Windows 7 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Assessing your hardware and Windows 7 versions


Windows 7 Essential Training

with David Rivers

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Video: Assessing your hardware and Windows 7 versions

If you're watching this movie and you have not yet installed Windows 7, you may be wondering, "Will my PC hand Windows 7?" "Do I have the hardware necessary? "What edition should I be installing?" This movie is for you. If you've already installed Windows 7 and it's working fine, you can skip by this one. You can see I have loaded up Internet Explorer here. I'm at the Windows homepage. So, if you want to follow along with me, go to the Microsoft homepage and next we're going to locate the Window 7 page. Now, of course, this webpage is ever changing and there may be links that you'll find to Windows 7.
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  1. 16m 28s
    1. Welcome
      1m 54s
    2. Windows basics for first-time users
      13m 47s
    3. Using the exercise files
  2. 29m 18s
    1. Assessing your hardware and Windows 7 versions
      6m 57s
    2. Upgrading from other Windows versions
      2m 56s
    3. Transferring old files with Windows Easy Transfer
      7m 2s
    4. Dealing with device drivers
      6m 42s
    5. Running a Windows XP program in Windows 7
      5m 41s
  3. 33m 12s
    1. Getting familiar with the desktop
      8m 55s
    2. Handling tasks with the improved task bar
      8m 50s
    3. Accessing your favorites quickly with jump lists
      3m 59s
    4. Finding files and programs with Windows Search
      2m 18s
    5. Using the Action Center
      3m 48s
    6. Keeping information at your fingertips with desktop gadgets
      5m 22s
  4. 34m 24s
    1. Navigating folders and their contents
      6m 59s
    2. Staying organized with your own folders
      4m 44s
    3. Choosing how your folders and user interface behave
      7m 30s
    4. Sharing and protecting folders and files
      5m 27s
    5. Simplifying organization with libraries
      3m 48s
    6. Backing up by burning to CD or DVD
      5m 56s
  5. 24m 44s
    1. Windows Media Center
      7m 22s
    2. Playing media files with Windows Media Player
      3m 59s
    3. Organizing and sharing photos in Windows Explorer
      7m 22s
    4. Taking screenshots with the Snipping tool
      6m 1s
  6. 24m 35s
    1. Taking notes with sticky notes, Notepad, and WordPad
      11m 33s
    2. Creating graphics with Paint
      4m 58s
    3. Performing simple and advanced calculations with the calculator
      5m 20s
    4. Playing Windows games
      2m 44s
  7. 33m 5s
    1. Getting under your computer's hood with the Control Panel
      5m 28s
    2. Controlling system settings
      6m 38s
    3. Controlling sound device volume settings
      6m 38s
    4. Uninstalling programs that are no longer used
      2m 42s
    5. Setting default programs
      5m 10s
    6. Exploring accessibility options
      6m 29s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Connecting hardware with Device Stage
      2m 56s
    2. Create a home network using HomeGroup
      4m 49s
    3. Controlling what is shared on a network
      3m 26s
    4. Troubleshooting a network and HomeGroup
      3m 58s
    5. Reconnecting quickly with jump lists
      2m 18s
    6. Boosting your computer's memory with ReadyBoost
      3m 34s
  9. 31m 53s
    1. Keeping your PC secure with Windows Update
      3m 44s
    2. Battling spyware with Windows Defender
      7m 41s
    3. Controlling access with user accounts
      4m 32s
    4. Streamlining passwords in Credential Manager
      4m 38s
    5. Using parental controls to block unwanted content
      4m 49s
    6. Securing drives with BitLocker Drive Encryption
      6m 29s
  10. 15m 11s
    1. Printing files directly from Windows
      2m 48s
    2. Troubleshooting printer problems
      5m 15s
    3. Printing power tips
      3m 56s
    4. Printing to and viewing the XPS file format
      3m 12s
  11. 25m 4s
    1. Finding issues in the Troubleshooting control panel
      3m 53s
    2. Sharing issues with the Problem Steps Recorder
      3m 56s
    3. Backing up folders and drives
      6m 36s
    4. Restoring files and drives
      4m 39s
    5. Handling an entire system crash
      6m 0s
  12. 28m 23s
    1. Exploring changes to the UI
      4m 46s
    2. Access sites quickly using Favorites and History
      5m 17s
    3. Connecting to RSS feeds and web slices
      6m 1s
    4. Displaying similar sites with Suggested Sites
      2m 16s
    5. Browsing without navigating using accelerators
      6m 36s
    6. Keeping your browsing private using InPrivate Browsing and filtering
      3m 27s
  13. 1h 14m
    1. Setting up your Windows Live profile
      4m 37s
    2. Downloading Windows Live Essentials
      2m 23s
    3. Tracking dates and events with the Windows Live calendar
      7m 22s
    4. Free email with Windows Live Mail
      6m 14s
    5. Texting live with Windows Live Messenger
      7m 13s
    6. Organizing and sharing photos in Photo Gallery
      9m 46s
    7. Synchronizing photos on two computers with Live Sync
      4m 0s
    8. Controlling content and communications with Family Safety
      6m 26s
    9. Keeping a blog with Windows Live Writer
      6m 50s
    10. Accessing free online storage with SkyDrive
      4m 44s
    11. Creating a movie with Windows Live Movie Maker
      14m 46s
  14. 18s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Windows 7 Essential Training
6h 31m Beginner Oct 22, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Windows 7 Essential Training, David Rivers helps users of any level feel comfortable with the improvements and enhancements found in Microsoft's operating system. From simple navigation through the updated graphic user interface, David shows how to install or upgrade and get the most out of Windows 7. He covers using the new Internet Explorer 8 and boosting a computer's memory with the ReadyBoost tool. He also highlights hardware configuration options and explores the advances made connecting a home or work system with Windows Live, the cloud-computing environment made available for Windows 7 users. Exercise files accompany this course.

