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Windows 7: Will Upgrading be the Magic Bullet?

29 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium Edition (64-bit)
 
 
Will Upgrading be the Magic Bullet?

Hello,

I'm new to this list, having joined only yesterday. I recently went from an old Dell Dimension PC with 256 MB RAM and a 40 GB HDD using Win XP Pro to a brand-new HP Pavilion 6213 with 6 GB RAM and a 500 GB HDD that uses Windows 7 Premium Home Edition pre-installed. I like the speed and I like the great flatscreen monitor, but Win 7 sucks.

I have 3 gripes, and I thought I'd post them here rather than do separate posts on 3 forums.
  1. Win 7 doesn't see my printer (NEC Superscript 870 b&w laser), or my scanner Microtek ScanMaker 4800).
  2. Win 7 doesn't have a sound equalizer, so my brand new Altec Lansing 2.1 speaker system with subwoofer doesn't work as well as it should because I can't control the amount of bass coming from the subwoofer. The subwoofer is just something I stub my toe on when I sit down at my desk. I am a church organist, and I NEED to be able to hear low tones, but the only way I can do so is to go to some pop music site and then that subwoofer bounces around from all the big bass sound that comes out of it.
  3. I also like to play games now and then, but the two I like the most won't install, which I presume is because they were made for Win 95/98.
So, here's the big questions. If I upgrade from Win 7 Premium Home to Win 7 Something Else (PRO?), will that cure all my PC problems? Which upgrade level would be best? Do I really need Windows 7 Ultimate or will Windows 7 Pro be good enough? I really don't want to have to upgrade twice.

I don't mind doing a little research on my own, but please point me in the right direction if you don't have time to send me a complete answer.

TIA,

K3yP1ayer

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I'm sorry to hear that you are experiencing problems with Windows 7. Unfortunately, with the 3 problems that you have mentioned, none of the other versions of Windows 7 are going to resolve those issues either.

#1). This is likely a driver issue. I used to have an NEC SuperScript 870 as well. It's quite an old printer and there is likely no driver support from NEC. I don't recall their being a Vista driver for this printer either. I've since switched over to a Samsung Laser which was significantly faster (3x-4x) and this works fine. I also have a Canon LiDE 35 scanner and there is no Windows 7 driver for this either. Fortunately, I have another computer lying around running XP that I connect that scanner to.

#2). If your speaker system is new, there might be a driver available from Altec Lansing which can be installed to better control your speaker setup.

#3). Some old games may not play properly. You can try launching them in compatibility mode to see if that helps any better.

A potential solution for all 3 of your issues is to run Windows XP as a virtual machine. In fact, that is the primary reason that Microsoft provides XP Mode in Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate. It's for corporate customers who also have peripherals and software which may not function properly under Windows 7. Unfortunately, it's not provided for free with Windows 7 Home Premium. However, if you do have a legitimate copy of Windows XP that can be used to install from, there are 3rd party products like Sun Virtual Box and VMWare Player 3.0 which are free to use which could be used instead.

Eventually, newer OS's have to abandon support for older technologies. And with something like the NEC printer, this is more an issue of the mfg not providing the drivers any longer to Microsoft for their printer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by K3yP1ayer View Post
Hello,

I'm new to this list, having joined only yesterday. I recently went from an old Dell Dimension PC with 256 MB RAM and a 40 GB HDD using Win XP Pro to a brand-new HP Pavilion 6213 with 6 GB RAM and a 500 GB HDD that uses Windows 7 Premium Home Edition pre-installed. I like the speed and I like the great flatscreen monitor, but Win 7 sucks.

I have 3 gripes, and I thought I'd post them here rather than do separate posts on 3 forums.
  1. Win 7 doesn't see my printer (NEC Superscript 870 b&w laser), or my scanner Microtek ScanMaker 4800).
  2. Win 7 doesn't have a sound equalizer, so my brand new Altec Lansing 2.1 speaker system with subwoofer doesn't work as well as it should because I can't control the amount of bass coming from the subwoofer. The subwoofer is just something I stub my toe on when I sit down at my desk. I am a church organist, and I NEED to be able to hear low tones, but the only way I can do so is to go to some pop music site and then that subwoofer bounces around from all the big bass sound that comes out of it.
  3. I also like to play games now and then, but the two I like the most won't install, which I presume is because they were made for Win 95/98.
So, here's the big questions. If I upgrade from Win 7 Premium Home to Win 7 Something Else (PRO?), will that cure all my PC problems? Which upgrade level would be best? Do I really need Windows 7 Ultimate or will Windows 7 Pro be good enough? I really don't want to have to upgrade twice.

I don't mind doing a little research on my own, but please point me in the right direction if you don't have time to send me a complete answer.

TIA,

K3yP1ayer
1) Microsoft does not usually write drivers for third-party hardware. The NEC printer is quite old (it was a new model in 1998 or before), and NEC provides no updates for it. The Scanmaker 4800 is listed as a PC World "Best Buy" of January 2002. It looks like Microtek has no drivers for Vista or Windows 7. Maybe the XP drivers will work:

Downloads : Microtek Lab

You may have to use work-arounds to install the drivers, though.

2) As regards an equalizer, is there a control utility associated with your Realtek onboard sound? (There is with mine, but it's a discrete Asus soundcard.) If not, there's a work-around (installing a utility from a different Realtek driver set):

Get The Realtek Equalizer Back In Windows 7/Vista

3) Windows 7 X64 doesn't permit 16 bit applications to be installed. (Some 32 bit software uses 16 bit code in its installer, and that won't install either.)

The only thing that I'm aware of the Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate would do for you is permit a free download of "XP Mode". That gives you XP running in a virtual machine. Alternately, there are other virtual environments (VirtualBox is an open source one) that would permit you to run an older OS in a virtual machine, if you have a copy handy. Seems like a lot to do for a couple of ancient games.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


29 Jan 2010   #4

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

One aspect to check, is if the CPU supports virtualization. If not XP Mode will not work. I ran that advistor tool mentioned above, before deciding on the version of Windows 7 seven to buy, and I got the Pro version primary for the XP Mode, but found out later my CPU won't support virtualization.

I started to try to find the specs on your rig at HP, but there are letter prefix and suffix that you didn't give. Even with those, what I saw at a quick glance, gave the socket type, but not the specific processor. If you can determine the exact processor, you can look up the specs at the CPU manufacturer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by K3yP1ayer View Post
I don't mind doing a little research on my own, but please point me in the right direction if you don't have time to send me a complete answer.
If this were true, you wouldn't have been surprised at points 1 and 3. You can easily virtualize and play those games. Whether your CPU supports XP Mode or not, your OS version doesn't. So, use the free VirtualBox app, which also includes some Directx 3D support, and it will be improved over time. That should cover point 3.

For point 1, you can often google the name of the printers along with the correct Windows 7 string and you can sometimes find other drivers that will work. Windows Update will also find drivers for some printers that even the manufacturer doesn't make available, as was the case with a very old HP All-In-One printer I had.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Will Upgrading be the Magic Bullet?




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