Today I successfully applied another W7 x64 upgrade (not fresh install) over Vista x64. The target machine was my Media PC which I use mostly to play DVDs, CDs and to stream Internet content. For all of these I use Microsoft's Media Center as my primary interface with Internet radio courtesy of the irreplaceable mcShoutcast
and NASA TV courtesy of the now difficult to find NasaTv For MCE. I purposely didn't populate this machine with lots of codecs and other exotica as I had the advantage of coming late to the MediaPC party so I was able to ensure that all the content I wanted to play could be generated with the standard codecs in mind.
Hardware is an Asus P5E-VM HDMI
motherboard, an Asus EN9600GT MATRIX/HTDI/512M
graphics card whose HDMI output feeds an Asus Xonar HDAV1.3
sound card which injects 5.1 sound into the HDMI data stream. The graphics card also feeds the touch-screen LCD on the front of the Silverstone GD02B-MT case
. I mention the latter in particular because one of the oddities of the system is that this is the screen that the graphics card uses to display boot-up information on until Windows loads the NVidia screen driver which then correctly allocates the plasma TV as the main display.
So, building on past experience, I made a note of a whole host of driver settings and again made sure my existing working configuration was fully backed up. I then applied the latest graphics driver and iTracker graphics card fan controller software, both downloaded direct from Asus and both compatible with Vista x64 and W7 x64. The W7 version of the sound card driver proved not to be compatible with Vista so after finding that out I rolled back to the previous driver. The other preparatory software upgrades were to the Asus bundled copy of Total Media Theatre and the iMon software which drives the information display on the case's touch-screen LCD. I also ran the Windows 7 upgrade advisor and cleared all the outstanding items it flagged.
With that done it was time to put the W7 x64 DVD in the drive and run Setup. This went a lot quicker than on my main PC (much less in the way of applications and settings to move across) but I did have a bit of concern when, after the first of the usual sequence of reboots, the display reverted to the tiny (Native resolution: 480 x 272) LCD. Not an issue as it turned out as the main display was reactivated before the end of the upgrade and I didn't need to make any inputs in response to data displayed on the small screen.
Of course it would be too simple if the end of the Upgrade process also meant my own work was done. First job was to re-apply the NVidia graphics driver so that the NVidia control panel became available. That allowed me to recover the correct screen resolution and it also fixed a corrupted display issue on the subsidiary LCD. Then I had to uninstall and reinstall the iTracker graphics card fan speed controller as it had "lost" the card. It's an invaluable utility for me as I can use it to stop the graphics fan completely for normal media duties while the GPU still runs at a toasty but acceptable 70Â°C.
The HDAV driver appeared to be working OK, despite the last installed version being for Vista, but I took the opportunity to upgrade it and then make sure the sound insertion settings were correct. That was followed by a trip to Windows own sound control applet to make sure all the correct modes were enabled there as well. Then a visit to the NVidia control panel to apply my carefully tuned video settings (colour, brightness contrast, gamma, sharpening etc etc).
Finally I wound up Media Center and, disappointingly, had to set it up from scratch so that it knew where the various media libraries were. A quick check showed that DVD and CD playback was fine but mcShoutCast, while working, was complaining about something or other every time it launched so I ran it's own installer and "repaired" the installation, which action appears to have fixed things.
I've yet to test Total Media Theatre. It's not a program I really use as I get far better results for Blu-ray playback using a standalone player. The only disappointment when I re-applied its own settings was that it had decided to be Region B (Europe) instead of its previous Region A. The only reason I maintain this is that it provides me with a means of playing Region A only BDs, should that be a requirement for the future. So I changed the region back to A and in the process lost one of my 5 allowed changes. No big deal really, this time around anyway.
So the bottom line is that the upgrade went extremely well but it was by no means a hands-off affair as a lot of "media PC specific" settings had to be re-applied after the W7 installer had done it's thing. There are also a number of files which the installer orphaned which I'll have to go through but, unlike with the main PC whose upgrade I described previously in this thread, all the "User" data is still in the correct place this time around.
For me the upgrade was well worth the time and risk as Media Center has some significant usability improvements when accessing DVDs and CDs.