Windows Vista, oh how I loathe thee

so i took the freelance graphic design job. so t hen i was like “oh crap, i need to install graphic/web design stuff on my computer now” which i didn’t have because i had reformatted in the recent past. thus began my weekend-long frustration with my computer.i have a modded windows 2003 server os installed on my box. don’t ask why because i don’t really know anymore. mostly i think it was for performance and to try something new, and i still didn’t trust vista. however, i tried installing adobe cs3 on it and it won’t install under server 2k3. so, rather than trying to install and crack windows xp, i decided to try this legitimate version of windows vista i had lying around.

let me tell you now that was a huge error in judgment on my part. first i had a problem with my disk 3, but the vista installer said it was a problem with my hard drive. barring the drives in my server, that is the newest hard drive i have, so i doubted that. i went through the vista help and did some googling and ultimately found a windows support site that had a number of steps including a “flat install” — which is to say — assuming you have a working OS — copy the files from the disk to the hard drive and install from there. sure enough when i got to disk 3 i got a file copy error. the other disks were fine, so i re-downloaded the image and mounted the .iso and copied the files. then i did the install. worked fine and vista was working for a few minutes. i started installing stuff and doing updates and holding off rebooting until the last minute. one of the first things i did was install a peer guardian beta that was built to work on vista. that installed but i started getting issues — specifically with vista blocking it, but eventually it wouldn’t run at all. i had a copy of the installer on the desktop which i tried to copy to the my documents (which i used the my docs from my 2k3 install just to keep everything in one place) — but it wouldn’t copy. i tried a couple more times to either copy or just delete it and every time i got an error. so then i rebooted again and it said vista found errors on the hard drive and needed to run a chkdsk during which i saw a series of ‘deleted index xxx’ messages. when it came up and i got back into it, my shortcut was gone. problem solved right? but a large number of my updates failed, so i tried doing that — every time i tried installing the updates, i’d get one or two succeed and 13 fail. so i started troubleshooting that and eventually got to a point where i was using support again and the solution was basically delete all the update data and try again. meanwhile i was fighting with permissions issues to get rid of the stupid “are you sure you want to do this” prompts when i was trying to copy a dll needed for daemon tools (which i needed to install the iso for cs3). at one point after installing windows updates my computer was unable to shut down completely, and upon reboot did another chkdsk. long story short, there were several reboots and with each successive reboot, more and more chkdsks were run and more stuff was deleted until it got to the point where my keyboard no longer worked. i assumed this to be because it was usb and just lost the driver, so i plugged in my ps/2 keyboard, but that didn’t work either. having nowhere else to go, i scrapped the whole process and decided to try to install XP on top of my vista install, with the hope that i wouldn’t have to reinstall all my applications again.

when i did that, i kept getting file copy errors “could not read file x on F:\” which is my cdrom drive. i thought there was some crazy drive mapping thing going on and that when it booted off the hard drive it remapped the drive letters and F: wasn’t my cdrom drive anymore, or something. this made me think that vista was my only option because at least it was able to install and use the cdrom drive. so against my better judgement, i tried installing vista again, this time on top of the previous installation after formatting the drive. this again started ok, and got progressively worse and eventually i was at the same point i was at before and couldn’t get into my operating system.

finally, what i did to get myself working was format the drive i was using for vista again and install XP and, to my surprise, it was the format that did the trick.

so here’s the rant: how can microsoft call this even remotely okay? every single time i tried using vista — and i wasn’t doing anything haXX0r-y or spectacular, i was just installing applications and using the operating system — vista would trash my hard drive. literally trash the hard drive. corrupt the files. make the system unbootable. i knew vista had issues, and i knew my system was a tad older than probably what was recommended but really the only thing that’s not up-to-par is my graphics card and that shouldn’t make vista destroy my hard drive. it’s just tremendously baffling.

now i had considered installing linux — surprisingly the voip software i’m supposed to use does run on linux — and use crossover office for the adobe apps, but i wasn’t sure if crossover was a free app (last i knew it wasn’t) and that would be another thing that i’d have to figure out because i’ve never used it. thankfully, XP worked and i have a fully functioning system which dual boots XP and 2k3. i’m gonna leave the 2k3 there but reinstall everything i have running on 2k3 on top of itself in XP so i can use it from there and eventually make it so that i will only boot to 2k3 if XP ever dies and i need to recover or reinstall it.

i just can’t get over how bad vista was for my system.  just using it, killed everything.  i know sp1 isn’t out yet but jesus, i can’t even run the os?  maybe if i never rebooted….but with all the updates, i needed to reboot, even if the update failed…..i am never again installing that bloated virus on any system i actually care about.  when i build a media center it’s either XP, XP Media Center Edition, or Myth (possibly MythBuntu).  grrrrrrr

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