Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Windows 7 Adventure

So, I haven't posted an entry lately, and it hasn't been out of laziness (for once.)

A little over a week ago, my computer crashed. 1 new hard drive and copy of Windows 7 later, I was ready to get up and running. The trouble is, my getting up and running process was a complete disaster.

Last Thursday, I began the installation. Needless to say, it didn't go well. Without going into excruciating detail, I was basically running an unstable installation for about a week that would blue screen every time my computer came back from sleep mode. It would also do this annoying thing where every time I turned on the computer it flashed black a couple of times for about a second per flash. ANNOYING. Anyway - those of you who run Windows have surely encountered the infamous blue screen of death (BSOD) at least a couple of times, and those of you who run Macs probably have at least heard about it, as Apple uses the BSOD as a marketing push toward their computers.

I disabled sleep mode and ran that install for about a week, since I had a midterm last Thursday and didn't have a ton of time to fidget with it throughout the week. Then this Friday, I re-installed Windows 7 on a different hard drive so that I could go back to the files I had used on the other hard drive during the week it was running on the computer. For about 24 hours, it worked like a charm. No blue screens, no black flashes. Yay.

But then as I was transferring files yesterday, some of the hard drives connected to the computer would randomly vanish mid-transfer, thereby interrupting the transfer. Cue me exasperatedly thinking, "Oh, good, another Big Problem."

For both major issues, I had scoured the internet looking to see if other people were having similar issues (they were) and if there were solutions (there weren't.) Both times, my only option was to do another install and cross my fingers and hope it solved the problem. First retry obviously didn't work, but second retry - so far, so good. Does that mean third time's a charm with installs? Well, I'll just hope so. I don't want to have to do this again.

I had gotten to a point where I was wondering if I should just backtrack and re-install Windows XP, but the thing was, from my brief usage, I really do like Windows 7. I love the re-imagined task bar, how easy it is to pin applications, and I really like the feature that auto-resizes windows to work side-by-side. The driver installation process was streamlined after every install, and I think the overall look is great. Windows Aero, inspired by the Mac OS, is also a great feature that I enjoy. I didn't want to revert back to XP, because there were a lot of things that 7 has really gotten right.

My install process was a nightmare, but now that I'm finally working again I'm looking forward to exploring this new system further and seeing what it has to offer. I'm also planning on posting a lot in the next few days to catch up.

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