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Where's the Wombatinator? What's he been up to?!?! - Heads up! The Wombatinator strikes again!


Eagle_Flight
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The good news is that most games you play run well on Win7. Even Freelancer, though it needs a few tweaks. The games that need XP can be run on an older system to which you can attach your X-52, leaving the Cougar for your Win7 box.

One possible exception is Allied Force, which runs well in Win7 but can give you anomalies on the kneeboard map. However, BMS runs better on Win7 than it does XP. Of course, the old Strike Fighters games need XP, but the SF2 line now (as of March) requires Vista/Win7 for the DX10 graphics. Somehow, I can see you getting into the new SF2 games as well.

Thanks. I'll probable go for a dual boot. Currently I have dual boot for XP and Vista with an included option to upgrade Vista to Win7. But I'm in no rush. ;) Happy with TAW2.0. :icon_rock:

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Dual boot is what I do, but be aware that setting up a dual boot to be bulletproof requires a lot of planning up front, as well as some working knowledge of the Windows file system.

It sounds like you have both Vista and XP on the same partition, using Vista's boot manager to go between them. In this case, upgrading your vista install to Win7 is highly recommended. Win7 is much better than Vista, even though a mature Vista is still better than Vista was a few short years ago. Just make sure that you back up your boot partition prior to your upgrade; using the same partition for both operating systems is not the "bulletproof" method, though it works with minimal tweaks required.

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Well what we are saying is that it isn't the CombatSim's choice of looks at all.

It is the IP board team, delivering properitary and shitty code as well as support...

Their attitude also needs a great adjustment, if you do not update as they like it... Well they cut you off from support (Seen several stories of this) so they deserve all the hardness they can get.

And by cutting off from support I mean, even if you update afterwards to the recent version, you can kiss support for that goodbye.

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Dual boot is what I do, but be aware that setting up a dual boot to be bulletproof requires a lot of planning up front, as well as some working knowledge of the Windows file system.

It sounds like you have both Vista and XP on the same partition, using Vista's boot manager to go between them. In this case, upgrading your vista install to Win7 is highly recommended. Win7 is much better than Vista, even though a mature Vista is still better than Vista was a few short years ago. Just make sure that you back up your boot partition prior to your upgrade; using the same partition for both operating systems is not the "bulletproof" method, though it works with minimal tweaks required.

I actually have two partition on the same drive. XP (c:) on one partition and Vista (d:) on the other. During early boot-up I get a DOS window come up, where I select the XP partition or the Vista partition. I never work in Vista (nothing loaded, stored, etc, other than Vista OS) so on upgrade to Win7 should be easy. If (sorry, when) I do it, I'll take to my favourite computer store (they built the PC) and pay to have it done. Its clean and there're worth it.

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Operating Systems on separate partitions is definitely the way to do it (i.e. the bulletproof method). This way, if you need to install an OS from scratch, you don't lose your other OS because with the hidden partition the current OS doesn't even know it's there.

Since you have professionals handling your install (which is a great idea, BTW), here's what I recommend you have them do for you:

  1. Install Boot It Bare Metal (don't worry, you have a 30 day trial and it is IMHO by far the best boot manager out there).
  2. Install XP and Win7 to separate partitions. Have both partitions as NTFS format. You will want to allocate more space to Win7, as that will be your OS of choice for daily use (trust me!). BTW, make sure you get the 64 bit version of Win7. 32 bit won't do you any favors with your high power system.
  3. Optional but recommended: have both partitions as "c:", with one hidden while the other is primary (this can easily be set up in BIBM).

This is the bit I mentioned about a bit of planning up front. Where the rest of the planning comes into play is here (edit: steps 2 and 3 are not recommended if you are using a SSD for your operating systems; at that point, just leave the swapfile on your OS partition):

  1. You will want to have another hard drive, preferably a separate physical drive.
  2. Set aside a partition that is large enough to hold swapfiles for both XP and Win7 (different files are used). Call it "e:", though you can make it any letter out of the way.
  3. Have the professionals set up both operating systems to use that swap partition with a fixed size (they can tell you how much space you should use). Ideally the partition should be FAT32 with maximum cluster size for quick access (though NTFS will work as well; max cluster size is the key).
  4. Partition the rest of the drive as NTFS and make it "d:". This will become your default drive if you want to install programs for use in both operating systems (e.g. TAW).

