I had got AMD 64 Athlon box since long time, but was not able to utilize it fully as I had legal copy of Windows XP 32 bit with me only. For me XP, my system was kind of top-end, in India for average home use, with 1 GB RAM & 160 GB IDE HDD.
I got legal copy of Windows Vista X64 / X32 in April this year, but owing to following factor, I was not able to install it
- Low disk space remaining on the HDD.
- Wary of installing Vista Ultimate edition on 1 GB RAM system.
- Afraid of not able to get any drivers for X64 configuration.
Ultimately, after a long dithering and with the help of yearly bonus, I decided to upgrade my system and went for a 1 GB extra RAM and another 320 GB SATA HDD. It is a separate story that I managed to burn some IC in the HDD during installation and Seagate ended up replacing the same with 750 GB HDD for no extra charge.
With this mighty system, I decided to take risk with Vista installation and freed up D drive on my machine and moved all 100 GB data to the new HDD. This allowed me to extend D drive to 90 GB after leaving around 60 GB for C drive. Remember that I am still keeping XP 32 bit as backup system, so this will be dual boot machine.
I then installed Vista X64 (instead of X86/32 bit) on D drive purely for the purpose of utilizing AMD64 architecture. Sp, I noticed following things
- C and D drive are now OS dependent. The drive that XP considers as C is now treated as D by Vista.
- Installation took around 40 minutes after many reboots.
- It recognized most of the devices on my system and I could connect to Internet very first day using BSNL Dataone connection.
- I installed my usual day to day application like Office 2007, Bitcomet, Download accelerator, GTalk, Y!Msngr, Visual Studio 2005, ETrust 7.1 etc. It showed some displeasure with Nero installation, but it is working fine as of now.
- It could not recognize GemPlus GEMPC430 smart card reader though.
What I liked here
- IE7 performs better than XP.
- Search bar in the Start menu which searches everything on HDD.
- Shutdown & restart buttons which does not show annoying popup on the screen asking for my choice.
- UAC handling. Although it leaves a lot to be desired now, it is still a step in correct direction.
- facility to increase and decrease icons on the desktop up to 128 levels.
- They remove My from all the places like "My computer", "My documents" etc making it easy to have small menus.
What I did not like here
- Even though I have installed 2 GB RAM, it won't show me Aero Experience. This is bad in my view.
- Windows Explorer is too cluttered.
- Lot of things require more clicks only but their basic functionality is same as XP.
- Network connection wizard is annoying as it adds one extra screen for no reason in the beginning.
- Sidebar is still not very impressive.