Windows 7 Beta Experience


There have been millions of downloads of the Windows 7 beta since Microsoft made it official back in January this year. Since then, it's been good to see positive reactions to it in the blogosphere. As we all wait for the release of Windows 7 Release Candidate, I thought you might be interested in hearing about our experiences with the Beta Code.

Over the last month we have been testing hundreds of Dell systems and the results are promising.  

Here’s a peek into what we are seeing when testing:

  • On many systems we are seeing noticeable improvements in boot to desktop times (versus Vista)
  • Almost all existing Vista drivers are working – great sign in terms of compatibility
  • Vista Application compatibility is promising as well (including the IE 8 compatibility mode)
  • Transcoding (ripping) media files is faster than Vista

More to come as we test on later builds of Windows 7.

We would love to hear more about your experiences with Windows 7 on your Dell PC.  What did you like?  What may not be as useful?  Send us your thoughts.

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  • ParsonsProject

    I'm on Windows 7 (Build 7000) on the Dell XPS 720 and it works great.  My boot time was reduced from 30 seconds in Vista to 25 Seconds in Windows 7.  So far I have had zero problems with drivers or anything of the kind.

  • qbanboi84

    Running Windows 7 x64 here as well on an Inspiron E1505. The only problem I have so far is the screen not turning off when closed. I'm hoping Dell releases some drivers for the old ATI x1400 cards, but somehow I doubt it Sad

  • weedmonk

    Dell XPS M1210 Owner here and I've running Windows since the first M3 build leaked(6801). Been my main OS since Build 6956 and now currently using Build 7068. (All x86 so far, will test x64 when I bump up my RAM)

    Everything works out the 'box' perfectly driver wise although I find myself using Dell's OEM nVidia drivers over the pre-release ones WinUpdate serves because it causes an intermittent flicker. Btw Dell, be nice if you guys upgrade your forceware.

    I'm thoroughly impressed and can't wait till Dell starts actively supporting Windows 7. Keep your  junk off it or at least give us an option for a clean install when purchasing.

    On a sidenote, my XPS has died 3 times due to a GPU heat issue so please do extensive testing on thermal footprints of your newer models. XPS m13/15/17x all reported the same issues. I won't even consider the Studio XPS because even though I love the idea of leather I can't imagine how hot they'll run. 



  • weedmonk

    It smokes XP in my experience. Boot Time/Stability/Gaming and especially networking(file transfers). 

    Btw, the 'Exodus" you speak off meant about 2 or 3 points of marketshare back in the credit bubble days. Right now Apple is hemmoraghing share so I don't  know what you mean by it 'continuing'. Either way  you got it off your chest of how awesome and unique you are for owning a MBP. Good job. Now lets get back to the topic of Windows 7 on Dell laptops if you don't mind.

  • laxboy10

    To Jervis


    you can not customize a dell and get it in a week because you can customize so many more things and have more options with each customization when you get a dell vs a mac. W/ macs you can upgrade the hard drive, ram and and possible the processor. Becuase less things can change they ahve prebuilt laptops sitting around that the send out. Dell actually custom builds yous


  • w.vela

    I'm running Windows 7 build 7000 on my Latitude D630. Everything's ok and I've updated all drivers.

    It's much faster then Vista SP1.

  • jervis961

    All is well and good when comparing Windows 7 to Vista but how does it compare to XP?  Many people have skipped Vista do to problems transitioning from XP in relation to drivers and program compatibility.  Of course there will be no problems for those transitioning from Vista to W7 since it is still basically the same software that has been tweaked while Vista was a huge change from XP.  Vista lost Microsoft some customers (myself included after trying W7) due to problems I didn't see corrected in W7 at the time of the beta release.  Unless they have made huge changes since then, the exodus will continue.

  • day2die

    I am using Windows 7 build 7068 x64 on my Dell Vostro 1500. Unfortunately Dell was too stupid to provide 64 bit driver but that was not an issue since I had upgrade my computer to Windows Vista x64 earlier and already located x64 drivers. All the drivers from Windows Vista work in Windows 7. With Windows 7 install, my computer seem to come out of Windows Vista sluggishness. Let's face it, if it wasn't for all the criticisms, Windows 7 would be call Windows Vista R2, but Windows 7 is Windows Vista done right.

