Sunday, February 25, 2007

Installing Vista Ultimate Edition 64-bit

Well, I have had a fun 16 hours.

That is how long I have spent installing and configuring Vista and the applications I need. It's agonizing and I already miss the ease of Ubuntu.

The first problem occurred as I boot up Windows setup for the first time. When it reached the drive partitioner, it reported that it found no disks on my system. I kind of scratched my head for a minute before I remembered that I had trouble with my Promise RAID controller in Windows XP.

I previously had two 400GB drives connected in a RAID 0 array using my Promise chipset. One of them bit the dust so I was forced to switch the Promise controller into IDE mode. XP balked, but I got it working using a Promise SATA driver. On the other hand, Ubuntu refused to accept the RAID array, but the single SATA drive operated flawlessly. So I continued about my life.

Well Vista ending up choking the same way XP did without the driver. I did not want to deal with this BS again, so I shut off my computer and reconnected my drive to one of the VIA SATA ports. This solved the problem. Yay. I feel stupid for not doing this earlier.

So, with Vista now installed, I moved on to the exciting world of device drivers.

Since I chose to install the x64 version of Vista (as any true geek should), I expected at least one device to refuse to work. To my amazement, my Logitech QuickCam (the one that looks like HAL) was setup automatically by a tiny file received from Windows Update. Pretty slick in my opinion. My printer, video card, and USB hubs all worked out of the box. I didn't even have to deal with any unsigned driver issues.

I was feeling happy until I realized that I had absolutely no sound at all. Bleh. I have a Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty sound card and it wasn't even detected by Vista. It didn't even prompt me that it found an unrecognized device. Nothing.

So I went to Creative's website to download the driver. Low and behold it was listed as a beta version. <rant>WTF. I hate you Creative. Your shit doesn't work. Your drivers suck. Your cards don't even work in Linux!</rant> I downloaded it anyway and it installed smoothly.

Now that the hard part is over, I moved on to the easy stuff: applications.

I am tired of writing this blog entry for now. I will edit it later.

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