Once you have this in place, just make sure you install everything you want to use for both systems on the D drive. It's usually as simple as replacing "c" with "d" when choosing where to install a program. This is actually how I have my gaming rig set up (though I just use D for applications like OpenOffice, Foxy/Cougar, etc.). I still advise you to put any antivirus or drive management utilities on each C drive in order to provide access for your OS in the event that the D drive is down. Besides, the antiviruses will likely be different for 32 bit and 64 bit anyway.

Hope this helps. You may want to print it out and take it with you.

Edited by Home Fries
updated recommendation for SSD drive.
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Thanks HF. I actually have 3 external drives: 2 in one case the other in its own case. Both with USB connections. I use then for backup. I'll print off your instructions and take to my techo's when I make the "leap" from Vista to Win7. First thing will be to track down that documentation entitling me to the free upgrade. I think its with the original purchase invoice.

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Wombat, I should clarify.

When I refer to a separate physical drive, I don't necessarily mean external. You would probably be better served using another internal disk in lieu of using a USB drive for programs.

The whole point of a separate drive is to make sure that your swapdisk spins independently of your operating system, which is also why I said that it isnt a factor for solid state drives (which have no moving parts). Definitely keep your USBs for backup.

In fact, if you take a look at the BIBM link and go up a level, you will see that you can get BIBM bundled with an imaging program for another $10US. This is a great deal and a very nice way to back up your drives, and also allows you to image your operating systems in virgin state, which will help you immeasurably if you need to revert for whatever reason.

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@ Home Fries

Went to see my favourite Techo's yesterday and apart from having to buy a copy of Win7 (freeby offer now three years old and unavailable :( ) for $150 for Pro $110 for Home, but no problem installing on my second "Vista" partition. Didn't have a copy of your notes with me :rolleyes: but were happy to follow any procedural setup I required. I might go for installing a new drive for Win7 (as you preferred) and then I would maintain my own XP partition and Vista partition on the same existing drive.

Question: Should I get Win 7 Pro or Home?

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Just make sure that you get the x64 (aka 64 bit) version. Otherwise you'll need to shell out for another upgrade in a couple of years.

As long as you have Vista and XP on separate partitions and you installed Win7 to your Vista partition, you should still be good to go as far as keeping your installations separate. The separate disk is good for installing programs that you want to use across both operating systems.

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The separate disk is good for installing programs that you want to use across both operating systems.

Hmmmm ..... interesting.

I'll probably continue to run with my XP on my Netbook which is also partitioned. But has XP on both partitions.

Its just a matter of time before I run Win7 on my PC and my Netbook, but I'm trying to make the conversion as painless as possible.

My Techo's were providing an EOM version of Win7 to my PC. Assume it will cost me again for a second EOM Win7 purchase for the Netbook.

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Depending on the size of your hard drive, you could conceivably repartition your existing drive and make the d: accessible to both operating systems. This would have the same effect, but it's something you would want to have your tech guys do if you aren't experienced with soft partitioning. For the price of labor, it would likely be cheaper to purchase a second hard drive, with the added benefit being that you could have the platters independently spinning and searching (which could speed up times). You wouldn't necessarily need a separate partition for your swapfiles (just putting them on the new drive would be enough, and the performance benefit is too minimal to offset the additional complexity).

I'm not sure I would put Win7 on your netbook with only 1Gb of RAM. Windows XP works just fine. The other thing you need to consider with netbooks and notebooks is that they are integrated hardware suites (as opposed to independent components), and are often designed around their operating system. You may lose functionality with some of your hardware by upgrading due to driver incompatibilities, especially jumping two major versions. You can find compatibility tests online (you can google stuff like microsoft windows 7 compatibility test) to see if your system is a candidate for upgrade, and your techs could probably tell you as well (though I think that if they value customer service over a quick dollar that they will tell you to keep XP on your netbook as well).

