October 19, 2010

Persistence and windows

After what may go down as the most frustrating 6 hours of my life.... I finally succeeded in installing Windows xp on my bro's Jurassic Acer. Last time I tried, I ended up settling for the PCOSlinux which to be honest fared quite well. It handled pdfs, docs, music and video without hiccups. The problem was the experience.... the unfriendly desktop, the alien folders and a general lack of oomph made it lackluster compared to Windows. And it would'nt accept USB internet devices. And that's a big bummer.

So I brought it over yesterday to give it another try. Here's what happened:

Trial 1: Made a USB bootable flash disk using WinToFlash and tried it on the laptop(USB boot activated). Nothing. Something about a hal.dll file missing and just no boot from USB.
And I've heard linux kindof tries to prevent windows installations :-p

Trial 2: Downloaded DBAN, a nuking tool to wipe my hard drive. After a couple of hiccups starting on bootup, it loaded and wiped my hard drive clean in 2 hours. 40GB of RAW unpartitioned space

Tried booting from flash from Trial 1 again. Nothing.

Trial 3: Tried loading the setup files and boot initialisation commands using the command line. Went ok for a while before hitting a roadblock. Some files were missing. Nevertheless, I tried booting from the disk and wallah! Nothing.

Trial 4: Read on a forum that formatting using the inbuilt windows formatter didn't work with some drives. Downloaded HP's formatting tool and tried the procedures from above 1 and 3. No luck.

Trial 5: Downloaded USB_prep8, a set of batch files to create a bootable disk. One component PeToUSB refused to recognize my 8gb Kingmax pendrive. I googled that too... apparently it supported flash drives upto 2gb only formatted in FAT16 files system. Now come on...

Trial n: I don't remember how many combinations I tried of the above programs, and before long it was morning, a full 6 hours spent on the dead laptop. I was sleepy as hell and almost giving up. Then I struck jackpot.

I tried WinToFlash again with FAT16 as filesystem and all features turned on(like format, EULA info etc) and the program took about 10 minutes to make my USB drive.

I was welcomed with the setup screen on bootup and the files loaded in a record 20 seconds!!! In twenty minutes, the laptop was running on the friendly neigherborhood super OS, WINDOWS XP!

Then I retired to my bed for a "chain ki neend"

No comments: