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Thread: Living with Microsoft Windows 7 for the next several years

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Living with Microsoft Windows 7 for the next several years

    I recently purchased a brand new System76 Lemur Ultra:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2010804

    I plan to take my Educational Testing Service's Graduate Record Examination by September 30th, 2012. I plan to submit my completed graduate application to the Masters of Arts in English with Writing Studies concentration degree program at Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey 07043 by September 30th, 2012. I expect to be accepted by the end of 2012. They have a rolling admissions deadline and it takes them 4 - 6 weeks to process graduate applications.

    Montclair State University will only offer support for PCs running Microsoft Windows 7 32 and 64 bit Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise Editions along with Apple Macintosh iMacs, Mac Pros, MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros running OS X Snow Leopard and Lion 64 bit. They require the Bradford Dissolvable Agent to be downloaded and run as a part of their device registration process before new faculty, staff, and students can connect their devices to their Ethernet or 802.11 B/G/N networks. This checks for the presence of malware and it checks to ensure that an approved anti-malware software security application is installed prior to granting full access to their network.

    I expect to graduate with my degree by December 31st, 2015. I plan to move on campus and attend my first January 2013 spring semester.

    To be quite honest and truthful with you, I already dislike Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edtion Service Pack 1. I purchased and installed it in an Oracle VM Virtualbox 64 bit guest virtual machine. It constantly gives me problems. Boot ups, restarts, and shut downs constantly don't work properly or they take too long especially when there is an update that needs to be applied. This causes Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit to just sit there and do nothing more often than not. The other problem is that Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit is slow even on my brand new System76 Lemur Ultra laptop PC. Downloading, installing, applying updates takes the longest period of time and it often winds up in an unresponsive state. I have to forcibly turn off the guest virtual machine pretty often. Another major source of problems are the 0 day vulnerabilities and exploit attack vectors. Last month, it was the Microsoft XML vulnerability. This month, it is the Microsoft sidebar and gadgets vulnerability. Who knows what next month will bring? I do not want to re-install Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Service Pack 1 from scratch at least every six months to keep it fresh and running in tip top shape either. In fact, I plan to use Ubuntu and LibreOffice Writer and Impress along with Google Chrome to do the majority of my academic and scholarly research work. I know that there will be times when I need to run Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Service Pack 1 while I am living and studying on campus at Montclair State University, but I will try to minimize those occasions as much as possible.

    Montclair State University has no official plans to offer help and support for Microsoft Windows 8 when it will be launched sometime in late October 2012 worldwide. So, I am stuck with Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit for the next three and a half years from today.

    What tips and tricks should I make as habits to keep Windows 7 64 bit running in good shape?

    I have Symantec Norton 360 version 6, Macecraft Software jv16 PowerTools 2012, ReviverSoft Driver Reviver 2.1, Piriform CCleaner, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, Super Anti-Spyware Professional, WinPatrol Plus, QFX Software KeyScrambler Premium, VS Group Revo Uninstaller Professional, File Hippo, Secunia PSI version 3.0, and Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus 32 bit Service Pack 1 along with other software applications. I try to check for device driver updates once per week using ReviverSoft Driver Reviver 2.1. I run Piriform's CCleaner daily. I download updates for Symantec Norton 360 version 6, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, and Super Anti-Spyware Professional every day. I try to do anti-malware deep scans on Sundays on a regular basis. I check FileHippo and Secunia PSI version 3.0 for third-party software updates daily. I run jv16 PowerTools 2012 at least once per day to check for registry errors and I fix them along with making backups of my registry.

    What else should I be doing?

    I also have Acronis TrueHome Image 2012 with the Plus Pack. I have not used it yet to make any disk images or data backups since I use CrashPlan+ home unlimited plan to backup my /home folder in Ubuntu. This includes my Oracle VM Virtualbox folder and files. I also make a copy of this folder to my Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 128 GB USB 3.0 thumb drive on Microsoft Patch Tuesdays every month to ensure that I have a known good copy of my Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit guest virtual machine.

    It is a lot of work to keep Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit in good working order. Most of the time, I leave the guest virtual machine turned off during the week except on Sundays when I have to perform updates and maintenance.

    How do you guys maintain your Microsoft Windows operating system? What tips and tricks do you do to keep it running in good shape so as to avoid having to re-install it every six months?

