Monday, June 04, 2007

The one where I use the word "braggadocio"

I accomplished things this past weekend. Not many things, but important things none the less. Long time readers may remember that about a year and a half ago or so, the motherboard inside my home PC kicked the bucket and required replacing. Those exact same long time readers may also remember that I run Windows XP on my home system, and Windows XP does not like having certain parts swapped out without at least two weeks notice and an application filled out in triplicate for said swapping. It's kind of annoying like that. It took me about a week and half to sort out that mess last time, ultimately ending in me reinstalling XP and crying myself to sleep.

That was last time though. This time, forms were filled out and notice was given. It was time for an upgrade.

Quick note for anyone that's planning on doing this: Lock up all of your fire arms and hide the keys. This is important because when you upgrade your motherboard, you then have to do a repair install of Windows XP (but not the first repair option when you boot up from you XP installation CD, you select the regular install, then when it detects an existing installation, it asks you if you want to repair, then you say yes.). When you do that, it basically reverts back to the original version, meaning no Service Packs or updates to the OS of any kind. It will however, retain upgrades to certain programs like Internet Explorer. This is where you will be happy that you've safely locked up all of your fire arms and hidden the keys. It turns out, IE7 requires that you have Service Pack 2 installed, however, in order to get Service Pack 2, you need to go through Windows Update using IE 5 or later. Windows will not allow you to un-install IE7, nor will it allow you install an earlier version as it will only tell you that a newer version is currently installed, thus aborting any pre IE7 installations. It's a bit of a catch 22. In my humble opinion, this was a very, very bad idea on Microsoft's part. The only way I got around it was to download the IT version of SP2 using Firefox, which is approximately 277 MB. Not impossible to do, but not as easy as the updater usually is.

I managed to perform this whole operation in about 12 hours. I'd say it was probably around hour 8 that things got particularly nasty. I was staring at a desktop with no icons, task bar or start button and several error messages about not being able to access the entry point for any number of programs. I'll admit, I wasn't very optimistic at the time. But 4 hours later, I had my baby back up and running normally with all of my programs and personal settings intact. Only now, I was running a dual core processor with 2 gigs of RAM. Was it worth it? I'm obligated to say yes because if I don't, I will immediately be nominated for Biggest Tool of the Year, but really, it was worth it. I'm looking to do some more multi-tasking these days, and I believe this will help.

I performed no less than 2,030,205,200 reboots during the whole process and I can honestly say when I performed the final one and was immediately informed by my computer that it was now out of date and that they offer quad core processors, I felt exceptionally good about myself and what I had accomplished. Normally I'm not such a braggadocio, but this time, I think I really did something nobody else on the planet has ever accomplished. I brought my personal technology right up into 2006.


omar said...

That's pretty awesome, in a "glad it's not me" kind of way. I've heard plenty of horror stories of people manually removing IE7, you were smart to not try that route.

Radioactive Jam said...

I'd blocked certain memories; they all came rushing back. It's not your fault, though; it's just-- well actually it *is* your fault. But I'm okay now; I'll say it (you can say it with me if you think you're ready):
"I survived a Windows OS re-install."

Sixty thousand dollars and eighteen months of intensive therapy enable me to say so with a degree of confidence previously reserved for mere braggadocio.

Anonymous said...

One Word: Linux

omar said...

I was originally going to go the route of "anonymous" and say you should get a Mac, but I refrained.

Though I guess in telling you this, I'm no longer refraining, and am consequently losing my claim to the moral high ground.

Jon said...

Omar: Yeah, it could have been a lot worse. I was better prepared this time, so I think that helped. I only do this once every couple of years, and I think that's about all I can take.

Jam: Sorry I brought back those memories. Truly, I am sorry.

Anonymous: Problem is, Linux doesn't play nice with pretty much all the programs I have on my computer. At this point, I'm not ready to migrate. I think that would end up taking much more time and frustration than dealing with Microsoft for a day.

Omar: yeah, you totally lost some moral ground with that. But honestly, I've been looking at the Mac pretty closely lately. They do provide some interesting pluses... but they do have some drawbacks... namely the 9000+ pictures and 6000+ mp3's I'd have to migrate over... as well as learning a new OS. Which I'm sure I could do, but answer me this: How much would a Dual Core system with 2 gigs of RAM (800 Mhz), a Super Drive, 600+ Gigs of Hard Drive space and an open slot for an OTA HD card cost me? If it's under $400, then maybe we can talk...

cadiz12 said...

i spent 2 whole minutes trying to think of some intelligent comment, but frankly, i barely understand what you did. as someone who still has dialup, does that bring me right up into 1996?

Syar said...

I started reading your warning, skipped to the end saw one of your post's labels and took it's wise advice.

I don't even have a computer of my own. But I'm going to save myself whatever trouble may come and save myself the time by buying a new one.

However, I did take time to Google "braggadocio" and was further enlightened. You're like the education I never paid for, Jon.