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Upgrading From Windows 1.0 To Windows 7 499

An anonymous reader writes "YouTube user Andrew Tait has uploaded a video titled Chain of Fools: Upgrading through every version of Windows. Tait starts with MS DOS 5.0 running Windows 1.0 and keeps upgrading the operating system until he reaches Windows 7, taking note of the changes to system settings and application compatibility along the way."
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Upgrading From Windows 1.0 To Windows 7

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  • by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @07:12PM (#35374656) Homepage
    Kudos to Microsoft. And even greater kudos to VMWare.
    • by icebike ( 68054 )

      Since the smallest disk you need for windows 7 could not possibly be handled by dos or windows 1.0, the whole thing looks contrived to me.

      • by pstorry ( 47673 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @07:28PM (#35374832) Homepage

        VMware can grow disks. If I were doing this, I'd start out with a ~400Mb disk and grow it from there. MS-DOS 5 could cope with that, and the first time you'd need to grow the disk would probably be at around the Windows 2000/Windows XP install stage I think.

        (In this case, it probably requires a bootable Linux distro for resizing the partitions on the virtual hardware disk though.)

        VMware can also change the RAM available, too. Again, start small and grow bigger as you go. Whilst I haven't tried something as extreme as this, I've often created a small image (say a 5Gb to 10Gb disk and 256Mb of RAM) when evaluating a distro, only to extend either the RAM or storage at a later date. It's a minor faff, but quite doable...

      • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @07:36PM (#35374930) Journal
        Not true. You can install DOS 5 on a huge disk, but I don't think it will see anything above 512MB. You can use something like PartitionMagic to enlarge this to 2GB when you get to Windows 95, then to something larger when you get to an OS that supports NTFS.
        • by icebike ( 68054 )

          But the article suggests he upgraded his way from dos5 all the way to win7.
          I still doubt that is possible without a good old fashion nuking in there somewhere.

          • Watch his video. He did and it is.
          • On the file system level, Microsoft did have non-destructive ways to convert file systems, such as CONVERT.EXE [].

            For the partition resizing, other posters say that the VM software used has drive resizing abilities, but on a real machine software like Partition Magic (is that still around?) can resize FAT / FAT32 partitions non-destructively, and it could also do the file system conversion stuff in some cases (all a bit IIRC, it's been years since I used it).

            I think it could just about be possible with a real

        • If you want to be fair, you should start with a 5-10MB disk, which is what was available around the time of Windows 1.0/DOS 5.

          It would have been physically impossible to keep upgrading a machine this way in reality, as you'd have run into hardware driver issues when upgrading motherboards and hard drives to get the capacity needed for the newer releases of Windows. An interesting experiment to see if the software itself could deal with the upgrades, but hardly noteworthy. I'm more impressed with softwa

    • by Natales ( 182136 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @03:48AM (#35377360)
      Thank you.

      I've been in VMware for 7 years, and yes, this technology is taken for granted these days and there are a bunch of alternatives, but c'mon folks, remember the old days when Workstation just came out. Wasn't it cool? man, the world of opportunities it opened to everybody back then.

      I touched my first VM back in 1987 in the IBM mainframe (a 37XX series) and I was just blown away by the concept. Years later I had the chance to work at VMware and I didn't even blinked twice. Yeah, yeah, we've grown pants, and are big boys now, but you would be amazed how many of us old timers are still around and we all recognize each other and share a smile from those days.

      Once thing I love about working here is that in spite of all the new stuff that we are doing in higher layers of the stack, and in spite of the "mission critical" impact of the hypervisor these days, we still try to hold on to that sense of awe we first saw, or being a rebel and think outside the box. And yes, some day that may go away, but I must say for me and a bunch of other old timers like me, we'll try as much as we can to keep the spirit that made us cool alive as long as we can.
  • Not terribly interested in watching a video of OS upgrades (I get quite enough of that on my own) so a text write-up of the results would be dandy. Since the submitter didn't bother, perhaps it's time for an industrious reader to do a proper "review."