    Ubuntu is so much easier and simpler. There are far fewer things that can go horribly wrong with Ubuntu especially if you stick pretty closely to the default settings and configuration. Ubuntu gives me a lot less stress and headaches now that I purchased my System76 Lemur Ultra laptop PC. Almost everything works right out of the box with little fuss. It also consumes far fewer hardware resources especially if you switch to XFCE or LXDE desktop environments.

    I am thinking and I am hoping that I can get away with using Ubuntu at Montclair State University on a daily basis. I am in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and I am in the Graduate English Department. The Graduate Advisor told me that the university is pretty agnostic when it comes to hardware and software requirements for my degree program. The only exception is the Bradford Dissolvable Agent requirement.

    How many Ubuntu Forums members here completed either an undergraduate or graduate degree using Ubuntu? How did you do it?

    Finally, I think that I am going to stick with Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit Long Term Support. The System76 forums usually provide up to date version stickies to help customers upgrade to future Ubuntu versions. I have found that something will almost always break or fail to work properly when users perform an operating system upgrade to a newer version. My System76 Lemur Ultra has got to keep working similar to a production environment every single day. I have two years of warranty and technical support from System76, but I do not plan to utilize that service very often because I plan to stick with Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit LTS until April 2014. In the past, I have found Ubuntu 10.04 64 bit LTS to be quite stable and reliable, but Ubuntu 10.10, 11.04, and 11.10 64 bit had teething issues especially as Canonical transitioned to the Unity desktop environment and they made it the default choice. Ubuntu 11.10 64 bit was particularly slow and it had a couple of known issues for Ubuntu users that upgraded from 11.04 64 bit. I don't want to repeat all of that nonsense with future non LTS releases while I am living and studying on campus.

    Montclair State University has a software library for its faculty, staff, and students. Once I get accepted and I am assigned my own NetID credentials, I will check it out. For the most part, I already purchased the Microsoft Windows 7 software applications that I will need for school work. The Graduate English Department does not explicitly require specific hardware or software requirements on their home page. I am hoping that I really won't need to use Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Service Pack 1 that much at all.

    Microsoft Windows and Office demand so many updates and high maintenance. I don't have the desire to do the work every single day nor do I have the time. I already diverted at least one week away from studying for my GRE just to focus on Windows and Office. Fortunately, I have over two and a half months to buckle down and really study hard for my GREs by September 30th, 2012. Most of my work is done by now.

  2. #2
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    Hardy Heron (Ubuntu Development)

    Re: Living with Microsoft Windows 7 for the next several years

    Well, that's a long post to read.

    One thing I would say, though, is you shouldn't judge how Windows 7 64-bit performs by your experience with it in a VM. I know from my own experiences with VirtualBox, that if you don't have everything set just right, the 64-bit version of Windows is very buggy. Not only that, but Direct3D is still experimental, and it's very buggy, and Windows 7 requires it for Aero. Windows 7 in a VM is nothing at all like having a real installation of it. Windows 7 is a pretty solid OS, and I haven't had a whole lot of trouble with it. I've used it since the beta.

    If I were you, I'd just install Win7 to a separate partition, restore your Grub, and have a dual boot with Ubuntu. Windows 7 is not a bad OS at all, probably Microsoft's best yet.
    Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. - Dr. Seuss

  3. #3
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    Cool Re: Living with Microsoft Windows 7 for the next several years

    I wish one day i would not have to boot to win 7, but there is a lot of software that not made for linux for reason of profit. Adobe now even going to quit on Flash, and we were waiting for Creative suit for Linux
    Great tips and articles on how to sell Apple Mac hardware www.sellmemac.com

  4. #4
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    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: Living with Microsoft Windows 7 for the next several years

    It's going to depend on what "full access" means - do you mean just to get online, or is it other intranet features you might not need? - as well as what software you'll be required to use in your degree program. I didn't have any problems using Ubuntu during my graduate degree, but I was in English, and the school didn't have any nonsense "security" requirements.