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Depending on the size of your hard drive, you could conceivably repartition your existing drive and make the d: accessible to both operating systems. This would have the same effect, but it's something you would want to have your tech guys do if you aren't experienced with soft partitioning. For the price of labor, it would likely be cheaper to purchase a second hard drive, with the added benefit being that you could have the platters independently spinning and searching (which could speed up times). You wouldn't necessarily need a separate partition for your swapfiles (just putting them on the new drive would be enough, and the performance benefit is too minimal to offset the additional complexity).

I assume all the above refers to my PC and make complete sense. I'll go for the new drive.

I'm not sure I would put Win7 on your netbook with only 1Gb of RAM. Windows XP works just fine. The other thing you need to consider with netbooks and notebooks is that they are integrated hardware suites (as opposed to independent components), and are often designed around their operating system. You may lose functionality with some of your hardware by upgrading due to driver incompatibilities, especially jumping two major versions. You can find compatibility tests online (you can google stuff like microsoft windows 7 compatibility test) to see if your system is a candidate for upgrade, and your techs could probably tell you as well (though I think that if they value customer service over a quick dollar that they will tell you to keep XP on your netbook as well).

In regard to my Netbook, I should never have bought. I got in Bali thinking it would be cheaper. It wasn't. My techo boys don't think much of it because of the " ...... integrated hardware suites .....and ..... bastardizes OS system ......". Unfortunately its had to replace my Notebook when it gave up the ghost.

I'm even considering a new Notebook to replace the broken one. I would use the PC at home for FSim game play; the Notebook for MS apps (Word, Exel, Accounting software, low level games like Myst) and portability to my little old caravan; and the Netbook to take with me to Bali. That's how I had it setup previously until the Notebook went down, and it was really good. Its the old story: decided what you want a computer to do and then go out and buy it, NOT the other way round.

Notebooks seem reasonably priced at the moment and I'm lucky enough to be able to afford the Win7 update, new drive and Notebook.

Thanks for all the help: its invaluable. :thumbsup:

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All I can say is, unless you need some of the Win 7 features you should just keep XP around.

Win 7 has too many annoying features to consider it an "upgrade"

Sorry, but personally I have to completely disagree.... I originally also ran a dual boot WinXP / new Win7 at the time. I quickly was only using Win 7 for everything, and everything ran smoothly.

Now it's been a couple of years, and I still haven't found any reason to go back to WinXP. One of the features in Win7 I really appreciate for example is the improved Sound Control in the bottom right corner:

soundexample.jpg

I can adjust the sound of any application individually: So i can set up F22 to run at 50%, youtube vids to run at 25%, Teamspeak at whatever else, etc etc.... This gives me great flexibility, if I want to make something louder that already is running at 100%, I can easily make everything else quieter and turn up the sound on my speakers. Also, anything with no integrated sound control (some games/commercial audio from some internet sites/ etc etc) can also be controlled by this menu.

Also, I've had less driver problems/issues with Win7 as opposed to WinXP - But this is individually dependant on the hardware you've got in the PC......

I feel my time tends to go to actually using the PC with Win7 - as opposed to WinXP, where I feel it takes longer to get things to work... - However this is also an apsect that will be individually different.

I don't think there is anything on the market at the moment that requires you to have Win7 yet, so no need to hurry or rush.. But I certainly will call Win7 an improvement to WinXP.. Personally I feel: stuff runs more reliably, If a task does end up freezing, I feel the Win7 System will 'deal with' the issue, and close app rather painlessly in Win7 - as opposed to WinXP (where sometimes the task manager would freeze up along with the troublemaker application, making a reboot inevitable at times - This hasn't yet happend to me with Win7)

Still, Sweeper, feel free to share your experiences with Win7 and why you would reccomend staying with WinXP? (Aren't you using Win7 on one of your PCs yourself??? :P )

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I have had a lot of small gripes here and there, I agree the audio part there is something I REALLY miss in XP, but I have lived without before though.

There are tons of crap in Win 7 that all add up to make it "annoying" first the OS' attitude seems to treat you like a 12 year old with all the "are you sure?" "Are you really really sure?" that happens at times.

