How did we get here?

Last night, my housemate came back with a new hard disk to replace his laptop’s dead one and asked me to get it up and running. Although I hadn’t done a Windows install in ages, I figured it would be straight-forward and wouldn’t take much time.

  1. His HP came with an honest to god proper Windows CD and not some restore partition bullshit. Good on HP! Let’s boot from this CD.
  2. Start setup.. it copies files.. reboot.
  3. Graphical Setup begins.. bunch of copying.. bunch of questions.. copying.. questions.. copying.. questions.. aargh! Why can’t you ask me all the questions in one go!! Reboot.
  4. Login and realize wireless doesn’t work. Hmm.. no option to use WPA TKIP auth? Quick googling on another machine reveals that WPA is only available with Service Pack 2. What’s this machine? SP1. Okay…
  5. Dig out a spare ethernet cable and take the laptop to the router and mate the two.
  6. Now let’s start Windows Update. Update needs to update? Okay. update Update. Reboot.
  7. Start Windows Update again. What, no SP2 option? But you have 60 other critical updates instead? But wait, what’s this shiny graphic next to the critical updates list urging me to update to SP2 to get security updates?! I want to but how do I get SP2?! I’m suffering some cognitive dissonance here. Okay, whatever.. I’ll install these updates first. Accept license.. Accept lic.. Accept.. Go!
  8. As the clock turns midnight and an Amazing Race episode ends, we are asked to reboot. Of course.
  9. Start Windows Update yet again. Finally an option to install SP2! Start.. Accept.. Go! SP2 setup downloads some 70 odd MB, starts and gives some error that you need to be on AC power before running setup. Aren’t we already on AC power? Weird; we are plugged in and yet, there’s a battery icon in the systray instead of a power plug icon. Hmm.. remove and re-insert power cord. No change. Reboot (long shot) and try again.. still no go. AC power is still not detected :-( Okay, remove the battery (really long shot!) and boot just on AC power. Works!
  10. Start Windows Update for the nth time. Thankfully, SP2 setup resumes without re-downloading from scratch. Bunch of next, next, next and off to bed hoping it’ll do its thing without needing anymore nexts.
  11. Come morning and SP2 setup is waiting for someone to reboot.
  12. After reboot, go to wireless properties and WTF?! Still no WPA option?!
  13. Hmm.. open Device Manager, find the wireless card, update driver. Thankfully, no reboot needed!
  14. Open wireless properties with trepidation and hallelujah! Finally, we have a place to enter the WPA key and get online!

While I certainly haven’t used all of the operating systems out there, I can safely assert that none of them can be managed by regular people.

This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but I forgot to upload!