    • by rmo6 ( 47545 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @07:22PM (#35374754)

      Well, the video's author had the following conclusions -

      1) That MSFT should be commended that there is a lot of backwards compatibility for over 20 years of operating systems as evidenced by Doom2, program managers, file structures remaining in tact.

      2) That versions of XP, Vista and 7 were a little disappointing that they applied their own theme and color scheme and those settings weren't carried over between versions. Prior versions did in fact keep theme settings.

      3) That the upgrade path and process has changed significantly over 20 years (obviously) and while it may have gotten longer (in time spent), it seems to have gotten easier for the end user.

      Now, I don't know if I agree with any of the conclusions and I don't know if any of those conclusions are substantive, but that's what I got out of the 10 minute video.

  • Surely a masochist for putting his system through so many reboots!

  • HAHAHA! Wow, it doesn't take much these days to induce laughter. At least I WTFV
  • by Toreo asesino ( 951231 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @07:36PM (#35374920) Journal

    -Apps/games installed on DOS 5 still work in Windows 7 unmodified after all the OS upgrade iterations.
    -Various Windows setting survived 20 years or so in the same way.

    To be fair, this is one of Windows strengths. It's not perfect but lets give credit where credit's due.

    • The observations about old apps running on the later OSes are a little hasty and overly generous to Windows, though. While simple demo-level applets like Reversi – written by Microsoft according to approved API specs –might still work, there have been a lot of old Windows apps that simply couldn't survive through OS upgrades (clean install or not), and either had to be fixed by the developer or abandoned by the user. Often the only way the old app would work is if you'd done an inplace upgrade
      • by Pikoro ( 844299 )

        I would have liked to have seen him install something like wordperfect for dos and/or PFS First choice and see how well that lasted over the upgrades...

    • by qmaqdk ( 522323 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @02:56AM (#35377192)

      And one of it's weaknesses. Imagine if you had to buy pants that have room for a diaper. Or that all cars had provisions for being drawn by a horse. Or every boat had a mast and sails.

      Backwards compatibility can become an impediment to a proper design.

  • by atomicbutterfly ( 1979388 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @07:41PM (#35374968)

    A guy shows how the upgrade procedure goes from DOS -> Windows 7, and instead of making comments on the robustness of the Windows upgrade system or anything even remotely related to the video, instead there are comments about how the poster doesn't use Windows anymore and brags about it.

    Jeez, is there any wonder the Linux community is seen as toxic by outsiders?

  • ... the modern version.
  • by zill ( 1690130 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @07:48PM (#35375036)
    Here's the highest rated comment:

    When I got divorced, my ex asked me to build her a computer. I obliged, and as a parting shot, told her I installed the latest-greatest operating system from Microsoft... hope you enjoyed ME, dear.

  • If the point is to end up at Windows 7, I would think after DOS, he would move onto *OS/2*, then NT 3.5, 4.0, 2K, XP, etc. OS/2 was intended to be the successor to DOS, whereas Windows 1.0 through 3.11 was just a shell that sat on top of DOS.

    • by Ruke ( 857276 )
      The point is to move up through every Windows version. He started with DOS 5 because Windows 1.0 would only install on top of DOS.
  • Is this when I mention what version of emacs I am still running, without so much as a recompile?

    [~] machine:user# uname -a
    SunOS machine 5.10 Generic_127127-11 sun4u sparc SUNW,Sun-Fire-V240 Solaris
    [~] machine:user# date
    Thu Mar 3 18:50:46 EST 2011
    [~] machine:user# ls -l /opt/xemacs/bin/xemacs
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root other 12 Jul 22 2010 /opt/xemacs/bin/xemacs -> xemacs-19.14
    [~] machine:user# ls -l /opt/xemacs/bin/xemacs-19.14
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 bin bin 10107552 Sep 1 1996 /opt/xemacs/bin/xemacs-19.14
    [~] machine:use

  • I am totally amazed that this was actually possible and that the system didn't break at some point. Every single time I've tried to upgrade from one Ubuntu version to the next, the system becomes unusable.

