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Windows 7 Secrets 1st Edition

92 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470508411
ISBN-10: 0470508418
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Go beyond the obvious and explore the secrets behind Windows 7 with this comprehensive guide. Leading authorities in the field expose the hidden functionality within the Windows 7 operating system, revealing everything from its new features and functionality to how to modify the system to work for you. These expert tips and tricks will help you gain the skills you need to quickly go from a Windows 7 user to a Windows 7 expert.

The Insider's Guide to

  • Installing or upgrading to Windows 7 (see Chapter 2)

  • Hardware and software compatibility (see Chapter 3)

  • Personalizing and configuring Windows 7 (see Chapter 6)

  • Windows 7 security (see Chapter 7)

  • Organizing, fixing, and sharing digital photos (see Chapter 12)

  • Zune® as a digital media alternative (see Chapter 14)

  • Using tablet PCs and ultra-mobile PCs (see Chapter 18)

  • Managing e-mail and your schedule (see Chapters 21 & 22)

  • Keeping your data safe (see Chapter 24)

About the Author

The author of over 20 books, Paul Thurrott is a technology analyst for Windows IT Pro and the majordomo of the SuperSite for Windows ( He writes a weekly editorial for Windows IT Pro UPDATE (, a daily Windows news and information e-mail newsletter called “WinInfo Daily News” (, and a monthly column called “Need to Know” in Windows IT Pro Magazine. He also blogs daily via the SuperSite Blog (, posts regularly on Twitter (, and appears weekly in the highly rated and hugely popular Windows Weekly podcast with Leo Laporte (

Rafael Rivera is a software developer for a VAR 500 company, Telos Corporation, where he works on mission critical systems. He is a Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst (CREA) and takes Windows apart on his blog Within Windows ( He also regularly “tweets” ( Rafael was born on the same day as Windows 1.0—November 20, 1985—which many believe is no coincidence.


Learn More About Windows 7 Mobility Features
The Windows 7 mobility cheat sheet will help you choose the best functionalities for your PC [PDF].

Product Details

  • Paperback: 1080 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470508418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470508411
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 2.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Travis Gafford on September 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book due to my enjoyment of Paul Thurrott and Leo Laporte's Windows Weekly podcast. The book covers virtually everything in Windows 7, and should be considered the ultimate resource/guide on the OS. This is a great tool for newcomers, as well as those who have been running Windows 7 since the beta release. Even amidst the more simple sections, such as installation, the authors manage to sneak in interesting tips and secrets that even IT Pro's might not be aware of. Snarky and subtle comments laced throughout the text and below screenshots kept me smiling as I read through the chapters. Whether you're someone who has never bothered to peer under an operating system's hood, or a Windows power user just trying to figure out what features Microsoft has added to its latest operating system, this book is a great buy!
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122 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Frobisher on October 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am systems developer and have purchased hundreds of computer books in my life, and this one has the same problem that it seems to me all of these very large books of this type have: They are too large and heavy for the way they can be effectively used. This is most definitely not a reference book, but rather a well done general introduction to Windows 7. Due to the large number of screen captures in the book, it reads very very quickly and would be a nice book to flip through while lying in bed. But it's tedious to hold.

As for the 'secrets'... no, they aren't secrets, though if you are new to Windows and 7 specifically, there may be things that you don't know. Paul Thurrott certainly knows Windows, but this book feels just slightly dumbed-down for a general audience. I also get the feeling that the publisher required that there be 'secrets' at certain minimal intervals because some of them are almost embarassingly trivial and obvious.

If you are comfortable with Vista, this book will probably disappoint. If you are are using XP, then you may find it very useful.

But - don't buy this book if you fall into the category of someone who has been working with Win 7 (as many people have since the free beta and RC) expecting to find much.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Brian L. VINE VOICE on October 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Paul Thurrott and Rafael Rivera have written an excellent guide to the new Windows 7 operating system. Windows 7 Secrets provides step by step instructions (with screenshots) on how to install and use the many features of Windows 7. The book starts out with a summary of the features of Windows 7, and then moves to a chapter on determining which of the 12 product editions of Windows 7 is right for you. This chapter informs you of the differences in the features of each product edition and informs you of the options for purchasing Windows 7. (To make it more complicated, Microsoft has Upgrade versions and Full versions of the product editions, which are discussed in Chapter 2.) There is also a big recommendation that you select the 64-bit Windows 7 rather than the 32-bit version.

Chapter 2 gives step by step instructions on how to install Windows 7. However, the authors clearly state that the simplest way to get a working copy of Windows 7 is to purchase a new PC that already has Windows 7 installed. Note that if your computer has Windows XP (or an earlier version of Windows) you can't perform an upgade installation over your existing copy of Windows--you have to do a clean install. However the authors tell you how to use the Windows Easy Transfer tool to help migrate your XP settings and documents (but not your applications) to the new operating system. Only Vista users can perform an in-place upgrade to Windows 7, but the authors recommend that you do a clean install of Windows 7 instead.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Marty B VINE VOICE on October 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There are a couple of challenges in reviewing a book that describes a new operating system. First, until you actually have the operating system, well, operating, a lot of the book content is pretty esoteric. As well written as Windows 7 Secrets is, some sections just cry out "Try this! You'll see what we mean!". I wasn't one of the few lucky million beta testers of Windows 7, so a lot of this book will become far more meaningful to me when Amazon ships me my upgrade to 7.

The second challenge is to concentrate on the book and not the product that the book covers. Windows 7, from this long time computer user's vantage point looks great. I skipped Vista entirely. It looked like a dud when I first saw it and had no reason to upgrade from XP. I didn't want Hollywood or the RIAA looking over my shoulder at my file collection and withheld my money from Redmond for one whole OS. I just purchased a refurbished Dell for my wife that came with the dreaded Vista OS and it's far less responsive and intuitive than XP. So as anxious as I am to install 7 on my trusty two year old Dell Vostro, it is the BOOK I'm reviewing here and not the Operating System.

Windows 7 Secrets is a huge volume - just over 1000 pages of text. There is a very detailed and well organized index that makes it easy to find your topic du jour. The book's content is well designed, too, taking you through a natural progression of selecting the right version of the operating system, installing it the way you want it, discovering what is new and unique to 7, then helping you organizing your data and programs to fit your style.
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