Making A List, Checking It Twice
- Windows 7 Ultimate Activation Key: Check!
- Windows 7 Ultimate Install Disk: ...
For three years I had access to MSDN through Microsoft's Bizspark program, and could download just about anything - though the number of license keys was strictly limited. Unfortunately, it ran out just before the launch of Windows 8.
Turns out I don't want Windows 8. I really don't want Windows 8. (Not on my desktop, at least; a tablet might be a different matter.)
It's very easy to get Windows 8. Cheap too. Windows 7, not so much. Microsoft don't want you using Windows 7, they want you on Windows 8, which is not a desktop operating system. It contains a desktop operating system, but it's been flattened and uglified compared to the previous version, and then had a get-in-your-way layer stapled to it.
Anyway, no install disc. There should be an ISO here somewhere, though. Not in my downloads folder, that's been backed up and cleared out. I have an ISOs folder and that has... XP. Vista. Windows Server 2008. All my old Bioware games. Many versions of Linux. No Windows 7.
But for the past couple of years I've regularly backed stuff up and archived off to external hard disks, so it's likely that the file is on one of those. One of nine.
Currently attached is Iori, the most recent. Which contains... Steam. Lots of Steam. About a terabyte of Steam. No Windows 7.
So, grab a drive from the stack and plug it in. This one is Eimi, thus, number five in the sequence. Contains backups of my D and E drives not including Steam. E drive contains ISOs folder. ISOs folder contains Microsoft folder. Microsoft folder contains Windows 7. ISOs folder also contains Windows folder. Windows folder also contains Windows 7.
Looks like they're pre-SP1, which might be a pain if I need to do this as a full install rather than a backup and restore, but at least I can get there eventually.
Anyway, while I was hunting around, I also checked online to see if you can download the ISO image legitimately, assuming you have an activation key. And indeed you can.
This page on PCWorld
has the details, and this page on Whirlpool
has additional info. You can download any of the Windows 7 versions, with the latest service pack, and you can check the SHA-1 checksum against Microsoft's own records to make sure it's all present and correct.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at
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Post contains 417 words, total size 3 kb.
Awww, don't be a Windows 8 hater. It's a perfectly cromulent desktop OS; at least as cromulent as Windows ever is.
Most people's complaint is O NOES THE START MENU IS GONE! So? The screen is almost unequivocally better. The only substantive drawback I've found--and I've been using it since the dev preview--is that you can't right-click and edit the properties of a shortcut; now you have to find it in Explorer. But in place of that you have an entire screen instead of a 100x300px viewport to click your programs.
Posted by: Rick C at Tuesday, December 25 2012 12:30 PM (WQ6Vb)
Hitting the dictionary to find out what "cromulent" means...
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Tuesday, December 25 2012 01:03 PM (+rSRq)
A problem for me is that while the metroid interface is pretty neat for a phone or tablet, the metroidised desktop looks like crap. All the subtlety is gone and the information density reduced with no compelling gain. The 7 desktop does everything the 8 desktop does, looks better, and doesn't force me out to a full-screen start menu.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, December 25 2012 03:00 PM (PiXy!)
You remember the old joke about most Windows users only using it to play Solitaire? Seems like Microsoft took it heart, coz the Windows 8 Metro screen looks a lot like Solitaire to me.
Posted by: Tombei The Mist at Sunday, December 30 2012 02:27 PM (hGCqM)
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