The office phone rang this morning (Sunday) at 8:45am but, although I guess it might have been important (to the person calling), I was still in bed and (bad man that I am) ignored it - I'd been working until 3am carrying out various tests** on Windows 7 Professional running on a Samsung NC10 netbook.

At a rather more civilised hour, the same person called back, explaining his problem.

He'd come down from university to visit his parents, bringing with him a bent copy of Windows 7 Ultimate.

He then proceeded to bugger up both of his parents' PCs, such that they don't work. Trouble is, there's some important stuff on there (data, rather than operating systems or programs, as I understand it).

He says he's bringing one of the PCs round at 1pm and I've agreed to save any data that might still be there and do a fresh install of Windows 7 Home Premium from a kosher installation DVD - but without activating the operating system.

He can then buy a student copy of Windows 7 Upgrade (it's only £30 for students) and do the activating himself.

He'll have 30 days in which to do that, because you can run Windows 7 for that amount of time before it must be activated.

In case you missed the link above, the place to go to buy your student copy of Windows 7 is here. Know that it IS possible with this offer to buy one copy of Win 7 Home Premium (32-bit or 64-bit) AND one copy of Win 7 Pro (32-bit or 64-bit).

If you are not a student, check out this amusing story on about the student deal.

I'll report back, of course, on how I get on with the data-recovery and Win 7 install on the crocked PC that's due to arrive here soon.

** Oh, and those tests on Windows 7 Pro showed pretty much what I thought I knew already - the OS works just fine on the little netbook but the Pro version is badly ham-strung in one particular regard by the Samsung NC10's rather limited hardware, so there's no point opting for Pro on the Samsung netbook if you want to use its XP Mode - it doesn't work.

(If you want to run Win 7 on a Samsung NC10 (or other netbook), check out the Win 7 area on this independent Samsung netbook support forum for tips and hints)

Also see this link to compare the features of the different versions of Windows 7.

XP Mode is designed to use a virtual-PC program (which emulates a complete computer) to let you run a free (Microsoft-supplied) special copy of Windows XP WITHIN Win 7. The idea is that this will let you run any programs that did run under XP but don't run under Windows 7.