Zune 4.0 and Windows 7

Finally, finally, finally got Windows 7 on my home machine. After much waiting for Lenovo’s final drivers for Windows 7, I finally had quality time with my T400. Done with the installation I had no problem getting the correct drivers as Lenovo has a very nifty tool on discovering your machine. This will then download and install the necessary components. So in case you didn’t get your Windows 7 pre-installed, just look for ThinkVantage System Update.

Onto Zune! Hey! Finally got me one of the Zune players from one of my colleagues. Shout out to Chewy for that! Not the Zune HD but a Zune none the less. Comes with all the syncing goodness and podcast madness.

So, what’s up with the title you ask? If you read my previous post on the Zune here, you’ll know just how much I love it. With Windows 7, they made some cool features just for the OS, harnessing the power of that amazing taskbar. And can I say I just love that taskbar (and Windows 7 in general)

I opted for the none-iconish task bar. Best of both worlds if you ask me 😉

Jumplists FTW!

For the Windows 7 uninitiated, jumplists is a new introduction to the Windows family. Making the taskbar more functional, jumplists is a fast and easy way to access common tasks on the application without having it on focus. This makes things much easier and faster to do. So far a bunch of apps already has it and more on the way. (Saw some Firefox jumplists a couple of days back). If you want more nerd rave on jumplists, check out Aimee’s blog on making your own jumplists.

Aero Peek

Another taskbar productivity addition is the aero peek. Now all these terms confuse me but I don’t care as long as it works. Essentially on the Zune, it allows me to have access to the basic functions just by hovering on the icon. Hover, some control pops up, click next then boomz! (lol)

That’s it for me and hopefully you guys have tried out Windows 7. I’m so happy that one of my non-techy pals enjoys her Win7 so much that she became an informal evangelist. That’s you RainWalker!

Hit me with Zune and Windows 7 questions!

~Eugene

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Windows 7 Boot from VHD

For all Windows junkies out there. (and for those loving Mac fans) this is one feature that I’m really excited about. Working with tons of PCs and a lab environment, having one base image for you VHD is quite powerful. This saves time and energy from doing things over and over again. Yea yea, there are existing tools you can use to do this but this one is just better. There’s VMWare, VPC, and other virtualization technologies that you can use but booting from VHD!? Hell yea! (I’m not sure if VMware has something like it though)

This topic has been discussed in several blogs and I’ll be adding to those and linking the ones I found very useful.

Two main steps to get your VHD a bootin:

  1. Prep your image via ImageX
  2. BCDedit to make it show up upon boot.

This is not really a daunting task, the only problem is it would take quite some time. Installing Win 7 via copying the .wim file, Disk Management, getting it prepped via Image X. These steps are quite time consuming but! after you have set it up, you basically have a VHD that you can boot on and install all the stuff you want in it. This is really helpful for me as rather than having to install the common dev tools (Visual Studio, SQL) you would just have to copy your VHD to the host OS and bcdedit (just four lines) your VHD. The amount of time you’ll save is just amazing.

Two blogs that gets it done

http://blogs.technet.com/aviraj/archive/2009/01/17/windows-7-boot-from-vhd-first-impression-part-1.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/aviraj/archive/2009/01/18/windows-7-boot-from-vhd-first-impression-part-2.aspx

http://thelazyadmin.com/blogs/thelazyadmin/archive/2009/01/12/windows-7-boot-from-vhd.aspx

Follow the two blogs and you shouldn’t encounter any major problems. I’m looking at automating the BCDedit but the guid every VHD produces is unique. My simple workaround is just a batch file that has a variable for the guid. Quick and easy.

Much fun this is! 😉

~Eugene