Reinstalling Windows Nightmare

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Reinstalling Windows Nightmare

Postby Kellemora » 21 Jan 2013, 20:01

This is mainly for Yogi.

I went to use my accounting computer this morning after I left here, getting ready to do taxes, and wanted to pull up last years reports. I just used it for my quarterly report less than a month ago and all was fine.

Looked like the hard drive went south. So I slipped in an already loaded hard drive with Ubuntu 8.04LTS and the computer booted up and ran just fine.
Trouble is, this replacement drive didn't have Windows on it.
Pulled a new 500 gig drive off the shelf and plugged it in, stuck the Windows disk in the drive and began the install process. No hitches at first, other than tons of questions to answer.

That part took almost two hours. I went to register and it said I was missing something, stick the CD back into the drive. Whatever it failed to load during the install, that part went OK.

At this point I had only been required to reboot three times.

Between around 4pm and 7:30pm, I've had to reboot over 17 times!
Had to install Active X in order to use their Update System. Reboot.
Ran Update again, it installed 48 packages, then said I had to Reboot.
Thought I was all done, and the yellow box came up saying updates were ready.
Clicked on it and it had 68 more updates. Said it could not complete them all. Reboot.
After rebooting, it showed ONE lousy update. I let it install, and rebooted again.

Dug around in my file cabinets to get my accounting program CDs, but when I got back to the computer, the yellow shield was flashing. This time it had 79 more things it had to download and install. After each group of 5 to 10, it would stop and tell me to reboot so it could continue. Finally, I thought I was done. No such Luck, now it had to install Service Pack 3.
And then another 14 updates for it. Requiring several more reboots.

After 5-1/2 hours I thought it was finally finished and I could begin to install my accounting program. No such Luck! It didn't recognize the DVD, so I had to clear it and let it search for drivers. No luck there either. OK, disable that, use the external DVD, it found the drivers for it and I was ready to install the accounting program.
But wait. Windows is finding more hardware. Didn't take long to go through those check boxes and let it do it's thing.

That computer is at another desk, so I couldn't play around on my other computers while that was going on. So between the times I had to interact with Windows. And since I had my tools out anyhow. I popped open the case of an old computer that had a bad CPU fan. I was lucky, one sitting in my junk box fit just fine, clips lined up perfectly. Plug was different, but no problem, it could plug into the power supply. Great!
Because I was going to toss it, I had pulled the HD and other reusables from it. Stuck a little 30gig drive in the box and a CD player.
Had to stop many times to tend to the Windows install on the accounting computer.
Put the case back together, stuck a Debian disk in the drive and powered it up.
Had to answer a couple of questions there too. It installed fast. Reboot, checked the update and had to load 137 updates. It finished that, reboot. Then came the work of installing all the drivers and dependencies for the hardware that does not come automatic with Debian.
Total time from start of install, to completion of main install was under 30 minutes, waiting for all the updates, another 20 minutes. And then about an hour to figure out what drivers I needed. Overall time was under 2 hours and it was humming away, with several programs installed and working.

The Windows computer, after 6 hours total time, I can finally begin to install the programs.
If I can get the Windows network to quit telling me I don't have permission to access my file server that is.

Lost a whole day because of the Doze!

End of MY Rant!

TTUL
Gary
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Re: Reinstalling Windows Nightmare

Postby Yogi » 22 Jan 2013, 10:28

You have my condolences Gary. :grin:

The last fresh install of Ubuntu (LTS) took around 90 minutes. I went through the same hoops that you did with Debian. As the standard for excellence seems to be, Ubuntu ran perfectly right out of the box. Then came the days, no weeks, learning how to customize things and install programs of interest to me. I'd be the first to admit that it took me so long because I am not all that familiar with Linux's internals. I'm not a novice either and have some experience with previous Linux installs.

The last Windows OS I installed was Windows 8 - it's an evaluation copy sans a few of the features you will find in today's retail version. That took under 90 minutes which included downloading the iso itself. However, this was not a fair test of the install routine because I put it in a virtual machine. I wanted to be prepared to trash it quickly in case it was not all I expected it to be. My point here is that the install process was perhaps less complicated than Ubuntu given that I did not have to be concerned about partitions and boot loaders.

