Figured I was due for a random rant. I spent all week trying to bring back my 2 year old Windows 7 work computer back from the land of unresponsive, BSOD, general bugginess. Definitely a frustrating week!
I upgraded my Dell desktop about six months ago. I really did not run into any troubles during that initial upgrade, surprising, right? Printer drivers loaded. Software all worked. Peripherals recognized. I definitely felt the need to put foot in mouth.
Then what happened? Windows updates, antivirus updates, software updates, in some combination killed everything. I first noticed when Chrome started to crash on start up. I followed all Google’s recommendations: remove user profile, uninstall/reinstall, etc, but nothing worked. Ok, major downer, but I moved to Firefox and added a Chrome theme. Then I ran into some major issues with System Restore popping up and having to complete a restore every other day just to boot in. I replaced the hard drive, and voila–a day without problems. Then they all started on a brand new install. At that point, it took me 4 hours to install a network printer. Yes, FOUR HOURS!
At this point, I could not help but think I never run into these problems with Ubuntu and Linux. Yes, in the early days, we all faced networking troubles or graphics problems, but by and large, those days are gone. We do not troubleshoot antivirus as a potential roadblock, because…we do not need to use it. Just to show the superiority of Linux over Windows…during these problems, I needed to rescue a VM off a WD external HDD that failed. Windows saw it, but could not format or pull it off. Brought the HDD home, pulled it off (10GB file) and easily split the file, compressed it, and put it on a flash USB.
Very frustrating, and I do not know what will happen. Next year, we want to begin rolling out Windows 7. At this point, I now fear this upgrade. Out of about 20 test production line laptops and desktops, I know of two working well. Others continue to show wireless problems, networking problems, and trust problems, the latter needing an admin to continuously take the computer out and back into the domain. Not sure what will happen. Do you remember our Ubuntu Netbook Remix flavor we created (http://www.k12opensourceclassroom.org/?p=84) for about 200 eeePC netbooks? Still working fine, two years later. Hmmm….
Image used under Creative Commons by flickr user Sweet One