The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor warns me to get the TI PCIxx12 Integrated FlashMedia Controller driver update -- but there does not actually seem to be one -- and the Intel PRO/100 VE Network Connection driver update. Unfortunately, the Intel version of the newer driver won't install on an HP DV5220 because HP made their own special version of the driver, and HP's web site has a driver update -- but it says that "Your system does not meet the minimum requirements for this update. Update has been cancelled." What does that mean? In any case, the driver date is 2006, which hardly sounds like something that would be Windows 7 appropriate.
I am getting increasingly reluctant to go forward with this upgrade out of fear that by the time I am done, I will have a completely inoperable PC. Yeah, yeah, I know, Linux, leave the evil empire of Redmond behind. That's not completely practical quite yet. But if this PC is just too old to upgrade with drivers that will work with my hardware, maybe I am better buying a new PC with Windows 7 included.
UPDATE: I think at a minimum, I will use XXCLONE to copy the Recovery partition on my old hard disk onto a CD, so that if installing Windows 7 turns out to be impractical, I can at least reinstall Windows XP before buying a new PC. Curiously enough, my much older (2003 or so) Compaq NC6000, according to Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, will have no problem running Windows 7.
One of the comments said to run Windows XP in a VM of Linux. I might take a look at that as a solution, assuming that VMWare is available for Ubuntu Linux. But finding time to get these things done is fast becoming a serious problem. I need to create a PowerPoint presentation for the event coming up in Denver, I have an actual paying research project that I am supposed to be doing, and I still need to prepare weeks 10-16 of my online Western Civ class. If only I did not need to go to my day job as well.
UPDATE 2: Here is a detailed description of installing Windows 7 Professional in VMWare for Linux. This looks really cool -- and best of all, I can try it on my dual boot Linux/Windows box first and see how well it works!
UPDATE 3: Some of the comments on the previous linked article indicate that Virtualbox is perhaps even a better solution.
There are several attractions running in a VM:
1. Improved security, since the worst that is likely to happen is that you have an infected operating system in the VM, and you can discard and reinstall without losing functionality of the Linux box. Of course, if the infection gets into files that you want to restore to the VM, that does not solve the problem.
2. Because it uses the host operating system's device drivers, if it supports a device, and the OS you have installed in the VM does not, no problem. The VM translates requests from the virtual OS to the host OS.
The downside is likely to be performance. I would expect that any situation where the VM interacts with the host OS are going to be slower, perhaps quite a bit slower, than running native.