The last Windows OS I installed permanently into my tower was Windows 7. To be honest I don't recall how many setup questions it asked, but it was very few. I bought a CD from Microsoft with the hopes that all I would need to get a functional OS running was on the CD. As it turns out that is all I needed. I did indeed have to reboot, install drivers that were not part of the initial install, and download updates. I can't be certain about it today, but it seems that 3-4 reboots were needed to initialize the software. This install process took nearly three hours to complete because the updates took so long to complete on my DSL network. And, like Linux, I can say Windows 7 worked out of the box but took me a couple weeks to customize it to my liking. The big advantage with Windows customization is that I never had to seek out help or learn what the system needed. The system software has dependencies, for example, but they are all transparent and seldom, if ever, need user intervention to install them. Thus, the fresh install process is a wash in my case. Either I have to reboot a few times and use Microsoft's less than glorious generic drivers, or take what is given to me by Linux and pray that I can find or even discover what I need from the Linux community. Complexity and time consumed to do an install are about the same in my experience.

I have no explanation for why you had to go through all the effort that you did to reinstall Windows. My guess is that the modern versions I'm using have taken care of some of the problem you are seeing. The reboots are a pain but I am tolerant of them more so than most people, I suppose. Doing that was SOP when I was a system admin for an UNIX environment. Reboot cured many a desktop problem too when I did desktop support for a few years.

____________
As an aside, I had to install Vista a time or two from CD. It was a process similar to Windows 7 but not as clean and all the hardware did not work out of the box. I did have to install drivers from the manufacturers in order to get a few things up and running. Since I knew I might be reinstalling Vista in the future, I downloaded copies of the service packs and burned them to DVD. I did the same with Windows 7. Doing this cuts the download time and also assures system integrity when Microsoft pulls the plug on supporting these old products.

Each time I install a new OS, I burn an image of it in the pristine state, i.e., right after all the drivers and updates have been installed and demonstrated to be functioning properly. The next time I need to install that system I simply copy that iso, and voila. All the registration info and updates are there. It's nearly as slick as taking a snapshot of a virtual machine.
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Re: Reinstalling Windows Nightmare

Postby Kellemora » 22 Jan 2013, 13:24

Well I was installing a bulky old version, XP-Pro-MCE from the original install disk.
Which accounted for all the Updates it had to fetch and install. SP2 three different ones of those, and SP3.
Plus I needed certain server files for the accounting program to function properly.

On the bright side, at least it was still supported. Very few people were unfortunate enough to get stuck with the MCE version of XP.

I only have two licenses for XP-PRO and both of them are in use. Probably have a dozen or more licenses for XP-Home. Keeping track of which one was used on which computer is sometimes daunting, the way I move hard drives around from machine to machine so often.

A neighbor uses MAC and wanted to do a clean install of OS-X so he could install Mountain Lion. He had to go out and buy Leopard, then turn around and go buy Snow Leopard, before he could install Mountain Lion. Probably an upgrade disk?

He's a photographer and recently started working with private folks and their existing photo albums. Not sure exactly what he is doing, but apparently he can't afford some program he needs, and found out a very similar one was available in Ubuntu for free. He was coming over here to my house to use one of my computers to do his work. Now although Apple does have an App Store with free stuff you just download and it works. Apparently there is much more to it than I know about. He loves Synaptic Package Manager and how easy it is to find a program, hit the Apply button and it is up and running without having to reboot.

He's afraid to try and dual boot his MAC, so I gave him one of my older computers with a bad on-board video card, which he had the repair shop use a slot held video card in it's place. Like me, after seeing Ubuntu 12.04's Unity, he quickly changed it to Gnome and now I rarely see him anymore, unless it is to ask how to find and set up a PPA to get to some program he wants, not supported by Ubuntu.