    Of course you can always switch places and run Windows 7 on the hardware, with Ubuntu in a VM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Living with Microsoft Windows 7 for the next several years

    You can still get flash in Linux via Pepper in Chrome.
    Steam: ubuntugamer( Add me ) | Gaming: Left 4 Dead 2, Metro Last Light, Assassin's Creed 4, Forced

  6. #6
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    Re: Living with Microsoft Windows 7 for the next several years

    System76 told me to install Microsoft Windows 7 inside an Oracle VM Virtualbox guest virtual machine. It runs really fast on my System76 Lemur Ultra.

    Are there any specific recommendations for maintaining it beyond what I have stated so that I don't have to re-install it from scratch every six months?

    I installed the Direct3D support for guest additions today. It seems to have improved the graphics performance.

    I am a little tired early this morning. I am going to go back to sleep.

  7. #7
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    Hardy Heron (Ubuntu Development)

    Re: Living with Microsoft Windows 7 for the next several years

    If you're set on using Win7 in a VM, and you feel like you have to do a clean install of Ubuntu every 6 months instead of upgrading, there are a couple of things you can do. First, you can back up your .virtualbox folder before installing, which should have your virtual machine file in it. Just reinstall VirtualBox and restore your .virtualbox folder, and you'll have your Win7 VM exactly how it was.

    Also, next time you do a clean install of Ubuntu, you might think about creating a separate /home partition so you don't have to go through that every time you do an installation.

    This type of thread should probably be in the support sections, though. But I'll bet if you didn't have Guest Additions installed, you'll notice a huge difference now.
    Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. - Dr. Seuss

  8. #8
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    Re: Living with Microsoft Windows 7 for the next several years

    TL;DR.

    However, I've recently migrated my old XP install over to WIn 7 and I'm actually really impressed with it. It's fairly easy to use, and includes a lot more useful tools and features than older versions of Windows. I actually find it a very pleasant and reliable environment. I've actually found myself contemplating deliberately spending more time on the Windows side.

    Try installing it on the bare metal, I suspect some or all of your problems are VM-related.

  9. #9
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    Re: Living with Microsoft Windows 7 for the next several years

    Again, System76 recommends that I install Microsoft Windows 7 in a guest virtual machine using Oracle VM Virtualbox.

    I used to be the Help Desk and Support Technician at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey 07102. I am CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, and Cloud certified. I am also (ISC)2 CISSP CBK certified. I also am a Certified Ethical Hacker. Finally, I am a VM Ware Certified Professional. I am currently studying for my Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator examination.

    I am not going to re-install Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Service Pack 1 bare metal on my brand new System76 Lemur Ultra. Mind you, I purchased Symantec Norton 360 version 6, Super Anti-Spyware Professional, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, QFX Software KeyScrambler Premium, and WinPatrol Plus so I do have best in breed Windows software security tools. Microsoft Windows is the number one target for attackers worldwide. Last month, there was an out of band Microsoft Fix-It for the XML vulnerability. This month, there is another 0 day vulnerability related to the Microsoft Sidebar and Gadgets along with a corresponding Fix-It to disable this feature entirely.

    I am not migrating my unique and confidential data to a Microsoft Windows environment because it will get compromised or corrupted.

    I have experienced data loss using Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium Service Pack 1 on my previous ASUS N61JV-X2 notebook PC due to malware. I am not repeating the same mistake twice. This time, I have more confidential and unique data that I can not afford to get compromised or destroyed.

    This is why I purchased a System76 Lemur Ultra with Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit Long Term Support. My confidential data is much safer and it is much more secure in an Ubuntu environment.

    Look, Windows 7 is a good product. Don't get me wrong. It has already survived an onslaught of attacks without getting demolished. It is a Microsoft software product. We all know the story with Microsoft Corporation and their products and services.

    I already spent more than enough of my own money that I gave to Microsoft Corporation and their Microsoft Partners. Enough is enough.

    Oracle VM Virtualbox is not a perfect software product, but it gives me an additional virtual layer of safety and security along with control. Running Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Service Pack 1 in an Oracle VM Virtualbox guest virtual machine reduces my risk profile and it offers me enhanced mitigation against a wide variety of attack vectors. For example, when Windows does not work properly, I can simply turn off the machine. I can restart the machine at will. Most of the time, I leave it turned off which eliminates my risk profile associated with Microsoft Windows entirely.

