This past weekend I installed Windows 7 RC (Release Candidate) on my Mac using VMware Fusion. I had been running the beta version of Windows 7 that came out in January. The data that I had in Windows 7 beta wasn’t mission-critical and I could have simply blown away its virtual hard disk image and installed RC from scratch. However, I elected to simulate a ‘real world’ situation by seeing what would happen if I took advantage of the Windows Easy Transfer program to transfer user data and network settings from Windows 7 Beta to RC.
Prior to installing Windows 7 RC, I following Microsoft’s instructions regarding data backups:
Windows 7 Release Candidate: Installation instructions
Data backup: If you want to back up the PC you’ll use for test, you can use the Windows Easy Transfer software included in Windows 7. Windows Easy Transfer is typically used to transfer files and settings between computers. You can also use Windows Easy Transfer to create a backup from your PC running the Windows 7 Beta to an external drive or flash drive. Then install Windows 7 RC and launch Windows Easy Transfer to re-import your data and settings.
The above procedure seemed straightforward enough. While logged into Windows 7 Beta, I used Easy Transfer to back up the Shared Items and User folders to a backup file identified by its .MIG extension.
I then installed Windows 7 RC, creating an admin account that had a different name (m) than what I had been using in Windows 7 Beta (W). Since the account names were different, I expected the import tool in Easy Transfer to create a new user called W, à la Mac OS X. However, EasyTransfer merely added the data to the m user.
Finally, I ran a report of the applications on the old system that Easy Transfer was able to identify by name. AVG Free 8.0 was listed on this report as an unidentifiable application. AVG would not work with the 64-bit version of Windows 7 RC, so I chose to install avast! Home Edition for antivirus protection.
These error messages were encountered during the installation process: