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Windows® 7 Secrets® by Rafael Rivera, Paul Thurrott

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Chapter 3. Hardware and Software Compatibility

In This Chapter

  • Choosing not to install Windows 7 over an older operating system

  • Recognizing when you may have to install Windows 7 over an older OS

  • Using the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to catch problems in advance

  • Taking action if the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor indicates that an updated driver "isn't available"

  • Understanding Windows 7 compatibility issues

  • Using devices and printers

  • Achieving better backward compatibility with XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC

One of the biggest issues you'll face when moving to a new version of Windows—any version, not just Windows 7—is compatibility. Whenever Microsoft changes the underpinnings of Windows, both hardware and software compatibility are going to suffer. That said, Microsoft claims that Windows 7 offers far better backward compatibility than did previous Windows versions, mostly because it is architecturally a minor upgrade when compared to Windows Vista and thus shares the same software and hardware compatibility prowess as its predecessor. However, all it takes is the loss of a single necessary hardware device or software application to turn any Windows upgrade into a disaster. In this chapter, we examine some of the compatibility issues you can run into when making the move to Windows 7, and how you can troubleshoot them.

Hidden Perils of the Windows 7 Upgrade

With all the new features and functionality provided by Windows 7, you might be tempted to buy a retail version of the operating system and ...

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