  • jervis961

    Geez guys calm down.


    Weedmunk – Windows has lost 3 % market share in the last 11 months, Apple has gained less than 2 of that, with the rest going to other operating systems like Linux.  Yes Apple went down .3 % in February but gained more than half of than back since.  Exodus means departure and fits my comments perfectly, no reason to get upset about it.  If I had said mass exodus it would be a different story.  As for improvements in W7:  my network speeds slowed considerably under Vista on my Dell system, boot time seemed slightly  better but not earth shattering and I had driver issues.  Your experience may have been better but that doesn't make mine less valid.  Yes I switched to a Mac but I didn't talk go on and on about Mac vs PC did I?  I only mentioned than I switched, big deal.  I wasn't bragging about how awesome I am as you claim so back off on the accusations.  As for talking about Windows 7 on Dell systems:  that's what I was doing.


    Laxboy10 –  I did not comment on Dell's customization in this thread only in my signature.  Since you want to talk about it, every Dell I have purchased was customized and delivered in about 1 week.  If you go to the forums here and elsewhere you can find many people complaining about new systems taking months to deliver.  Dell gives estimated delivery dates and then doesn't meet them.  I can see a couple of days here and there but many people are saying they end up waiting months.  Perhaps I should change my signature wording to "Why can't Dell do that anymore" to clarify for you.



  • xiphi

    I've put 7 on my Inspiron E1505, and so far I've had no issues. Start up is a bit faster, but overall performance is on par with Vista which was already fast.

  • G-Z

    I have a Dell XPS m1330.

    1. The Fingerprint reader driver can't be downloaded through Windows Update.
    2. The Bluetooth drivers can't be downloaded through Windows Update.
    3. There is no native support for the media buttons. Though the functionality is available, they aren't indicated visually. I have to download Dell QuickSet which isn't really well integrated into the Windows interface and doesn't work as smooth as the same functionality on Mac OS X.
    4. Windows Update installs the Webcam drivers, but doesn't install the software, namely the Webcam Center.
    5. There is no native support for the scroll functionality of the touchpad. Again I have to install a not well integrated piece of software.
    6. I can't use the Dell MediaDirect shortcut button to launch the Windows 7 media center.
    7. In general it would be nice if I could download all the necessary drivers and software for my dell through Windows Update. I don't want to visit the Dell driver website and do it all manually.
    8. Windows 7 isn't an option on the dell driver website.
    9. In general: Better integrate your Dell Software into the whole Windows experience.

  • Addictedd

    I've currently got Windows 7 installed on my M1530, while it is a much improved version of Vista, i am having two problem which are quite irritating:

    1. Sleep doesn't properly work – on wake, wireless connections cease to function at all.

    2. My ethernet network driver doesn't work properly and causes windows to freeze if i use it,

    (I'm using a Marvell Yukon 88E8040 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller, so if you are using the same and have no problems then please link me to your driver 🙂


    Other than that, it is fantastic!

  • 1uk3

    I'm running build 7068 x64 on my Inspiron 530 – works like a dream!

    Here are my specs:

    Core 2 Duo E6750

    8GB DDR2 800

    ATI Radeon 4870 512MB


    Also running it on my GF's almost standard spec Inspiron 530

    Core 2 Duo E6750

    8GB DDR2 667

    NVidia 8600GT 256MB


    Can't wait until it RTM's 🙂

  • Graeme Standing

    The only issue I have been experiencing is that the dell touchpad is very slow to respond after bringing the computer out of sleep. It takes about 10-20 seconds before I can move the mouse again. Minor issue but quite annoying none the less :).

