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12Apr2016

Windows 7 Pain Management

Windows 7 is still a viable operating system for many businesses, but as more users and software application publishers migrate to Windows 10, using the older system can be very painful. Managing that pain isn’t easy, especially when you have a large, highly customized application package that simply can’t be upgraded to work with Windows 10.

The problem comes when you need to reinstall your Windows 7 operating system. There is just no easy way for this OS, which is 11 years old. In technology terms, that’s more than just a ripe old age. In real-time terms, that old age creates a lot of problems.

The re-installation problem requires you to follow these steps:

  1. Install Windows 7 using your valid installation disk. That’s pretty easy, but don’t get overconfident.
  2. The installation process will ask – really, require – you to download and install Service Pack 1. It’s the only service pack that Windows ever issued for Windows 7. Nor has Microsoft ever released a “roll-up,” which would be a compilation of all updates since Service Pack 1.
  3. So, after you have downloaded and installed Service Pack 1, you’ll need to run Windows Update to get all the critical security upgrades and patches.

Windows Update has more than 200 important updates. You need to start the sequence, and then, you need to pay attention. There are numerous points along the way where you need to reboot your computer to complete the installation of an update. Then, you need to continue Windows Update.

We have reinstalled Windows 7, and it has taken us two to three hours with a fast Internet connection. If you have a slow connection, it can be like riding a bicycle on the New Jersey Turnpike.

If a re-installation is something you must do, we can walk you through the steps. However, you must be asking why all of your application software can’t just run on Windows 10?

For highly customized software, such as a Sage accounting program that one of our clients uses, there is a compatibility issue as well as a financial consideration. Windows 10 has a number of security features that will not work with a Windows 7-based application program. They are not issues you can solve simply by not using all the features. The application software must be compatible with the OS. The financial consideration is that an upgrade to the accounting package would be $15,000. The cost of the time to reinstall Windows 7 is nowhere near that, and that’s probably the pain-management equivalent of taking aspirin until the pain goes away.

If you are fortunate to have some planning time, you can manage the pain more effectively by talking with the app publisher about updates. Those are always difficult for the app publisher because customized programs take a lot more of their time. They need to write the upgrades into their basic package and then to several steps farther to add your customization. Customized software packages have a lot of moving parts.

Some other factors to consider as you migrate is how much you need to keep everyone together. If you have a senior executive moving to Windows 10 ahead of most of the people in the department, how will that affect everyone’s ability to use the same applications. Windows 10 and Windows 7 versions may be quite different.

In addition to the application aspects of the software, will there be major security gaps between the older and newer versions? As we are harping, security is extremely critical in today’s business-computing world. When you leave certain doors open to get the work done, you may leave an opening for an outsider to come in and compromise your system’s integrity.

If you see your business coming to a crossroads, contact us as early as possible by email or telephone – 973-433-6676. The more time we have to look at your options, the better your probability of having the best possible outcome in managing the pain of transitioning your OS and application software to a more stable, efficient and secure system.

  • 12 Apr, 2016
  • Norman Rosenthal
  • 0 Comments
  • Microsoft, risk management, small business, win7, Windows, Windows 10, windows 7,

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