Windows Setup could not configure Windows on this computer’s hardware,” is an error message that some customers attempting to install Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 received before the deployment failed.

Microsoft confirmed the issue and also offered details on the source of the error message.

According to the Redmond company, the problem involves scenarios in which users try to install either Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 to an advanced 512-byte emulation (512e) format disk.

The drive also needs to be configured in such a way as to emulate RAID disk functionality in order for the error message to be presented, the software giant explained. More »

It’s always a bit tricky to beta test a new operating system. Most of us don’t have an abundance of extra hardware just sitting around, and it can be both time consuming and risky to rebuild your production machine with a pre-release version of the next OS.

But with Windows 7, it’s pretty easy to beta test on the machine you’ve already got. Hard drives have gotten much larger and much less expensive, and if you’re running Windows Vista, you already have built-in functionality to help you create a separate partition for testing.

To get started, open the Disk Management section of the Computer Management console on your Windows Vista machine. You can access this by clicking Start | Run and entering compmgmt.msc. Right-click your current system partition, likely labeled C:, and select Shrink Volume. Windows will query the disk for the amount of available space. You’ll probably want at least 20-30gigs of free space so you’ll have enough room for the Windows 7 beta installation, some data, and a few applications. More »

While laboring to produce the first Release Candidate of the next iteration of Windows, Microsoft is making available for download the Windows Demo Toolkit, an offering with Windows 7 as its nucleolus. Both the 32-bit and the 64-bit variants of the Foundation Suite (what the software giant referred to as the heart of the Windows Demo Toolkit) are up for grabs via Microsoft Connect, the Redmond company revealed. Via the two downloads packaged as ISO images, customers will be able to access preconfigured installations of Windows 7 Beta Build 7000. Microsoft informed that once Windows 7 Release Candidate would be made available, the Windows Demo Toolkit would be upgraded with the RC bits.

“Are you Gold Certified or Certified partner who wants a way to demo your software on Windows 7? If so, the brand new Windows Demo Toolkit (WDT) is a collection of resources that makes demoing the Windows operating system as easy as possible. You can use WDT to create engaging and reliable demos in a fraction of the time. WDT is available exclusively for Certified and Gold Certified Partners,” revealed Bruce Kyle, Microsoft ISV Architect Evangelist. “The heart of the Windows Demo Toolkit is the Foundation Suite, a deployment of Windows 7 Beta tailored specifically for use in demonstrations.” More »

Accompanying the public release of Windows 7 Beta Build 7000, Microsoft made available additional downloads, including the Language Interface Pack for the operating system, as well as the Windows Automated Installation Kit. The WAIK went live at the end of the past week, almost concomitantly with the Windows 7 Beta downloads, with the Redmond company emphasizing the connection between the solution and the next iteration of the Windows client. Serving a collection of resources aimed at streamlining the process of installing and customizing Windows installations, the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows 7 Beta) weighs in at 1376.1 MB and is packaged as an ISO DVD image.

“The Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) is a set of tools and documentation that support the configuration and deployment of Microsoft Windows operating systems. By using Windows AIK, you can automate Windows installations, capture Windows images with ImageX, configure and modify images using Deployment Imaging Servicing and Management (DISM), create Windows PE images, and migrate user profiles and data with the User State Migration Tool (USMT),” Microsoft explained. More »