Then there is the networking which just sucks, first of all Win 7 totally ignores network adapter order, you can set it, but it gives a frack about your settings and runs it as it sees fit, which is in 99% of the cases, wrong, plus connectivity issues with non Win 7 computers.

After that the file manager leaves a lot to be desired and missed and feels like a step back... The level up button is missing and a feature have been added that is supposed to prevent you from mis-clicking a folder when browsing which 95% of the time prevents you from legitly getting where you want to go (Reverts you to the folder you were at)

It is also a lot more trickier to set up the "Bill Gates" folder than on XP (I want it off the C drive, since the SSD is small and I do not want it clogged up) but simply moving it is easier said than done, so a temp fix is using dual locations.

And of course the reliance of .NET within system processes, the worst idea Microsoft has EVER had, especially since their .NET lacks any version check during install, and some software (Surprisingly a lot of them) "cowboy" installs .NET and if you have a newer version (Tons of updates so it is highly likely) well the cardhouse that is known as .NET collapses.

When that cardhouse collapses the downdraft is unpredictable, I have seen "My Computer" being completly empty, void of any harddrives (But using the address bar to access them by letter works fine) and total crashing of programs before they can start due to a huge fault in the DWM.exe (Desktop Window Manager, what Microsoft uses to handle your applications) which renders all webbrowsers unusable.

If I didn't need DX10-11 and TRIM as well as Tripple Monitor support, Win 7 wouldn't exist outside a virtual machine and I would still be using Windows XP X64.

So far there is only one machine in my house that runs Windows 7, any other box that needs Windows gets XP in some form or another, even though that is mostly virtual machines these days.

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I feel you are affected by the network adapter issue more than most people.. You do a lot of work with servers, networks, and virtualization of said networks/systems... I just don't think Wombat will run into the problem you described.

The folder problem I have noticed myself, but a new interface means - like all new things - you need to take time to get used to it.. To get back a folder, you have to click on that folder in the address bar of windows explorer. It can get confusing if the preceding folders aren't all shown / window isn't big enough to fully display the names, etc... And the 'back' arrow takes you back in the browsing history, not in the folder tree structure - Which I've always found confusing and have a hard time getting used to, but oh well..

Anyways, I found this while browsing the internet: "Alt + Up Arrow" does the trick! (Also: "Alt + Left Arrow" & "Alt + Right Arrow" goes back and forward in the browsing history)

//EDIT2//

Looks like you need 'ClassicShell' and with some set up you can get that 'folder up' button:

http://www.addictive...ows-7-explorer/

With the end result being:

uponelevel.jpg

//EDIT//

The Bill Gates folder is that one that lets you access all shortcuts/system tools/settings from one folder right? I don't think I've ever used it, only read 'rumors' about it.. Personally, the Control Panel serves that need pretty decently, while every now and then, I need to right click the 'My Computer' -> Manage to get the device manager quickly... I think for the general user, this secret folder thing won't be that much of a setback..

Can't say much about your dislike of .NET - I personally don't expect neither Win7 nor WinXP to be unbreakable, so I know I'm responsible for what I install, for checking compatibility issues etc. If an installer says it's made to work with Win7 I usually trust that though, and I've never had that kind of problem...

Generally I expect this kind of thing to be an issue with very old installers that have remained online. I guess they could contain old file versions and it could mess up the newer systems... Otherwise I don't expect this to be a problem. - Personally I haven't noticed my Win7 system with any of the described symptoms so I don't think I've contracted that kind of bad .NET file just yet :)

All I'm saying is that I think upgrading to Win7 should be all good to go, and I mean everything has small annoyances (WinXP has been quite annoying at times, Apple OSs have annoyances, Linux will make my head explode ^^ which is also annoying - No seriously I just don't know how to use Linux :) I guess I'm the annoying one) so I don't think there's any clean escape from one annoyance without finding another one somewhere else..

