I was wondering if you have updated your Alienware laptop to Vista 64 SP2 just yet? And if so, did it work allright for you? None of the Dell updates have been installed on my son's laptop since purchase in Oct/09 just yet. All other Windows updates have been kept up. Uninstalled McAfee, which went smoothly, and went with Microsoft Security Essentials. I think you've probably got a very similar setup to what my son has, so I figure if you're not having problems, he likely won't either.
I've had some favorable replies indicating SP2 is OK, others encouraging Windows 7 instead. (I see someone here is missing a driver, however...) My son doesn't want to go that route just yet, this is his first computer and updating to a completely new OS is a pretty big step. He might go that route eventually, but he's not about to be pushed into it, certainly not by me! I told him I would ask around about SP2. Actually, one of his Christmas gifts is a backup hard drive, so I'm going to keep mum on this until he gets a chance to back up his stuff first.
There doesn't seem to be a way to PM anyone here, so hopefully you get this. Thanks!
By total coincidence I saw this on a search engine - so glad I caught it!
I have no problems with Vista x64 and installing SP2. The good thing about the install is that if (for any reason) there are problems, it will auto-roll back.
I can say that I have had no problems to speak of, though others report some issues which may vary, not all of them are down to the OS. Windows 7 is really the better OS by far, though it does rely on the quality of hardware drivers (e.g. nVidia) to support it properly. From what I've read, if you're unsure, wait a few months and then (assuming you redeemed your Windows 7 Upgrade Offer Form), do a full system backup before wiping your system and installing Windows 7 clean. Then just download and install all of the latest drivers from the Dell website (and keep checking to see any updates).
Personally I like using Acronis TrueImage Home 2010 to backup my system as a complete image every 2-3 weeks, so if there are any issues, e.g. drive failure or changing OS, I can simply re-image the (new) drive so it boots as though it was the old one - so a useful tool to invest in.
Your son will probably have fun installing Windows 7 when he is ready - good way to cut his teeth so to speak . Having a fallback is therefore a good safety net. The big question people ask is "Should I install Windows 7 over Vista or do a clean install?". Well the ideal solution is a clean install, provided you have backed up all your documents, any program licenses etc from your machine, however the upgrade option is potentially the easier and safer route if you have apps pre-installed that you don't want to have to re-install again. Having said that, you will still need to find/install the Win7 drivers in any case.
Hope that helps and keep an eye on the following forum for M17x discussions :
Thanks, Trelawney. That's good to hear that SP2 is working for you.
That link to the notebookreview forum looks good, too. I'll e-mail that to my son, I'm sure he'll find that helpful. 🙂