    I spent three days to install my Microsoft Windows environment from scratch. I am not going to waste more of my time which I ought to spend studying for my Graduate Record Examination to re-install Windows bare metal. I have to pay $160.00 USD for the GRE and I can only take it once every two months or up to five times in one calendar year. The GRE is not an easy test. It is nearly 4 hours long.

    Today, I decided to download SlimWare SlimCleaner. I am adding it to my Windows environment because it can give me a visual data map and it ranks installed software applications in terms of their importance which Piriform's CCleaner does not do. This will help me to make better decisions in the future regarding which software applications that I want to uninstall.

    I am open to more practical suggestions that won't cost me more of my time or more than $100.00 USD. I think that I have all of my bases covered to maintain Windows 7 and to keep it in good shape since this was my former job, but I may have missed some good tips and tricks. If you have a suggestion, then please reply.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: Living with Microsoft Windows 7 for the next several years

    Quote Originally Posted by Welly Wu View Post
    Again, System76 recommends that I install Microsoft Windows 7 in a guest virtual machine using Oracle VM Virtualbox.

    I used to be the Help Desk and Support Technician at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey 07102. I am CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, and Cloud certified. I am also (ISC)2 CISSP CBK certified. I also am a Certified Ethical Hacker. Finally, I am a VM Ware Certified Professional. I am currently studying for my Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator examination.

    I am not going to re-install Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Service Pack 1 bare metal on my brand new System76 Lemur Ultra. Mind you, I purchased Symantec Norton 360 version 6, Super Anti-Spyware Professional, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, QFX Software KeyScrambler Premium, and WinPatrol Plus so I do have best in breed Windows software security tools. Microsoft Windows is the number one target for attackers worldwide. Last month, there was an out of band Microsoft Fix-It for the XML vulnerability. This month, there is another 0 day vulnerability related to the Microsoft Sidebar and Gadgets along with a corresponding Fix-It to disable this feature entirely.

    I am not migrating my unique and confidential data to a Microsoft Windows environment because it will get compromised or corrupted.

    I have experienced data loss using Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium Service Pack 1 on my previous ASUS N61JV-X2 notebook PC due to malware. I am not repeating the same mistake twice. This time, I have more confidential and unique data that I can not afford to get compromised or destroyed.

    This is why I purchased a System76 Lemur Ultra with Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit Long Term Support. My confidential data is much safer and it is much more secure in an Ubuntu environment.

    Look, Windows 7 is a good product. Don't get me wrong. It has already survived an onslaught of attacks without getting demolished. It is a Microsoft software product. We all know the story with Microsoft Corporation and their products and services.

    I already spent more than enough of my own money that I gave to Microsoft Corporation and their Microsoft Partners. Enough is enough.

    Oracle VM Virtualbox is not a perfect software product, but it gives me an additional virtual layer of safety and security along with control. Running Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Service Pack 1 in an Oracle VM Virtualbox guest virtual machine reduces my risk profile and it offers me enhanced mitigation against a wide variety of attack vectors. For example, when Windows does not work properly, I can simply turn off the machine. I can restart the machine at will. Most of the time, I leave it turned off which eliminates my risk profile associated with Microsoft Windows entirely.

    I spent three days to install my Microsoft Windows environment from scratch. I am not going to waste more of my time which I ought to spend studying for my Graduate Record Examination to re-install Windows bare metal. I have to pay $160.00 USD for the GRE and I can only take it once every two months or up to five times in one calendar year. The GRE is not an easy test. It is nearly 4 hours long.

    Today, I decided to download SlimWare SlimCleaner. I am adding it to my Windows environment because it can give me a visual data map and it ranks installed software applications in terms of their importance which Piriform's CCleaner does not do. This will help me to make better decisions in the future regarding which software applications that I want to uninstall.

    I am open to more practical suggestions that won't cost me more of my time or more than $100.00 USD. I think that I have all of my bases covered to maintain Windows 7 and to keep it in good shape since this was my former job, but I may have missed some good tips and tricks. If you have a suggestion, then please reply.
    Either install Linux or install Windows and use it as it should be and stop worrying about every minuscule detail. They are just Operating systems and should be largely invisible. Then do your study and go outside and see the world, far more interesting than fretting over a little box with buttons.
    This account is not active.

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