  • mrmomoman

    I have an XPS M1530 with Windows 7 Build 7068 64Bit and it has been nothing but a dream to run. Much more responsive, it found everything except for the correct BioMetric drivers. I have plugged my overseas HTC Touch HD T8285 into the system as well and after three updates it was able to sync with Windows Mobile Center without a hitch. The overall system response is much improved over Vista and even XP(yes I put XP on it). XP was obviously very responsive with updated graphics drivers but it still lacked what I was wanting from Vista in regards to features. Windows 7 was my next step and I have been through 4 upgrades taking down each build as they come along on two different partitions. I kept Vista around for compatibility with some work software I was running as well as LogMeIn. Windows build 7057 allowed for the LogMeIn to function correctly and now build 7068 is even better. My next upgrade to a new build will be waiting for RC since 7068 is stable. I get no delays in wake up, touch pad responses, sleep or resume. In the previous builds I did get some of the delays that were shared on this forum.  I cannot wait for Windows 7 RC and obviously RTM/Final.

    Microsoft has hit a home run with this OS and if they continue to listen to the community that supports them they will see an incredible buy in to Windows 7.


  • ricksterto

    Build 7068 on Insprion 1545 – installation from USB drive took less than 20 minutes from start to a bootable system; all hardware was properly recognized and there is a noticeable speed increase in everything from boot to shutdown and everything in between.

    The "in between" part undoubtedly is due in part to the removal of all the "supplied" software / adware that comes with the machine.

    Only thing that I've noticed is that the battery meter doesn't update on a consistent basis – but this issue is not just related to the Dell;  this also occurs on my Viao.

  • pynnonen

    Window 7 Experience Index does not work on my Dell i7 435MT with 9 GB of memory.

    It works with the original 4GB of Elpida memory.

    I have a 435MT running Windows 7(beta, Build 7000). Windows 7 reports 9 GB (correct, the OCZ triple channel 3x2GB is installed in the first bank, the orginal Dell Memory, Elpida 3x 1GB memory is in the second bank). HOWEVER, when I run the Windows Experience Index, the program fails, it fails at the Memory Assessment. Its says, Cannot complete assement. The assessment or other operation did not complete successfully. This is due to an error being reported from the operating system, driver, or other component.

    So, is it:

    • A BIOS problem with the mixed memory? (maybe)
    • A Window 7 Beta problem with running the "Windows Experience Index" with mixed memory or 9 GB of memory? (maybe)
    • A problem with the OCZ memory being faulty?  (NO – I think the memory is fine)


    • The Window 7 Window Experience index runs fine with the orginal 4 GB of Elpida memory
    • Do I have any other issues with the 9 GB of memory? (NO – everything seems to run, except the Window 7 Experience Index)

    I also need to run MemTest 86+, that OCZ has available.

  • CraigBaumer

    Touch screen monitor requirements;

    Saw a little video on the W7 web site showing touch screen support. I take it we will need a special monitor for that? How much more do you expect that feature to add on a monitor?

    Thanks in advance!

  • The Hulk

    I have a Dell Studio 15 and I'm running Windows 7 Build 7000 x64.


    I am very pleased with the compatibility. Most of the vista drivers work on 7, but the sound driver is a bit iffy (IDT HD Sound) and won't put audio out through HDMI properly for me, even though it worked in vista. I have got every piece of hardware in this machine working properly (by just installing or using compatibility mode), although the Intel chipset drivers refuse to install (maybe I need to get beta drivers from intel???). I'm even using it as my Daily OS even though it is still in beta, because it's just that much better than vista!

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    I've been running Windows 7 on my XPS 720 desktop with 2GB RAM  since shortly after the beta started. I've had zero problems with driver issues. I had the IE beta crash on me a couple of times, but was able to re-open it without a reboot.

    Performance-wise, Windows 7 has been great. Only other internittent issue that I've seen: sometimes the system won't wake up from sleep mode and I'll need to reboot to get it back up.

    All things considered, I'm definitely looking forward to running Windows 7 when it is released,. No reason in my mind to wait.

  • xiphi

    Just make sure you run the Intel driver install with Vista compatibility and use the Command Prompt to launch it with "infinst_autol.exe -OVERALL".