Topics include:
  • Running Windows XP programs within a Windows 7 installation Accessing favorites quickly through jump lists Establishing user settings through Windows Explorer Setting up a home network with Homegroup Displaying similar sites with suggestions in Internet Explorer 8 Syncing photos on two computers with Live Sync
Business Education + Elearning
David Rivers

Assessing your hardware and Windows 7 versions

If you're watching this movie and you have not yet installed Windows 7, you may be wondering, "Will my PC hand Windows 7?" "Do I have the hardware necessary? "What edition should I be installing?" This movie is for you. If you've already installed Windows 7 and it's working fine, you can skip by this one. You can see I have loaded up Internet Explorer here. I'm at the Windows homepage. So, if you want to follow along with me, go to the Microsoft homepage and next we're going to locate the Window 7 page. Now, of course, this webpage is ever changing and there may be links that you'll find to Windows 7.

At the date and time of this recording, it's this icon down below, Introducing Windows 7. I'm going to select it to go to the Windows 7 homepage. And here's where we find some of the headings that are going to help us with our decision to either upgrade to Windows 7 or install it. First of all, you will see I have got a What's New heading. That's going to tell me some of the new features. If there are features in there that you don't care about you may not need to upgrade. However, there are some great new features that we're going to be talking about in his title that you may want and you will need to install Windows 7. Here is where we go to compare the different editions and then finally Get Windows 7.

When we go to Get Windows 7, there is a cool utility we're going to download that will help us scan our computer and let us know if there are any issues we may run into. But let's start by comparing the different editions. Now, that scan that I was talking about, will help you decide on the right edition for you, but you can get some information ahead of time by clicking that Compare Editions heading. Here you'll see we have got Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate. There are other editions as well if you buy hardware with Windows 7 already installed, you might have the Starter Edition, for example.

But then you might want to consider upgrading to one of these three. On the left the Feature list tells you what's going to be included in each edition by the check marks and you can see the first number of features here all three of the editions are going to include Internet Explorer 8, improved desktop navigation, something called HomeGroup to help you with creating home networks, very nice utility. Let me get down to one called Windows XP mode. If you have Windows XP programs that will not run in Windows 7, don't let that stop you from upgrading to Windows 7, because with Windows XP mode you can run those programs in your Windows 7 environment and you can see that you'll need the Professional or Ultimate edition to do that.

Next, we have got some networking options. So if networking is important to you, you'll probably want the Professional or Ultimate editions. You can see backing up and restoring either a home or business network is also included in both Professional and the Ultimate editions. Now, if you need to be secure with your portable storage devices, and you want a help protect data using a new feature called BitLocker, you're going to need the Ultimate edition, and if 35 languages is important to you as well, you'll need to consider installing the Ultimate edition.

