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Archiver > TMG > 2009-11 > 1259607745

From: Terry Reigel <>
Subject: [TMG] TMG on 64-bit Windows 7
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2009 14:02:25 -0500

Since there has been some discussion here from time to time about running TMG on 64-bit Windows 7, I thought I'd share my experience doing that.

I just purchased a new PC with Intel's i7 Quad, Windows 7 64-bit, and an obscene about of RAM (8GB).
While that seems excessive, I think it was worthwhile, and that getting past the roughly 3½ GB available on a 32-bit system justifies going to the 64-bit version. I normally have a lot of applications open: TMG, two browsers with nearly 3 dozen tabs open between them, and my email client. When you then add Photoshop and/or a webpage editor and various odds and ends, and my 2GB system was moving a massive amount of stuff to "virtual memory" (hard disk). The result was returning to TMG, or any other application, after leaving it idle, for while took what seemed like forever to transfer back from the HD so the application could become active. Waiting for the Picklist to open so I could respond to an email query drove me mad. :-)

Hardware compatibility has been manageable. Only our old digital camera (remember when 2 Megapixles was "advanced"?) totally refuses to connect. We could either get a card reader and take the card out, or use our laptop to download pictures. Given how seldom we use it, I think the latter will work for us. We may have lost some status communications with the printers - I'm not sure yet - but they work fine. Our plentiful old software works in XP Mode if it doesn't in the Win 7 itself - see discussion below.

I bought my system from a vendor who specializes in quiet systems, and it's great having two computers (we also got a new one for my wife) that you can't hear running even in a quiet house (if you are interested in that, please contact me off-list).

TMG 7 runs fine on the new system, other than the oft-reported issue with generating reports to a word processor. In fact, even with a substantial Project, it's "right quick." Solutions to the reports-to-word-processor issue have been reported before: 1) Don't do them until an upgrade that works with 64-bit systems is available, 2) Keep a copy of TMG on another computer with a 32-bit system, and run reports from there, or 3) upgrade to the Professional or Ultimate versions of Windows 7, install XP Mode, and run TMG from there. If you feel inclined to get a 64-bit system, and if the first solution doesn't work for you, I'd suggest the second as the best one. But I've used the third, and will share my observations...

- First, you have to buy the Professional or Ultimate version of Win 7, which costs more than you would probably otherwise have to spend.

- You have to download and install (free) both MicroSoft's Virtual Machine software, and XP Mode itself. Since the latter is essentially a full copy of Windows XP, it's a huge file. Downloading it took hours, even with a fast connection. I suspect the issue was the capacity of MicroSoft's server.

- Once you install it, XP Mode appears on the Win 7 start menu, and opens in a window. Since you are really booting XP, it takes a while to open. But once open, you can hibernate it and it re-opens quickly.

- After you open XP Mode you install TMG or other applications just like you were using a Windows XP machine, which in essence you are.

- After you install programs in XP Mode, they appear in a folder called XP Mode Applications in the Win 7 start menu (provided they are in the "All Users" start menu in XP, a well-hidden issue - some old apps, not including TMG, and apps with no installer, don't go there automatically). You can them copy the shortcuts to the Win 7 desktop or task bar if you want.

- XP mode is a real virtual machine, and you have to manage it's security separately from Win 7. It requires it's own installation of AV, and other normal security measures, although one might think the risks are smaller if you don't run any applications that access the Internet from it. You end up getting security updates for both Win 7 and XP, so there are more of them, but you don't have to re-boot your entire computer to install the XP ones.

I installed XP Mode primarily to be able to use other old applications, not for the TMG reports issue. In fact, I installed TMG both in Win 7 and in XP mode, and expect to use the latter only for reports to a word processor. Performance in XP Mode seems impaired (I see that in some old games), so unless you can fix that by better allocation of resources (I've not tried to do that) running TMG there as your primary installation may be less than satisfactory, especially if your Project is of substantial size.

Those interested in using XP Mode for other applications may be interested in the following points:

- XP Mode creates it's own virtual C drive, and shows the drives in Win 7 as shared drives. Depending on how old the application is, it may not recognize the shared drives. Mapping them may solve that issue - I've not tried that.

- If you run XP mode apps directly from Win 7, they open directly in their own window, not in a window within the XP window. But they seem to run in a different instance of the virtual machine - and both can't run at once. If you have XP mode open (including in hibernation), or a virtual app open, you have to close that before you can open the other.

- Printers and other USB devices can be "shared" between Win 7 and XP Mode, but are not available at the same time. You control which has access from within the XP Mode window. So far as I can tell, you can't control it from a virtual app. So if your XP app needs a printer, you can't run it as a virtual app directly in Win 7, but need to open XP Mode itself and run it from there.

In short, XP Mode is a work-around, and like most of such, less than a perfect solution. I suspect I'll migrate to replacements for those old programs over time as I can find them.

Terry Reigel

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