Well here I am, writing about how great the Windows 7 RC1 operating system is, directly from my Dell XPS M1210 64 bit version. Although I went through a fair amount of trial and error and one complete re-install I'm happy to say nearly all the core elements are recognised and no more yellow triangles with exclamation marks in the device manager.
The 2 most difficult where the Ricoh car reader and the Logitech QuickCam / webcam drivers.
The Ricoh card reader came up as a "base system device" issue. I solved this by downloading the driver from this site then installing the application that installs the x64 drivers.
The Logitech came up as an unrecognised USB device driver issue and Windows 7 OS itself allowed me to download the solution R151795 from the Dell site. When you try to install it this fails, you then just need to point the device manager system to the folder where this solution/drivers were extracted, so that it can install the drivers. This does not however install the software that you usually get from Logitech since it only picks up the drivers, which means other software can use it, but you won't have the Logitech suite you usually get (personally doesn't bother me but may be a problem for others)!
For an antivirus/firewall solution the latest ESET Smart security 4 works just fine on the 64 bit Windows 7 operating system.
For codecs I highly recommend either switching to VideoLan (but this is not yet available in a 64 bit version) or/and as I did, install the great Windows 7 codec package from Shark that can be downloaded here and 64 bit components to take advantage of your 64 bit Windows Media player for example here.
I'm also running the Office 2007 suite and even though it's a pity that Windows itself hasn't got at least a beta version in 64 bit out yet, it works fine and just installed the SP2 for Office 2007.
At the moment it seems easiest to use Internet Explorer 8 (not the 64 bit version) or another 32 bit browser like Chrome, to be able to view Flash content as there is still no 64 bit version of Flash player. For example the release candidate of Minefield, Firefox's codename for the 64 bit version of their browser doesn't have a Flash plug-in.
The main idea is that you can try drivers that are indicated as being for the specific hardware you have if they are supposed to work on Vista 64 bit, or wait untill another user explains that they have found what you need, if you don't want to risk having to reinstall Windows 7 again...
Hope this helps other XPS M1210 owners out 😉
Update: Windows Update just informed of 3 downloads for the Ricoh Host Contoller (Memory stick, SD/MMC and xD Picture card) released in July, October and November 2008 along with the opportunity to download Silverlight!
Update 2: 'Stir' kindly provided the link for the Synaptic x64 driver here:
Download Windows 7 Release Candidate (both 32 bit and 64 bit versions available). Note: make sure you read the "Read this first" section.
The Windows 7 upgrade advisor
You should also know:
- When the final version of Windows 7 comes out you will not be able to upgrade to it so you will have to do a clean installation
- You can upgrade from Vista 32 bit to Windows 7 32 bit but you cannot upgrade from Vista 32 bit to Windows 64 bit. You cannot upgrade from any version of Windows XP to Windows 7 you'll need to do a clean install. I would recommend a clean installation though ONLY after having backed up all your data as you will erase everything on your hard disk and I would recommend backing up your data even if you upgrade as you never know what can happen.
- The Windows 7 RC will stop working on June 1, 2010