Windows 7: Still Some Compatibility Issues

Microsoft had promised that software that was designed for Windows Vista will work with Windows 7. And likely so, since Windows 7 is based on the same kernel as Windows Vista. However, there still are some compatibility issues that exist, especially with low level programs.

Firstly, Windows 7 Build 6801 had no known compatible security software. I firstly tried to use AVG Free but would not install properly, or even refused to finish the installation. Surprisingly, NOD32 SmartSecurity worked flawlessly. The good news is that with Windows 7 Build 7000, more security providers have joined in and made their existing security suites compatible. There currently are only 3 known compatible security software for Windows 7: Norton, AVG, and Kaspersky. Here is the official list provided from Microsoft.

Though many compatibility issues were fixed with Build 7000, I personally encountered a driver issue when I first installed it on my laptop. It was the “Mobile Intel® 965 Express Chipset Family” driver, and completely messed up the colours.


Left, Windows XP. Right, Windows 7: colour comparison

Now, to fix this issue, I ended up downloading bunch of old drivers for the 965 chipset, and ran them with Windows Vista compatibility mode turned on (as 7 would state that the driver was not compatible with the OS).

In the end, I only had one driver left to try out. With high hopes, I installed it and rebooted the computer as recommended.

Now, here is the funny part:

Starting Windows……BSoD!!!!! OMG WTF!!!! The computer decided to reboot itself after recording memory dump. Another BSoD appeared on the screen. “Wow”, I thought to myself, “do I need to reinstall the OS already?” But then, a miracle happened. After the second reboot, Windows 7 started without a hitch, with full colours! Hurrah!

Yes, Windows 7 now works almost flawlessly for me on my laptop. I actually use it in favour of Vista even during my classes to take notes. It just is that rock solid already. The lesson here is, yes, Windows 7 works. But not as easy as it should have.

After experiencing this driver hell, I am happy to see how major hardware companies have already started to work on writing new drivers that will be fully compatible with Windows 7. Clearly, they have learnt their lesson when Windows Vista first launched.

What’s your take on Windows 7? Have you had any problems with incompatible software? Please leave a comment!

    • phoenixtfb
    • January 14th, 2009

    Yay! RAINBOW!!! 😀

    • Edwin Fang
    • January 15th, 2009

    Hey man, you finally put up a link to your blog.

    Here’s mine, as you obviously know. I got my Windows 7 review up too.

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