I actually liked my Apples, Lisa and Mac's much better than the early Windows computers. However, all of my clients at the time used Windows, so I had to supply them the disks in their format. I still did most of my work on the Mac, even though conversions in those days was not an easy task. Probably impossible without using the network drive as the exchange point. Eons ago now!

TTUL
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Re: Reinstalling Windows Nightmare

Postby Yogi » 23 Jan 2013, 07:57

The only comment I can make here is that I am surprised at the reaction your friend had to Unity. It's a direct rip off of what Apple has been doing for many years. Microsoft has not gone that way previously simply because it it a concession to the competition. These days with mobile devices being so prolific that "Metro" interface you see in Windows 8 is Microsoft playing catch up. Here is one instance where Linux beat Microsoft to the market.

I've used KDE, GNOME2+3, Cinnamon, and Unity in my explorations during the past year. Unity wins in the ease of use category. All those drop down menus, application, and extensions from the periphery of my monitor used by those other desktop environments remind me of the Windows Start menu. It's clunky and messy. If I need to make any adjustments to the system or start a program which I can't find in the drop downs, I have no reservations about using the command line to launch things.

The update manager is a lovely tool. One of my pet peeves is that I have to use it nearly every day. It's true that reboots frequently are not required, but I don't see the advantage of improving the functionality of a distribution on a daily basis. I know that you get around that problem simply by not doing updates or using systems that are too old to justify a lot of development. My approach is to use the latest and greatest and to keep it up to date. A lot of Linux security vulnerabilities (they don't have viruses :roll: ) are covered in the updates. Anyway, synaptic is the hands down winner for package management in my humble opinion. YaST is a close second in the openSUSE world. All the Linux distributions, however, suffer from the flaws inherent in the Not Invented Here syndrome. If it's not part of "thier" distribution, it's not in the repositories. The argument that licensing is an issue is flimsy at its best. Each time Flash is updated, for example, I have to agree to a license presented on the screen prior to install. Then again, if all software was in one repository, I'm sure it would garner some complaints that it's not like the old way. LOL
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Re: Reinstalling Windows Nightmare

Postby Kellemora » 23 Jan 2013, 12:02

Well, you are way ahead of me Yogi.

I hate having to use the command line, mainly because I've never understood BASH.
At best, I can copy what someone else says to type in there and hope.

Ironic, that at one time I could program in simple Basic and do some awesome stuff, way ahead of it's time.
But then as I moved on to C and C++, I only got more confused. It was all downhill from there.

I'm doing good just keeping my XHTML/CSS pages humming properly. They have NO php or side scripting.

So I'm stuck with Distro's that are (for the most part) turn-key.
Or groups who help me by starting the instructions with, Turn On Computer, hi hi.....
Way to many instructions START by omitting all the steps necessary to get to the point where you can use them.

I tried to learn some php a while back. It worked on the examples on-line, but when I tried it on my own computer. It never worked. No Where in all of the instructions I had read, did any of them say, php only works on a Server.
So my next step was installing LAMP and learning how to set it up, before I could continue with my php lessons.

Just way too much stuff for an olde geezer like me to try and learn!

However, that is what is nice about the world of Linux. Somebody, somewhere, who does know how to do that stuff, has probably written the code for what you want to do, and they publish it. So your only task is finding it, installing it, and learning how to use it. It may not be perfect, BUT at least it works, most of the time, hi hi.....

Speaking of Flash, I have not found a compatible version for Linux Mint Maya Mate.
Seems odd, since Mint is based on Ubuntu, and I have no problems with Flash in Ubuntu.
Mint eats up 100% CPU for all kinds of unknown reasons. One of them is Flash.
I do not have that problem in Ubuntu.

TTUL
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Re: Reinstalling Windows Nightmare

Postby Yogi » 23 Jan 2013, 13:39

You might be interested in knowing that I too was a BASIC programmer for many years. I also have experience in assembly language, those 1's and 0's that get fed directly to the micro processor. When I stepped up into the IT world and computer integrated manufacturing, C++, perl, SQL, Tcl/Tk and a variety of obscure programming and scripting languages had to be learned. Well, I learned about them but could never make a living using them.

