Saturday, April 07, 2007

Broken Windows (XP) -- Part III

Everyone should have an Igor. I used to have two, but now I'm down to one. He swears that I can restore my trashed Windows disk without having to do a reinstall. In the meantime, just in case, I dug out an old 10 GB hard disk and plugged it into the Windows computer in place of the trashed disk. I'm in the process of installing Windows on that disk, just to see if I can do it. If I can, I'll feel more comfortable in reinstalling Windows on the bigger disk, if it comes to that.

In the process, I've noticed a few differences between the install process for a Linux distribution and the install process for Windows.

How to Install Linux

  1. Get a Linux install disk.
  2. Put it in the computer.
  3. Boot the machine.
  4. Answer questions about the installation process. In general, you can use the defaults.
  5. Select any additional software you want to install.
  6. Click the install button.
  7. Wait for Install to finish.
  8. Log on.
  9. Update software.
  10. Configure user accounts.
  11. Configure Network and Email Accounts.
  12. Enjoy.

How to Install Windows XP

  1. Dig out Windows installation disk, or, the days, the “recovery” or “reinstall” disk.
  2. Put it in the computer.
  3. Boot the machine.
  4. Accept the fact that there is nothing customized about this install.
  5. Find the driver disk(s).
  6. Install the needed drivers. (I still haven't found the Ethernet and Audio drivers. I did find the Wireless drivers, so I can connect the machine to the Internet that way.)
  7. Reboot.
  8. Since the only legal disk you can use to install Windows XP on this computer is set at Service Pack 1, download Service Pack 2. Note that this is the “Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers.” Use this, or order the CD version. You're probably going to need it in the future. Further note that it's best to do this on another computer, since we don't have firewalls and virus scanners enabled yet.
  9. Install SP2.
  10. Reboot.
  11. Get antivirus software installed. I'm using McAfee, only because Comcast offers it free to subscribers.
  12. Reboot.
  13. Run Windows Update (or install Microsoft Update) to get latest updates for XP.
  14. Reboot.
  15. Install Google Pack. Select Firefox as the default browser.
  16. Install Mozilla Thunderbird. Make it the default email.
  17. Configure user accounts.
  18. Configure Network and Email Accounts.
  19. For each piece of software you need:
    1. Find it, via Internet or on CD.
    2. Install.
    3. Reboot as required.
  20. Enjoy?

Yes, it is so easy to install Windows, and so hard to install Linux.