Dual-booting should never be this hard. But for some reason Microsoft's ode to crappy names, and crappy OS design and development seems to love to make things harder than they have to be. I've had some serious issue with Vista ever since I bought the OS under the assumptions that it would be nearly as friendly, and refreshing as XP. If it wasn't for Vista I could even come to the conclusion that perhaps I would have never tried Ubuntu, and thus any other linux distribution out there. So as of tonight I'd like to outline a few ways in which crappy OS' like Vista make me delighted to be a penguin.
I began my installation of Vista as I normally do with dual-booting, apprehensive. I setup my second drive as NTFS and slipped the Vista disk in. Installation went smoothly, and setting up grub to be my primary bootloader went smoother than normal. Much smoother than it ever had in the past thanks to great help at ubuntuforums.com.
But this was short-lived. After the installation I was left with the usual myriad of issues that needed immediate fixing. This included getting my Audigy 2 ZS to work under Vista (mostly a Creative issue), downloading and installing drivers for a 9500 GT and a Linksys wireless adaptor, downloading updates, and then maybe I could get to what I installed the OS in the first place for, in this case playing pc games.
Things went well until after I downloaded Fallout 3 and attempted to extract it. Vista would give me errors that it could not extract a 5.5Gb archive into roughly 50Gb of hard drive space. Explorer was having a problem with this, and I couldn't get a straight answer anywhere online. It was around this time that the updates finished downloading, and I was prompted to restart. Strangely some updates did not download. No issue, I hoped.
Upon restart the updates were configured, for nearly an hour. Vista then restarted itself and gave me an error, so I had to place the install disc back into the drive to run repair. This appeared to fix the issue until halfway to downloading Winzip, in an attempt to rectify the previous issue, I was greated with the great spirit of Windows, the Blue Screen of Death. Wonderful, I thought to myself, not even 5 hours into Vista's lifespan it is already having issues with itself. A forced restart later, and another attempt at running the OS proved that the BSOD didn't plan on going away. So here I am, reinstalling a version of Windows not 5 hours old.
As you can tell, getting Vista just to run successfully is a huge trial in patience. When Ubuntu performs every needed task faster, stabler, and more securely it boggles my mind that Microsoft has gotten away with the crap they put on store shelves. And if those of you who are interested in Windows 7 think that things may change, think again, I received concurrent BSOD's in that OS as well. My Windows 7 install disk now sits happily at the bottom of a landfill somewhere in New Mexico.
It is a huge burden to setup Vista when every Linux distribution I've used has done things better than Vista out-of-the-box, so to speak. Just staring at the installation screen makes me sigh not knowing what issue it will throw at me next. And realizing this I'll probably just end up formatting the drive again, and turning on Ubuntu to get things done. And slowly I realize why I switched to Linux in the first place, and take a quiet resignation and joy in the fact that Linux just works.