Now, let's go up to the top and click Get Windows 7, and we're not actually going to install it quite yet, we're going to scroll down the Overview tab here and you'll see there is some information, Can my PC run Windows 7? I can learn more about that and I can also Shop for PCs. The other link, that's going to take as to that same question, Can my PC run Windows 7 is the Upgrade Advisor, so let's click that. With the Upgrade Advisor, and you can see as we scroll down, there is a button that will allow us to Download the Upgrade Advisor, at the date and time of this recording, it's a Beta version, but we click that button and this is going to get us to the page where we can Download the Beta version in this case, of Upgrade Advisor and I'm going to do that.

And you can see I am asked a question here: Can I run this file? I'm going to click Run, yes and I'm going to run the installation. That's going to copy it to my computer. Now, it's on my computer. You can see it's very fast and I'm going to click Next. I'm going to accept the license terms after reading them thoroughly of course, and when I click Next, you can see the default location for the Upgrade Advisor. It's also going to Create a shortcut on my desktop, so I can run it at any time to scan my computer.

If you want to choose a different location, use the Browse button and click Install. And this could take a couple of moments as it installs the application, and creates that shortcut on your desktop. Some user account control will show up that you'll need to confirm by clicking Yes, giving permission to install and then it's successfully installed on your computer. You can close that up and you can minimize your Internet Explorer and you'll notice a new shortcut on your Desktop. Now, you're likely going to be in Windows XP when you do this.

I've already got Windows 7 installed, but I can still run the Upgrade Advisor. All I do is double-click the shortcut to get it running and if there is any permissions required, you'll need to answer Yes. You can see this is going to check if your PC is ready for Windows 7. All you have to do is click the Start check button. It's also going to be checking devices that are attached to your computer, so keep that in mind, if you got printers, scanners, if you've got USB devices attached. All of those would be taken into consideration. Not only is it going to check your hardware to see if it's going to run Windows 7, but it's also going to choose which edition of Windows 7 is best for you.

You've got that background knowledge. You've studied the different editions and you're going to get a recommendation at the end of the Upgrade Advisor. So, I'll let that take its course and fast-forward to the completed report. All right, eventually you're going to see this Window pop up with a few different sections. You can see System Requirements, it passed all 4 system requirements. If I want to know what those are, I can click the link, See all system requirements. CPU speed, my Random Access Memory, my Hard Drive Free Space, and something called Windows Aero.

If Windows Aero is capable on your system, you'll be able to take advantage of some of the cool features that are included in Windows Aero. That's kind of cool. Let's go back to the Overview. For Devices, No issues detected and you can click See all devices to look at each individual device connected to your computer and how they passed. Down below under Programs, it looks like I have one Minor issue. As I scroll down, I can see all of that information. It has to do with my SQL Server Client and you can see, I might experience minor issues using this program, while in Windows 7.

If it's a program you don't use a lot, really nothing to worry about. Even if you do use it, in this case, it's a minor issue. Any major issues will also show up and in our case, in my case, I don't have any. I can start to scan over or simply close this window knowing I'm safe to go ahead and install Windows 7.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Windows 7 Essential Training .

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Q: Is there a way to share files and printers between computers on network running Windows XP and Windows 7 without using the HomeGroup share method of Windows 7, since XP does not have this feature?
A: While Windows XP does not support the new HomeGroup found in Windows 7, there is another way to share files and printers between the two operating systems.  There are a number of steps to follow, but they are all listed here:
Q: Is it possible for a computer running Windows XP to join a Windows 7 HomeGroup?
A: Unfortunately, only Windows 7 supports HomeGroup.  If the Windows XP computer must connect with the Windows 7 computer, there are have two options:

1.  Upgrade the XP machine to Windows 7 and joining will be no problem.
2.  Change the Windows 7 HomeGroup to a regular Workgroup and the XP machine will be able to connect to it.  

Here are the steps to changing a HomeGroup to a Workgroup:
  1. On the Windows 7 computer, click the Start button at the bottom left of the screen.
  2. Go to the Control Panel and choose Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Click the link for "View your active networks.” 
  4. In the next window choose "Work network." That will switch the group from a HomeGroup to a Workgroup so the two computers can talk to each other. However, the same workgroup name and share folders in Explorer must be assigned to both computers before they can be networked.
For ease of use, if there is already an existing HomeGroup on the Windows 7 computer, upgrading the XP machine to Windows 7 would be the recommended course of action. There is a course in the Online Training Library, Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7, that explains the steps for transitioning to Windows 7.
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