    Sometimes I think Microsoft deserves more credit than nerds want to give them!
    • by Jorl17 ( 1716772 )
      Get Gentoo and build it from the ground. It Just Works.
    • Uh, I started with a preinstalled copy of 7.04:
      1. 7.04-> 7.10
      2. 7.10-> 8.04
      3. 8.04-> 8.10
      4. 8.10-> 9.04
      5. 9.04-> 9.10
      6. 9.10-> 10.04

      Since 10.04 is an LTS, I think I will keep my machines at it. I have several and have upgraded them all without major issues. By the time it expires, all of my machines will be over 5 years old so I will probably upgrade them with something nice from system76. It really does help if you start with a machine preloaded with Linux as all of your drivers and shit will j

  • I take it only recently dawned on Andrew that maybe 640K wasn't enough for everybody?

  • ...but over several years. Windows 3.1 -> Windows 95 -> Windows 98 -> Windows 98 SE -> Window ME -X Windows XP

    And there the progression stopped. A lot of things just stopped working. So I recovered from a ghost of ME, tried again, same thing.

    I never did get that particular upgrade to work. Dual-booted for awhile, eventually weaned off ME.

    Methinks this is why he chose Win98 -> Win 2K -> XP. Avoids a lot of heartache.

    My God, do you remember when we were actually looking forward to ME?

  • Go ahead, try it again the way I remember it...

    Upgrade from a 386 with Win3.1, to Win95 on 486DX, then Win98 a Pentium, Win2000 on Pentium II, etc. Try migrating your settings from one hard drive to another larger one at each step. Perform a few service pack upgrades along the way like a normal user would. Hint: Migrating your systems through multiple hardware & service pack upgrades is a pain in the ass and flaky as hell.

    Just try to take an older windows version and copy the files and settings onto AN ALREADY INSTALLED OS that your hardware vendor gave you -- OS pre-installation will be the death of me.

    You save time if you wipe the new system, copy the old files from one PC to the other, then use the OEM CD (IF YOU CAN) to "upgrade" the OS back to the newer version... I've had to buy an additional copy of windows (having paid for the one that's pre-installed) just to get a CD that would allow me to upgrade. That's the price you pay for being a loyal Microsoft customer...

    Copying the old windows files over to the new larger drive won't copy the master boot record, and even if you do manage to reimage your new system to match the old system Windows will call you a THEIF (user of a pirated copy of windows), and prevent you from upgrading until you to re-validate since the massive hardware change. Good luck booting & revalidating, the old OS drivers don't work on the new system they've been copied over to... "Upgrades" are subject to having a "valid" installation of windows already on the machine.

    To note: Another option worked sometimes -- Actually full on install the old OS into the freshly wiped new system. Then, copy all the files / settings, etc (or use migration tool if it exists & your old OS boots on the new machine...) Finally, "updrade" the new machine back to it's original OS version... Got a new machine?! Great! Stop right there, you can't use it till it has thrice installed windows!

    Also: I dare you try using a 386 to run Vista.

    So what if MS can be upgraded through "EVERY VERSION*" ON THE SAME VIRTUAL HARDWARE without monthly and/or service pack updates? This is a solution in search of a use-case that doesn't exist.

    * Well, except ME -- Guess that it isn't possible to upgrade through "every version" then is it?

    Old hardware won't run MS's new OSs, and the old OSs don't work on the new hardware (outside of a damn controlled environment VM -- Win3.1 on a x64 quad core? Don't make me laugh -- it won't even support my mouse). Of course using these old OSs for testing & supporting software for legacy systems is a useful ability, but come on...

    Actually having lived & worked through the hell that is the upgrade path through multiple windows upgrades w/ data & software migration and different hardware, and then watching how easy it is in a VM is just maddening (Oooh, it COULD have been that easy!? Well, damn, then why wasn't it?! -- rhetorical question [no need for pedantic answers] )

    Reality has been quite a bit more frustrating... Lesson learned: NEVER, I repeat NEVER use Windows (outside of a VM), and ALWAYS place your user files on a different drive and/or partition than the operating system -- It makes migration a hell of a lot easier.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.