Problem upgrading Windows 7 from Vista

I actually don’t mind Windows 7, having used it since RC1 was released last summer. But this weekend, I had to install it on my main PC, because Vista had become unstable.

Unlike previous releases, I needed to boot into Vista first in order to run the upgrade rather than a clean installation. It took ages – over two hours – but it did finally boot up. Upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 shoud be straightforward. Like most things from Microsoft, things got off to a good start, but the problems quickly mount up.

Most things worked – which is good, but it’s also pretty bad. Why, with all the time, effort and testing involved, does the Microsoft installer fail to upgrade a working Vista system to Windows 7.

Microsoft assured me previously that Vista to Windows 7 would be a straightforward upgrade. But I found my PC no longer shut down properly and certain devices, that worked perfectly under Vista, now fail on Windows 7.

Scouring the internet, I solved the device driver issue, by using the boot up option that lets you run unsigned device drivers (use F8 at boot time). This allowed Windows 7 to detect a ColorVision Spyder2 monitor calibration device, allowing me to calibrate my PC monitor.

But there seems to be little information on the internet about how to fix the problem with shutting down. I appreciate that the installer software to upgrading an operating system is non-trivial, but if Microsoft expects people to upgrade, it must get this right, 100% of the time. Spending hours trying to solve problems like the ones I experienced is frustrating for a techie, but for a business or home user, it is completely unacceptable.