We like to imagine that every OS installation will work just as well as the vendor promises. When things don’t work out, identifying and remedying the case of failure can be time consuming and frustrating. This lesson in “how to determine why Windows 7 didn’t install” may help you troubleshoot a problem of your own – and save you from a Lost Weekend.
Over the past 13 months—that is, starting in March, 2009, when I began work on a book entitled Windows 7 in Depth—I’ve worked more or less constantly with Windows 7 across all of its versions. Because my responsibilities on the book included the OS install and configuration chapters, I probably installed Windows 7 over 200 times just for that project alone (it ended in July, and the book appeared in August). Since then, I’ve installed the OS at least another 200 times for other projects and tests, including various netbooks (Asus, Dell, MSI, and so forth), notebooks (Dell, HP, Asus, Acer, MSI, etc.), desktops (Dell, HP, Asus, and Velocity Micro, plus numerous DIY systems put together from components). Until a couple of weeks ago, I never encountered a single problem that stopped me from installing Windows 7 itself.
But when I decided it was time to switch my primary test system over from Windows 7 Ultimate x86 (32-bit) to Windows 7 Professional x64, I ran straight into a brick wall. See Table 1 near the end of this story for a detailed description of its initial and final components, plus other components I tried, as I worked my way through problem diagnosis and repair. In this article, I describe the sequence of events that occurred, explain how I finally diagnosed and fixed my problem, describe the vendor’s response to my problem report, and then meditate on what I learned through sheer dint of effort while working through this incident. My hope is that others can benefit from my experience without necessarily making the same missteps that I made along the path from problem discovery to diagnosis to ultimate solution. READ MORE