  • msg6794

    i'm up
    against the same EXACT situation!  435mt, and i added 3x2gb from OCZ
    primary, with 1x3gb from dell secondary.  i can't run the windows
    experience test, and i get the same error message.

    have you run memtest yet?  that's my next step as well.  i'm curious
    to know if you find a solution or if it's just a windows 7 bug or
    something.  you are running 64-bit windows 7, right?  build 7000.

    everything else seems to be working fine.  windows shows the ram is there, and the "computer status" gadget i have shows it is there.  i ran cpu-z and it shows
    all the memory there and functioning.  i also tried a few other
    configurations, including only using the OCZ ram (windows couldn't run the
    test), and also trying the OCZ ram in dual-channel (2x2gb), trying 2 combinations to rule out a bad chip, where the
    test DID run successfully both times.  so the ram itself is good, but for some
    reason in triple channel, windows just won't run that test.  the
    test does work fine in vista 32-bit, but of course i can't utilize the
    extra memory there…   my thought is it must be a windows 7 bug.

    i'll let you know if i find anything else out too!

  • technogran

    I have been successfully running Windows 7 on my Dell XPS420 since 7000 became available. No problems at all apart from sometimes following putting the computer into sleep mode, the keyboard and mouse won't work. This doesn't happen every time though for some strange reason. Apart from that it runs like a dream, faster, quieter, and is really stable.

    I have also performed an upgrade and a clean install. All running as smooth as butter and I will definately be upgrading to it when it finally becomes available.

    TG Big Smile

  • mvalpreda

    I have been running 7 on my D630 for a while now in a production environment. Faster and more reliable than Vista all around. I was looking forward to moving to the x64 version, but I still have a legacy app that will not run in x64. Stuck with x86 for now. As far as drivers are concerned, most of the drivers were included. Had to do some trickery for the 5520 3G wireless card and had to go with UPEK software for the fingerprint since the Wave Suite does not work with 7 properly.

    Also have an E4200 that I use and everything works very well on that. Installed the Dell Control Point software and everything works using Vista x86 drivers. Fingerprint, wireless, light sensor, everything! 6 cell battery + battery slice with wireless off gives me 12 hours of life. NICE.

  • mvalpreda

    Forgot to mention my Optiplex 755 running 7 x64 and it runs very well. Much faster than Vista x64. The only issue I have is it doesn't always go to sleep and the sound seems to cut in and out. Not huge issues.

    All my machines are running Build 7068.

  • msg6794

    I tested the same ram with memtest and in vista 64, and everything worked fine.  Seems to be a problem with Win7 64bit.

  • scharron

    Windows 7 Build 7100 (RC) 64 bits – issue with XPS Laptop (1340) – Laptop Freezes

    Hi, I just installed Windows 7 RC on my new XPS 1340 Laptop. I've come on a problem, has anyone got a solution or has lived the same problem ? Two different symptoms, same result. My Laptop freezes.

    1) While running, if I remove the power supply from the Laptop, I get the Please wait signal, if I put it back in = Laptop freezes.

    2) Sometimes at boot time, I get a black square on the screen, sometimes with weird menu =  Laptop freezes

    if anyone has an idea, please pass it along.



  • djesteban

    I am using a Dell XPS 420 and in Windows 7 RC, it seem to have some issue detecting my eSATA RAID enclosure, which Windows Vista never had problem with.
    The enclosure I am having issue with is a Sans Digital MobileSTOR MS2UT eSATA RAID enclosure. It is connected directly to a SATA port through a eSATA connector. I am using the onboard Intel RAID controller (ICH9R). The chipset drivers (Intel X38 express chipset) and the storage controller driver are updated to their latest version.
    If I have the unit ON and power-up my computer, Windows 7 will hang at the first boot "windows logo" (the one that appears before going to the login screen). Be aware that this has never happened on Vista SP1 (would boot into windows normally). I have to force shut-down the machine and close the unit in order to be able to boot in W7.
    Once I am in W7, the only way I found to kind of get the enclosure to work is:
    by powering-up the unit, then by going in Computer Management>Storage>Disk Management, right-click and select Rescan Disks; after several minutes, the unit will appear. If I restart again, same issue where it will hang at boot logo.

    Now remember that I never had any problem with this enclosure in Vista whatsoever; I get straight into Vista without a hitch, and that, using the same configuration. Also, note that I have tried another enclosure, this time a single drive eSATA enclosure and with this one I can boot up fine and windows 7 detects the drive like a charm?

    Does anyone have any idea waht could be going on here? What could be the problem? Driver issue? Please help!