Friday, May 01, 2009

XP to Windows 7 netbook upgrade? Windows Easy Transfer: Netbook Fail

So - MS hopes netbook users will upgrade from XP to Win7. But you can't do an in-place upgrade from XP to Win7; if you want to preserve your files & settings you need to use Easy Transfer. But Easy Transfer won't run on a resolution < 800x600. Many netbooks do not meet this - for example my HP Mini is 1024x576. Conclusion: Win7 Netbook fail. Suggestion: MS update EasyTransfer so it does not require 800x600 to function - it will not even execute. Let us netbook users live with a compromised interface but don't fail entirely.

Here's the bug report I'm going to file on Connect, but MS wants me to use the Feedback tool from the machine having the problem, so I'm going to write it up here until the Win7 upgrade finishes....


Repro: take a netbook running Windows XP. (In my case, a HP Mini 2140 with 1024x576 display.) Attempt to upgrade to Windows 7 RC1. Launch install. Attempt in-place upgrade.

Expected(but not the bug I'm reporting here): in-place upgrade from XP to Win7 works. (Yes, I know that's not a supported scenario. But it's still a big gap for Win7. Sure the folks who've upgraded to Vista will upgrade to Win7, but the folks who've stayed on XP will want to upgrade too.)

Actual (but not the bug i'm reporting here): Dialog appears ; in-place upgrade not supported for XP to Win7. Dialog explains that to preserve settings & files, need to run Windows Easy Transfer.

Repro (now we get to the bug I'm reporting) download, install and run Windows Easy Transfer for XP.

Expected: Easy Transfer launches, collects data and packages it up, then says "done" and I'm ready to upgrade to Win7 with my data ready to bring over to my future Win7 user profile.


1. Easy Transfer installs, but does not automatically launch or even offer to launch when installation is complete. Should at least offer to launch when installation is complete.

2. - (this is the key issue that this feedback item is about!) When Easy Transfer launches, it refuses to run on the Netbook display of 1024x576 because it does not meet minimum resolution requirement of 800x600. Easy Transfer should allow execution with part of the UI cut off, or adjust size so it fits on a typical Netbook display. Refusing to execute at all is not good - netbook users will follow all the instructions, and end up at a dead end. Better to have a compromised UX than none at all. Best to fix the UI constraints for XP Easy Transfer so it can be run on netbooks.

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