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Thanks for the input boys. Its all very useful background for me with my decision making. I think my best option is still the new Notebook with Win7 and WinXP partitioned. Then get a new HDD for the PC with Win7 OS installed on it. I've then got alternatives with WinXP and Win7 on my two primary computers with my non-preferred Netbook running XP when in Bali. Like Eagle, I think its just a matter of time before I will move totally to Win7 as I had to do when going from Win98 to WinXP. At least it won't be kicking and screaming this time. :lol:

The other thing is "FSims" are being developed purely for Win7. I think its the new version of Strike Fighters (?) or maybe X4(?). I've read it somewhere. HF will remember.

My problem will be getting my other software like older versions of Office, Word, Exel, Quicken, etc to run on Win7. As you know, :rolleyes:, I don't handle change too well, and like to stay with a software version I understand and can work with. Maybe that's why I still prefer to fly Falcon4AF rather than BMS. Silly really. The only exception was going from TAW to TAW2.0. But that was easy. :thumbsup:

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The "Bill Gates" folder is "My documents" where most programs loves to save their stuff, nice in theory but it grows too quickly and on a small SSD with 80Gb where you also have to keep free space availible, well it gets problematic.

The network issue isn't just virtualization, even though I got 2-3 network adapters just for that, also if you use VPN you will encounter the same issue, VPNs are used in a lot of situations, buisness networks to allow you to work from home for an example.

I tried the old Win 98 a while ago and man how much easier it was to do stuff, but that I left behind for XP to get out of the BSOD hell I had at that time :P

As for .NET corruption, there is nothing you can do to prevent it, they install it at times without asking you or notifying you that it is being done.

At least if they had done like they did with DirectX installs this wouldn't have been a factor, even if you try to install DX6 on DX9C it will not install ANY files, .NET doesn't have this feature it will happily accept whatever is thrown at it.

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Thanks for the input boys. Its all very useful background for me with my decision making. I think my best option is still the new Notebook with Win7 and WinXP partitioned.
]

The utility of the partitioned notebook is debatable depending on how much time you spend on your notebook with legacy games. If you get a gaming notebook today, you should have no problems running Falcon BMS, Freespace, Freelancer, and (of course) TAW. If you don't get a gaming notebook, you probably won't have much luck with your legacy XP sims either. Of course, if you're on your notebook for gaming more often than not, then this becomes more of a consideration, but given that notebooks have the "integrated hardware suite", you might be best suited for your native OS.

Then get a new HDD for the PC with Win7 OS installed on it. I've then got alternatives with WinXP and Win7 on my two primary computers with my non-preferred Netbook running XP when in Bali.

Good call.

Like Eagle, I think its just a matter of time before I will move totally to Win7 as I had to do when going from Win98 to WinXP. At least it won't be kicking and screaming this time. :lol: The other thing is "FSims" are being developed purely for Win7. I think its the new version of Strike Fighters (?) or maybe X4(?). I've read it somewhere. HF will remember. My problem will be getting my other software like older versions of Office, Word, Exel, Quicken, etc to run on Win7. As you know, :rolleyes:, I don't handle change too well, and like to stay with a software version I understand and can work with. Maybe that's why I still prefer to fly Falcon4AF rather than BMS. Silly really. The only exception was going from TAW to TAW2.0. But that was easy. :thumbsup:

I haven't gone completely to Win7, though I only maintain XP for legacy compatibility at this point. You're right about MS Office, though. The general consensus is that MS went backwards with the latest releases, and figuring out how to do some of the little things can be challenging even for a technophile like myself. You can always look at OpenOffice, which is free, mostly compatible, and does the big stuff quite well. I still use Word for some of the little formatting things, but I keep OpenOffice on my gaming rig.

For flight sims, you're right about Strike Fighters 2. The March update sacrifices XP compatibility for a DX10 graphics engine. With your hardware, you'll definitely enjoy it. It's depth is about like TAW, but it's less about the avionics and more about the experience. It can be harder because you don't have the same SA you have in TAW, but you still have quite a bit of SA and the difficulty is scalable. There's also so much to do with the different planes you can fly (and how differently they do fly). That, and the moddability is amazing.

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AF was based on Superpak 4, but incorporates quite a few code changes to enhance the stability of the program as well as make the online experience rock solid.

Nothing that BMS didn't do a few years later (although BMS doesn't include the Adriatic in it's package).

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