Monday, March 03, 2008

Install, Upgrade, Activate ....and repeat

About two weeks ago, my laptop was a target of a rootkit attack and even though I got it completely cleaned up, everythihng on the machine just seemed sluggish and definitely not "work-worthy" (it was taking upwards of 2 hours to produce a 5 minute video).

As a result, I decided this weekend to rebuild it from scratch ( a good practice especially on notebooks every now and then), using the original Dell CD (which was XP Home SP1). I then upgraded to SP2 and everything was good. I was going about upgrading to the Pro edition. OK - I have to activate Windows. Did that. I saw the lovely Windows hillside and ....nothing else. Reboot. You have to activate Windows....saw the lovely Windows hillside and ...nothing. Reboot. You have to activate Windows. I'm sorry you have to CALL Microsoft to activate Windows. What a joy that is. It's all automated but still what a painful experience.

Even after that, Windows is already activated but still nothing.

Argh! Let's retry this again. This time, I'll just reformat with my Windows XP Pro. You must activate Windows but this time, I had no network drivers loaded so I have to contact the automated service. Except...no installation ID appeared. Come on!

Let's try this one more time (still awaiting results) before I just say screw it - finally - after having to reformat the drive one more time, it comes up. Wow - there goes an entire weekend. What can I say except - not impressed.

For those of you who have been looking for the latest FoxShow, this is the main reason why I haven't been able to get another one up in February. I have a great interview with Alan Stevens on tap though so if this works, I'm going to get it out today.

So while I was doing this, I immediately thought "is there an open source (or free) version of a Virtual PC-type machine" that would let me a) better evaluate Linux (Ubuntu) and b) let me retain my Windows valid EULA by running it in a virtualized PC. That leaves WINE out, but what are the thoughts on VMWare (free), VirtualBox or QEMU?

Anything that works really well for the VFP developer?

4 comments:

Jamie Osborn said...

Grab a copy of Norton Ghost and take an image of your fresh loaded machine (once you get it working).

It's then a snap to reload the system to exactly how it was and no activation hassles.

Ed Leafe said...

VMWare rocks! I've been using it for the last two months on my Mac, and run Ubuntu and WinXP in VMs. I've been supporting my remaining VFP client 100% through VMWare.

Bernard said...

I use Parallels http://www.parallels.com/
which is not free.

I also use QEMU with "Damn Small Linux", and run it off my USB Drive see here - http://soylink.blogspot.com/2005/09/portable-linux-on-my-thumbdrive.html

Very fast and easy to setup. Also portable and can run anywhere.

Rambling Road said...

I've been using VMware for running Linux and for keeping an install of XP for testing new installs. The Server version is free of charge and they have pre built images of several distros of Linux. You can install your own distro to if you don't like the pre built ones