owner had properly screened and cleaned it.

Now I know that MS made a lot of changes in their networking layers with Vista and Win7. I use a Linux PC as a router/DNS server. Maybe I could still take a look if the Samba version on that one can cause my network drop-outs.