It finally happened, my brand new PC (replacing my "old" one because Vista was, well you know, Vista), crashed only after 1 week of using it.
I purchased a brand new laptop for work the day windows 7 came out (oct. 22 in Canada), HP Pavilion dv6, suckered in by the reviews that Windows 7 was thoroughly beta-tested, and because I am used to a windows environment. The First week had been great: it would boot fast, my PC was silent, I had 30+ office documents open at the same time, and I was using all the new features of the OS (aero, the screen halving etc.) and wasn't even close to bringing my PC to its knees. I felt productive, and confident that my PC was powerful.
I had also purchased the upgrade to Windows 7 Pro, because I was pretty sure I needed the backward compatibility with XP software, and the easy network tools could also come in handy. And that's where the mayhem began:
Today I had the first compatibility issue with software at work (note, this software had been tested and working for Vista).
Minute 0- I proceeded to run XP mode. Lo and behold, it isn't preinstalled! Not only do you need to download XP mode off the Microsoft Website, you need to download the virtual PC separately (2 separate files). No biggie.
Minute 15 - I download 500 Megs & install, the installation takes a while, is mostly a silent install so I don't have a clue what's going on. It reboots. I receive no notification or shortcut created on my desktop. I'm getting a little nervous because I've seen this before when Microsoft halfasses their software...
Minute 25 - I find the virtual PC in my start menu, reassured, I click on it.
Minute 26 - ERROR! I receive a notification (with that "Bing" error sound as if I smacked my head against a brick wall) asking me kindly to GO IN MY BIOS TO ENABLE VIRTUAL HARDWARE CAPABILITES. Pardon me? Now I have been foolish enough to stick around with Microsoft for long enough to know how to play around with my BIOS, but I honestly thought those days of primitive nerdy command prompt-looking screens were a relic of the past.
Minute 28 - I enter my BIOS, takes no time at all to enable the feature (I don't understand why they didn't enable it by default). Reboot.
Minute 31- I see a familiar screen upon start-up asking me for my password to get into Windows 7, and the lovely Windows start-up tune playing in the background
Minute 31- CRASH! that feeling of familiarity was just an illusion! I had been ambushed with my worthy old opponent: the blue screen of death! You'd think Microsoft would make it green, or change things up a bit throughout the years. No. the unmistakable window informing me of my fatal errors was dumping my RAM and preparing for a reboot. My whole body is itching.
Minute 33 - full reboot in normal mode, back to the 2-second glimpse of my password screen. CRASH! the same crash as before, and I still hadn't touched my PC. I was absolutely appalled, but somewhat impressed by the extraordinary programming prowess that it must have taken for Microsoft to create a fully automatic looping reboot with a blue screen in the middle. Quite the acrobatics if you ask me. I felt Goosebumps popping out all over my body.
The beautiful thing about this crash is that the start-up tune would play and hold the very last note while crashing, as if it were some sort of grand finale. I shall dub this crash the Mozart 7-64bit.
Minute 35 - I try to reboot in safe mode with the network available. It still crashes. That?s when I start to worry
Minute 37 - I reboot in full safe mode. Panicked, I enter my password before I give it a chance to crash on me.
Minute 38 -! Phew, Windows safe mode. I am in! Windows safe mode is like an oasis in a desert filled with blue-screen vultures pecking away at my precious time. This safe mode was a little different since Microsoft had the curtsey to immediately popup a link to system restore; a desert cactus for me to suckle on. Thank you Microsoft, I am glad you're here for me now.
Minute 40 - not many system restores to choose from, I pick the first one.
Minute 50 - restoring
Minute 55 - Restoring
Minute 60 - Restoring
Minute 62 - Windows is starting up screeching slowly. Everything seems back to normal, but the desert cactus had some sort of paralyzing serum in it: my computer is slow now, and for the last 15 minutes (and during the whole hour it took me to write this), the fan to my laptop hasn't stopped guzzling. Oh and of course, the virtual PC is gone. In hopeless despair, I give up.
Bottom line: It didn't take long for Microsoft to cripple the newest contender in my PC arsenal. Did I learn anything? Yes. I was naive to think that Microsoft and their army of programmers could miraculously turn the piece of **** they called Vista into a pot of gold with Windows 7. It's more like a turd wrapped in golden foil; one that if you tap a little too hard, the outer shell will pierce and you enter in contact with the soft smelly underbelly that we are all too familiar with.
Do I suggest buying a Mac? No, I have never used a Mac. I had an iphone for 6 months and it was a relatively positive experience. All I can do is hope that someday a proper OS comes out that can run on a powerful machine stably with the demands of everyday needs.
Is that too much to ask for???