I took an interest in designing web pages and have yet to this day to make one using php as an underlying script. I have a couple books on my shelf that will teach me how to do it, but never got around to them. It's a shame because this web site is pure php (on a Linux server) and it could use some tweaks if I ever figure out how to do it without crashing us. php is not exclusively a server programming language. All you need is the php interpreter installed on your local machine, which I believe comes standard in many Linux distributions. If not, it's easy enough to download like any other program.

The old dog learning new tricks excuse is convenient. I use it myself often. But when I want to exercise my brain, delving into obscure operating systems is my current mode of stimulus. I can actually feel my brain throb when a problem arises and I have to research a solution. There are other ways to accomplish the same thing, and we all have our own exercise routines. All I know is that I need to keep growing and learning. The only other option is stagnation and a one way trip to Boot Hill. ;)
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Re: Reinstalling Windows Nightmare

Postby Kellemora » 24 Jan 2013, 10:52

I hear ya Yogi!
My biggest problem is TIME.....
When my father sold his business and retired, he made himself super busy.
He often commented, "I have so much to do, I have no idea how I ever found the time to work every day."
He used to work from 7AM to 7PM, sometimes later, every single day. Yet still found time to keep the house and cars up, plus he and mom would entertain every so often, or go out at least once a month.

As for myself, there were times when I was holding a full-time job, plus doing two or three sideline jobs at the same time, and even with all that, I still had time to mess around with several hobbies.

Where did the time go to?
I guess I was fortunate, I retired when I was 55 years old, so had at least 10 years of doing what I wanted, and with plenty of time to do it. But now that I crossed 65, I work, often from 8AM til 10PM or later. No time to get hardly anything I want to get done, done. Add to that I had to take a job to cover my insurance and medical expenses. Plus I am writing for myself as well. Makes for a long day, with no time for hobbies. Or to try and learn anything new.

I think back to my younger years, in the early days of computing, and kick myself in the rear for not accepting a job offer from Beagle Brothers. If I was in the industry, I would have had help learning. At that time, I was often a step ahead of some programmers. Which is why Beagle Brothers became interested in some of the things I was doing. They thought it was impossible to do in Basic. But if you recall, Basic Did Allow for Peeks, Pokes and Calls, so you could manipulate the registers and stacks.
Almost every attempt at making a floppy where it could not be copied, I would find a way around it and write a program that would duplicate the disk and it would be usable. Including breaking the spiraling technique. But most of what I did was in Basic and made the computer do things it was not designed for back in those days. Sorta like multi-tasking before it was possible. More often than not, I was simply improving games so they had more features and would run faster.
That was when I started getting into programming languages. But for some reason, using MASM to convert them to an exe file, always broke them. And I had no one to ask why. Computers were also changing very fast. What I made work on one computer, would not work at all on the next version that came out. My computing skills totally died when they changed from 286 to 386 architecture. Work, marriage, kids, and expenses, ate away what little play time I had for anything. Work and Chores was my life!

Now that I'm retired, I have less time left over to do much of anything. I'm sure it's this darn internet, hi hi........

FWIW: My web site is done in XHTML/CSS, by hand! I didn't use a word processor to convert anything. I wrote it on GEDIT, which does highlight some things that might not be right. I've heard about Bluefish but have never used it.

The only reason I mentioned that, is because I hear they now have conversion programs that can take (what they call) plain language and covert it to various programming languages, like php or C++. I've never seen such an animal, only heard that they do exist. But what they call plain language, might not mean plain language to us, hi hi.....

Have a Great Day Yogi!

TTUL
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Re: Reinstalling Windows Nightmare

Postby Yogi » 25 Jan 2013, 09:58

I think I could be a whiz at Linux if I had the desire to sit down and learn more about it. Most of what I know about it is out of the necessity to set it up properly on my home network. It has so much more capability than that, I'm sure.

