Over the past couple of days I have upgraded my Vista based Media Center to Windows 7. After my previous experiences upgrading from XP here, here and here I decided to do a new install onto a new 1Tb disk as opposed to an in place upgrade. This all went OK, there was nothing major to note, Windows 7 shipped with a driver for everything in my 3 year old AMD/ASUS based PC bar the sound card built into my motherboard, but that was easily downloaded. It is worth commenting that my Hauppauge Nova 500 T digital TV turner was found OK, but I had to get it to scan for channels three times before it got a signal. Why it worked the third time I don’t know as I did not change anything.
The problems I had were when I wanted to copy on media (photos, music and TV recordings) from my old hard disks. The first problem was when I connected them (using external USB cases, one was SATA the other PATA) to a Windows 7 laptop they were not seen. The physical disks were detected but the partitions were not present. When I tried them on a Vista box at work the partitions were seen but marked as foreign when I looked in the administrator disk management tool. Once I selected the ‘import foreign disks’ option they both appeared OK as drives on the Vista box (at this point I copied the files to a network location as a backup, that took a while!). I then tried the disks again on another Windows 7 box and another Vista box, in both cases it now said the drives were dynamic and corrupt. However back on the working Vista box they were both still OK. I was now confused. However, as I now had a backup of the data, on the second Vista box I tried to convert this corrupt dynamic disk to a basic disk, this ‘worked’ but the ‘corrupt’ partition disappeared. When I tried to quick format that failed too, but a full format worked, but seemed slow (a couple of hours for 300Gb). Now once this disk was formatted it could be read and used on all the Vista and Windows 7 boxes. I copied the data back from my network share backup and used the fixed external UBS drive to move the files back onto my new Media Center at home.
Sorry I don’t have a better solution to the disk issues than a format. I have no idea what was gong on there, but I now have a fully working Windows 7 Media Center with all my old media on it. Probably not a quick as an in place upgrade, but I know it is a nice clean install. First impression of the RTM version of Windows 7 Media Center is that it is fast and the interface clean. We shall see how it is to live with it.