I’ve just finished installing Windows XP Home (Service Pack 2) and it was quite the process. I’m so happy to be a Mac user. 🙂

It started off just trying to figure out how to boot off the CD. Mac OS install CDs say right on them, to startup off the CD hold down the C key. However, with Windows, all they said was go to the START menu and go from there. The problem? The PC couldn’t get to the OS, which was why I was re-installing it.

I ended up having to call Microsoft for support. I called the number that is printed on the packaging and it said “I’m sorry, this number is no longer in service.” It then went on to tell me to go online to answer all my questions; which that doesn’t help either. However, at the very end of the message (like 30 seconds later) it told me I could call them at this new number. Wouldn’t it be better customer service to tell someone that right away?

So, I then called the second number. Boy, was this fun. Call 1: I dialed in and had three choices. I chose #3 and the phone system went quiet. Nothing happened. So I hit #3 again and again and again and nothing. So I hung up. Call 2: Dialed in and hit #3. It didn’t register it at all and kept telling me to choose a number. The message just went round and around and around. I then got mad and hit all the buttons and I got though. I got a customer service rep and she couldn’t hear me, but I could hear her. What the ??? I had to then hang up and try again. Call 3: Called in, hit #3 which didn’t work so I hit # which worked and I got on the phone with another customer service rep. The call quality was so bad that I couldn’t understand them and I had no idea if they could hear me. So I hung up again. Call #4: Called in, hit # and I got a ‘we are transferring you’ message that I had not gotten in the past. Then I got in with a customer service rep who could hear me and I could hear her. YEA! I then told them how much trouble I was having with the phones and he apologized, even though she didn’t seem to care.

I then explained my issue and she decided to send me to technical support. That transfer went well and I got on the phone with a nice guy who walked me though how to get into the BIOS to change the boot order. However, I couldn’t change it as his instructions didn’t match up with my laptop. After playing around for five minutes, we finally got it and I was installing XP.

It’s amazing, the most advanced Windows OS starts up in 1980’s style graphics. I’m guessing this is something with DOS or whatever, but still, come on people. You can do better than that.

Windows Install
(not an actual screen shot of my install, but it shows the graphics none the less)

When installing, I got the choice to either erase the disk in quick or regular mode. So I choose to do the regular mode as I thought that’d do a better job at cleaning everything off. It took forever, but that’s fine. I came back hours later and the screen was on, but it was black. No graphics, nothing. Hitting the keys didn’t do anything either, so I had to restart using the power button. It started up with a black and white dashed progress bar and I went out for dinner. Came home and the computer was off. I powered it up and I was back to the 1980’s graphics and the beginning of my XP install. Not sure what it had been doing the past 5 or so hours but nothing got accomplished.

This time, I erased the hard drive in quick mode and it was done in about 5 minutes. Then XP actually did start to install and was done a bit later. Finally!

I thought my troubles were over, but I was wrong. XP had no idea how to get on the internet. The wireless card was not detected and the ethernet port didn’t work. Great. I tried to re-install the drivers off the XP install CD but there were none. So I played around and wasted way to much time trying to figure out what to do. I even asked people on the net for help. I ended up having to download some drivers from the computer makers website on my iMac, burn them to a CD then install them on the laptop. That installed the drivers, but XP still did not recognize them. I finally figured out how to go into the computer profiler and get the ethernet properties and install the drivers from the computer and FINALLY, I had internet! No wireless, but hey, I’ll take anything at this point.

Finally, I’ve got XP running and I’m on the net. What more could a guy ask for? Security I guess. I started up Windows Update and had to install a new version of Windows Update before I could see if any updates were available. Then I found out there were a few. 53 high priority updates were waiting. Holy cow, that’s a freakload of high priority updates. But they all downloaded and installed and my computer should be secure now. Right?

Being a Mac guy I guess I’m just spoiled. The process of installing an OS is simple, elegant and everything just works; even for beginners. Windows users, you really need to stop spending so much time on managing your computer and just enjoy it. The OS should not control you, you should control it.

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