A blog dedicated to the researchers who dyed a captured chimp's fur pink, then released it. The other chimps promptly tore it to pieces.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Windows 7 = Vista Redux

"It's like deja vu all over again!"

---Yogi Berra

As you might have noticed, Microsoft released their new Windows 7 OS last week. The computer industry has been in an uproar, with paid Microsoft flunkies, fanboys, and other sycophants gushing over the joys of the latest version. "It's SOOOOO much better than Vista!" they exclaim. "Microsoft got this one right! Businesses will love it - they'll all be moving to Windows 7 now."

Look, I'm a computer professional. I do what's called Desktop Support - we're the people who solve your problem when the regular Helpdesk can't. I have to keep up on the latest and greatest technology so I can help you when you can't print, connect your VPN client, or save a file to a network drive. Solving computer problems is my job, and I'm pretty damn good at it if I do say so myself.

So I figure I'll install Windows 7 on my laptop - that way I'll be ready for the inevitable questions as people buy new computers with it pre-installed. We're not talking some antique here - I bought it new in August of '08. It has a dual-core CPU, 3 gigs of RAM, and came with Vista, so I figured it shouldn't be a problem getting it to run Windows 7. Wrong.

The first clue that this project might turn into a clusterfuck came right at the start. The Windows 7 installer did a "compatibility check" and gave me a couple of warnings, advising me to cancel the upgrade and remove some "HP QuickLaunch Keys" device and driver. "Probably not a bad idea," I think, and look down at the bottom of the window for a Cancel button. There's no Cancel, just Next, so I click Next figuring I'll have an option to cancel on the next screen. Wrong. The installer launches and starts merrily copying files. Thanks, Microsoft - tell me to cancel and don't give me a fucking Cancel button - that's real cute.

Anyway, it takes just short of two hours for the upgrade to complete. I check Device Manager for the problem device and sure enough - there's an "Unknown Device" showing up. No problem - I'll just remove it. Wrong. I can remove it as many times as I like, but it comes back after every reboot. I've seen this before - the only way to fix for it is to either find a driver or disable the device so Windows will stop re-detecting it.

Trouble is, I look on HP's website for a driver and discover there are only a couple dozen laptop models they're supporting for upgrading to Windows 7 - everybody else is out of luck. (or stuck with XP or Vista) Mine isn't on the list, and the site says HP will not be releasing any Windows 7 drivers for models that aren't on the list. Great. By this time I've discovered my wireless network adapter doesn't work quite right with the Windows 7 drivers either, so I can't connect to my wireless router from the laptop anymore. I hunt up an Ethernet cable and plug into a spare port.

I make one last ditch attempt to get it to work by doing a clean install of Windows 7, thinking maybe if I blow away all the HP crap on the drive, it will properly detect whatever it's complaining about and be able to find a driver. At least the fresh install is a lot faster, completing in less than a half-hour. Still no go, though - once again I have the same "unknown device" showing up in Device Manager. There's nothing in the BIOS I can disable to get rid of it - it's find and install a Windows 7 driver for whatever the hell it is, or live with it not working.

At this point, I'm pretty sure I'm fucked. Without that driver, I'll never be able to get the machine to work properly under Windows 7. I finally give up and reinstall Vista.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't this seem an awful lot like the same sort of thing people bitched about when Vista first came out? Unless you bought a new computer than came with Vista, you couldn't count on it to work right. And we won't even go into all the peripherals (software, printers, scanners, etc.) that wouldn't work with Vista and wound up having to be replaced, other than to note that given my experience with my laptop, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to discover that Windows 7 is much the same story.

Microsoft can kiss my fucking ass and HP right along with them if they think I'm going to buy ANOTHER goddamn computer (I already have eight) just so I can run their new OS. Windows XP will run on almost anything I care to install it on, so what's the problem with Windows 7? It won't even run on a laptop made a year and a half ago? What the fuck is up with that???

Microsoft is smoking crack if they think they're going to con businesses into a repeat of the Vista fiasco. Bullshit like this is a large part of the reason the place I'm currently working still uses Windows XP, and has no plans to upgrade to either Vista or Windows 7. Can't say I blame them after what I've gone through so far.

If anyone's interested, my laptop is a Compaq Presario A945US.


  • At 6:19 AM, Blogger Battersea said…

    Try MAC O/S?

  • At 9:29 AM, Blogger Realist said…

    Tried it. (I used to work for an Apple Authorized Service Center) Too expensive, and too limited to what Steve Jobs and his cronies want to allow you to do with your own computer and software.

  • At 12:31 PM, Blogger Anntichrist S. Coulter said…

    COMPAQ?!?!?! Dooooooooood. Did I never tell you about The Great Compaq Fuckover Of '98??? Or how I'm on my THIRD HP printer and it ain't nothin' but a paperweight?

    I'm not being a smartass, believe it or not (spamdick above notwithstanding), I'm serious. Can't trust either one of those companies for SHIT. And having been on Vista for close to a year now, I don't hate it as much as I *originally* did, but it still ain't no fuckin' XP Pro. I still miss Bessie, but I can function relatively well on this one, except that I hadda download an assload of freeware because it only came with TRIAL versions of Outlook & Works/Word. And the last fucking update pack re-converted my Irfanview pix & docs back to SOME kind of MS/Windows format. Not thrilled with that Big Brother shit whatsofuckingever. JUST got Irfanview straight, and now they're trying to fuck it off of my computer. Not amused.

    Remember that plan with the truckload of angry ducks and Bill Gates? Getting to be more and more of a practical idea...


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