I'm only a couple years ahead of you in age, and have found that more and more of my time is now being spent just trying to stay afloat. It's one of the cruelties of life I suppose that once you learn enough to understand it, it's too late to apply your wisdom in a practical sense. Thus, most people do what they got to do and not much else. I make a special effort to exercise my brain and thinking process, which could be a mistake. I find that I am capable of being aware of too many disasters forming around me. It would be a lot easier to be senile and left alone in a corner to contemplate the perpendicular nature of the walls.

:lol:
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Re: Reinstalling Windows Nightmare

Postby Kellemora » 25 Jan 2013, 12:19

I could carry this in yet another direction, the shrinking value of the dollar.
In the last decade, I've seen the price of many of the things I buy on a weekly basis, skyrocket exponentially.

One item I buy a lot of, only fluctuated between 49 and 69 cents for years, then suddenly it has jumped to over 3 dollars.
Consumer items in the food and beverage lines, including snacks and treats, have spiralled totally out of sight.
A case of soda (24 cans) held at under 4 dollars a case, often on sale for under 3 dollars a case.
Today, it is hard to find soda in cases, they sell half-cases (12 cans) for 4 to 6 dollars, that's 8 to 12 dollars a case.

In order to survive, you can't rely on savings anymore. The money you scrimp and save to put away for the golden years, becomes worthless before you get there. My great-grandfather worked for 12-1/2 cents per day, increasing to 40 cents by the time he retired. My grandfather for 1 dollar per day, increasing to around 10 dollars per day at the time of his death. He never reached retirement. My dad, was thrilled with 89 dollars a week take home pay, it increased to around 200 per week when he retired, but his retirement income was only 40 bucks a week. Then came I. Most of my working career was 150 bucks a week, finally reaching around 250 bucks. Through personal side businesses I more than doubled that amount during my 40s. My kids started out, right out of skewl at over 1000 bucks a week and they have trouble making ends meet.
The amount one receives in Social Security is directly proportional to the amount you paid into the system, minus the cost of medicare and drug plans. Now, if the majority of kids today are having trouble making it on 1000 bucks a week, due to inflation, how the heck are we seniors supposed to live on 700 bucks a month? Even after downsizing considerably, utilities are still around 300 bucks a month for most, food another 300 bucks. My wife's insulin is over 1000 bucks a month WITH Insurance covering much of it. As soon as she retires, it will drop to 400 bucks, until she hits the donut hole, then shoot up to more than double her SS income. What Then? Let her Die?????

FWIW: I put away between 5 and 10% of my income from every paycheck, all the years I was working. I also had my house nearly paid for, only about 5 payments left. When my late wife became ill, our medical expenses shot up. As her time in the hospital increased, so did our part of the payments. Insurance covered 80%, but the way prices went up, I was paying out over 26 thousand dollars a month in medical and hospital bills. I used up all of my savings, nothing left. Began refinancing my house to cover her medical bills. While waiting for a loan, the hospital turned her away, sent her to the state run hospital. She almost died while there, because they don't do anything. The loan came through, but was quickly burned up in medical bills. Refinanced again and now the payments were more than I could possibly make. I still made them, working from sunup to after dark each day. We spent the last of our money putting her in the hospital. We could not get any assistance because, we owned an asset, our overly financed house. I did have some business holdings left and virtually gave away everything I owned related to business, to cover her medical bills and cover the costs of her funeral. Later I auctioned off everything in my house and sold the house to clear up all of my debts. I was finally debt free, but homeless. All I had left of my entire life was my old car and 2 thousand bucks.
Started over at Ground Zero! I learned my lesson, I now own nothing! My little house is paid for in full, but my name does not appear on it, only the heirs names will appear on it shortly. I'm still driving the same old car I left home with a decade ago.
And I rise up early in the morning and walk to work, I work in my garage office, all day, for 3 bucks a digital paragraph.
At least I still have one small business I revived, it helps, but I have to make sure I don't earn over a certain amount!

But you know something Yogi. Despite on how it sounds, I've never been happier in my entire lifetime.
I account to no one! (That's because the Frau has control of the remote, hi hi).
I have no debts that I don't pay off monthly, at least for as long as I'm able to keep them paid up.
And I enjoy what I do!

TTUL
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