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Re: Installing XP is torture ...

__/ [Richard Rasker] on Saturday 17 September 2005 01:01 \__

> In an attempt to please a dear, games-addicted member of my family, I've
> tried installing an XP box from scratch. And oh deary deary, what a Great
> Software this is. NOT.
> One annoyance follows another, and things take forever.
> I have to admit that the installation of XP Home itself wasn't a problem.
> OK, it took more than an hour, which is still significantly longer than
> for instance Mandriva, but it was simple and uneventful.
> But right after the main install, the frustration begins. This particular
> XP version is quite old and needs tons of updates. So the system took well
> over two hours, downloading updates and eating bandwidth - and four or
> five reboots. Very annoying. All the more annoying because I really had
> to wait it out. The machine is *way* too vulnerable to do anything on the
> Internet before updates are applied - and without any usable software,
> anything I wanted to do had to come from the Internet.
> OK, updates etcetera in place. First course of action: download & install
> Firefox, AVG, and Ad-Aware. Another thirty minutes - especially AVG takes
> some time: download updates, create rescue disk, etcetera.
> Next problem: drivers. Naturally, all driver CD's for the machine itself
> were long lost, and XP couldn't handle some hardware out of the box. For
> example, the VT8235 on-board sound chip didn't work. Now I've been at it
> for almost *three* *fscking* *hours*, downloading driver package after
> driver package, but I still haven't found one which is approved by XP -
> not even the driver packages from the VIA-arena website itself. And then
> the onboard USB controller: ditto. XP keeps complaining that the drivers
> don't comply with the "Windows XP Test Logo" (whatever that's supposed to
> mean), and that the system can become unstable or break as a result.
> So my dear Windows fans, can one of you tell me where I *do* find the
> M$-blessed drivers? Precise URL and/or file name, please, because I still
> haven't found them - and I'm *good* at finding stuff on the Internet. No,
> don't tell me to Google for "certified drivers", I tried that (as well as
> all kinds of other combinations with XP Test Logo etc.). And yes, I found
> tons of drivers. None of which were acceptable to XP. And no, the Windows
> Update service didn't do anything either.
> Here's the list of hardware in need of drivers: VT82C586B (USB), VT8235
> (sound), and Plextor PX-712A (DVD-rewriter).
> Now, on the hunt for other software ... Ah, OpenOffice is easily found &
> installed. And there we have some game CD's ... lessee ... uh oh, no
> sound, so no go. And some rubbish about installing the newest ActiveX. And
> oh, somehow the newest Windows Media Player hasn't come along with the
> update either. And oh yeah, plenty of other annoyances: there's all kinds
> of M$-crap popping up from the system tray, both hard to shut down and
> hard to ignore:
> - Windows Registration keeps whining until you register.
> - This Windows Tour thingy, which won't go away if you click the X,
>   but keeps popping up unless you actually start it and close it.
> - Some sort of MSN shit, nagging me constantly that I need a .NET
>   Passport for whatever. I don't want a .NET passport. Why the fsck
>   doesn't shut up if I click the X?
> - Windows Update keeps warning me about AVG updates. I did update them,
>   didn't I? And all of a sudden there's little medieval shields attached
>   in all places. I don't want to be reminded of the fact that this
>   crapware needs constant monitoring and pampering, why does every little
>   bit you install think it has the right to your full attention at all
>   times?
> Good, almost six hours into the install of XP, and what have we got?
> Updates, yes, but for all the rest still a crippled system: no sound, no
> USB, no working DVD rewriter (still gotta hunt for those drivers too
> :-( ), no software to speak of, except Firefox and some security stuff.
> And I gather that it'll be another few days before this baby is in any
> useful state, with all the desired software, drivers and other shit. And
> I'm pretty sure that the owner will manage to hose the system within a few
> months, even with all current precautions in place.
> So, which idiot was it again who said that Windows was easy to install?
> Besides, I know what I'm doing, but still there is a fair chance that at
> some point, I pick the wrong software download site and hose the system,
> which could mean starting all over again.
> And to think that a Mandriva system takes on average just thirty minutes
> for a full install, and another fifteen for configuration. No fuss with
> drivers, virus and adware crap, or software which must be hunted down &
> installed package by package. Now *that* is easy.
> Hey, even more upates just arrived. And yes, time again for a reboot.
> Bloody hell, it's hard to imagine that people actually pay for this ...
> Incredible is the word. Totally incredible ...
> Richard Rasker

In other news, I got a shiny new Mandrake box yesterday evening (my third
box). It took me 2-3 minutes to hoist out of the box and attach it to the
peripherals. I had a monitor already. Fully-working KDE with no hassle,
tons of applications... how can one complain? Setting up an entire Linux
cluster in just one hour? It's like groceries.


PS - The machine cost GBP 170 including O/S, delivery and tax.

Roy S. Schestowitz      | Warning 0x12C: ispell feels tired
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux    |     PGP-Key: 74572E8E
  4:50am  up 22 days 17:04,  2 users,  load average: 0.37, 0.28, 0.27

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